What’s New at Mandalay Bay
As Morgans Hotel Group and MGM Resorts International are in the process of replacing the 1,017 rooms in the tower of Mandalay Bay’s old hotel with a new Delano Las Vegas—projected to open in early 2014—restaurant and nightclub pioneer the Light Group is also revamping the property’s restaurants, opening a nightclub, and amping up the overall energy. Mandalay’s dining scene has been strong since its 1999 opening, but in a town whose clubs and restaurants have a notoriously short shelf life, regular reinvigoration is a must. Out are China Grill and Red White and Blue; in are Light (a new Cirque du Soleil–themed nightspot), a revamped Red Square, and a Citizens Kitchen & Bar. DuJour caught up with Light Group founder Andrew Sasson to find out his recommendations.
Light is the name of the club that started the scene at the Bellagio, but the moniker is the only holdover. The club, which opens this month, “is a marriage between Cirque du Soleil and the nightclub,” Sasson says. “The deejays are the main focus.” Expect a massive sensory overload: 38,000 square feet of Cirque theatrics, performers, video, and you in the middle.
Don’t miss: The upholstered-leather tunnel from the casino—which leads you into the space—has the urban-chic feel of an abandoned warehouse.
Having undergone a face-lift, the Russian-inspired restaurant now offers more approachable favorites (think chicken Kiev with bacon Brussels sprouts) and a new range of inventive vodka-based cocktails—like the Russian Apple Pie with Grey Goose, apple cider and Leopold Brothers Apple Liqueur.
Don’t miss: The zero-degree Vodka Vault. It’s hosted by a special ambassador who helps guests devise their own custom infusions. Fur coats and Russian-style military jackets are provided at the door. While you’re there, look for the statue of Lenin’s head frozen in a block of ice.
Citizens Kitchen & Bar
Still American in concept, Citizens now aims to be that place where you go for a great dinner at 4 a.m. after you’ve been clubbing. New design elements include subway tiles and Edison lights, ornate lampposts on the patio and counter stools with a view of the casino.
Don’t miss: Bacon-wrapped meat loaf and all the other comfort foods from chef Brian Massie that Vegas visitors crave after a big night out.