Flamingo Las Vegas to launch new steakhouse that channels its gangster past
Donny and Marie Osmond recently closed their 11-year run at the Flamingo Las Vegas. The hotel-casino’s steakhouse shut down too. Now, the resort plans a new $10-million restaurant this spring called Bugsy & Meyer’s Steakhouse, a swanky, white-tablecloth restaurant that will inhabit the space of Center Cut steakhouse, which closed last September.
Bugsy & Meyer’s calling cards will be prime dry-aged steaks, fresh seafood, pre-Prohibition cocktails (drinks such as Tom Collins, the sidecar, aged whiskey drinks) — and a secret food menu offered only in the Count Room, a speakeasy-style cocktail lounge off the main dining room.
“The No. 1 request of guests is where can I get a great steak, so we’re going to deliver that here,” said Eileen Moore-Johnson, the hotel’s regional president. “This restaurant will be a nod to Flamingo’s 73-year history, a throwback with modern touches.”
Named for the Flamingo’s 1946 founders, Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel and business partner Meyer Lansky, the restaurant takes design cues from Siegel’s midcentury Hollywood roots and Lansky’s Art Deco Miami. Renderings show dark woods, buttery leathers and rich textiles blended with bright jewel tones, intricate floor tile patterns and, of course, plenty of flamingos (painted ones on the walls, live ones in the resort’s outdoor habitat, which will be visible from the restaurant’s patio).
“We want our guests to feel like they’ve traveled back in time,” Moore-Johnson said. “We built the space then designed the dining experience around the room.”
Guests will enter the restaurant through a vestibule that resembles a 1920s bakery then pass through an unmarked entrance, speakeasy-style, into the kitchen. “They’ll feel the sizzle of the broilers and get the dry-aged aroma of the prime steaks, which will be on display in a glass-enclosed aging room so everyone can see them,” said William Becker, vice president of food and beverage for parent company Caesars Entertainment.
Those broilers will turn out some of the Strip’s top steaks and seafood, Becker said. “We’ll be buying USDA prime beef … then dry-aging it here for another 14 to 28 days,” said Becker, who is also a chef. Beef short ribs, lamb saddle and steak Diane will feature prominently on the menu.
So will seafood, which will range from grilled items to raw fish crudos, pokes and tataki preparations. ”We’ll also serve a specialty item each night that ‘s not on the menu such as imported Wagyu beef, tuna belly toro or charcoal-roasted meats. We want to be known for those roasted meats, and they’ll only be available in limited quantities each day. That means when they sell out, they’re gone,” Becker said.
There will be vegan options in every category of the menu. “Plant-based options are important to us,” he said.
Desserts will also arrive with flair. Becker said guests should expect to receive a table-side show when presented with upgraded version of classic desserts, such as a soufflé, strawberries Romanoff or baked Alaska, an ice cream cake topped with French meringue that’s often lighted on fire for a dramatic presentation.
Because Bugsy & Meyer’s will be an ode to old-school Vegas, classic cocktails will be front-and-center. An oblong bar ringed by plush booths (for snacking, canoodling or both) and black-and-white historical Vegas photos will be focal points. So too will a couple of roving cocktail carts pushed by servers who will mix classic old-fashioned cocktails on demand or pour Champagne for seafood towers and oysters plucked from the dining room’s prominent raw bar.
And that speakeasy? The Count Room refers to the secure room where casinos and banks count their cash. Guests will access the secret hideaway through an unmarked door known only to servers and insiders, said Flamingo spokeswoman Chelsea Ryder said.
Once inside, there’s another secret worth sharing: an insiders-only food menu that includes a Wagyu chicken fried steak, chicken and dumplings (ask for the “stool pigeon,”) short rib sliders (“knuckle sandwich”), and white beans with smoked ham (“freedom to the pigs”).
Bugsy & Meyer’s Steakhouse is slated to open in early 2020.