In an absolute flurry of restaurants opening on the strip, one after another, Gordon Ramsay seems to be digging his roots deep here in Las Vegas. Of the three (so far) we know about, there is a steakhouse in the Paris, an upscale burger restaurant in Planet Hollywood, and, perhaps the most unlike the other two, a pub and grill in Caesar’s Palace. A far cry from the pristine white tablecloth and haute cuisine of L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon where Chef Ramsay trained. After being the popular face of fine dining for so long, has the perfectionist Chef switched gears for this Pub?

Duo of rillettes

I sat down with Restaurant Manager -and busiest man in Little Britain- Brandon Loper, to get a good feel for what this Pub has for a mission plan. Transplanted from a Restaurant Manager position at Craftsteak, the accent of an Alabama native and kitchen veteran is a slice of America in this Scot owned English territory. When asked about what exactly is the ‘vibe’ of this pub, “It’s an old school pub/watering hole, but with upscale food. It still has those fun personalities, and the bar especially is the spotlight of that, but with really good comfort food.”

Thrice-Cooked Chips

The popularity of Gordon Ramsay Pub and Grill is still riding a massive crest. By a few minutes after the shows let out, the line to check in is winding down the casino, welcoming over nine-hundred covers a night. If you’re feeling lucky and in a hurry, you can head over to the bar and get a truly world class cocktail made by some of the best mixologists in town. Made from scratch and to-order, the inspired creations on this still-growing menu will surprise even the most expert of cocktail lovers. Just for example, The Scuffle has Jack Daniels Honey, Boddingtons cream ale, and vanilla foam, served up and creamy delicious. Alternatively, you can go for the Sloe Bramble, a mix of Plymouth Sloe Gin, Glenmorangie 10 yr scotch, egg white, lemon, and black berries. Supporting those is an equally impressive beer list, with a ton of taps (including GR’s favorite, Scotland’s own Innis & Gunn) and even more fancy imported bottles. This too is going to quickly explode with growth, according to our beer aficionado Restaurant Manager.

Restaurant Manager Brandon and Yours Truly

With this one casual pub in a long list of Michelin-starred restaurant and fine dining scenes, I was curious as to what this meant to Chef Ramsay. Brandon’s impression is that this is a kind of “comfort zone” for the celebrity chef, a place where he can experiment and let his hair down without worrying about the super-elite of the dining world judging. Yes, we in Las Vegas are lucky to have his “baby” project in our midst. You can already get the impressions from his menu that may become building blocks for his imagination. Along with Chef Jeremy Berlin (who has helped open Ramsay ventures before), the menu is full of modern comfort food with very surprising twists along the way. There are lamb riblets with red pepper jelly and cumin yogurt, a duo of herb rillettes (duck and pork), and three types of pretzel with a daily-made beer cheese sauce for appetizers. In the way of entrees, you can find a kind of pork belly roulade with English Pea puree, brine-soaked Cornish game hen boned and cooked perfectly with a crispy skin, and of course, Shepard’s Pie. Perhaps the most popular pub dish is represented with their Fish and Chips. The fish is beer-battered in Boddingtons ale, and the chips are cooked three times; lightly fried, baked, and then fried again, plated with grated stilton and house-made ketchup and garlic aoli.

Serious Cocktail Talent

I am speaking for more than myself when I say that there are many reasons to keep both eyes open to this spot. There is a rock solid foundation of great front- and back-of-house staff, almost too much talent to hold in one pub, and a degree of freedom from Chef Ramsay Himself to let it run free. This new space has hit a sweet spot for a period of explosive growth, and I have nothing but the highest expectations for it.