If ever a restaurant was clear in its statement of intention, it’s the new Citizens Kitchen and Bar at the Mandalay Bay Resort. Though The Light Group has certainly glittered up Vegas with its share of flash, celeb-magnet nightspots (Haze, Lily, 1OAK, etc), CK&B has a populist bent; at 6,787 sq. ft., it can satisfy a large swath of the citizenry at once. Munge Leung’s interior design has infused the massive space with a cozy Americana feel with lots of antique touches, faux-vintage lamps, and a charming higgledy-piggledy collection of art and photos adorning the walls.
Exec. chef Brian Massie’s menu takes in a wide sweep of the comfort food canon, with everything from mahi mahi fish tacos to fried chicken with jalapeno honey to house-made donuts. But its amusingly cheeky signature offering is the Muffalata Challenge, a colossal version of the classic Sicilian sandwich; it’s intended to feed six, but free to anyone who can finish it off solo. Go for it.
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A(n industrial) revolution has hit Alphabet City: the team behind Ella and the Blind Barber bring revolutionary dishes to the table at Boulton & Watt. “Like our namesake, we’re refining and re-creating an already much loved product,” said former 983 and Norwood chef David Rotter. “It’s a revised take on rustic American comfort food, rich and hearty and satisfying during the cold months.”
This means you can find dishes like gouda and white cheddar macaroni and cheese, a chicken pot pie topped with light puff pastry, and a bunch of indulgent small snacks including wild mushroom duxelles and his rich short rib with bone marrow toast.
Boulton & Watt have opened in the former Nice Guy Eddie’s, and now, the prime spot has a steampunk twist with salvaged windows, an antique steam engine used to power the restaurants fan system, and a spattering of repurposed furniture.
“We knew that by taking away Nice Guy Eddie’s we had to create something worthwhile, especially on such a prominent corner,” said Rotter. “Our ethos is simple; we want to bring people together over great food, great drinks, in a welcoming, inviting atmosphere.”
The name comes from Boulton & Watt, who made stationary steam engines in England. While the original company revolutionized machinery, the restaurant in Alphabet City comes at a time when many things have been changing around the area, including numerous green spaces popping up along Houston, and the opening of Union Market.
“The corner of Houston and Avenue A has always been a gateway to something special,” said Rotter. “With the changes this neighborhood has gone through over the last few years, we felt the time was right to give something back to a neighborhood that has given us so much love and joy over the years.”