In February, Siegel Group senior vice president Michael Crandall told Vegas Seven about the property-wide upgrades and aesthetic renovations already under way at the Artisan (“Seven Questions With Michael Crandall,” February 18). At the time, Crandall said he was in talks with an Italian chef to take over the former Mood Restaurant, but emphasized the importance of getting the right partner in there, saying, “and if that’s not Italian, then I’m comfortable with it not being Italian.” Indeed, the Mediterranean winds have shifted in a new direction, and will instead bring the Euro-chic Artisan a taste of Spain with Barcelona Tapas (BarcelonaTapasVegas.com).
“We really want to incorporate certain cuisines from, let’s say, Venezuela, Argentina, Colombia, Brazil, Puerto Rico, obviously Mexico—[places] that you don’t normally see in other Latin tapas-style restaurants.” – Gilbert Bonilla
Chef Edgar Montes De Oca’s original Barcelona Tapas location in Southern Highlands will remain open when he and his business partner Gilbert Bonilla open a second, much larger tapas spot the last week of July or the first week of August in the former Mood Restaurant location at the boutique hotel. The restaurant will serve breakfast, lunch, dinner and a late-night menu in a vibrant, sophisticated new dining room that will fall in line with the rest of the property refresh. It will also provide in-room dining and catering property-wide, serving the pool and bar.
Fans of the existing menu will find that, plus new dishes added exclusively to the Artisan location. Montes De Oca has done time in kitchens including Mon Ami Gabi, Firefly and in Chicago. For his menu expansion, the chef will pull from multiple Latin cuisines. “We really want to incorporate certain cuisines from, let’s say, Venezuela, Argentina, Colombia, Brazil, Puerto Rico, obviously Mexico—[places] that you don’t normally see in other Latin tapas-style restaurants,” Bonilla says. “You have a lot of cultures here in the Latin community. We want to reach out to them because most Latin Tapas [restaurants] don’t really do that. … Hopefully with this we’ll get a lot of people from all over Las Vegas.”
Also on the menu: Latin-style music, which Bonilla says could include a guitar duo or a DJ spinning the sounds of today’s hottest Latin artists. “Hopefully, between our food and the Artisan [renovation], we can make the Artisan a new destination to not only eat, but to go dancing as well. Las Vegas is missing that, and that’s what we’re trying to bring.”