Chef Charlie Palmer’s Aureole closed back before Thanksgiving to go through a renovation, but more than just the decor change. The restaurant at Mandalay Bay still features three distinct dining experiences: an intimate bar and lounge area, an approachable main dining room and the fine dining Fountain Terrace.
But now the restaurant that has been open since 1999 features a menu takes a "less is more approach." As Palmer describes it, "Quality ingredients are used in exciting preparation methods that don’t over-complicate the dish presentation or flavor profile." Look for a menu tat breaks down into three "natural foundations:" Surf, Root and Ranch. Each category features eight dishes arranged in ascending order from lighter to robust fare, and all are meant to share.
Just before the renovations, executive chef Johnny Church came on board to create root dishes such as raclette fondue served with raw, seasonal vegetables topped with warm cheese fondue; a ranch dish with turkey, ham and Swiss meatballs in Gruyère cheese and covered with creamy peppercorn sauce and sliced Jamón Ibérico; a ranch dish with beef and octopus carpaccio as an appetizer; a surf dish of California crab roll with shredded crab meat rolled in fresh avocado sushi-style and sprinkled with puffed rice for a bit of crunch; and a dessert of cold-pressed coffee panna cotta with huckleberries, brown butter and lavender ice cream.
The wine list remains, with 3,000 bottles overseen by Mandalay Bay director of wine Harley Carbery. Now the list features a rotating by-the-glass list of 48 wines that features two suggested pairings for each of the 24 dishes on the restaurant’s menu.
A wine table located next to the host stand shows off the full inventory of the evening’s by-the-glass offerings.
Rest easy. Aureole’s signature wine angels, now wearing new silver uniforms, remain. The updated attire makes the flying angels easy to view from anywhere in the restaurant.
The other big change comes with the design. The 9,000-square-foot Aureole now features upholstered wall panels, a wood beam ceiling and soft lighting. The main dining room goes with a modern ambiance with bold splashes of purple, orange, and gold, offset by the earthy tones of a live olive tree. The i10,000-bottle, 50-foot wine tower remains but with chrome wall sculptures and backlit olive-shaped spheres. A custom grapevine-inspired carpet complements wood tabletops and cognac leather seating featured in the space.
Fountain Terrace, Aureole’s more upscale dining room, features a gold leaf ceiling and tables in formal white tablecloths. Floor-to-ceiling windows line Fountain Terrace and doors open to the restaurant’s outdoor area.
Each dining space features its own distinctive experience, so choose your mood.
Aureole’s main dining room is open Monday through Saturday from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m., while the lounge is open Monday through Saturday from 5 to 10:30 p.m.