Block 16 is hot. Way hot. The hospitality group behind popular burger joints LBS at Red Rock Resort and Holsteins at the Cosmopolitan—not to mention Pink’s famous hot dogs at Planet Hollywood—seems to be opening an intriguing new restaurant every few months. Before the year is out, the team will open Public House, a gastropub at the Venetian. And over Labor Day weekend, the ambitious operators quietly opened the Barrymore, an old-school Vegas joint that fits perfectly in the renovated, re-invigorated Royal Resort.
For Block 16 executive chef Anthony Meidenbauer, the Barrymore is an opportunity to show off in a real dining room, as the restaurant isn’t as tied to a single concept as the company’s other offerings. “To open a smaller place like this, with 88 seats, and to be able to do whatever I want with the food without the issues that come with high volume, it’s pretty exciting. We can really focus on the cuisine.” he said. Working with chef de cuisine Francisco Campa, Meidenbauer is capitalizing on the throwback vibe with some classic dishes like shrimp cocktail, Oysters Rockefeller and a traditional Nicoise salad.
- The Barrymore
- Royal Resort, 99 Convention Center Drive, 407-5303.
- Sunday-Thursday, 7 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 7 a.m.-11 p.m.
But there are plenty of interesting twists to remind you the Barrymore is something of a showcase restaurant. Vitello tonnato is an old-school appetizer you don’t find much anymore, roasted veal loin in Spanish tuna sauce with shaved Parmesan cheese and fresh greens. There will always be a vegan option, currently a rich squash curry with couscous. Need comfort food? Fried chicken comes in a honey-sherry glaze with cheesy grits, or you can indulge in the mammoth 32-ounce Cowboy Ribeye steak for two, dry aged for a month.
And that’s just dinner. The Barrymore’s proximity to the Convention Center has created some strong early breakfast and lunch business, when surprised visitors are devouring crispy pork belly Benedict with bacon marmalade, big juicy burgers on fresh-baked English muffin buns or Meidenbauer’s fave, the lomo de cerdo. “It’s a sandwich I found in Florida with roast pork, Manchego cheese, garlic aioli and some grilled chili peppers on a baguette. It’s killer.” Put it all together in a super-cool space with a little vintage Vegas decor, and it looks like Block 16 has another hit.