Jason Shkorupa talks big restaurant changes at the Strip’s medieval castle, pyramid
Sun, Aug 5, 2012 (9:32 p.m.)
Vegas DeLuxe columnist Robin Leach is home from his annual summer vacation under the Tuscan sun in Italy all rested and recharged, but there’s unpacking and a thousand chores to catch up on before resuming his Strip sleuthing. Many of our Strip and Las Vegas personalities stepped forward in his absence to pen their own words of wisdom. Our thanks to them all. We wind down our guest columnists with food and beverage ace Jason Shkorupa, who is spicing up the dining lineup at the Luxor and the Excalibur.
With five-star dining, celebrity chefs and new dining concepts continually popping up along the Strip, it can be a constant challenge to stay at the top. When I joined the Luxor and the Excalibur’s family as vice president of food and beverage, I knew that this was the perfect opportunity to put Las Vegas’ favorite pyramid and medieval castle back on the dining map.
There are many draws for people to come to the Luxor and the Excalibur, including gaming, nightlife, museum-quality exhibitions and entertaining shows with popular Las Vegas headliners. But, because my passion is food, I truly believe that a spectacular dining experience is what keeps people coming back.
From quick bites to world-class cuisine, we are proud to offer an array of new dining options for our guests. Rice & Company at the Luxor offers Asian-fusion cuisine and has received national acclaim for its creative sushi rolls, including the Fire Breathing Dragon roll featured on the Food Network’s “Heat Seekers.”
Late last year, we opened three restaurants at the Excalibur: Lynyrd Skynyrd BBQ and Beer, American Burger Works and Buca di Beppo. Lynyrd Skynyrd BBQ and Beer is a rocking venue with real Texas-style barbecue, ice-cold beer and entertainment nightly. The restaurant was recently mentioned in the New York Times and won “Best Barbecue on the Strip” by Las Vegas Weekly.
When it comes to Italian, it doesn’t get much better than Buca di Beppo. It is a great spot for group outings with its family-style portions accompanied by lively Italian music. American Burger Works serves incredible burgers and Belgian fries, along with dozens of toppings as well as great breakfast items to start the day.
This summer has been especially exciting at the Luxor with the completion of Centra Bar & Lounge and a renovated food court with such favorites as Nathan’s, Starbucks, L.A. Subs, Bonanno’s Pizzeria and Original Chicken Tender. We also have started construction on Public House, a popular pub concept from back East that promises to be a high-energy sports bar and a great place for lunch, dinner and late-night eats.
To round out our list of renovations, we are putting in a new food court at the Excalibur to be completed by October that will include Popeye’s, Cinnabon, Pick-Up Stix, Schlotzky’s Deli and Tropical Smoothie Cafe.
In addition to all of our new dining options, we have two restaurants that have become extremely popular with guests: Tender Steak & Seafood and Tacos & Tequila, both at the Luxor. Tender is a phenomenal steakhouse with extraordinary steak, seafood and wine selections. The menu, crafted by chef K.C. Fazel, also features a wild game tasting and bison rib eye. T&T provides a fun atmosphere and distinctive presentations of modern and traditional Mexican cuisine by chef Saul Ortiz.
I believe in great quality, excellent service and even better food. As long as we continue to deliver these qualities at all of our restaurants, I know that the Luxor and the Excalibur will remain top dining destinations on the Strip. We hope you will join us!
Our thanks to restaurant kingpin Jason Shkorupa. Be sure to check out our other guest columns today from mentalist Marc Savard and our friends at RhumBar. Be sure to join us Monday for our final guest columnists, Las Vegas music group Mo5aic and executive chef Sean Griffin of Prime at the Bellagio, as Robin resumes his Strip Scribbles.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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