Whiskey. Small Plates. Pure Joy.
Double Helix Wine & Whiskey Lounge celebrates the bliss of spirits and food
By Debbie Hall
Photos by Mona Shield Payne
Double Helix Wine & Whiskey Lounge, opened in 2011 in Town Square in Las Vegas, embraces and expands the delight of sharing whiskey cocktails, wine, and exceptional food. In the highly competitive world of restaurants, nightclubs, and lounges, businesses open and close with barely a footprint while Double Helix continues its legacy.
This destination for great food, unique drinks, and a dynamic social scene covers 2,800 square-foot-space featuring a full bar serving 50 wines by the glass, 250 whiskey labels, custom cocktails, wine, whiskey flights, and other spirits, including vodka, rum, and tequila. In addition, small plates created by Executive Chef and partner Douglas Vega delights the palate in an atmosphere of fun and connection.
“There is so much involved with food and beverage. While taste and presentation are important, the biggest factor to our success is the ambiance,” explains Chef Vega. “Every detail is well thought out, including our whiskeys and menus.”
“We offer a wide appeal to everyone,” adds manager Ilan Miller. “We are a specialty bar with the whiskeys and wines we offer. You don’t have to be a whiskey snob to enjoy Double Helix.”
Ironically, Chef Vega was first introduced to the space known as The Grape. “I was asked to meet the original owner [Double Helix], and he explained to me that he wanted to buy the place and change it. I was ready, and I have been here ever since.”
The menu reflects the seasons with eclectic choices for everyone, along with classic whiskey cocktails, along with specialty drinks. The options are more diverse, with lobster tacos made with beer-battered lobster, pico de gallo, chipotle sauce, and grated cheese. Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad features romaine wedges, hard-boiled egg, tomatoes, and parmesan baguette croutons topped with house-made Caesar dressing. Piggy Blazin’ Sliders (two sliders) served on brioche buns are made with certified Angus beef and topped with bacon, carnitas, chipotle aioli, and guacamole. Arancini, risotto fritters with mascarpone, and roasted mushrooms, is one of the most requested small plates.
“In the beginning, I would change up everything, but now we know our guests’ favorites,” says Chef Vega.
One favorite is the charcuterie served with seasonal condiments and grilled focaccia. Additions to the charcuterie board include smoke duck in naturally smoked Magret with a suggested whiskey pairing of WhistlePig 12-year Kristen’s Private Barrel. Prosciutto cured on the bone, sliced paper-thin is another crowd pleaser with a suggested whiskey pairing of Sagamore Rye Cask Strength, Maryland. The charcuterie board is also perfect to pair with its wines. There is always someone to suggest pairings with spirits or wine and suggestions on the menu, but there are no pretentious vibes but rather a warm, casual atmosphere. According to Miller, the most requested cocktail is an Old Fashioned, and the second one is Double Helix Whiskey Mule, a refreshing play on the original vodka-based Moscow mule and featuring The Famous Grouse scotch, Gosling’s ginger beer, elderflower and lemon.
Brunch is also a popular meal and experience at Double Helix with an ala carte menu featuring its famous Chicken and Waffles made with a churro waffle and fried chicken topped with a sweet and sour glaze and butter. The ultimate brunch platter served on a 3-foot board includes scrambled eggs or omelet with fontina, seasoned homes fries, applewood smoked bacon, toasted baguette, fresh fruit, and chicken & waffles for up to four people.
The food offered is specialty items sourced globally. The cheeses used are imported from Holland, Spain, and Italy. Much of the meat used is sourced from France and Italy, and quality is a top priority for Double Helix. Wines and whiskey are also imported worldwide to offer a comprehensive list. Charity Flights include a selection of a flight with a portion of the proceeds to benefit the selected charity The Shade Tree.
Embracing the cooler temps during the fall, the outdoor patio with its fire pit and comfortable beckons guests to come to relax and indulge.
This is especially inviting for cigar smokers and the exclusive selection offered by Double Helix. Some current selections include Drew Estate Acid Blondie, Romeo Y Julieta Clemenceau, and My Father, along with other cigars from Nicaragua and Dominican Republic.
Chef Vega brings over 20 years’ culinary experience to Double Helix, beginning his career in New York City. At the time, he was self-taught and, after discovering this was his passion, Chef Vega decided to expand his knowledge and training at a culinary academy. He found one in Las Vegas in 2005, moved to Southern Nevada, and continued his career at Commander’s Palace in Planet Hollywood and Wynn Resorts. Lucky Metalios and Jonathan Stern of the Double Helix Wine & Restaurant Group launched the valley’s first Double Helix in December 2007 before opening in Town Square. Michael Pierotti, managing partner and co-owner, joined Double Helix in 2013 and is based in Scottsdale, Arizona, working on opening the first Double Helix location in Arizona.
The venue is also available for private events ranging from bachelorette champagne parties to corporate mixers, featuring educational wine and whiskey tastings as well as gift certificates. There is a bright background for those Instagrammable moments. Double Helix offers ½ off bottles on Monday nights, along with a happy hour from 4:30 to 6:30. p.m. Monday to Saturday and an award-winning brunch featuring bottomless mimosas, sangria, and rosé wine from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays. Hours are 4:30 to 10:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 4:30 to 11:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays. Visit doublehelixwine.com for more info, call 702-473-5415 or follow on Instagram (@doublehelixnv), Twitter (@doublehelixnv), and Facebook @doublehelixwinelounge.