Gastropubs have become insanely popular throughout the U.S. Chefs are closing down their high-end white tablecloth establishments and replacing them with restaurants that offer sharable small plates, house made cured meats, and dishes made with local, seasonable farm fresh ingredients.
The last place you might expect to see restaurants focusing on “local, seasonable farm ingredients” would be a city in the desert.
Namely, Las Vegas.
Interestingly, restaurants that are focused on this exact type of cuisine are thriving in Las Vegas. Las Vegas has the benefit of being quite close to California, where farms are abundant. As a result, Las Vegas restaurants are able to build relationships with farmers in California and offer the same type of local, seasonal fare that is abundant in places like Seattle, San Francisco, and New York.
We had a chance to visit Libertine Social at Mandalay Bay, one of the newest restaurants of this type to hit the Las Vegas Strip. James Beard award-winning chef Shawn McClain, who is also behind Sage and Five50 Pizza Bar at Aria, has partnered with mixologist Tony Abou-Ganim to create a restaurant that serves “comfortable but provocative” food, well-known dishes with a twist that surprise and delight the diner….