Here’s the Beef

Thinking inside the bun with Fine Concepts’ latest: i❤burgers

All apologies to Huckabees fans, but i❤burgers—the Palazzo’s new high-end burger joint’s name—is articulated as “I Love Burgers.”

Fine Concepts’ CEO Jeffrey Fine (brother Jonathan Fine of Rockhouse and PBR Rock Bar is also a partner) says he’ll open an “approachable” gourmet burger concept “by the end of the year” in the former Mainland Asian Noodles space. With seating for 200, i❤burgers will serve lunch and dinner with an eye toward capturing late-night business via a walk-up counter, which will double as a daiquiri/milkshake bar.

Executive Chef/GM Errol LeBlanc, best known for his avant-garde cuisine at R.E. Tapas Kitchen, assures, “You’re not going to need an instruction manual” to enjoy his gourmet burgers: Kobe, buffalo, sirloin and Ahi tuna ground to spec daily and served on fresh buns. They come with more than a dozen potato options, including truffle-butter-tossed fried Yukon Golds, London-style chips and baked russet potato fries.

Menus are seasonal and produce organic and locally sourced wherever possible, right down to LeBlanc curing his own pickles. “We make everything except for the ketchup,” he says. “I would make my own cheese if I had the capacity to do so.”

At the bar, diverse specialty and microbrewed beer is on tap and in bottles. Milkshakes are spiked and cocktails are well in hand thanks to bar manager/head mixologist Myke Ramos, whose bacon Bloody Mary is served with pork cracklins and house-made apple-wood-smoked-bacon salt.

With at least three more gourmet burger joints hovering on the horizon of an already saturated Vegas market, you have to wonder about this stampede. Between casual fare and gourmet cuisine, “Gourmet burgers bridge the gap,” Fine Concepts’ vice president of development Zach Conine says. “A burger can also be a vehicle to try something you’ve never had before.”

“We think we can create a fun, cool, whimsical environment unique to anything in the Venetian/Palazzo complex,” Fine says.