“This one is personal,” says Natalie Young as she walks through her newest restaurant, Old Soul, now open at the World Market Center. She spent the past six months scouring the antique stores of Las Vegas to find the perfect tables, mismatched china, buffets, and an old fireplace to decorate the elevated American comfort food in her self-described pre-Prohibition restaurant.
A mercury mirror is from around 1860, while the fireplace is from the 1920s. Dramatic blue velvet drapes buffer the entrance from the dining room, while the hostess stand is made from buffet doors, removed to make the piece of furniture open and bigger to fit the space.
Young estimates that about 95 percent of the antiques came from stores on Main Street, and many she sanded and stained herself in preparation for the opening.
The 5,000-square-foot restaurant features sconces from the 1920s, an old radio and telephone, and the most expensive piece in the place, a painting by street artist Angelina Christina that hangs near the entrance.
“We’re slowing it down and taking it back,” Young says. The chef and owner behind Fremont East’s Eat envisions patrons stopping by before a show at The Smith Center or couples on a date dining in the dark and sexy space. Down the road, she plans to create a composed plate for diners who want to grab a quick meal before a show.
To the left of the entrance sits a private dining room dubbed Grandma’s Kitchen, still in the final stages of design.
The bones of the former Mundo, the last restaurant permanently in the space, remain, but Young added kerosene lamps to the shelves, Edison lights overhead, and a whole new look to the bar, called Euclid’s Bar for the bison who oversees the space that is now lined with pickled eggs and a punch bowl filled with flowers. A blue velvet banquette sits opposite the bar, and a buffet to the right shows old movies continually playing on the wall above it.
“This is what I’ve always done, elevated dining,” Young says. Squid and prawns get a little heat from the ancho chili. A fan favorite, braised short rib risotto, features English peas and truffle oil while a whole grilled branzino comes with sweet peppers and arugula.
Even the bar menu has a Prohibition-era vibe with house originals from Vedo Pitnjakovic such as the Duke Ellington and Flapper Girl found under The Bankroll section of the menu and classics under The Vault. Pitnjakovic, who worked at Fremont East’s Corduroy and Downtown Container Park’s Oak & Ivy, has a whiskey-forward menu that includes the Butcher’s Block, a flight of three whiskeys served on a block. The menu even includes nose and palate tasting notes.
• All Coverage of Old Soul [ELV]