Big Whiskey’s American Kitchen & Bar at Town Square Offering Something for Everyone
“I’m only going to have one, so make it a big one.” So the legend goes, of how this establishment was named for a likeable character who earned the nickname “Big Whiskey,” but in actuality, with a list of more than 160 different whiskey, bourbon, rye, blended scotches and single malts, it certainly lives up to its moniker. The company originally opened in Springfield, Missouri in 2006, and this location at Town Square is its 10th opening, first foray into Nevada, and also first on the West Coast. Opening in early March, Big Whiskey’s is part sports bar, part whiskey bar, and part family-friendly restaurant, so it pretty much has something to please all in your entourage.
Situated in the former Pot Liquor space across from Yard House, the bar features an impressive display of the aforementioned voluminous whiskey selection, as well as whiskey barrels positioned near the entrance and even high up on the wall near the ceiling. Further inside you’ll find wood tables and chairs, rustic red brick pillars, a chandelier made out of mason jars, a diagram of the distilling process and the musings of Big Whiskey gracing the walls such as “The last time I turned down whiskey, I didn’t understand the question.”
The huge whiskey list is a bit daunting, but a nice touch is having suggested flights, like the one I enjoyed called Dash of Wine, featuring three whiskeys finished in wine casks.
The food menu is almost as voluminous as the spirits list and features a host of American classics and bar fare favorites, with something to fit nearly anyone’s mood. Appetizer standouts are cheese bites containing white cheddar, buffalo chicken wontons sprinkled with bleu cheese crumbles and southwest egg rolls stuffed with chicken. Two main courses I highly enjoyed were the chicken wings, which are available boneless if you prefer, and come in 14 flavors (we had the Thai chili); and baby back ribs—slow cooked pork ribs chargrilled and basted with honey whiskey BBQ sauce that were as good as any I’ve experienced. The rest of the menu is a collection of salads, steaks, seafood, pastas, tacos & quesadillas, burgers, wraps and sandwiches; and there’s even a kids menu with kid favorites like spaghetti, chicken fingers, mac & cheese and grilled cheese (refer back to my comment about having something for everyone). Finales worth saving room for are the not your Grandma’s pecan pie with salted caramel and caramel sauce and banana whiskey foster made with brown butter caramelized bananas and flavored with a caramel sauce made with the locally-produced Ambros Banana Whiskey.
It’s always nice to see a chain restaurant support local. In addition to the hometown Ambros Banana Whiskey, there are 18 beer taps, almost half of which pour brews from local breweries including Bad Beat, Big Dog’s, Joseph James, Lovelady and Tenaya Creek. The cocktail list also has some local flair, with some Vegas-only drinks with Vegas-themed names, such as the Fleury Float, Vegas Born, Nevada Peach, Golden Knightarita and Running Rebel Devil.
The patrons aren’t the only ones having fun here. Our server Beana Reveles attended college in Springfield, MO and enjoyed partying at the original location and knew she wanted to work here as soon as she learned Big Whiskey’s was not only coming to town, but would be situated only 10 minutes from her house. Beana says, “The (franchise) owner Tony is such a genuine and nice, hard-working man with a beautiful family. He truly cares and you can see that when he's in the restaurant. It's refreshing to work for someone like this! Not to mention the food is delicious and the staff is awesome too! My husband makes fun of me because even on my days off, I want to go there for the food and drinks and environment!” Beana is truly delightful and you’ll be lucky if you get to see her when you show up.
Good value is easy to find here, with kids menu choices all $6.99, apps mostly around $10, wings from $9.99 and everything else mostly in the $12-$16 range. Even deeper discounts are available during happy hour, which is all day on Sunday, Monday-Friday from 3-6:30 p.m. and nightly from 10 p.m.-close, with half off 14 apps and $3 off select drafts, wine, mixed drinks and signature cocktails.
Hours are Sun.-Thur. 11 a.m.-midnight and Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-1 a.m.
Edge Steakhouse at Westgate Displays the Excellence of Chef Steve Young and Its Dry Aging Steaks
Edge Steakhouse Executive Chef Steve Young never ceases to impress us with his talent and accomplishments, which include Best New Chef/Rising Star at the 2017 Silver State Awards and being named to the Vegas Inc. 40 Under 40 list sponsored by the Greenspun Media Group; and since his arrival, the restaurant has been placed on the Gayot Best Las Vegas Steakhouse list and was recently ranked as the No. 1 steakhouse in Las Vegas on TripAdvisor.
The charming chef is always a joy to visit, but I must confess I mainly go for his culinary offerings. During our recent tasting Chef treated us to roasted bone marrow with short rib and onion jam, Spanish octopus cooked sous vide with Kalamata olive, baby beet salad with whipped ricotta and pistachios, cauliflower soup that exuded richness and luscious flavor, pork belly with goat cheese and ricotta fritter, Baja striped bass with little neck clams and lemongrass (a potential new dish) and 40-day dry-aged bone-in NY strip and Prime rib-eye. The Prime meats are aged in-house, and on display for all to see, visible through a window located just outside of the restaurant’s entrance with each cut labeled with the date its aging process began.
New to the Edge team is Carlo Cannuscio, who does double duty as both the GM and Sommelier. Carlo adds a delightful presence and is well-prepared to pair your meal with some of the excellent wines from the double Wine Spectator Award-winning wine list, as he did during our tasting.
Dining and Fine Art at Pasta Shop
Where else in a community with a newly burgeoning art culture can you dine while viewing eclectic art, all of which is available for sale. The eatery I am describing is none other than Pasta Shop Ristorante & Art Gallery, located in Henderson at 2525 W. Horizon Ridge. Open since 1989 (from 1989-2009 at Tropicana & Eastern and 8 years at its current location), it’s stood the test of time as it recently celebrated its 30th anniversary. You will likely be entranced with the artwork throughout the room, which are the custom creations of Ann Alenik, but equally delightful is the culinary contribution of her late husband, David Alenik. A 1978 graduate of the prestigious Johnson & Wales culinary school, David was Frank Sinatra and Steve Wynn’s personal chef back in the day and worked at the Golden Nugget’s gourmet rooms Stefano’s and Elaine’s before going out on his own to open his own restaurant. After his passing in 2017 the family has honored the recipes he perfected and legacy of warm hospitality.
It’s truly a family operation, with Ann and daughter Bianca overseeing the day-to-day operations, with support from sons Clayton and Trent. Highlights of the menu include alfredo pappardelle with cheese and butter sauce; chicken Davida—sautéed chicken breast topped with fried eggplant, sun-dried tomatoes, mozzarella and polenta; chicken Marsala—mushrooms, onions and chicken served over linguine in a thin Marsala wine sauce with a touch of cream; and roasted Brussels sprouts in a sesame balsamic glaze with roasted cashews. Price points are well worth your investment, as entrees include salad and garlic cheese bread and hover between $10-$20.
Open for lunch Tue-Fri and dinner nightly. pastashop.com