Sin City is home to a lot of restaurants and bars, but there are tons of hidden gems that the majority of Las Vegans aren't unearthing. To help guide us to these potential discoveries, we've enlisted some of our city's beverage players to share their recommendations for a random feature dubbed Cocktail Confidential. Know a bartender who wants to share some top cocktail spots? The tipline is open.
What a career Constantin Alexander has had. He started at Clyde’s Restaurant Group in Reston, Va., and from there, he moved to Morton’s Restaurant Group, becoming the youngest corporate trainer in company history. He helped his family with their gourmet food stores and restaurants, before working with James Beard Award winning chef Bob Kinkead. He even owned a Russian restaurant and nightclub a block away from the White House. Alexander moved to Las Vegas in 2006, and worked with Jean-Georges Vongerichten at Prime Steakhouse at the Bellagio, Charlie Palmer Steakhouse at the Four Seasons and later as the general manager role at Morels French Steakhouse at the Palazzo. When he became the assistant general manager at Mon Ami Gabi at Paris Las Vegas, he helped increase sales there to $32 million a year. Now as the beverage manager of Hakkasan at the MGM Grand, he’s in charge of the wine and spirits program and teases that more exciting cocktails are on the way. Here the former professional poker player shares some of his favorite cocktails in Las Vegas and tells you what to order at these three restaurants.
Which bars or lounges do you turn to when you’re not working?
Carnevino at the Palazzo, Delmonico Steakhouse at the Venetian and Fireside Restaurant & Tavern at East Cactus Avenue and St. Rose Parkway.
Which cocktails are most memorable?
Delmonico — They make amazing Manhattans. They are always perfectly balanced and crafted with care. If you are feeling adventurous, ask for one of the off the menu creations. You won’t be sorry.
Carnevino — I always go in and ask them to make me something with Amaro. They are all experts at using it. Stay there long enough and you will have 10 different cocktail variations that use Amaro, and they will all be fantastic.
Fireside on St. Rose — They have a very unique beer selection. I had the best beer that I’ve ever tried there, The Unibroue 17 Grande Réserve. They said that only a couple of cases of it were available to the city. Stories differ on whether I drank it all, or just most of it.
Why do you enjoy going there?
At Delmonico, Max Solano is a true master of his craft. Ask for him for something off the list, and he will bring out the secret ingredients that you can rest assured are of the highest quality and truly unique. He has also put together the best whiskey selection that I have ever seen or heard of. What’s more amazing is that he can find them right away if you ask for one!
At Carnevino, aside from having the best lamb chops ever, they have a very unique liquor selection and a great overall vibe. David Cooper and Jeremy Taylor anchor a team of professionals that are very dedicated to their craft. Having a full dinner at the bar is the way to go.
At Fireside, there are cozy couches, well-chosen music, and an ever-changing beer selection. Their prices are right on, and the bartenders are great. Feels like home!