We head back to Las Vegas and swing by Greek Sneek, a festive restaurant and bar serving fresh, authentic Mediterranean cuisine and cocktails at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino. We sat down with Executive Chef William DeMarco to talk about his culinary background, restaurants that he has worked at and their signature dishes.
ATHLEISURE MAG: You’re the Executive Chef of Greek Sneek. We also know that you are the Corporate Executive Chef for all of Morton Group, which includes Greek Sneek, CRUSH, La Cave, La Comida and MB Steak, which are all located in Las Vegas. Tell us what your culinary background was prior to coming to the group as well as what your role as a Corporate Executive Chef is with so many restaurants under your belt?
CHEF WILLIAM DEMARCO: I was introduced to the restaurant industry at an early age, as my family owned a neighborhood pizzeria in Long Island, New York. I spent some time in the kitchen, which sparked my love for the culinary field. I began my culinary career in Brooklyn working for renowned chef, Sam DeMarco, and eventually worked my way up to executive chef for several of his restaurants. In 2005, I relocated to Las Vegas, and worked for a few different restaurants on The Strip including Aureole, inside Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino, and The Buffet at Wynn Las Vegas, before becoming Corporate Executive Chef for Morton Group.
I now oversee the food programs at Greek Sneek and CRUSH at MGM Grand; MB Steak at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino; La Cave Wine & Food Hideaway at Wynn Las Vegas; and La Comida located in Downtown Las Vegas. My day-to-day responsibilities include maintaining the highest of standards in servicing guests, overseeing the restaurants’ chefs and food preparation, scheduling and staffing, as well as menu development, using my culinary expertise to craft new, inventive dishes with fresh ingredients.
AM: For those who have yet to attend Greek Sneek, what can one expect in terms of the ambiance, dishes, etc?
CHEF WD: Greek Sneek is tucked away down a hallway reminiscent of the maze of narrow streets in the old country. The entryway passes through the wine room before opening into a 2,000-square-foot white brick barrel-vaulted dining room. The main dining room features an open kitchen with a wood-burning oven for baking fresh pita bread and Saganaki. The dining room is flanked by a full bar which accommodates ten guests for dining or toasting “Opa!” with a glass of Ouzo. A private dining room on the opposite end comfortably seats parties of up to forty people. Greek Sneek’s menu is inspired by authentic, traditional Mediterranean and Greek cuisine, including hummus, Mykonos salad, gyros and more.
AM: What are signature dishes that we should know about at Greek Sneek?
CHEF WD: For starters, the Mykonos Salad and baked feta are some of our most popular dishes. The Mykonos salad is our rendition of a Greek salad, made with heirloom tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, green peppers, barrel aged feta and Greek olives. The baked feta is a reimagined caprese salad with a Greek twist, made with roasted heirloom tomatoes baked with fresh feta cheese.
Our lamb gyro is also one of our most popular items, made with fresh pita, red onion, tomato and tzatziki. End the meal with our house made Greek yogurt, served with huckleberry compote and honey.
AM: Greek Sneek is located at the MGM Grand can you tell us the meaning behind the name?
CHEF WD: CRUSH (neighboring Greek Sneek) always had a “hidden” ramp located on the side, which served as an alternative entrance to the restaurant. When the concept of opening a Greek restaurant adjacent to CRUSH was forming, we decided to use the long, narrow ramp as the main entrance to the restaurant, and played on the “sneaky” aspect, deciding to call it Greek Sneek.
AM: What are 3 signature cocktails available at Greek Sneek?
CHEF WD: In addition to our signature Greek and Mediterranean dishes, we also offer a selection of specialty cocktails, Greek wines, beers and Ouzos. Three of our signature cocktails, all made with Greek spirits, include the Greek Freek, made with Don Julio Blanco, Skinos Mastiha Liqueur, fresh lime juice and middle cucumber; the Mediterranean Mule made with Ouzo 12, Shrub & Co. Peach, coldpressed watermelon juice and Fever Tree ginger beer; and the Adonis, made with Metaxa 5 Star, Om Meyer Lemon & Ginger Liqueur, fresh lemon juice and Aromatic Tonic.
AM: If there is anything else that we should know about Greek Sneek, let me know!
CHEF WD: Greek Sneek is great for any occasion, including private parties and special events. Available for full or partial restaurant buyouts, Greek Sneek seats 120 guests or up to 40 guests in Greek Sneek’s private dining room. Greek Sneek offers happy hour Monday through Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m., and includes wines by the glass, sangria and select beers, priced at $6; and flatbreads, priced at $11.
Read the May Issue of Athleisure Mag and see The Art of the Snack | A Greek Feast for the Tastebuds in mag.