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GOURMET ALCHEMY: Celebrity seafood chef Rick Moonen (one of Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters”) offers a new take on classic comfort food at his second restaurant inside the Mandalay Bay, Rx Boiler Room (pronounced “Rick’s Boiler Room”). Moonen opened the successful Rick Moonen’s RM Seafood, a multilevel sustainable seafood restaurant and raw bar, inside the resort in 2005.
Moonen describes the atmosphere within his newest dining destination as “steampunk,” a reference to the subgenre of science-fiction writing about industrialism at the end of the 19th-century Victorian era — e.g., H.G. Wells. Deep-red velvet curtains play against metal lighting and wall fixtures throughout the dining room to invoke a sci-fi speakeasy.
The menu, nicknamed “Nourishment Chart: The substances necessary for growth, health, happiness and comfort,” showcases a variety of culinary creations and libations, many of which are large portions to encourage sharing.
“It’s comfort food, but it’s not going to be the kind of comfort food that makes you feel like you got hit in the stomach with a sledgehammer,” Moonen said. “So I’m going to reinvent things.”
Guests may indulge in revamped favorites, such as inside-out French onion grilled cheese ($9), buffalo fried oysters ($24) and shellfish shepherd’s pie ($34). Or, pair an entrée with a hand-crafted cocktail, such as the Fleur De Lis ($30), a mixture of lavender-infused vodka, lemon juice, Hellfire Habanero Shrub Bitters and cucumber soda, and finish up with a pumpkin crème brûlée ($9) or mahalo matcha panna cotta ($10).
Rx Boiler Room
3950 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Hours: Sunday to Thursday, 5 p.m.-midnight; Friday and Saturday, 5 p.m.-2 a.m.
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