James Beard Award-winning chef opens pizza bar concept

July 12, 2013

FIVE50 Pizza Bar, the first casual concept from James Beard award-winning Chef Shawn McClain, is now open at ARIA Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.

Following the success of Sage, his first restaurant at the property, Chef McClain's newest concept features wood-fired pizzas, small plates, artisanal charcuterie, international cheeses, seasonal salads, handmade pastas and desserts, all complemented by a collection of craft beers.

The restaurant was designed by architect David Rockwell and Rockwell Group. FIVE50 boasts natural materials, a custom mural by CYRCLE, a Los Angeles-based street artist collective, traditional uniforms designed by Las Vegas fashion designer Barbara Bell and a signature music soundtrack with all genres.

FIVE50's menu highlights include:

  • Pizza. FIVE50's 16-inch pies are baked in a wood-fired oven, blending properties of New York and Naples-style pizzas. Flavors range from traditional to gourmet such as the Gotham, topped with pepperoni, sausage, salami, mozzarella and Grana Padano; and the Farmstead, with prosciutto, creme fraiche and country olives, finished with an over-easy farm egg. Other varieties include the clam-topped North Beach and Truffle pizzas. Guests also can create their own with choices of more than 20 toppings.
  • Specialties. FIVE50 offers a Meat & Cheese Bar with artisanal charcuterie and international cheeses. Small plates include Wood-Fired Clams and Linguica Sausage, Marinated Octopus Crostini, and Creamy Polenta and Farm Egg. FIVE50's salads include seasonal produce such as arugula, fennel, and heirloom tomatoes with Burrata Cheese for summer. All pasta is hand-rolled daily; signature pastas include such options as Ricotta Cavatelli with pistachio pesto; and Pigs & Truffles, a pork shoulder cannelloni with spinach, bechamel and summer truffles.
  • Dessert. Indulgences include the Milk Chocolate-Lavender Custard served layered in a miniature mason jar; the FIVE50 'Beer' Float with caramelized banana, malted milk ice cream, salted caramel and Young's Double Chocolate Stout; and an Ice Cream Sandwich, with a choice of ice cream flavor served between two pizzelle cookies and paired with a sip of Italian soda.
  • Craft Beers. With more than 50 beers offered, FIVE50's all-American draft selection features 11 microbrews on tap with a focus on regional American craft varieties. FIVE50's beverage program is rounded out with three gluten-free beers, four ciders, a by-the-glass wine list and specialty cocktails.

The FIVE50 name is inspired by the prime temperature at which Chef McClain's wood-fired pizza is cooked. Guests on-the-go can order pieces of the concept's signature pies for $5.50 at the restaurant's slice counter, which also serves two draft beer choices.

Read more about concept development and operations management.

Topics: Food & Beverage , Franchising & Growth , Marketing / Branding / Promotion , Operations Management , Restaurant Design / Layout

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