Taste

Red Rock Resort and Wish You Were Here team for bold Mexican at Leoncito

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Leoncito’s grilled whole branzino.
Courtesy

For all its culinary success through the years, Summerlin’s still-stunning Red Rock Resort has never offered a Mexican restaurant that truly resonated with the neighborhood. That’s not the way I’ve felt about Mexican food at my all-time favorite neighborhood casino; I was always a fan of the Cabo concept that served it up for years in the space where Yard House stands today, and I still miss the incredible, creative tacos that took a turn in Summerlin in 2014 thanks to Chicago transplant Mercadito.

For this next at-bat, Station Casinos is bringing in designated hitter Wish You Were Here, the hospitality company that already shook things up at Red Rock with the delightful Rouge Room lounge, and before that, anchored the restaurant portfolio at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas with the impressive and vibey Kassi Beach House. Leoncito is its brand new Mexican concept, set to open on November 7 in the space vacated by Hearthstone. Like that friendly venue, Leoncito will be open for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch.

It’s a sure bet the cocktails will be a homerun, based on the libations we’ve sampled at Kassi and Rouge, and margarita flights will be on the menu so we can taste to our heart’s content. Leoncito’s namesake cocktail ($16) will bring the heat with lemon, strawberry and coconut blending with jalapeño and lava salt, and your choice of spirit, all poured into a traditional Cantarito Cup.

What’s that, you need more of a menu tease? There’s a watermelon “tuna” tostada ($18), an offbeat vegan interpretation with salsa macha, cilantro and avocado crema. New and different taco options ($12-$18) include green chorizo, beef barbacoa, suckling pig and lamb. There’s more green chorizo in the chimichanga ($16) with scrambled eggs, Oaxacan cheese, tomatillo salsa and crispy potatoes.

And the chicken mole Poblano ($38) and grilled whole branzino ($95) with multiple salsas, house-made tortillas, chipotle aioli and herb salad sound to us like idea table shares.

LEONCITO Red Rock Resort, leoncitolv.com. Opening November 7; Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.

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Brock Radke

Brock Radke is an award-winning writer and columnist who currently occupies the role of managing editor at Las Vegas Weekly ...

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