New-look Red Square plays with bold menu
By Brock Radke
Photos by Peter Harasty
Ready for Russia reinvented? Longtime Las Vegas nightlife and hospitality titan The Light Group has extended its dynamic reach into Mandalay Bay, bringing new excitement to some of the restaurant and nightclub venues inside the south Strip paradise. The first step: a delicious reimagining of Red Square, a dining and cocktailing hot spot known for its frozen ice bar, equally frigid vodka vault and all-around theatrical environs.
Ornate yet industrial, this Russian space can be dark and sexy or an energy-infused jump-off to the rest of a memorable night. It doesn’t matter if you begin, end or take a break from your meal to don a fur coat and enter the vault, but taking an icy shot of Beluga Noble or your favorite premium vodka in this freezing funhouse is an essential part of the Red Square experience. And you’ll be amazed how smooth things go down. Not your flavor? Check out the all-new, all-creative cocktail list, featuring innovations on classics like the Moscow Mule or the White Ruskie, the latter a creamy combination of Stolichnaya vanilla vodka, hazelnut liqueur and Marie Brizard Chocolat Royal liqueur.
What was once slightly themed cuisine is now a menu of true enlightenment; this new Red Square specializes in comfortable, contemporary American favorites with a nod and a wink to slightly kitschy, extra-fun Russian influence. Begin at a briny crossroads, choosing between an exquisite fresh shellfish platter or supreme caviar service. The finest fish eggs in the world are available here—special reserve beluga, anyone?—as well as a flavorful domestic trio sampling in case you want to indulge without the full splurge.
From there, tour a selection of small plates perfect for passing. Smoked salmon pizza is a crisp tortilla covered in thin slices of luxurious, smoky fish, smooth cream cheese, pickled red onions and capers—a true taste explosion. Crisp calamari is served with cherry pepper dressing, grilled lemons and garlic, and hibachi skewers skew toward Middle Eastern flavors, tender ground kebabs of seasoned lamb, chicken and beef complete with grilled pita bread and delightful cucumber yogurt sauce. Simply named but extravagantly composed, the warm goat cheese salad pairs delicate butter lettuce leaves in a citrus vinaigrette with a bit of shaved fennel and a team of crisp and creamy bacon-goat cheese “croutons.” Anything with this much flavor probably shouldn’t be identified as a salad.
Red Square’s new entrées are whimsical in nature and satisfying in execution. The best example is beef stroganoff, an Americanized Eastern European comfort dish in most people’s minds. Here the beef is red wine braised short ribs, beyond decadent, nestled against wild mushroom tagliatelle pasta with a dollop of truffled ricotta. Consider it stroganoff evolution. There’s also a savory new version of chicken Kiev, medallions of juicy thigh crusted with potato chips and served with caramelized onions, sour cream dumplings and bacon-laced Brussels sprouts. More orthodox options include a grilled flat iron steak, stuffed Maine lobster and grilled prawns with roasted garlic scampi sauce and lemon risotto.
Welcome to the new Red Square, comrade, and make yourself at home.
4:30-10 p.m. Sun.-Thurs., 4:30 p.m.-midnight Fri.-Sat. 702.693.8300