Forte Serves Up Bulgarian at Industry Appreciation

Forte Las Vegas is one of our most exotic and unusual restaurants. I often bring out-of-town friends there, and boast on it, telling them that there isn’t even a place like it in New York.

The restaurant is a funky, Bohemian place, specializing in tapas from proprietor Nina Manchev’s native Bulgaria, Spain, and Georgia, that is the former Soviet republic. Manchev, who is only 25, grew up here, and she gets lots of help from her parents, Stefan and Mimi, her bombshell mother, Mimi. Don’t mess with Mimi.

The press has been kind; Forte is a local treasure that Vegas is lucky to have. Monday evening, the Manchevs hosted a small party for their many supporters, serving hors d’oeuvres such as Russian salad, spicy cheese spread, and sausages with a crackling caramel crust. I drank a lot of their sangria. Nina tended bar, when she wasn’t schmoozing.