Simon Kitchen and Bar
Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas

By Rebecca Oliva

"There are few places in which people can actually feel relaxed in Sin City, but Kerry Simon may have created a first for his guests. The celebrity chef, who previously worked at Mercer Kitchen in New York City and Prime at Bellagio, Las Vegas has gone solo with a focus on fresh comfort food.

Simon Kitchen & Bar aims to be a place to kick back and enjoy the setting. "We wanted to create something similar to our experiences that was just comfortable, fun and hip," says Elizabeth Blau, partner of the project.

The menu features simple, comfort food, while Asian influences can be seen in the tandoori salmon, Kerry's chicken curry and bluefin tuna tartare. More familiar, home style items include the prime rib, macaroni and cheese and even a recipe for meatloaf from Kerry's mother. A diviersified dessert menu includes an ice cream sampler, twice - baked banana bread, ten - layer chocolate cake, and plain, old fashioned cookies and milk.

"The approach is very simple and straightforward,"
Blau says,

"We don't play around much with food. Simon really
gets that trend of serving high quality food people
will remember and come back for the dishes they

And the atmosphere is no less surprising. The space
is light and airy and opens up to the pool and deck.
"We wanted to create a place that was serouis about
the food and service, in an atmosphere that was
comfortable and casual," Blau says.
Waiters are dressed in designer jeans and blouses,
a reminder that guests are dining at the
quintessential place for fashion and rock n' roll.

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