Saturday, April 5, 2014 | 2 a.m.
Arriving at the Quad valet Friday morning in his signature red Camaro convertible with three UNLV cheerleaders along for the ride, Guy Fieri previewed Guy Fieri’s Vegas Kitchen & Bar, his first culinary foray in Las Vegas.
The spiky blond, excitable and refreshingly energetic chef, restaurateur, author, Emmy Award-winning TV host and UNLV alumnus was welcomed by a large cheering crowd, Caesars Entertainment execs, his staff, media and the UNLV Marching Band, whose short setlist included a lively and full version of “Viva Las Vegas.”
Upon taking the stage at the entrance of his new restaurant, which is Strip-front at the Quad and near Carnaval Court at next-door Harrah’s, Fieri (“Guy’s Big Bite,” “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives”) was presented — by Eileen Moore, regional president of the Flamingo, and Christian Stuart, regional VP — a proclamation from Mayor Carolyn Goodman declaring April 4, 2014, Guy Fieri Day in Las Vegas.
During his remarks to the crowd, Fieri gave a shout-out to “the man, the legend, Robin Leach”; praised the Caesars Entertainment team (“the Super Bowl team”) and high-fived the also-energetic Moore; called his restaurant “the homecomings of all homecomings”; and shared his excitement about offering “big, bold, righteous and funky flavors” at his Vegas Kitchen & Bar.
“We’re going to rock the house,” Fieri summed up before joining his team on the patio grills and handing out slider-size versions of his Mac & Cheese Bacon Burger, the 2013 New York Burger Bash-winning knockout topped with macaroni and cheese, bacon, pickles … and more.
The food-and-drink samples included that ridiculously good burger (“Triple D”? This brilliant burger gets a “Triple A”); the lollipop-cut Fireball Wings spiked with Fireball Whiskey that are sticky and finger-licking good; ahi tuna tacos; and a refreshing and surprisingly light Smoke and Mirrors cocktail that includes Fireball Whiskey.
“If it has a flavor impact, it came from our team,” Fieri said.
Check back next week for Mr. Leach’s interview with Fieri, conducted Friday morning before the media and crowd frenzy, in which Fieri talks about tough times before stardom, his years at UNLV and his homecoming to Las Vegas with Vegas Kitchen & Bar, which is set to open this month (whispers Friday morning had the opening date as April 17.)
It’s the return of the prodigal son.
Don Chareunsy is senior editor for arts and entertainment of the Las Vegas Sun.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
Follow Sun A&E Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.
Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.
Follow Vegas DeLuxe on Twitter at Twitter.com/vegasdeluxe.