This past year has been a big one for Las Vegas’ ARIA Resort & Casino. Cvent recognized it as the top meeting destination on its 2014 list of the Top 100 Meeting Hotels in the U.S. And the debut of Michael Mina’s Bardot Brasserie this month and the exclusive Cabaletta craft beer last year make the 4,004-room property standout for planners in search of innovative food and beverage choices.
Bardot Brasserie opened at the property on Jan. 16, creating a contemporary twist on the traditional French brasserie experience. Named for actress Brigitte Bardot, the inspiration behind the restaurant’s design is “French film noir.” As such, the restaurant features intimate bistro tables and a mix of low lighting to make you feel as if you’re in Hemingway’s Paris circa 1920. The bar serves as its centerpiece with counter-to-ceiling brass shelving.
The chef created three group menus, says Tony Yousfi, vice president of sales for ARIA. The Burgundy Menu, for instance, features delicious dishes such as prime steak tartare, heritage chicken breast roti and chocolate macaron for dessert. The cocktail menu has an equally French bent with cocktails such as the Sidecar from Paris’ famous Harry’s Bar and Serendipity from Bar Hemingway. The restaurant has two spaces available for groups—St. Germain is a completely private dining room for up to 44 attendees and The Alcove is semi-private for up to 34. Meeting planners can also do a full restaurant buyout.
“For chefs, French cuisine is a homecoming of sorts, since much of our initial training is rooted in French technique,” says Chef Michael Mina. “With Bardot, we’re looking to pay homage to all the classics while embracing the French philosophy of ‘joie de vivre,’ and you’ll see it in everything—from the food and drink to the atmosphere—the experience is going to be a celebration of that lifestyle.”
Last March, ARIA also debuted Cabaletta, a craft beer brewed exclusively for the resort, in hopes of bringing the craft beer scene to The Strip. The saison golden ale was created by ARIA’s Mixologist Craig Schoettler and Baltimore’s Stillwater Artisanal Ales Founder and Brewer Brian Strumke. The ale has a light, fruity flavor to make it appealing to even casual beer drinkers. It is comprised of pilsner malt and wheat, accented with herbal and grassy German hops, resulting in a rich color and earthy aroma. The customized brew is available on tap through the resort’s restaurants, bars and lounges.
“As interest in craft beer continues to grow, we wanted to offer a beverage that was unique to Las Vegas,” says Schoettler. “Collaborating with Stillwater Artisanal Ales on this project does that and more, elevating our beverage program and providing a new experience only available at ARIA.”
To burn off some of the calories in between eating, ARIA can organize fitness walks or runs that incorporate the property’s artwork, the first permanent collection of art in Las Vegas to be integrated into a public space. ARIA’s Indoor Hike program can be customized to include the indoors and outdoors in and around ARIA, Vdara, Mandarin Oriental and The Shops at Crystals to view the art work throughout.
“This exhilarating workout focuses on the whole body with a sprint through the convention center, jumping jacks in front of HAZE nightclub and pushups in the garden areas,” says Yousfi. “While working out, guests also have the chance to admire ARIA’s art collection.”