You Can Finally Get a Taste of NoMad Restaurant in Las Vegas
Six years after opening NoMad in New York, and 10 months after bringing it to Los Angeles, Daniel Humm and Will Guidara have debuted their third NoMad Restaurant -- this time, on the Las Vegas strip, some of the most coveted territory in dining. Surely though, they’ve earned their spot. Since 2011, the two have purchased the three-Michelin-starred Eleven Madison Park (where Humm was executive chef) from Danny Meyer and made NoMad a household name on both coasts (that is, for households with excellent taste).
NoMad Las Vegas opened in mid-November on the top floors of the Park MGM, which “wanted to take a new approach to the Vegas resort experience,” Guidara tells us. With culinary partners including Roy Choi, Eataly, Brendan Sodikoff (of Bavette’s), and others, Guidara says it’s a community that NoMad wanted to be a part of.
In advance of the recent opening, Guidara gave us some details on the Vegas location...
It’s classic NoMad with a Vegas flourish
Las Vegas is a city where people come to be blown away by spectacle, make memories that will last forever, and spend money on luxurious experiences -- a lot of pressure for a restauranteur. “All of our restaurants need to have a sense of place, so while there is a certain style and atmosphere for NoMad in general, we had to approach Vegas differently than New York or Los Angeles,” Guidara says. “There is a theatricality here which doesn't exist anywhere else, so it was important for us to embrace that.”
In other words, NoMad has done the glitz and glam of the Strip its own way. Guidara describes the dining room’s design -- which was inspired by the Royal Portuguese Cabinet of Reading, a beautifully ornate library in Rio de Janeiro -- as “a bit more over the top without being garish.” (It also houses a collection of 20,000 books.)
“There is a theatricality here which doesn't exist anywhere else, so it was important for us to embrace that.”
Outside of the main dining room are three smaller rooms: the Cellar, the Parlour, and the Salon -- each with a theme paying homage to Vegas’ allure. The Cellar is decorated with old and new wine bottles, floor-to-ceiling racks, and vintage decanters and serving sets. The Parlour has sculptural busts (meant to honor four female gamblers), plus Persian carpets and bookshelves. And the Salon took inspiration from classic martini bars, according to Guidara, complete with a cocktail cart and emerald green tufted walls. “All of it is meant to speak to the city we’re in now,” he adds.
NoMad’s most famous dish will be on the menu
Foodies have long flocked (get it) to NoMad for Humm’s roast chicken for two. After all, the James Beard Award-winning chef’s process is slightly more complicated than throwing some salt and pepper on a chicken breast.
To start, the bird is stuffed beneath the skin with foie gras, truffles, and brioche. The cavity gets a lemon-rosemary leaf combo before it’s sent to the refrigerator so the stuffing can solidify and the chicken can absorb some flavor. Once it’s in the 450-degree oven, the skin crisps up to a golden brown, and thanks to the stuffing, the meat becomes white and juicy. While it looks ready to eat when the whole bird is presented to diners in a cast iron skillet, the legs are actually undercooked -- that’s when it’s brought back to the kitchen, carved, and cooked to finish.
“We like to reinvent NoMad wherever we go, but to still maintain the elements that make NoMad what it is.”
In keeping that famous dish on the menu, Guidara says, “We always like to reinvent NoMad wherever we go, but to still maintain some of the elements that make NoMad what it is.” Case in point: Along with the chicken, guests will be excited to see another longtime NoMad favorite on the menu -- fruits de mer, the chef’s selection of composed raw seafood.
French-inspired cuisine gets a steakhouse twist
Despite those holdovers, this isn’t the same menu as New York and Los Angeles. Chef de Cuisine Mike Rellergert, who’s been with NoMad since 2012, has given the Vegas restaurant a more classic American feel than its siblings on either coast.
Adding a theatrical flair are items like tableside tartare, where the presentation rivals a Vegas revue, and twists on steakhouse classics such as a 32-ounce dry-aged ribeye and baked potato “DuMont.” And it wouldn’t be Las Vegas without lobster, specifically Lobster Thermidor, a French take on the crustacean traditionally made by cooking the meat in a creamy sauce and stuffing it into the shell, then browning it with a cheese crust.
The cocktails are pedigreed (and shareable)
Bar director Leo Robitschek doesn’t mess around. He’s a James Beard Award-winning innovator who’s been with Humm and Guidara since their early Eleven Madison Park days and helped NoMad New York earn the title of Top Bar in North America (and fourth in the world) on the 2018 list of The World’s 50 Best Bars. For any bar director, the nightlife mecca of Vegas brings exciting opportunities -- and Robitscheck isn’t shying away.
In addition to live jazz provided by the NoMad Bar’s Steinway piano, guests will get the chance to order “cocktail explosions,” aka large-format drinks served in a giant chalice that, “depending on your tolerance” (as the menu advises), serve four to eight guests. Consider ordering the American in Rome (bourbon, Foro Amaro, lemon, and orange) while waiting for your table. The lengthy list of (standard-sized) NoMad cocktails includes the Hot Lips (jalapeño-infused tequila, mezcal, pineapple, lemon, and vanilla) and Nod to Nothing (London dry gin, lemon, green tea, apricot liqueur, yuzu, and sage), among many others -- all of which serve as the perfect warm-up before heading out to the casino floor.