When Jean Paul Labadie left his post as executive chef at Marche Bacchus in April, he wasn’t planning to stick around Las Vegas. But after spending some time with his family and appearing in—and winning—an episode of the Food Network’s Extreme Chef, an intriguing opportunity popped up. Now the Puerto Rico native finds himself at a somewhat unlikely destination.
About three months ago, he accepted a gig as executive chef and general manager at Garfield’s, a neighbor to Marche Bacchus in Desert Shores.
“They originally offered a position as consultant, but I had something in Denver that looked really good and fell through at the last minute,” says the chef, who first arrived in town working at Emeril Lagasse’s restaurants. “But the offer changed, and I had never been a GM before.” Labadie couldn’t resist trying something new, even if the locale was familiar. “Garfield’s doesn’t really compete directly with Marche Bacchus; they are so different. But I will always be attached to [Marche]. The owners, Rhonda and Jeff [Wyatt] really gave me a great opportunity, and I hope I brought a lot to the restaurant as well. I really left a piece of my heart there.”
- Garfield's Restaurant
- 2620 Regatta Dr., 925-8333.
- Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Friday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Saturday-Sunday, 10:30 a.m.-10 p.m.
The restaurants share many of the same customers, Summerlin residents who have fewer unique dining options since Rosemary’s and Nora’s Wine Bar closed this year. Labadie is hoping to take advantage of that void as he revamps Garfield’s, which also boasts chef Jason Bandle and new bar manager Mike Jones, formerly of Rosemary’s. “It’s kind of an all-star team, and my job is to lead us to another level,” Labadie says.
Always popular for Saturday and Sunday brunch, Garfield’s has already seen changes on its lunch menu. Labadie is keeping favorites like the fire-grilled artichoke appetizer and the flamekuche pizza, and adding winners like pan bagnat, a French “wet bread” sandwich with albacore tuna, tomato and cucumber-kalamata olive relish. At dinner, there’s more fresh seafood than before, including mussels in white wine sauce, swordfish and glazed black cod. “I’m big on seafood and so is Jason,” Labadie says, and it makes sense with the restaurant’s quaint nautical theme.
Expect more new twists, including a beer garden on the lakeside patio, ESPN Radio- and lamb slider-fueled Monday Night Football, and lots of entertainment on the patio. “We’re definitely getting hipper,” Labadie says.