Concierge Picks at Aria

Food, Hotels, Nightlife, Things to Do — By thmeeks on April 7, 2010 at 5:03 am

Aria is the newest hotel casino in Las Vegas’ City Center complex. City Center’s mixed use design–a combination of hotels (both with and without gaming), residences, shops, restaurants, and nightclubs–is an idea that’s just now catching on in Las Vegas. We spoke with Aria’s Director of Concierge and Chief Concierge, Nancy Nitsche, who has been with City Center for three years. She brings 13 years of Las Vegas concierge experience with her, and she takes a personal interest in the places she recommends. “I take my job seriously,” she says. “So I try everything.”

Fountain at Aria

Where do you send visitors when they want to have a drink in the neighborhood of your hotel?

If it’s the afternoon and they just got in, I would say Serrano, Chef Julian Serrano’s restaurant. Serrano’s has a fantastic bar, and they do tappas-style plates. They have great sangria, which is terrific for the afternoon because you’re allowed to drink sangria in the middle of the day, since it has juice in it. Who am I kidding? It’s Las Vegas–you can drink whenever you like.

If guests have been here and they’re meeting for a drink or going out, I’d steer them toward the Gold Lounge, which is a little more upscale. It’s adjacent to our Elvis theater, and it’s a place Elvis would want to go if he were going out for a drink. It’s modeled after the jungle room in his home.

Las Vegas City Center

Where to take a date?

If the couple wants a more romantic place, I recommend Sage. Sage is contemporary American cuisine, but with global influence, so it has a little bit of everything from different places in the world. It’s a beautiful room with lots of gold hues, and the lighting makes everyone look tanned and ten years younger. It’s a sophisticated, yet comfortable atmosphere. And the chef there is award-winning Sean McClain, who is just amazing.

If it was my first date, I’d say Jean Georges. It’s not your typical steak house; it’s very contemporary and challenges the definition of traditional. It’s got a lot of energy, and it’s a little bit louder, so there would be no awkward silences. Very stylish, very contemporary, very sexy.

Ladies’ night out?

For dinner, I’d probably start them at American Fish, Michael Mina’s restaurant. They have a little bit of everything on the menu. Once they’re ready to go out, I’d definitely recommend Haze. Haze was recently featured on “The Bachelor,” and they actually did their bachelorette party there.

For something more low-key, I’d say Beso and Eve, Eva Longoria’s restaurant and nightclub inside Crystals, adjacent to Aria. They’ve got floor-to-ceiling windows, and it overlooks our drives and fountains at Aria–it’s a beautiful view. Eve is more of an ultra lounge, so it’s not as much of that night-club type of feel. Eve is a more intimate alternative to the larger scale nightlife venues.

Guy’s night out?

Well, you’d send them to the same places, because that’s where the ladies are.

For dinner, they could also go to Jean Georges or Union. Jean Georges has a great private dining room, and it’s all wood, very masculine. At Union, the food is American-style comfort food. You might have a truffle macaroni and cheese, or veal sliders, or lobster tacos. It takes comfort food to the next level.


Photo of Aria courtesy of Gunther Hagleitner

Photo of Aria Fountains courtesy of Mark Mitchell

Photo of City Center courtesy of joevare

Tags: American Fish, Aria, Beso, City Center, Eve, Gold Lounge, Haze, Jean Georges, Sage, Serrano