Vanderpump Cocktail Garden brings Beverly Hills to the Strip
While being in the limelight as a star of a duo of Bravo television shows—Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and its spin-off, Vanderpump Rules—restaurateur Lisa Vanderpump developed an extensive fan base as each show highlighted her Los Angeles venues. Now she—along with husband Ken Todd—has brought her talents to Vegas with the opening of Vanderpump Cocktail Garden at Caesars Palace, giving her fans a whole new opportunity to immerse themselves in the world of reality television.
Patrons enter the former Fizz Las Vegas champagne bar space through a faux garden replete with lantern-adorned foliage, offering a retreat from the cacophony of the nearby casino floor. The venue itself is decorated in a manner befitting Vanderpump’s house, walls adorned with a variety of family pictures, including numerous of her adorable canine children, while striking light fixtures hanging from the ceiling lend a contemporary style. The result is a classy-yet-inviting Vegas supper club, a drinking and dining destination for both fans of the show and for those unfamiliar with the Real Housewives.
As a cocktail garden, libations are in the spotlight. Drink names are witty, such as the matcha-infused Matcha Matcha Man, paying homage to the Village People tune, or the spicy Checkmate Bitch, which invokes an infamous Vanderpump quote from season three. The cocktail itself is equally inflammatory, a combination of Stoli Hot vodka and Chacho aguardiente, a jalapeño-infused Colombian spirit from sugar cane.
Presentations are also memorable. The Nut Job invokes tropical beaches and Harry Nilsson lyrics in a wonky, coconut-garnished take on a mojito. Rome is Burning is a show onto itself, a smoked black cherry Manhattan laced with black cherry chocolate bitters meant for two, served tableside in a jar engulfed in smoke in a theatrical presentation. And be wary of the English Garden, a floral-forward cocktail made with kinome leaf. The little-known ingredient endows the drink with a bit of a Szechuan flower tingle to the tongue, delivering a completely different sort of experience.
But since man cannot live on drink alone, Vanderpump offers a myriad of delectable dining options. Manchego-stuffed bacon-wrapped dates strike a balance of sweet and savory, the nutty cheese a contrast to the smoky bacon. Crispy chicken sliders hint of spice from the Calabrian chili lime aioli, the sliders themselves simply adorned with pickle and arugula. And goat cheese balls, served with Belgian endive salad and a poppy seed vinaigrette, are endlessly addictive.
Warm sausage rolls are one of the heartier menu offerings, successfully swaddling sausage and peppadew peppers in a flaky pastry crust with a sharp Green Goddess crème fraiche alongside for dipping. And don’t overlook the lobster and avocado naan flatbread, pairing the buttery crustacean with the equally rich fruit —yes, it’s a fruit!—on Indian naan, which is slightly heftier than the typical flatbread crust.
Try to save room for dessert—a double chocolate fudge cake awaits, layered with chocolate ganache and adorned with vanilla meringue. Because if there’s any lesson to be learned from the world of Lisa Vanderpump and the Real Housewives, it’s that decadence is back in style!