We learned last fall that The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills restaurateur Lisa Vanderpump had plans to expand her restaurant empire to Las Vegas, with Vanderpump Cocktail Garden coming to Caesars Palace. And while details trickled out and fans' excitement reached a frenzy, the specifics of the new project were unknown. Until now.
Last night, I joined Lisa at her West Hollywood hotspot Tom Tom (which only the night before had picked up its trophy for the best bar in Southern California) for an exclusive sneak peak at the Vegas space — and a taste of the menu. (Spoiler alert: Might as well click open another window to start booking your ticket now...)
Vanderpump Cocktail Garden is going to be equal parts bar/lounge and restaurant — with impeccable attention paid to both the drinks and the food. "I'm very excited because we've seen this concept work so well [with Tom Tom]," Lisa said, "Come for a drink and have delicate bites — but also substantial food."
As for the alcohol, think "innovative cocktails, heavy on the rose," Lisa said. While not officially finalized, the drink menu is shaping up to be inventive, fancy, cheeky — and of course, an Instagram gold mine.
I tried a drink tentatively called the "Booze Hound." That's Stoli hot vodka, chacho jalapeno vodka, grapefruit liqueur, fresh pineapple, bitters, vanilla citrus, and pink peppercorns. On top? Not just any old dried pineapple wedge for garnish — but one covered in glitter. In Lisa's signature pink, of course. So that's a yes and a yes from me. (And a warning from me, too: This pretty-in-pink drink belies its potency. Tread carefully — or not, if you're on a mission.)
There's also a gin drink with the working title "Giggy Tonic" (never to be left out of a party!), and one called "Macha Macha Man," which includes Vanderpump Vodka, matcha, and fresh mint. (By the way, Tom Tom also has an incredible matcha cocktail.)
For food, expect those small, "delicate" bites to pack a punch — they're definitely not the kind of sad, soggy, and flavorless mozzarella sticks you might be accustomed to coating your stomach with on other booze-filled Vegas nights.
Think tacos that swap the traditional tortilla for plantain, stuffed with fresh ahi tuna tartar. Spicy and totally satisfying — but definitely not greasy or guilt-inspiring.
Spicy salmon cones have an elegant presentation, served in a golden sleeve, topped with caviar... because this is Lisa Vanderpump we're talking about here.
In short, I am all the way sold on the Vanderpump Cocktail Garden's menu. And I'd say it's more than fair to take Lisa at her word about the soon-to-open Vegas venue: "It's going to be bloody fabulous."
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