March 2018

Fine Dining Design

Beautiful Spaces to Eat and Drink

By Marisa Finetti

How fortunate are we to have one of the most vibrant dining scenes in the world? But, as you take that sip from that inventive cocktail or sink your teeth into a well-prepared bone-in rib eye, look around to notice the space you’re in. You might discover that you’ve been transported to another place.


Lisa Simeone is the mastermind behind the conceptual design of Rosina, a bar inside Palazzo Las Vegas that is both emotionally and visually suggestive of jewel box opulence. Simeone is the co-owner of Simeone Dreary, a Chicago-based design house that has brought life to concepts such as Detroit Foundation Hotel, The Charmant, The LondonHouse Chicago, and most recently, Waldorf Astoria Chicago. Deary was working under a consulting agreement with Gensler on project Rosina. “As the Palazzo is based on an Italian Renaissance theme, we designed to create the persona of a dazzling Sicilian socialite,” say Simeone. “Not only who she was, but where she lived, her mode of transportation, what she wore, her cocktail of choice…Rosina became so detailed that she truly began to take on a life of her own.”

Rosina’s hallmark is defined by all things luxe. Rich velvets, shirred leathers, brass inlayed marble, all lavishly layered to the point of opulence. The interior design perspective was inspired by a treasured jewel box, with finishes that literally sparkle, such as faceted glass, beveled antique mirror, shattered crystal chandelier and polished marble to enhance the effect. “Finally, we really wanted revelers and patrons to feel good in the space, so we made sure the colors were flattering so that everyone felt and looked gorgeous in the glow.”


Located at Park MGM and inspired by the original Bavette’s in Chicago, Bavette’s Las Vegas takes you back to prohibition age with a touch of femininity. Enter into a space that not only provides a departure from everyday life, but also from the traditional steakhouse. Timber and leather, deep velvets, beveled mirrors, chandeliers dripping with crystal, and lamps reminiscent of the kind Daisy from The Great Gatsby would have in her mansion. “The look is glamorous and intimate with soft, golden lighting adding to the seductive mood,” say Martin Brudnizki of Martin Brudnizki Design Studio. His internationally-acclaimed design firm in New York and London prides itself on designing spaces that feel like they have been there the whole time. “The [entry lounge] area is relaxed and comfortable with a mixture of seating, however it is the wall shelves, which have been styled with floral plates, urns and teapots, all vintage and found across the US, which creates a unique aspect to the restaurant,” says Brudnizki. “The ambience is authentic and helps convey the sense that the restaurant has always been a part of the Park MGM’s DNA.”

The center bar is a dramatic focal point, experienced from every corner of the dining room. The dramatic ebony and ivory piano-key inspired flooring, which surrounds the bar, showcases the elegant centerpiece as a place for lively conversation and libations. And if you think you’ve seen it all, work your way to the secluded area in the deepest back part of the restaurant where an incredible agate crystal bar top awaits in the private room.

MB Steak

Brothers and restaurateurs, David and Michael Morton of MB Steak, worked very closely with designer Karen Herold of Chicago’s Studio K Creative to create memorable spaces in their bi-level luxury steakhouse, located inside Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. Each floor is distinctly and purposefully unique from the other, with the first floor featuring a dark color palette with a clubby feel, with the upstairs opening up to a sunlit space with a botanical living wall.

“The inspiration for the design was largely influenced from our research and travels around the world. The living wall is the focal point of the Garden Lounge, and we were inspired by some incredible ones we found in Europe. We have used living walls in other projects, but never at this scale,” says Michael Morton.

Bursts of soothing emerald green and pink hues complement the moss and succulents in the living wall. Cocktails are served atop a leather bar and the adjacent private dining room enjoys its very own kitchen. The custom millwork in the Garden Lounge includes warm, fumed European white oak floors and burnt-charred wood walls with brass reveals. Opaque glass in the skylight above the bar gives the space a beautiful, natural glow and the motorized windows allow fresh air to enter the space.

But perhaps one of the best kept secrets at MB Steak is the private bar room downstairs. “It’s a small, intimate space hidden behind the bar with wooden louvers that can be opened for views of the casino floor or closed for complete privacy,” says Michael Morton. “There’s even a secret side entrance.”


Located just steps from the Park MGM lobby, Primrose was designed by interior designer Martin Brudnizki, who also designed Bavette’s. Brudnizki, whose celebrated restaurant work also includes The Ivy, Le Caprice, and Annabel’s in London, gave Primrose a distinctively residential feel. The restaurant evokes a series of rooms in a country house, leading out to a lush garden and terrace, with pots of fresh, fragrant herbs inspired by the French Riviera. The adjacent rooms include a warm and thoughtfully-curated drawing room and the park-inspired dining room, complete with custom park bench seating and a striking photographic mural portraying harmonious moments in the park.

In collaboration with Paris and New York-based creative studio be-poles, Primrose’s extensive art collection centers around early 1950s Provence, France, which captivated artists from around the world for its unmatched light and colors, as well as famed potteries from around the area of Vallauris. Each piece in the restaurant celebrates this Golden Age of art and includes five original edition linocuts by Pablo Picasso, a former resident of Vallauris, as well as lithographs by French artists Jean Cocteau and Pierre Boncompain depicting summers in the South of France.

At the heart of the restaurant’s Drawing Room, and reflecting the overall inspiration of Primrose, is a library featuring a diverse selection of vintage and early edition books celebrating topics ranging from the flavors of Provence to impressionist art from the South of France, parks from around the world and great country estates - many of these tomes were hand-picked from long-time local Las Vegas purveyor Amber Unicorn Books.

Primrose is a key part of the culinary offering at Park MGM. The restaurant is managed by Sydell Group, owners and operators of trend-setting boutique lifestyle hotels across the country, including The NoMad in New York; the LINE in Los Angeles; and Freehand in Miami, Chicago and Los Angeles, each one highly regarded for their food & beverage concepts.


Successful restaurateur Michael Chow is also a highly accomplished artist and designer. In addition to designing all of his MR CHOW restaurants, including this Caesars Palace location, Chow has designed Giorgio Armani boutiques and Chow’s own home in Holmby Hills, California.

Chow’s credence is to perfect every detail; every detail is a universe. With that understanding, every detail, for every single element from colors to scents to textures to sound, has a truth and focus, with a ‘one-way, only-way,’ to execute it. 

When guests enter MR CHOW at the casino level, an elegant Champagne lounge provides a memorable entry point. Guests are welcome to sip on a variety of premium Champagnes, such as Krug Grande Cuveé or Dom Pérignon, from the famous champagne trolley, while taking in the bright space and the Jeff Koons “Balloon Venus” sculpture on display.

From the Champagne lounge, guests travel up a set of private elevators to the nearly 1,600 sq. ft. restaurant. A lounge with plush bronze furniture and custom Clive Barker artwork is where guests wait for the maître d’ to escort them to their table. On the journey to the table, guests can appreciate the landscape of the round, white Venetian plaster and Plexiglas lined dining room with outer banquette seating, the 150 plus Lily floral arrangements in the center, the bold dark wooden bar with shelves extending to the ceiling, lined with the finest spirits, and the large windows and French doors leading to the terrace overlooking the famous Garden of the Gods Pool Oasis.

The focal point of the restaurant is the one-of-a-kind kinetic sculpture, suspended from a 60 ft. dome. Created by Chow and constructed by TAIT, the 3,800 lb. fiberglass and aluminum framed sculpture is coined “The Moon,” as in its inactive state it resembles a full moon. However, throughout each evening, the sculpture performs a four-minute show as it maneuvers into various configurations. The outside of the sculpture is a crisp white, echoing the monochromatic coloring of the room, while the interior is Yves Klein Blue.

Bavette’s Steakhouse & Bar


Mr Chow

Share this Article