Brian Massie is known as a chef who gets things done. Just look at what he’s accomplished (and is accomplishing) in recent months as a partner in Clique Hospitality: maintained Hearthstone at Red Rock Resort; opened Salute and Libre at Red Rock; created a menu of snacks for Clique Lounge at the Cosmopolitan; created a menu of bar food for the Still, which opened last week at Mirage; and developed new restaurants Bottiglia and Borracha, set to open in the coming weeks at Green Valley Ranch Resort.
Massie admits he’s a “put my head down and work” kind of guy, but even if he doesn’t pay a lot of attention to accolades, he’s still excited to be receiving the Dom Perignon Award of Excellence at this year’s UNLVino. “This is a great bunch of people, and some very well-accomplished people have received it,” he says. “This is definitely something to send home to Mom and Dad.”
Before he started building the Clique empire with Andy Masi and Shane Monaco, Massie served as executive chef for the Light Group, the hospitality company that dominated the Strip for years. Starting with Fix at Bellagio in 2004, Massie and his team created and cultivated a series of hip restaurants at multiple Strip casinos that built a bridge between dining and nightlife.
With Clique, despite the recent lounge and bar projects at Cosmo and Mirage, Massie has refocused his efforts on local neighborhoods, something that dates back to his time with Hearthstone. “It’s very different from being on the Strip and cooking for the tourism crowed, which is definitely speckled with locals but more the party-scene kind of people,” he says. “I feel I have a lot more freedom cooking in the local community. ... There are serious diners [there] and well-traveled people who appreciate a more esoteric style. I enjoy it more.”
Right now Massie is spending most of his time at Green Valley Ranch, where Bottiglia opens April 20 and Borracha on May 3. “Bottiglia is like Salute meets Hearthstone, a little more rustic-style Italian cooking, but it feels brighter, with an open kitchen and a big bar and back patio. And Borracha is going to be great, a fun place for tacos and tequila.”
UNLVINO Bubble-Licious at Venetian, April 14; Sake Fever at Red Rock Resort, April 15; Grand Tasting at Paris, April 16; unlvino.com.