Wisconsin native and T-Bones Chophouse executive chef Philipp Norsetter knows his way around some beef, but he’s a big fan of classic cocktails, too. When he’s not running the show at the Red Rock Resort’s sleek steakhouse, he’s busy browsing the Valley’s best bars.
- T-Bones Chophouse
- Red Rock Resort, 797-7576.
- Sunday-Thursday, 5-10 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 5-11 p.m. (bar open one hour later every night).
Downtown Cocktail Room (111 Las Vegas Blvd. S., 880-3696) is ground zero for this chef’s drink exploration. “The cool thing about them is their cocktails are seasonal. You’re always getting different ingredients, seasonal flavors, and it’s never stale.” His choice, when it’s on the menu, is the Sean Connery: Johnnie Walker Black, Faretti Biscotti Famosi liqueur, Lagavulin 16-year, orange-ginger syrup, lemon and bitters.
The Cosmopolitan’s Vesper Bar (3708 Las Vegas Blvd. S., 698-7000) specializes in throwback cocktails from a bygone era, and that’s Norsetter’s sweet spot. “They have a great menu as far as classic cocktails go, and anyplace with that kind of focus, I’m more than willing to give it a shot.” The bar’s eponymous gin-vodka beverage is actually named after James Bond’s love interest in the novel Casino Royale.
“Food-wise, I really like Sage. What a great restaurant,” Norsetter says. But this CityCenter hotspot (Aria, 3730 Las Vegas Blvd. S., 877-230-2742) has a high-quality beer and cocktail program to match. “I love the fact that they’ll do a beer pairing with just about anything on the menu.” For $39 more, the Sage team will pair a brew with each delicious dish on the $79 signature tasting menu. At last, you can learn what beer goes best with glazed pork belly and Wagyu beef tartare.