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If you’re headed to Las Vegas for some New Year’s Eve shenanigans this weekend, you’ll definitely want to add the just-opened Mr Chow restaurant to your itinerary. After all, there’s really no better way to ring in 2016 than with dumplings and Mr Chow’s signature noodles, right?
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After five attempts at opening on the Strip, Mr Chow served its first Beijing duck in Las Vegas on Dec. 15 when the Beverly Hills staple debuted at Caesars Palace. The 47-year-old Chinese eatery previously entertained the idea of locations within Wynn, the never-completed Harmon resort and inside The Shops at Crystals, among others. Mr Chow Las Vegas now occupies the former Empress Court restaurant space, above Rao’s.
“With Caesars celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2016, we knew this was the right place and the right time,” says owner, restaurateur and artist Michael Chow.
At the center of the stark almost all-white dining room is a kinetic moon, designed by Chow and created by Tait Stage Technologies, a stage-engineering firm that has worked on the world tours of artists such as Justin Timberlake, Katy Perry and Maroon 5. Programmed by Chow to music and lighting, the moon moves throughout the night — splitting into three parts for five minutes in motion and then resting as a whole for 20 minutes before its next configuration. This sculpture hovers over rows of tables dressed in elegant white cloths and its movements reveal an interior shell swathed in Yves Klein blue. The 3,800-pound work of art is made of fiberglass over aluminum and rigged with yachting cables. (This is not the only kinetic chandelier in the building. Super-club Omnia also boasts an impressive fixture designed by Tait.)
Downstairs at the entrance, guests are greeted with a Champagne bar before being whisked into the elevator delivering them to the second floor dining room.
Upstairs, the staff has been trained in a precise way of service — which Chow likens to a “Swiss army.” Classic, balanced Chinese meals on the menu include well-known dishes such as Ma mignon, chicken satays and green prawns — the same dishes and pricing as at Chow’s six other restaurants.
Also identical: the champagne trolley that is presented to diners as they are seated and the nightly noodle pulling demonstration. With three generations of customers, it’s best not to mess with what works. “[Mr Chow] is a classic and Caesars is a classic,” says general manager Patrice Rozat. A few key elements unique to the Vegas spot: the expansive patio overlooking the Caesars Palace Garden of the Gods pool complex and a semi-circular bar positioned in the back of the restaurant versus the front.
For its first big holiday celebration, Rozat says Mr Chow will offer two New Year’s Eve seatings: a 6 p.m. dinner priced at $222 per person including three courses and a bottle of Veuve Clicquot Brut Yellow Label per couple, and a 9:30 p.m. dinner priced at $333 per person with one bottle of Dom Perignon.
Expect major star power to flood the room on the evening of Jan. 20 when Jennifer Lopez kicks off her residency next door at Planet Hollywood’s Axis Theater.
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