Chef Todd English’s beloved restaurant Todd English’s Olives celebrated its grand opening at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas last year. The local (and tourist) favorite Olives closed its Bellagio location in 2018 after a fifteen-year run. This fall, the new location quietly debuted with a stunningly sophisticated dining room, a Mediterranean-influenced outdoor patio, and numerous Olives classics.
Step Inside Todd English’s Olives
We interviewed Chef Todd English ahead of the grand opening to find out what visitors can expect at the newly opened Olives, what made it onto the new menu and his feelings upon his official return to Las Vegas. “It’s great. It’s great; it’s so fun. I love just seeing the customers that we had,” Chef told us. “We’ve seen a lot of locals come in—a few of the bartenders like Joey B., who was there originally. We even have the guy that did our carpaccio. He’s back. It’s the same guy. So 22 years later. He’s made carpaccio for over 20 years. Amongst other things. We sold so many at Bellagio that it was almost one person’s job.”
Fans of the original location will see a lot of familiar menu highlights. “We’re doing a lot of the classic dishes from 1989—a lot of the dishes we had at Olives originally,” Chef said. “So, we have that section, and we have all the new stuff that we’re doing.”
We were recently invited in to Olives to try out the new Lobster Fra Diavolo pasta (the spicy sauce is made with a special tequila-infused Fra Diavolo Tomato Sauce from Casamigos). While the entire menu is delicious, Chef does have some of his own favorites. “Obviously, the beef carpaccio. And I think the Tortelli with butternut squash,” Chef told us. “Some of the old classics. The squid and octopus. The Very Vanilla Soufflé. It’s a very popular dish. I take a lot of pride in our pastas. It’s something we spent a lot of time doing. Pastas are very near and dear to my heart, you know, spending a lot of time in Italy cooking as a young apprentice and spending a lot of time in Italian in general. It was always a lot of fun to bring back that tradition.”
While the lengthy closure time between the original Las Vegas location and the new venue was extensive, the time was well spent. “We kind of took the time to freshen things up. The tuna tartare’s presentation is a little different. Some of the dishes are kind of freshened up,” Chef explained. “We’re not even beginning; there are so many things we’re going to be doing. I’m really excited about some of the dishes we’re doing that I became obsessed with. I was so obsessed; I was on Martha Stewart’s show doing a whole segment on bouillabaisse. It was about the process and the steps and how much goes into it. There’s really a lot.”