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Cathouse - Comfort food for Voyeurs

While handsome toque Kerry Simon is known for his gourmet comfort food, his latest venture, CatHouse, is a bit of departure. This bordello-themed eatery and lounge, at the recently revamped Luxor Las Vegas, is more about sharing small plates than gorging on American classics. Not only is the fare playful, but the decor is also re and racy. The design scheme spans feathers, erotic photographs, mirrors, chandeliers and framed lingerie. Even the physical menu features garter belts around the border. Voyeurs won?t want to miss the live art installation, where a scantily clad woman is preparing herself for a night out in a peep-show-style glass booth. The recreation to this entertainment segment, which occurs approximately every 20 minutes throughout the night, is raucous.

CatHouse Las Vegas

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The cusine matches the mood at this sexy establishment. Starters are light and innovative: There are house-cut potato chips with onion dip, pigs in a duvet, arancine rice balls with lemmon risotto and mozzarella, back-pepper chicken wings with watermelon salad, mini crab cakes, yellowtail carpaccio with black salt, tuna tartare with lotus root, and calamari with zucchini chips. More ambitious appetizers included cheese founde with white-chocolate-pecan bread, Granny Smith apples and mushrooms; American charcuterie-and-cheese plate with olive bread; and potato-leek soup with Maine lobster.

The cusine matches the mood at this sexy establishment.

And while sliders have become ubiquitous at Strip restaurants, Simon?s approach to finger sandwiches spans meatball bolognese, mini lobster roll and smoked salmon with bagel chips and caviar.

CatHouse Las Vegas

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The starter Kerry appreciates the most is the raw saalad, which is composed of fresh vegetables from the market - ranging zucchini, carrots and beets to celery and Brussels sprouts. The produce is thinly sliced and tossed with olive oil, lemon juice, tarragon and pomegranate for an all natural dish. "One of the things that has always driven me is healthfull eating, " notes Simon, who has his own line of pots and pans on HSN. "That has been the norm for me. It?s trendy now, and everyone is interested in organic and local movements." Other salads span an iceberg-lettuce wedge with smoked bacon and Point Reyes blue cheese; classic caesar; and duck confit with roasted beets, candied pecans, goat cheese, dried cherries and bacon. The portions are moderate and not overwhelming in that how-am-I-ever-going-to-finish-that? way so many restaurants present their food.

The all red ultra lounge features dancers in lingerie enticing the crowd, as well as top DJs from Europe. This two-for-one experience is part of the dining-as-entertainment revolution that is taking over the strip. "The lounge is a key part of the formula", kerry describes. "It?s more adult like this. It?s more of en evening out than just dinner. Guests expect to come to the lounge after dinner".

CatHouse Las Vegas

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This concept fits in perfectly at the Luxor, which is switching from a budget hotel to a nightlife-driven hotspot. Prior to CatHouse?s debut, the Luxor welcomed LAX. "Felix Rappaport, the president of the Luxor, has been a friend for years", Kerry notes. "He started talking to me a long time ago about the transition at the Luxor. He is doing something exciting here. Between CatHouse, the various nightlife and Criss Angel?s Cirque du Soleil show, we are going to switch the dynamic of this hotel."

At CatHouse, you will often see Kerry walking through dining room in an all black chef?s uniform. "I interact with the dining room as much as I can. The chef has to know what the customer thinks and wants. I?m here to cook for them."

"The media shot is me with four girls behind me in these little outfits. I looked at it and I was like, WHOA, That?s really pushing it. But you only live the life once. If people react to it, that?s great. Some chefs have certain images. Other chefs aren?t allowed to do certain things. I?ve just been me. I don?t want any regrets. I have been chances that have backfired, but I?ve always lived my life by my own rules".

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