It’s all Emeril, all the time
Loyalty is a quality that’s hard to come by these days, but don’t tell that to Lasean Matthews. The assistant general manager at Lagasse’s Stadium inside The Palazzo has been working with Emeril Lagasse’s restaurants for more than 13 years, beginning as a back server at Emeril’s Tchoup Chop in Orlando’s Universal Studios.
“Being a manager who’s from the floor and who’s been with the company, I relate really well to the employees because I’ve been there,” Matthews said. “One of the mottos of Emeril’s restaurants is, ‘Take care of the house and the house will take care of you.’ Over the years, I’ve learned if we support our service staff, they will be happy.”
A self-described Air Force brat, Matthews was born on Eglin Air Force Base in the Florida Panhandle and spent much of his early years abroad, first in the Azores off the coast of Portugal and then in the Netherlands. He fell in love with restaurants while working for Disney Cruise Lines and, once on dry land, he set off on the path that led him from service staff to management.
Now with football season in full swing, Lagasse’s Stadium, which boasts more than 100 high-def TVs (including a 9-by-16-foot main screen) and its own sports book, has positioned itself as one of the premier places to eat, drink, watch and bet on the Las Vegas Strip.
“Sunday, Monday and Thursday, it is complete energy,” Matthews said. “It’s a good place to work, and it’s a good place to hang out.”
Too often the Lemon Drop gets categorized as a ladies’ cocktail, but the staff at Lagasse’s Stadium insists this bad boy is for the men as well. Stoli Razberi vodka gets the party started, but it’s the splash of simple syrup and sour mix, fresh muddled raspberries and sugar rim that gives it that sweetly satisfying punch. It’s the restaurant’s most popular cocktail for good reason.