The Las Vegas food and beverage community came out in unprecedented force to support the August 8arrival of Libertine Social in Mandalay Bay. James Beard Award-winning chef Shawn McClain—also of Sage and Five50 Pizza Bar in Aria—has given his latest concept a menu that reflects the social aspects of dining with sections offering American small plates, toasts and dips, flatbreads, charcuterie boards and full-size portions from land and sea, cooked on a wood-fired grill.
There are multiple dining atmospheres available, including the main bar and lounge, intimate Arcade Bar (formerly Scratch Bar), a low dining counter facing a pair of ovens, cavernous main dining room and, when temperatures cool off, a new outdoor patio added especially for the restaurant. Designed by Alessandro Munge, the interiors celebrate the fictional exploits of a free-spirited libertine, with artistic vignettes reflecting his adventures as well as those of McClain and his business partner Tony Abou-Ganim, who created the venue’s beverage program.
Whether at the bar or the table, guests have a variety of options for beverage service formats including bottled, draft and barrel-aged cocktails, swizzles for four, fizzes and ice-cold shots. The retro section is where you’ll find the Harvey Wallbanger and Woo-Woo. Look there, too, for Abou-Ganim’s own contribution to the modern classic cannon, the Cable Car, which he created in San Francisco and perfected at Bellagio.
Abou-Ganim’s signature can also be found in the intimate Arcade Bar, which features as it menu a highly stylized art book by Fab Ciraolo, and features classics the likes of the Holland House and Stork Club Cocktail. Further sections include Daisies & Fixes, Cobblers & Cups, Juleps & Smashes, and punchbowl service for four.
In such a vibrant and convivial environment, it would be nearly impossible to dine or drink alone here for very long.
NAME: Libertine Social
SERVING: Small and large plates of cocktail-friendly American cuisine.
OPENED: August 8, 2016
WHO'S BEHIND IT: Chef Shawn McClain and mixologist Tony Abou-Ganim
DID YOU KNOW: Play “Dare or Dare” with the proffered cards in little caddies at the bar.
LOCATION: In the former Shanghai Lily space in Mandalay Bay, across from Kumi.
HOURS OF OPERATION: 5-10 p.m. nightly.