Quality drunk munchies are now just a few staggering steps away from Atomic Liquors’ back patio. The Kitchen at Atomic, the long-awaited restaurant companion to the bar next door, opened on April 6, offering inventive entrées and a casual atmosphere.
Lance Johns, the owner of both establishments, approached head chef Josh Horton, formerly of Wild Sage and Wolfgang Puck’s Spago, to develop the menu.
“Atomic is my favorite bar. With its diversity, craft beer and craft cocktails, it approaches alcohol like I approach food,” Horton says. “Being able to keep that concept for the restaurant, I was excited and wanted to be a part of it.”
Horton has created playful dishes that marry fine dining and bar food. The ever-changing seasonal menu currently features bar snacks such as the Mama Johns Mac Bites, made with poached lobster, roasted peppers and Gruyère béchamel, and the indulgent Fat Man Fries, made with chili, hot dogs, beer cheese, bacon, onion and peppers.
Entrées include sandwiches such as the BBBLT, made with three types of bacon; protein dishes jazzed up with unconventional sauces and seasonings such as the Ribeye Crown, made with a pink peppercorn–shallot relish that’s served with carrots and “smashed” potatoes; and the sea scallops and Thai eggplant, with salt plum chutney, miso barley crunch and yuzu ponzu. The menu also features a vegetarian-friendly spaghetti squash shakshuka, a tomato stew dish with poached eggs.
Rose Signor, general manager and certified cicerone, led the Kitchen’s cocktail program, keeping in mind its dynamic with the food as well as Atomic Liquors. Signor decided to have the Kitchen’s bar work exclusively with fortified wines including ports, sherries, Madeiras and Marsalas, which are well-suited for the bright and open restaurant.
“The inspiration from grape spirits came from the restaurant’s ambiance,” she says. “Drinking wines fit in with the space. The grape spirits are a refreshing, underrated category that you don’t really see in Vegas right now. I also wanted to make these intimidating products approachable to the guests.”
Just as the bartenders work together to develop the cocktail menu at Atomic Liquors, Signor had them do the same for the Kitchen. The bartenders had an intense amount of training on grape spirits for three months before creating the cocktails. “It’s such a great way to get the bartenders behind what they’re serving. They’re very passionate about it,” she says. The cocktail menu will change twice a year for spring and winter.
Ultimately, Signor would like to continue to embrace the variety Atomic Liquors originally offered and continue to grow and create with both the Atomic and Kitchen team.
“It’s a labor of love between Josh, Lance and myself,” she says.
Hours: Wed., 4–10 p.m. (dining), midnight bar close; Thur.–Sat., 4 p.m.–midnight (dining), 2 a.m. bar close; and Sun. from 4–10 p.m. (dining), midnight bar close.