Wolfgang Puck’s Las Vegas outfit opened its first major off-Strip restaurant at Downtown Summerlin in 2014, and nobody made a big deal out of it, even though locals who live in that ritzy neighborhood and others have been driving to the Strip to eat at Spago for 25 years now. Think about that: The household-name chef who guided Vegas toward becoming a great restaurant city was also the first of his kind to risk an endeavor away from the steady stream of the tourist corridor. And it was done in a neighborhood that, while affluent, has generally struggled to support independent yet creative culinary operations. (And, the Puck Bar & Grill at Downtown Summerlin is excellent.)
It was a big deal, as is the fact that chef Natalie Young’s Eat, a key pioneer in Downtown’s dining renaissance, is also coming to Summerlin. The second edition of Eat will likely open in a few months in the Trails Village Center, in the cozy spot formerly occupied by Jacques Cafe. Not unlike the way Spago has pulled Summerlinians to the Strip, Eat’s cool café qualities and simple, satisfying fare have made its Carson Street corner a destination for suburbanites looking for a scene. Young’s third local spot—she also has Chow Downtown—should fare well in Summerlin’s competitive brunch market, but more importantly it’ll bring some unique local swag to a neighborhood that hasn’t been considered the coolest.