Libertine Social

A James Beard Winner, Margarita Donuts and You

The Unlikely Story of Libertine Social

By Sam Eichner ·
1104a2e3adac47e3a9dced03afac02fb19 PhotosLibertine Social
There you were, sharing a jovial moment amongst friends over carafes of Barbados Red Rum Swizzles, when you felt a gentle tap on your shoulder.

You turned around.

Before you: a beautiful stranger with a wry smile, coyly admitting they’d just been dared to make your acquaintance.

You rest your drink...



Consider that enigmatic passage your preface to Libertine Social, a playful restaurant bearing multiple bars and its own proprietary card game, now open at Mandalay Bay from James Beard–winning chef Shawn McClain.

Let’s start with the dining room.
You’ll probably notice the tropical patio and aggressive Venice-Beach-meets-Vegas vibe. The food—like mesquite-grilled Wagyu, lamb Scotch olives and parmesan churros—is for sharing. Except the margarita donut. That’s all you.

And about the Arcade Bar...
It’s a semiprivate lair where cocktail expert Tony Abou-Ganim resuscitates 19th-century drinks (e.g., a barrel-aged Brandy Fix). So know that.

Oh, also...
There’s the Voyeur Lounge near the bar up front. Every table has a card game called “Dare from the Hare.” It’s basically Truth or Dare. At a restaurant. That may involve beautiful strangers.

If you’re totally thinking of that preface right now, here’s the gripping denouement in slideshow form.

Sam Eichner likes literature, reality television and his twin cats equally. He has consistently been told he needs a shave since he started growing facial hair.

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