Celebrity chef Alex Stratta celebrated the grand opening of Tapas by Alex Stratta, his new 5,401-square-foot concept at Tivoli Village, set in the space formerly occupied by Poppy Den. Chef’s new digs include a 2,000-square-foot patio with heaters and misters making it possible to accommodate al fresco dining year round. A Spanish flair is evident as the venue is washed in a rustic and rich yellow color palette with red and white accents; wrought iron fixtures; eclectic mirrors in various sizes; original artwork inspired by chefs; and dark wood and light sandstone. During the grand opening celebration staff passed contemporary small plates including fried oyster cups, albondigas, bunuelos and signature sangria and Cava; and Chef Stratta and Chef de Cuisine Nathan Gerard served from a jumbo paella on the patio.

The acclaimed chef has made a name for himself over the past 36 years of his culinary career, and his accolades include two Michelin stars for Alex at the Wynn, James Beard Foundation awards for “Best Chef Southwest” and “Top Dining Destination,” multiple Mobil and Forbes Travel Guide five-star distinctions and numerous television appearances including Iron Chef USA and Top Chef Masters.

Chef Stratta is a permanent Las Vegas resident and has spent the past four years working as a consultant most recently at Marche Bacchus; and now he’s jumped back into running his own restaurants, but this time off of the Strip, with his Tapas now open and two more at the Gramercy are set to open in the fall and winter. During a media presentation Chef talked about leaving the fine dining French and Italian genre to jump into more casual dining Spanish-accented food, saying, “It’s a great change and a challenge after so much French and Italian dining. I wanted to create a warm, inviting neighborhood experience and something more personal than what I’ve done in the past, and bring a level that is more approachable in feel, service and price, a place that people will want to come to a couple times a week.” When asked about the menu Chef responded, “The menu has my interpretation of Spanish dishes as well as traditional ones. All my cooking is based on historical tradition. I am very enamored with Spanish food and am more open now to using Spanish olive oils.” Chef continued, “I’ve put my heart and soul into this concept, studying Spanish ingredients, learning how to cook paella differently than risotto and now I love Spanish ham better than prosciutto!”

Speaking of the paella, there are four varieties on the menu: Artichoke with roasted peppers and aged Manchego; Valenciana with rabbit, snails and broad beans; Mixta with chicken, shellfish and chorizo; and Lobster & Seafood with oven-dried tomatoes and basil.

Tapas by Alex Stratta is located at Tivoli Village and open for dinner Monday through Saturday 5-10 p.m. and Sunday 5-9 p.m. Reservations are available by calling 702.483.3555. Keep up with Tapas by Alex Stratta’s events and news on Facebook at facebook.com/tapasbystratta, Twitter and Instagram at @TapasByStratta. For more information, visit alexstrattagroup.com.