Comfort, Happiness at the Heart of Hearthstone

Social media has had a drastic impact on the restaurant industry, driving chefs and restaurateurs to find their value in how many Facebook likes they have and how many people are tweeting positive reviews.

That is not the case for Brian Massie, owner and executive chef of Hearthstone Kitchen & Cellar, just 10 miles off the strip in southwestern Las Vegas.

“You want to have positive reviews. You want to be on the top of the list all the time and you feel accomplished by that,” Massie said in this Table 42 vignette. “For me, personally, that’s not my primary focus. My primary focus is what people are supposed to feel when they come in here and when they leave. I want them to be happy, and that’s the true testament to how well you are doing.”

Massie explains that the people in Las Vegas have changed from meat and potatoes to a more elevated palate – one which Hearthstone is attempting to satisfy with a different approach to food, décor, and atmosphere.

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The restaurant concept is open, based on a sushi bar (but swap out the sushi and replace it with rustic American). Guests can watch the chefs preparing the food and interact with them at the same time, which makes for an exciting concept. In addition, there are six or seven menu items that come right out of two huge wood burning stoves which sit in the middle of the dining room.

Massie describes the restaurant and food as “less flashy.” The food is “straightforward” and dishes like the bacon wrapped chorizo stuffed dates in piquillo pepper gravy create an umami flavor that customers crave and keep coming back for.

Comfort is what Hearthstone’s customers feel and it is what keeps them coming back.

“Three or four times a week they will come back, maybe for a drink or to sit in the lounge or play shuffleboard…[customers] feel like it’s the neighborhood spot. That’s what we are trying to make it. They feel happy and that’s important,” Massie explained.

Uncork'd Festival Ups the Ante for its 10th Year in Las Vegas

Uncork'd Festival  | Facebook

Uncork'd Festival | Facebook

Las Vegas hosts a number of food and wine festivals, but none have captured hearts quite like Uncork’d, Bon Appetit’s annual food and wine festival hosted over a period of four days that celebrates the nation’s top restaurants and chefs. Now in its 10th year, the festival is set to make some exciting changes this year that are sure to raise this festival to the next level.

New to the festival this year, Uncork’d is going off of the Strip and touring several of the new restaurants that have opened downtown. Additionally renowned chef Nobu Matsuhisa is hosting a Master’s Dinner that will support the Keep Memory Alive charity. And finally, celebrity chefs Emeril Lagasse and Daniel Boulud are hosting a multi-course dinner on the Strip at Doges Palace.

The festival offers a number of other customizable event options that allows attendees their own personalized experiences of the nation’s top culinary stars. Read More

Lagasse's Stadium Named 2016 Sports Bar of the Year

Lagasse's Stadium  | Facebook

Lagasse's Stadium | Facebook

Earlier last month, Las Vegas hosted the Nightclub & Bar Convention and Trade Show that celebrated the top establishments in the national beverage industry. In addition to hosting the awards, the Las Vegas bar scene also took home a number of top honors. 

Emeril Lagasse's Lagasse's Stadium was awarded the 2016 Sports Bar of the Year award and Nectacly Mendoza, bartender of Herbs & Rye, a speakeasy bar, was awarded Bartender of the Year. 

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Carson Kitchen Channels Spirit of the Late Kerry Simon

In this “Table 42” vignette, we join Cory Harwell, president at Simon Hospitality Group (SHG), to explore Carson Kitchen, a Foodable Top 25 restaurant in Las Vegas. Harwell is also co-founder of the group, which he started with the late Kerry Simon.

Harwell got his start in the industry at just 13 years old, and built his way up the ladder — from dishwashing to hosting to bartending to serving, and eventually opening and operating four restaurants under the SHG umbrella. 

In this episode, John Courtney, the culinary director at Carson Kitchen, makes wild boar sloppy joe, a prime example of how Harwell intends to showcase unique ingredients in familiar ways.

Goodwich Kiosk to Transform into Culinary Incubator

Goodwich Kiosk  | Steve Marcus

Goodwich Kiosk | Steve Marcus

After award-winning sandwich shop Goodwich closed its doors, leaving its former parking lot kiosk station for a new location, many locals were upset at losing both such an outstanding concept as well as not having anything to replace it with. Luckily, the owners of the Goodwich have recently announced plans to revive the space, introducing local Vegas residents to a new style of eatery: a culinary incubator. 

Becoming more and more popular nationwide, this incubator kitchen will operate much like others in which new chefs are able to utilize the space as a testing ground before opening their own brick and mortar. Chefs can rent the space for time periods of up to three months, during which time they are able to establish a culinary reputation as well as potentially attract investors.  

“The concept is going to evolve into something where we can showcase local talent and chefs with an idea of something they want to try but don’t have a place to do it,” Goodwich proprietor Josh Clark explained to Las Vegas Weekly.

Learn more about the upcoming culinary incubator here