There’s been talk of a curse. The Vegas Valley has plenty of spaces that have housed multiple different restaurants over the years—buildings where, for some reason, someone is willing to jump in and dish it up as soon as the previous business shutters. The lovely mixed-use development Tivoli Village has a handful of these revolving restaurant homes, but the spot now called Hamptons takes the taco. It has been Petra Greek Taverna, Poppy Den, Tapas by Alex Stratta and Salt & Pepper.
But it’s not cursed. The restaurant biz is impossible. I won’t go on record predicting world-beating success for the brisk, friendly, new American approach at Hamptons, but I will state unequivocally that this is the most delicious food to ever come out of this building.
First, check out brunch. The wine board ($23) is a party share, loaded with aged cheddar, Brie, grilled salami, pork belly, pickles, truffled Marcona almonds and more. For your sweet tooth, there are peanut butter-banana-salted caramel waffles ($12) or big, freshly baked cinnamon rolls ($6). On the savory side, I loved my pan-fried Idaho trout and eggs ($17) with bacon and crispy potatoes, and was equally tempted by a shortrib egg sandwich ($15) and a green chili pork stew with corn bread and whipped honey butter ($12).
For lunch, I’ve gotta go with the Little Havana Cubano ($14), a sandwich that concerned me at first, because there’s pineapple flavored with Chinese five spice on there instead of a pickle—which seemed like sacrilege. Instead, it’s a fun punch in the mouth, cutting through the rich layers of tender pork, ham, bacon and gruyére.
Similar innovation can be found in appetizers like the preserved lemon hummus ($12), avocado fries with smoked ketchup ($9) and beer-battered “Buffalo” onion rings ($9). The forbidden rice bowl ($19) packs just as much flavor with vegetables and sweet-and-spicy coconut sauce as any entrée, and there are steaks and fish and other sandwiches from which to choose. The burger ($15), ground fresh from shortrib and chuck, is served on brioche with that silky gruyère, peppery arugula, tomato, dill pickle and roasted garlic aioli.
Hamptons clearly wasn’t conceived as some kind of magical restaurant with something for everyone that could break that alleged curse, but that’s kinda what it tastes like.
Hamptons Tivoli Village, 440 S. Rampart Blvd. #180, 702-916-1482. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.