Las Vegas Sun

November 12, 2019

Currently: 60° — Complete forecast

Beyond peanuts and beer: Aviators ballpark food going uptown

Las Vegas Ballpark Sod Installation

Steve Marcus

A view of the Las Vegas Ballpark, under construction in Summerlin, Thursday, March 14, 2019. The Las Vegas Aviators (formerly the Las Vegas 51s) are scheduled to play their home opener in the new stadium on April 9.

Click to enlarge photo

Celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis arrives during the VIP grand opening of Giada, the first Giada De Laurentiis restaurant, on Monday, June 2, 2014, in the Cromwell.

Peanuts and Cracker Jack might be traditional staples of American ballpark food, but the fare at the new Las Vegas Ballpark in Downtown Summerlin is going to be a bit more sophisticated.

Fans taking in a Las Vegas Aviators game this season can enjoy anything from a gourmet hot dog to a plate of orzo meatballs, washed down with a cocktail or signature handcrafted beer.

The ballpark will feature dishes from the likes of celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis and other Las Vegas notables and has its own cocktail master, noted mixologist Tony Abou-Ganim.

The team will play its first home game of the season — and its first at the new ballpark — April 9 against the Sacramento River Cats.

Chef Brian Howard of the Sparrow + Wolf eatery in Las Vegas helped create a special lineup of hot dogs — the Flydog collection — for ballpark patrons.

“This is about more than the flavors, or even the presentation,” Howard said in a news release. “It’s about celebrating that joy of being at a ballgame with people you love, conjuring up those happy taste memories from childhood, as well as creating new taste moments that root us in Las Vegas.”

The Flydog lineup includes a Chicago smokehouse option with a smoked cheddar brat, and a foot-long bacon-wrapped option — the Hercules — with beef chili and sweet onion jam.

“Chef Howard’s hot dogs are creative, delicious and celebrate Las Vegas’ outstanding and ever-growing off-strip food scene,” said Sarah Camarota, the ballpark’s hospitality experience curator. “We are thrilled to bring one of our community’s brightest culinary superstars into the ballpark to take on the most iconic dish in baseball. We are confident his Flydog collection is going to give Dodger Dogs and Fenway Franks a run for their money.”

Chef and Food Network star Giada De Laurentiis, who has two restaurants in Las Vegas, will bring several dishes, including her orzo meatballs and Italian salads, to the ballpark’s suite and club-level menu. Her frosé cocktail will be served stadium-wide.

“Partnering with Giada, an iconic chef known worldwide, is a game-changer for us,” said Kevin Orrock, president the Howard Hughes Corp., which owns the team and ballpark. “Throughout the process of creating signature (food and beverage) experiences, we were guided by one question only — is it best in class? With Giada’s cuisine, the answer is a resounding yes.”

Also on the menu will be chef Josh Clark’s gourmet mac and cheese, a staple at his downtown Las Vegas restaurant, the Goodwich.

Tenaya Creek Brewery will supply a signature beer, Aviator Ale, described as a custom golden session ale with a tropical finish.

“The challenge was to create the perfect beer to enjoy during a ballgame when the weather can hit 100 degrees,” said Tim Etter of Tenaya Creek.

Food items from Ferraro’s and Me Gusta Taco will also be served at the ballpark.

Throughout the baseball season, the team plans to invite other well-known Las Vegas chefs and restaurateurs to take over the ballpark’s kitchen, according to the release. They include Elizabeth Blau and Kim Canteenwalla of Andiron Steak and Sea, as well as Honey Salt; Shawn McClain of Sage at the Aria; and James Trees of Esther’s Kitchen.