Welcome Back Olives Las Vegas!
Chef Todd English’s beloved restaurant Olives celebrated its grand opening at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas last week. We were invited to the official soiree and got a taste of some of the delicious menu items. The festivities included passed Hors D’oeuvres, a dessert bar and a performance by Human Nature.
The local (and tourist) favorite Olives closed its Bellagio location in 2018 after a fifteen-year run. This fall, the new location quietly debuted with a stunningly sophisticated dining room, a Mediterranean-influenced outdoor patio, and numerous Olives classics.
We interviewed Chef Todd English several weeks ago, ahead of the grand opening, to find out what visitors can expect at the newly opened Olives, what made it onto the new menu and his feelings upon his official return to Las Vegas.
WT: How does it feel to be back?
English: It's great. It's great, it's so fun. I love just seeing the customers that we had.
We’ve seen a lot of locals come in—a few of the bartenders like Joey B., who was there originally. We even have the guy that did our carpaccio. He’s back. It’s the same guy. So 22 years later. He’s made carpaccio for over 20 years. Amongst other things. We sold so many at Bellagio that it was almost one person’s job.
WT: What are the main differences between the menu now and the old one at Bellagio? Did any older items stay?
English: We’re doing a lot of the classic dishes from 1989—a lot of the dishes we had at Olives originally. So, you know we have that section, and we have all the new stuff that we’re doing.
WT: What are your favorite menu items?
English: Obviously, the beef carpaccio. And I think the Tortelli with butternut squash. Some of the old classics. The squid and octopus. The very vanilla souffle. It’s a very popular dish. I take a lot of pride in our pastas. It’s something we spent a lot of time doing. Pastas are very near and dear to my heart, you know, spending a lot of time in Italy cooking as a young apprentice and spending a lot of time in Italian in general. It was always a lot of fun to bring back that tradition.
WT: Did you take the time between the closing of the Bellagio location and the re-opening to reinvent any of the items on the menu?
English: You know we kind of took the time to freshen things up. The tuna tartare’s presentation is a little different. Some of the dishes are kind of freshened up. We’re not even beginning; there are so many things we’re going to be doing. I’m really excited about some of the dishes we’re doing that I became obsessed with. I was so obsessed; I was on Martha Stewart’s show doing a whole segment on bouillabaisse. It was about the process and the steps and how much goes into it. There’s really a lot.