For the previous eight years, the Cosmopolitan has actually been the most curious gambling establishment on the Strip. Although many of the little pockets of discovery that established that track record have actually left or been lessened somehow, new creative elements have actually been introduced that have bolstered the concept that it remains a different place relative to its Vegas next-door neighbors.
The latest marvel is the Block 16 Food Hall on the second level, and the last piece contributed to this compact cooking marvel is a small, surprise facsimile of New York City tequila and mezcal bar Ghost Donkey. The Bleecker Street initial is a spin-off of the bigger Saxon + Parole; the Cosmo area, almost identical, seems like the younger brother of the third level’s (still delicious) “secret” pizzeria. You have to discover the ideal door in the Block 16 space to “discover” Ghost Donkey, but the sparkly pink atmosphere and vibrant mixed drinks are worth the hunt.
Start with the Mole Negroni ($16), a well-spiced stunner made with Fidencio Clasico mezcal, bitter friends Cynar, Cocchi Torino and Zucca Rabarbaro and abundant flavors of mole. You’ll be in a festive state of mind once you get in the Donkey, but this deliciously strong beverage will hurry you along. Have a couple and you’ll need another snack, which’s where the notorious truffle nachos ($23) come into the picture. The frightening thing is that these white cheddar sauce, black truffle and chive-topped bites are the most typical nachos on the menu; there’s likewise carrot “chili” nachos with mezcal-pickled carrots ($13) and chorizo and tripe nachos ($14). That’s the right amount of something.– Brock Radke
GHOST DONKEY Cosmopolitan, 702-698-7000. Sunday-Thursday, 4 p.m.-midnight; Friday & & Saturday, 4 p.m.-4 a.m.