Nobhill Tavern general manager knows his stuff
By Kiko Miyasato
You can add fortune-teller to Edward Tracy’s résumé. When he applied to work at one of Michael Mina’s restaurants in Detroit, Tracy’s hometown, “I told them … when I interviewed with them that I would end up the general manager in Las Vegas for them one day,” he said. In 2007, three years into working in one of Mina’s restaurants, he was told to pack his suitcase. Tracy was indeed heading to Las Vegas to manage Mina’s Nobhill Tavern at MGM Grand, where he still works today.
Tracy, a 25-year food and beverage veteran, has one philosophy he goes by as a general manager: “If you’re in your office when the doors (to the restaurant) are open, then you’re a poor manager.” And Tracy adheres to this mantra, as diners can see him walking the floor of Nobhill every night, conversing with staff and guests alike.
Not only does Tracy have 13 years experience running the front of house, but he also worked as a chef for about seven years. “I like cooking. I’m good at it, but I can’t bake to save my life,” he said. But, it’s the front of house where Tracy excels at his job. “Anything that you could associate with running a restaurant, I do.”
The casual yet conversely upscale American restaurant “really has a little something for everyone,” Tracy said. “The food that we produce, there’s no ‘froufrou’ to it. It’s clean food, clean flavors. It’s simple preparations, with simple ingredients. The idea is to let the flavors in the food do the talking.”
This signature cocktail is one for the books. It’s received numerous acknowledgments and awards from Playboy and Bon Appétit magazines, and guests frequent Nobhill Tavern specifically for it. Mixed with Captain Morgan spiced rum, orange Curaçao and fresh-squeezed lemon juice, the Cablecar gets a special touch from its caramelized raw sugar rim, which is then coated again with cinnamon and sugar. If you only get to try one cocktail at Nobhill, make it this one.