Las Vegas Sun

April 23, 2017

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Q+A: Chef Brian Massie on what inspired his new eateries at GVR

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Courtesy of Clique Hospitality

Chef Brian Massie has made a major impact on the Las Vegas food scene. His latest offerings — Mexican-stlye Borracha and Italian-inspired Bottiglia — opened recently at Green Valley Ranch Resort.

Clique Hospitality Partner and Executive Chef Brian Massie is no stranger to developing unique restaurants in the Las Vegas Valley. The brains behind Salute, Hearthstone and Libre at Red Rock Resort, Massie opened his two latest creations, Mexican-style Borracha and Italian-inspired Bottiglia, recently at Green Valley Ranch Resort.

The restaurants, Spanish for “drunk woman” and Italian for “bottle,” come from a desire to find names that were “funny, cool and hip,” Massie said.

The famed chef spoke to the Sun about his two latest restaurant creations Wednesday and what to look for on their respective menus.

Why’d you choose Green Valley Ranch Resort?

Well, we’re partners with Station Casinos and the Fertittas. Two restaurants recently closed there, and we had what we thought were two great concepts that the market was missing and the public would appreciate.

Can you talk about the inspiration for the new places and some of your favorite items there?

For Bottiglia, we just wanted a well-rounded menu. We’re not a full-blown Italian restaurant, we’re an Italian-inspired restaurant. We’re not the red-checkered tablecloth Italian restaurant that a lot of people would think of in Las Vegas. I think we’re a lot fresher and I think our menu is a lot more diverse, especially in our pastas, which are seasonally inspired.

We just tried to be different and that’s what really inspired the creation of the menu, the dining room and the design. I think they all go hand in hand.

From a menu standpoint, from a design standpoint, from a bar, the energy level, I don’t believe there’s anything over here in Green Valley that’s like that.

For Borracha, there’s not many Mexican restaurants around here that are also cool places to hang out. It’s not too traditional by any means as far as the design goes — it’s a really cool setting. It has TVs, it’s good drinking and Mexican food. There’s a big, broad selection for entrees, so it’s not just that, but some really classic authentic dishes. And then, of course, you can go in there and drink tequila.

Before Borracha and Bottiglia, what’s your history?

I’ve opened five other restaurants with this group, Clique Hospitality. I’m from New York, but I’ve been in Las Vegas since 1999.

Where’d you come up with their names?

Our executives sat down and we kind of bounced names off each other. Each person came up with 10 to 15 cool names, and whatever stuck on the wall, that’s what we went with.

With Bottiglia we tried to find some really sexy Italian names that fit with what we were doing. We wanted to be really wine-focused in the restaurant as well.

As far as drunken woman, again, we were trying to find a nontraditional name for a Mexican restaurant. And it’s a funny, cool, hip kind of name. People get it and it just fits for us.

What are your go-to dishes at the two restaurants?

If I was at Borracha, I think my favorite dish on the menu is probably the four carnitas. We take heritage pork, we grind it for 24 hours, we grill it and then we braise it in pork fat. Then we take it out every single day so we’re at least one day ahead. Then we flat top it, we sear it on the flat top and then we put a reduced Coca-Cola and a sweet condensed milk glaze on it. So you get that really great combination, that flavor. And the pork really speaks for itself. And then it’s served with fresh avocado, it’s served with a tomatillo sauce, picked red onions and tortillas, it’s a great interactive dish. It’s a Mexican classic and I just kind of changed it to the way I would do it.

As far as Bottiglia goes, with the entrees, I’d probably have to live in the pasta range. We do a braised short rib and pappardelle pasta. And it has whipped ricotta and some roasted vegetables, braised short ribs and it has a really great San Marzano pepper sauce.

Why should someone try these two fusion-style restaurants instead of something more traditional?

I think what’s important is that you can eat a lot of different things here — and sit back and not feel like you’re confined to eat traditionally. You can come in and have a couple small appetizers, or a huge appetizer. We do a lot of big things for sharing. So a lot of people come in and have a huge salad. I think the way to go is experiment with smaller dishes and share. It’s a broad menu and everyone can find something for them.

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