Fifteen thousand hand-blown Murano glass globes descend from the ceiling of Alain Ducasse’s Rivea Las Vegas like bubbles from the sea. Far from perfect circles, they’re almost elliptical in shape, organic. It’s an appropriate touch for a restaurant focused on French-Italian Mediterranean cuisine—its name a derivation of Riviera.
The chandeliers are not new; in fact, they might be the only remnant of the restaurant’s former life as miX, the Michelin-starred French restaurant that graced this fabulous space atop the Delano, with stunning city and desert views through floor-to-ceiling windows, including seating on an outdoor patio.
A 3D “wave wall” made of hundreds of glass squares almost reaches out to touch guests, bringing the sea into the dining room. The stylish new Rivea is less formal than its former self—still sophisticated but more relaxed, with small plates dominating the menu. As the Vegas neon comes alive, the adjoining Skyfall Lounge offers outdoor seating on cozy sofas with a 180-degree view of the action below.
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We were able to experience a chef’s tasting and pose for a photo with Ducasse after he raised a toast to his team during the grand opening event, which coincided with the final evening of IMEX 2015. He appeared humbled by the magic he had helped to create, and spent much of his time sharing credit with his team. To prepare for the grand opening, Chef Bruno Riou and his staff had traveled throughout the Mediterranean, visiting Monaco and the existing Rivea restaurants in St. Tropez and London. It was that experience that gave birth to dishes such as prawn and calamari crostino and focccacia di Recco, an Italian–inspired flatbread with a creamy layer of cheese.
For groups, what used to be a storage closet at the far end of the restaurant has been transformed into a private dining room (Rivea+) with its own kitchen. Rivea+ can accommodate 50 guests by combining two rooms, and shares the same stunning 64th floor view as the main dining room.