Do you want to be fed by a celebrity chef — but at a reasonable price? That has been the trend on the Strip for a few years now with affordably delicious eateries by Kerry Simon, Todd English, Hubert Keller and Gordon Ramsay.
On Tuesday, celebrity chef Michael Mina will open his new affordable — yet fancy pants — Pub 1842 at MGM Grand.
If you want more upscale Mina food, you can still eat at Mina’s sumptuous American Fish in Aria, or chow on his refined seafood at Bellagio’s Michael Mina, or spend cash at his Mandalay Bay spot Stripsteak (one of Joe Rogan’s hangs).
“People come to Las Vegas and yeah, I want them to eat at Michael Mina one night, and I want them to eat at American Fish,” Mina tells me.
“But the reality is, somewhere along the way during that trip, people are going to want to eat and drink at some place that’s more casual.”
So there are no $5,000 burgers at this Pub, as there used to be at the pre-recession Fleur de Lys.
“All the burgers are in the teens,” and they come on potato-and-black-pepper corn rolls, Mina says.
Mina has the buoyancy of personality to have previously created lobster corn dogs. So likewise, his Pub 1842 will offer “fun sharable foods with twists,” such as nachos with green chili, and a pretzel with a beer cheese, but also big, hearty salads and salmon burgers.
“All the desserts are amazing cakes and shakes, like a delicious coconut cake with a pineapple milkshake. They are really damn good.”
Mina says his secret is to focus on high-quality innovations, products/ingredients and techniques.
His MGM restaurants Nobhill Tavern and Seablue ended after about 13 years each. But this Pub 1842 takes the place of Seablue, which means the Pub uses Seablue’s wood-burning grill.
Mina says he developed the Pub after MGM asked him to fill this celebrity-casual gap with a restaurant “more in line with where we are heading with the casino as a whole.”
“It’s an evolution, and a repositioning to help the casino,” Mina says.
SHALLOW END OF THE POOL
MTV star Farrah Abraham became famous on “Sixteen and Pregnant” and “Teen Mom” — but she recently parlayed her TV fame into porn money with the video “Backdoor Teen Mom.”
Naturally, this weekend at Sapphire strip club’s dayclub/pool, she showed off her new breasts, one of which apparently slipped out of its bikini for the cameras.
Someone at the E! TV network snarked, “Maybe Farrah Abraham just hasn’t gotten the hang of her new boobs yet.”
Donald Trump escorted outgoing Miss USA Nana Meriwether to the naughty Venetian nightclub The Act on Saturday night, for her final evening as keeper of the crown. They were joined by Miss Universe Olivia Culpo, plus previous Miss Alabama Katherine Webb and singer Emin, and more than 40 guests. Trump was still celebrating his birthday. He turned 67 on Friday. ... Former “Girl Next Door” Kendra Wilkinson-Baskett took her brother Colin and friends to her 28th birthday party Saturday at Paris’ Chateau nightclub. She turned 28 on Wednesday. ... Wilmer Valderrama of “That ’70s Show” watched the UFC fights Saturday at Blondies Sports Bar & Grill in Miracle Mile Shops. ... R&B singer Mario took friends to Palazzo’s Lavo restaurant Saturday night. ... UFC’s Quinton “Rampage” Jackson partied with 15 buddies Friday at Encore’s Surrender nightclub.
“I’ve got to get out of Vegas before I die. I look and feel like Lindsay Lohan. It’s a problem. #SendInHelp” — @ShannaMoakler, the former Miss USA-Playmate/TV host (whose Twitter description reads “Wicked Awesome” “In Bed”).
Doug Elfman’s column appears Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. He also writes for Neon on Fridays. Email him at email@example.com. He blogs at reviewjournal.com/elfman.