Here Comes the Barrymore

Restaurateur Billy Richardson has every reason to believe that his fourth Las Vegas restaurant, the Barrymore at the Royal House (99 Convention Center Drive), will be every bit the success of his other local projects, which include Holsteins at the Cosmopolitan, LBS Burger at Red Rock Resort, Pink’s at Planet Hollywood and, we presume, a just-announced fifth venue, Public House gastropub at the Venetian.

The 1,400 square feet of forlorn coffee shop have been entirely renovated, bringing some much needed attention to the desolate swath of Strip between Encore and the Stratosphere. The Barrymore opens for breakfast, lunch and dinner on Sept. 3, with a planned Sept. 15 grand opening. At the helm, chef Anthony Meidenbauer will prepare seasonal American fare at reasonable prices.

Inspired by Vegas’ historic gourmet rooms (Barrymores’ was a gourmet room at the original MGM Grand; yes, those Barrymores …), and with a nod to the Beverly Hills Hotel’s Polo Lounge and 25 Degrees at the Roosevelt, the Barrymore experience begins at the bar. With its sexy white marble top, flat-screen TV hidden within a mirror and grommeted leather club chairs, “You’d think Cary Grant and those old movie stars are going to walk right through the door,” Richardson says.

Plaid carpets, dim lamps and blue-velour banquettes and booths impart the two dining rooms with a decidedly Old Hollywood feel, while film reel ceiling tiles, unique anti-chandeliers, luxurious wallpaper, outdoor firepit and a peek-a-boo wine wall bridge the gap between L.A.’s yesteryear and today’s Vegas. On the menu, dinner entrees range from $22 to the $65 32-ounce dry-aged tomahawk rib for two. Paired with a wine from the “50 Under $50” menu, dinner at the Barrymore falls right in line with the hotel’s hip new ’tude. And if the cuisine is half as tasty as the atmosphere, we’re all in for a well-deserved treat.

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Gourmet mac and cheese is all the rage. Just about every high-end restaurant on the Strip offers up a version of the childhood favorite. Hubert Keller’s “In the Shower” mac and cheese is a much-loved holdover from his upscale Fleur de Lys restaurant that formerly occupied the space of his new concept, Fleur. The elbow noodles are smothered in Gruyère cheese and finely diced vegetables and served in a cast-iron pot with a crunchy crust, topped with a chunk of lobster meat. $18 on lunch menu, in Mandalay Bay, 632-9400.



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