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Making the Rounds: The Alchemy of Food and Drink

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The RX Boiler Room bar. Photo by Roni Fields-Moonen.

By Helen Benefield Billings

Chef Rick Moonen

Chef Rick Moonen

DefinitionThe “alchemy of food and drink” is definitely the ideal description for Celebrity Chef Rick Moonen’s brainchild, Rx Boiler Room in Las Vegas. Moonen, along with Bar Manager and Mixologist Eric Smith, presents a union of eclectic comfort food presentations and handcrafted artisan cocktails at what is surely Las Vegas’ most imaginative and inspired restaurant and lounge experience.

Located within the Mandalay Bay Shoppes, Chef Moonen’s vision of a “steampunk-inspired restaurant and lounge, with décor reminiscent of industrialism during the 19th century Victorian era” has catapulted Rx Boiler Room into the spotlight. Today’s food and beverage scene is ever changing and being elevated to new heights, where die-hard foodie consumers are constantly searching for the next level of excitement and that sometimes-elusive “wow” factor. Rx Boiler Room certainly meets those expectations.

This novel blending of old meeting new is evident in Chef Moonen’s ingenious small bites menu that includes such whimsical creations as Chicken Pot Pie Nuggets and Devils on Horseback (California dates with blue cheese, smoked bacon and a balsamic glaze) that are sure to activate your thirst buds. That’s where Mixologist Eric Smith comes in.

Bar Manager and Mixologist Eric Smith.

Bar Manager and Mixologist Eric Smith.

Smith’s passion for innovative handcrafted cocktails has inspired him to create libations specifically tailored to each guest’s whim and energy. Just belly up to the bar at Rx Boiler Room and let him know how you’re feeling. Does anything hurt or ache at the moment? What kind of mood are you in? If you’re game, Eric and his ingenious team at the bar will blend a perfectly satisfying and indulgent drink, just for you at that very moment.

If you’re someone who prefers perusing the fashionable Libation Chart, you’ll find yet more inventive temptations such as Smoked Whiskey & Cola, featuring their house-made cola syrup. Perhaps Time Travelers Tea is more your speed, featuring 10 Cane Rum, chai syrup, a plethora of fresh juices and ginger beer. Somehow these eclectic ingredients coalesce in such an intriguing way as to become the essence of Rx Boiler Room.

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Barbarella Cocktail

2 oz         Stoli Elite (lavender and jasmine infused)
1 oz         house-made elderberry cordial
1½ oz      fresh lemon juice
dash        Angostura bitters
1 oz         thyme simple syrup
1 oz         Moët Chandon White Star floater
*garnished with a Thai basil flower

Fuse the vodka with fresh lavender and jasmine buds. (You can recreate their elderberry cordial with blackberry liqueur and St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur.) Shake components in the glass with ice, top with Champagne, garnish and voila!

True North Salmon Paella with the Barbarella cocktail prepared with Stoli Elite. Photo by Camille Bruce

True North Salmon Paella with the Barbarella cocktail prepared with Stoli Elite. Photo by Camille Bruce