Welcome to The Gatekeepers, a monthly feature in which Eater roams the city meeting the fine ladies and gentlemen that stand between you and some of your favorite tough-to-get tables.
Savvas Georgiadis [Photo: Chelsea McManus]
Consider Estiatorio Milos' Savvas Georgiadis an old school general manager. He came to the United States from Greece in 1996, lived in Chicago for 11 years and came to Vegas in 2007. He worked his way up at the Greek restaurant at Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas from server to captain to maître d', a job he's held for the page year and a half. Here he talks about being offered cash for a table, the lengths he'll go to for VIPs who want a special dish and more.
So, what's the busiest time right now?
The busiest season for us is January through March because of Las Vegas conventions and fortunately for us, Milos is known from all over. Travelers come to us all the time.
As one of the hottest restaurants in Las Vegas, you've surely been offered gifts or cash in exchange for reservations or a table. What have people tried?
They tried it all.
Do they try to give you cash?
Yeah, that's the most common. They try to hand you cash to get ahead in line or get a table.
Does it work?
No, we would never put someone ahead on the list just because they hand us cash. We're very strict in our system. We don't value them more if they give us money.
Tell us about your favorite customers.
I don't know if I have favorite. If I had to pick, returning customers and happy customers. Those are my favorites.
How about celebrities?
Oh, yeah. We get quite a few, from athletes to artists to actors. We get a pretty good amount.
How do you deal with VIPs when there are no tables to give?
This is an expression we don't really like here. We want to think all of our guests are VIPs. Someone who considers himself a VIP, we will do our best to accommodate — get them a cocktail at the bar or an appetizer if they're hungry. The biggest problem is when they don't have a reservation and just decide to come.
So, what's the strangest request that you've accommodated?
I have so many.
There is one. I'll tell you one. We have a regular from New York. He likes a fish, red mullet. And he has to have it every time he comes here. One time he walked in and said, "I'm going to have to cancel my reservation. My party wants do something different." OK, that's fine. Half an hour later I get a phone call from the other restaurant. "Mr. So and So wants to have five of his fish cooked and sent over here."
Do you ever get any requests for vegetarian dishes here at Milos? How do you accommodate them?
All the time. It's really easy. We have ton of vegetables. It might not be labeled on our menu but we can make a lot of different things.
What's the most popular dish right now?
I would say the Milos special with fried zucchini and eggplant that looks like a tower.
Editor's Note: The dish features paper thin zucchini and eggplant, lightly fried saganaki cheese and tzaziki.
So, when you're not at Milos, where are you eating these days?
At home. I like to cook for my family.
What do you like to cook?
All kinds of things. It's mostly Greek cuisine.
At the end of the day, what's the one Gatekeeper tool you need to get the job done?
I think it's most important to have people around you. People willing want to go above and beyond to get the job done. You have to be very organized. I think that's the key.
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