James Beard Award-winning Chef Shawn McClain dares guests to embrace their deepest desires and liberate their minds with a flurry of food, drinks and friends at Libertine Social, now open inside Mandalay Bay. The convivial gastropub celebrates New American bar food by the beloved chef, a duel-faceted cocktail program pioneered by Modern Mixologist Tony Abou-Ganim, and a compelling mix of social settings that encourage guests to play and have fun.
“Libertine Social is all about the food, the drinks and the party. We want this to be a playground for people to explore familiar dishes and cocktails with edgy and unexpected flavors in an energetic environment that invites them to share those moments with others,” said McClain. “When people come to Las Vegas, they want to have a good time, and experience the best food and drinks out there with their friends who know how to have fun, which is what Libertine Social is all about.”
Live to Eat
Fusing fresh ingredients with contemporary flavors and unconventional techniques, Chef McClain’s captivating cuisine at the social dining hub obliterates preconceived notions of bar restaurants.
• Petite Bites – Small plates made for sharing or devouring oneself include modernized fan favorites like the Parmesan Churros, where lightly fried dough is coated with parmesan for a savory snack. The Modern Fried Egg features summer corn topped with a whipped egg and American Sturgeon caviar in an eggshell, and is served alongside a crispy brioche for a whimsical twist on the classic breakfast dish. For the Strawberry Gazpacho, McClain marries hearty chunks of king crab with avocado puree and hearts of palm within a chilled strawberry broth for a refreshing start to a meal.
• Toasts and Dips – Toast to friendship and good times with a series of warm and creamy dips. Chef McClain puts his spin on the traditional pastrami sandwich with the Duck Pastrami, which is served on golden-brown toast and topped with pickled radicchio, sauerkraut aioli and mustard seed. The Warm Dungeness Crab Dip fuses jumbo lumps of crabmeat with preserved lemon and spinach for a dish perfect for passing around the table.
• Sausage Board – Chef McClain’s handmade artisanal sausages are paired with an assortment of creamy cheeses and sides that, when combined, create an explosion of flavors. Guests can enjoy creating their own boards from a variety of sausages including spicy Italian, Louisiana hot link and bratwurst; as well as cheeses such as Tipperary cheddar, Rouge Creamery Smokey Blue Cheese and brillat savarin.
• Flatbreads – Flatbreads with robust and mouthwatering flavors are perfect for tearing and enjoying with others. Guests can savor the taste of a Caramelized Fennel and Spicy Italian Sausage flatbread blending camembert, desert honey and rosemary; or the Wilted Spinach topped with creamy burrata, garlic oil and guanciale.
• Local Fare – Chef McClain invents a series of rustic plates engineered with fresh ingredients sourced from local and regional farms. Summer Corn Angolotti takes summer corn and transforms it into a delicate dish with handmade folds of pasta stuffed with a rich mascarpone and brown butter filling. The Avocado Salad celebrates garden flavors with Weiser Farms melon, ricotta salata, aged balsamic and EVOO.
• The Bigger The Better – To satisfy a hungry appetite, guests can dig in to heartier dishes like the 10 oz. Wagyu Skirt Steak. The Whole Petaluma Chicken presents a deconstructed chicken with tender pieces of meat served alongside a smooth and velvety truffle potato. For a taste of the sea, the Whole Roasted Fish accentuates the natural flavors of market-fresh fish by grilling it over an open flame and seasoning it with lemon and aromatic herbs for a delightfully filling dish.
• A Sweet Kick – To end every night on a sweet note, Chef McClain transforms popular drinks into non-alcoholic, cocktail-inspired desserts. The Margarita Donut embraces the zest of a margarita with the sweetness of a donut and tops it off with fine salt for an unforgettably well-rounded bite, while the Hot Chocolate Martini covers a warm dark chocolate ganache cake with a rich vanilla bean infused amaretto glaze.
• Libertine To-Go – Guests on the go can quickly grab gourmet bites through a convenient to-go counter located just outside the venue. The counter, designed like a food truck, offers a daily changing menu consisting of Chef McClain’s signature artisanal sausages and canned craft beers.
Live to Drink
When McClain was randomly paired with Modern Mixologist Tony Abou-Ganim on Season 10 of Food Network’s Iron Chef, neither realized that this episode would one day lead to the creation of Libertine Social’s innovative cocktail program. Libertine Social features two distinct cocktail experiences, each with a playful collection of libations, at the Main Bar and Arcade Bar.
• Sharable Swizzles – Swizzles, an icy Caribbean cocktail made with an authentic swizzle stick fashioned from a Quararibea turbinata tree, are served in pitchers to allow guests to share with others. Abou-Ganim created five versions of the Swizzle including the Queens Park Swizzle, made with El Dorado 15-year-old rum; and the tropical Barbados Red Rum Swizzle, which blends lime juice, pineapple and Angostura bitters.
• Barrel-Aged Cocktails – The barrel-aging process allows Abou-Ganim’s signature cocktails to develop layers of flavor and silky textures. Guests can indulge in the Boulevardier, a house favorite blended with Baker’s 107-proof bourbon, Campari and Martini & Rossi sweet vermouth; or classics like the Manhattan.
• Cocktails on Tap – Abou-Ganim’s iconic cocktails and cold-pressed juices are locked and loaded in an efficient and innovative draft system. Specials like the SunSplash and House Margarita are served within seconds without losing the freshness and flavor of each cocktail.
• Arcade Bar – Tucked away in a secluded area adjacent to the Main Bar, Arcade Bar celebrates legendary cocktails from the 19th and 20th centuries that have been lost throughout the years. Designed with dark-paneled walls and deep leather chairs, the bar-within-a-bar pays homage to classic cocktails such as the Daisy, the Smash and the Flip while enlightening guests with the origins and history behind each drink.
Live to Be Free
In collaboration with Studio Munge’s Principal Interior Designer Alessandro Munge, Libertine Social’s open layout design evokes a free-spirited and adventurous tone. Reminiscent of Venice Beach’s eclectic Abbot Kinney neighborhood, the restaurant features a variety of spaces filled with bold artwork, including two original murals from renowned street artist Alexis Diaz.
• Mix and Mingle – The Voyeur Lounge, equipped with a retro jukebox, eye-popping colors and eccentric furnishings, takes center stage as guests enter the restaurant. The quirky lounge features Libertine Social’s interactive social game Dare from the Hare, a mischievous card game on each table filled with fun dares that encourage guests to go outside their comfort zones and engage with the staff and other guests.
• Take in the Action – Guests wanting to catch a glimpse of the culinary action can sit front and center at the chef’s table, where they can interact with the chefs and watch as each delectable dish is prepared. The area’s exposed grills and prep stations provide an exciting behind-the-scenes look at the entire creative process from start to finish.
• A Breath of Fresh Air – Offering a nice getaway from the bustling indoor scene, the outdoor patio creates the feeling of being on a rooftop terrace with soft lighting and views of Mandalay Bay’s Beach.
• Feel-Good Vibes – In the main dining room, each wall is adorned with personalized elements as a nod to the roots of Libertine Social’s muse, a fictitious character named Kyle who’s an entrepreneur by day, extravagant partier by night, with an impeccable sense of what’s cool and cultured. Visually stimulating pieces found throughout the area draw out nostalgic feelings of wanderlust in guests and inspires them to express their inner hedonistic nature.
Libertine Social is open 5 p.m. – 11 p.m. Monday through Sunday and is located near the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. Libertine To-Go is available from 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. Monday through Sunday.