Friends with Benefits: Elisa Hink of The Mirage
“I’m an industry kid,” says Elisa Hink, director of restaurants for The Mirage. Born and raised in Las Vegas, her dad worked at The Mirage and her mom worked at Treasure Island. Although she studied history at UNLV and planned on being a professor in the subject, she found that she, too, loved working on the Strip.
“Every job I’ve had has been on the Strip,” Hink says. “I found out I liked being of service to people.” She’s worked retail and on the hotel side, but, it was in 2004 that “I first fell in love with food and beverage when I was a host at Prime (at Bellagio),” she said. Working at various properties along the Strip, Hink describes her love for working at restaurants with a clever analogy: “When you’re on the floor of a restaurant as a manager, you really get to be in it. You get together before the ‘show’ and say, ‘Everyone have a great show tonight.’ And the curtain raises and everyone gets to go to their parts and then the curtain eventually closes.”
In 2014 Hink joined The Mirage, helping to manage Tom Colicchio’s Heritage Steakhouse; in 2017 she was promoted to her current position. Now, as director of restaurants, “My main focus is making sure the leaders in each of my venues have what they need to succeed,” she says. “It’s about taking care of them and making sure they feel that they can get through their day and take care of their team properly.”
When Hink looks back on her long, successful career, she says she’ll always have a soft spot for working at The Mirage. Not only does she remember the property growing up as a child, but, “There’s such a sense of pride working at The Mirage,” she says. “There’s a lot of really genuine emotion and general friendliness at this hotel—everyone that works here wants to have a good time. If The Mirage was a musical, it would be Singin’ in the Rain—we’re all just here and we mean it. This building is a living valentine to Las Vegas.”
Libation: Heritage Manhattan
In Hink’s opinion, if you’re going to have meat at Tom Colicchio’s Heritage Steakhouse, then the Heritage Manhattan cocktail is the way to go. It’s mixed with Redemption Rye and Carpano Antica vermouth. The special touch—one that lends a smooth sweetness and smoky flavor—is the hickory-smoked cherries that are smoked in the kitchen. A small bar spoon of the cherry syrup and garnish of a few of the smoked cherries make this classic Manhattan truly unique.
Benefit: Try the port flight: 60 Years of Porto Wine Tasting. Three 1-ounce pours of specially selected tawny ports.
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