Scarlet is a hidden gem. So hidden, in fact, that two of three Palms casino employees couldn’t tell me where it is. One sent me over to the Palms Place Tower—it’s not there—while the other told me, “I don’t think we have a bar by that name.”
You can find Scarlet next to Rain’s entrance. Just look for the golden “S” before the red curtain. Walk inside and take a seat before the wax-encrusted candelabra, beside the maroon and black paisley walls. Then, let Daniel the bartender make you a cocktail.
The woman next to me, a Californian named Terri, recommended the cranberry-infused vodka. Scarlet specializes in this sort of infusion. The process is overseen by mixologist Jack “Sugar” O’Brien, and each blend soaks for 28 days before being served over ice.
- Palms, 933-9900. Daily, 5 p.m.
- The View
- Palms, 944-3464. Tuesday & Thursday-Saturday, 8 p.m., cover after 10:30 p.m.
My girlfriend and I went for the cranberry vodka (as delicious as advertised), the apple cinnamon vodka (too subtle for me) and the spiced banana rum (wonderful, like liquid Bananas Foster). Daniel was out of our first choice, the mango chile. We’ll have to get here earlier next time.
Scarlet opened in January, and quickly became the casino’s go-to destination for guests looking for pre-dinner cocktails or upscale nightcaps. Unlike most of the Palms’ other venues, you won’t find any TVs or loud music at Scarlet. It’s a more sophisticated, sexy offering.
I’d call the place intimate, but really it’s just tiny. Four seats at the bar, two more in the back, room for six to stand—and that’s about it. If you’re lucky enough to get a spot, start by sampling the signature infusions (three for $15), then try the Shots For Two. We chose “Close Tight,” which isn’t a suggestion so much as a mandate to keep your mouth shut. Consider the ingredients and you’ll see why: Fireball, Grand Marnier Cherry, Grey Goose Noir and a whole packet of Pop Rocks.
After Scarlet, we headed up to the View, formerly Playboy Club. The Bunnies are gone, and in their place you’ll find hookahs, pool tables, air hockey, table shuffleboard and Connect Four.
Think of it as an upscale neighborhood bar with an amazing view—a place that caters to just about everyone. Manager Michael Sullivan told me, “Everybody is programmed for nightclubs, but we’re trying to do something different here. We play U2, LL Cool J, lounge. And you can see the view, the games—this is a place where you can relax with your friends all night long.”
When games are around, I’m not relaxing; I’m competing. I challenged manager Michael to a game of shuffleboard and threw a perfect 4 on my first puck, maintaining my lead. I don’t know whether I deserved the clean victory or whether Michael threw the game so I’d write nice things about his venue. But I do know that my Saturday night Palms doubleheader was delicious and fun.