NoMad Restaurant to Bow in Las Vegas

Will Guidara Daniel Humm NoMad - Publicity - H 2018
Courtesy of NoMad

The third outpost of the eatery, which has star-favored spots in New York and Los Angeles, arrives Nov. 14 with the "theatricality" the desert oasis demands, along with "a bit of flash."

After more than three years of planning, NoMad Restaurant will debut Nov. 14 inside the recently opened NoMad Hotel Las Vegas.

"NoMad has always been the place where uptown and downtown intersect," says Make It Nice Hospitality's Will Guidara of the brand. "We've tried to create a restaurant that is our riff on fine dining but for our generation. It's not stuffy at all. There's an energy, you'll be able to hear the music. No one will ever feel the need to whisper."

All of NoMad's food and beverage spaces are conceived in collaboration with Sydell Group and Make It Nice Hospitality, headed by Guidara and chef Daniel Humm, the team behind one of the top restaurants in the world, New York City's Eleven Madison Park, which has garnered James Beard Foundation Awards and Michelin stars and was ranked the No. 1 restaurant by the World's 50 Best in 2017. Chrissy Teigen and John Legend are among its many Hollywood fans.

Located within the Park MGM mega-resort, formerly Monte Carlo, which has received a top-to-bottom re-envisioning by Sydell Group (proprietors of The Line Hotel, Freehand and The Ned), NoMad Hotel and NoMad Restaurant Las Vegas take inspiration from their cousins on both coasts. This outpost of the eatery will also offer only-in-Vegas experiences that set it apart. "We will be doing lots of tableside presentations," says Guidara of the restaurant, "so there is theatricality and revelry."

Las Vegas has been on the team's radar for many years, and Guidara and Humm were offered a few different opportunities for locations. "I love Las Vegas. I've always been enamored by the theatricality of it, and we've worked that element into all of the restaurants," Guidara says. "None of the other Vegas opportunities we were offered felt right because we try to build this bubble around each table — the room, our service, the food, the way we interact — so that the world falls away. … The challenge with Las Vegas was always when you step out the door of any restaurant it's like, 'Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding!' But [because this space is set apart from the casino] the moment you walk through those doors, you're listening to music that we picked."

When Humm first saw the space within Monte Carlo, he had a hard time visualizing it. "I had to be convinced. I was very skeptical," he says. "There was a McDonald's in here." But Andrew Zobler, founder and CEO of Sydell Group, who has made a career of transforming inherited spaces, leaped at the challenge to reinvent Monte Carlo. "There's not another room like this in Las Vegas," says Zobler of the eatery. "It will be open five nights a week, dinner only, and it's a really glamorous room. The food is made with precision, but it's also supposed to be fun."

Taking a cue from the intimate Library inside New York City's NoMad, the Las Vegas version is a two-story, 120-seat rectangular dining room flanked by more than 20,000 books from David Rockefeller's collection bought at auction. "If you go through it, you can pick out books and find little notes from him to his aunt or from him to his son and little notes that he took in the margins and things like that, which is super cool," says Zobler.

Multitiered chandeliers cascade from the peacock blue ceiling. Along one wall is a bar that will serve the full restaurant menu and cocktails created by NoMad bar director Leo Robitschek. Offerings include the Nod to Nothing, a floral and herbaceous Gin Sour, and the End of Discussion, a smoky, spicy margarita with jalapeno-infused tequila, mezcal, green chartreuse and lemon.

The kitchen will be helmed by Mike Rellergert, who has worked with Humm for six years and opened NoMad New York. The menu, which Guidara characterizes as having more of a classic American vibe than other NoMads ("The one thing you can't ignore is that every restaurant has lobster on the menu," says Humm of Vegas. "Every restaurant has steak"), will nonetheless include the brand's famed black truffle and foie gras chicken for two, as well as an opulent shellfish plateau and even a caviar course. While the average experience will be under two hours, for those wanting more of a show, tableside events include beef or tuna tartare presentations, a dry-aged ribeye for two, flambe Baked Alaska and even a martini cart. Says Guidara, "There's nothing more fun than serving people who are looking to have fun."

Outside of the main dining area are three smaller rooms, each with a different theme. The Cellar is a private space decorated with old and new wine bottles on floor-to-ceiling racks, plus vintage decanters, glassware and serving sets. The Parlour pays homage to the power and beauty of four female gamblers in the form of sculptural busts, along with a neoclassical frieze. Vintage Persian carpets line the room as well as more bookshelves. The Salon, wedged between the two private dining rooms, with its cocktail bar and emerald green tufted walls, will be the space to congregate for a pre-dinner martini, served from an opulent cart. "We'll have a classic martini. We'll have a classic Gibson, and then we'll have variations on martinis," Robitschek says. "The menu is a progression of how martins evolved throughout the ages."

As a true hotel-in-hotel, everything NoMad is set apart from the Park MGM experience. NoMad Restaurant is positioned across from NoMad Bar, intersected by a long corridor that connects to Park MGM's Casino. Inside that hallway, guests are firmly planted in the NoMad world thanks to mood, music and lighting: Riffs by The Rolling Stones play, a flower cart peddles roses, and in the air, notes of the signature NoMad scent linger. "We hope we stayed on the right side of good taste," says Zobler, "but it's also got bit of flash."