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Charlie Trotter Quickly Fills Dance Card

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Jun 12, 2007 6:00PM

2006-11_cholly.jpgMaybe Charlie Trotter is having a change of heart as he reaches middle age, or maybe he sees how successful all the other celebrity chefs are with their multiple ventures. Either way, Trotter is inching ever closer to having "18 projects like (his) colleagues" by taking a chance on Las Vegas again, with plans to open two new restaurant concepts in the chi-chi Venetian Hotel come November.

The two restaurants are Restaurant Charlie, a 100-seat a la carte concept, and Bar Charlie. The latter, an 18-seat bar located within Restaurant Charlie, is Trotter's take on Japanese food, complete with a full service bar specializing in flavored spirits - infused in house - and fresh-squeezed juices. Diners can expect to pay a pretty penny for the opportunity, as well. The average price per person will be $175 in Restaurant Charlie, and $225 in Bar Charlie.

Seeing as how his empire is rapidly expanding and neither cloning nor teleportation are viable options at this time, Trotter has hired John Shields (Alinea) to run his Vegas kitchen, although Trotter promised to be in Vegas "as often as (he) can." This isn't Trotter's first stab at Vegas, baby. His previous attempt to find a foothold at the MGM Grand lasted a little over a year. He left after MGM management decided to take the restaurant in a more casual direction. It could also be that Trotter was at the wrong place at the wrong time in '95. Celebrity chefs weren't near as ubiquitous as they are today. In a city teeming with the presence of Emeril, Batali, and Puck, Trotter's reputation and name cache can only raise the playing field in Las Vegas.