Thursday, November 18, 7:00 pm
Las Vegas isn’t just a playground for the Rat Pack anymore.
In recent years, the city that was once the exclusive domain of
the cigar and martini has made room for the likes of the Detox-Thalasso
Seaweed Wrap and other beauty treatments. When the Bellagio resort
unveils the 65,000- square-foot Spa Tower in December, the fast
life will have officially slackened to a more pampered pace.
But even if Vegas is more than just a gambling destination nowadays,
visitors still expect to take in a good show. Sensi, the new restaurant
opening in the Spa Tower, will surely provide a spectacular dining
experience. Designed by the edgy, Tokyo-based firm Super Potato,
the Sensi dining room will redefine the concept of dinner theater.
Tables will be arrayed arena-style around four, open, sunken kitchens.
Executive chef Martin Heierling will lead the four kitchens directly
under the gaze of the dining audience. Judging from his past experience,
Heierling should be more than up to the task.
Born in Germany and raised in New Zealand, Heierling has built
a sterling résumé, with stints in some of the top
kitchens of Germany, Switzerland, and the United States, including
the Michelin two-star Schwarzer Adler, the venerable Badrutt’s
Palace, and Restaurant Essence. Heierling counts some of the greatest
chefs of contemporary cuisine as his mentors, including New Zealand’s
Michael James and Gray Kunz of Lespinasse in New York. For the
last four years, Heierling has perfected an international style
while calling the luxurious Bellagio Resort home.
In his first job as executive chef, Heierling has created a menu
for Sensi that reflects more than admirably on his mentors. From
Sensi’s Italian kitchen, diners may choose braised oxtail
cappelletti with black truffles, peas, and Pecorino Romano; from
the Grill, Kansas City steak; or, from the Asian kitchen, seared
tuna tataki with a ginger-citrus glaze. As Vegas develops apace
into a new era, resorts like the Bellagio create innovative spaces
like Sensi. And for those of us who delight in watching new talent
blossom, the new Vegas sets a stage, where young chefs like Heierling
can step into the limelight. (As far as we’re concerned,
Heierling has already proved himself a star. Last time he cooked
at the House in the summer of 2003, his food—some 16 boxes
that had taken Heierling and several sous-chefs some 30 hours to
prepare—never arrived from Vegas! Cooly and calmly, he and
his team pulled off a sold-out, off-the-cuff, spectacular dinner