Bianca’s Grand Opening at the Delano Hotel

Posted by Maryanne Salvat On February - 3 - 2012

by: Mary Jo Almeida-Shore

Seeing the Light:  Bianca the Delano

On Thursday night, the highly anticipated Italian restaurant, Bianca opened at the Delano Hotel to the delight of over a thousand guests who made their way across the eternal lobby into the restaurant and braved the limestone along the pool for the indoor/outdoor celebration.

While celebrities and VIPs dined inside the restaurant and on the terrace, partygoers enjoyed bites, libations and musical performances by Chris Botti and Little Louie Vega, (strange bedfellows indeed) out by the pool.  Vega’s dance tunes were abruptly halted by Botti’s intoxicating trumpet, which was accompanied by a gorgeous violinist who played in the pool, yes, IN the pool.  The music was captivating, especially when Botti played the theme from Cinema Paradiso, one of our favorite movies of all time.  The performance brought on a melancholy mood which was quickly interrupted by the site of a group of drunken models traipsing through the pool- there are just certain elements of this iconic hotel that will never change.  After which, Little Louie Vega took over again and was joined by Michelle Rodriguez for his second live set.

Celebrities spotted at the party included: Mickey Rourke, Alex Rodriguez, Selita Ebanks, Jessica Stam, Entourage’s “E”, Kevin

Connolly, Evan Ross and Sammy Sosa, who dined alongside VIPs including: Jonathan Cheban, Ingrid Casares, Michael Capponi, Linley Edwards, Michael Gross, Courtland Lantaff, Andy Masi, Carlos Betancourt, Fernando Wong, Richie Akiva, Wayne Boich, Cynthia Marin, Mark Lehmkuhl, Antonio Martucci, Jason Odio, Bert Hedaya, Richard and Shelley Golden, Jorge and Darlene Perez, George Lindemann, Suzy Buckley, Jonathan and Criselda Breene, Daniela Swaebe, Michael Comras, Iran Issa-Kahn, Sam Robin, Suzy and Walid Wahab, Michael Gongora, Nicola Siervo, JP Oliver, James Cruz, Michael Drieling, Lisa Petrillo, David Grutman and Athina and Eduardo Marturet, to name a few.

Bianca is operated by Las Vegas’ Light Group which is helmed by the fabulously British Andrew Sasson.  Those of you who have been around for a while may remember shouting out his name at Velvet and or Groove Jet back in the day, where Sasson manned the velvet ropes. Since then, Sasson and the Light Group own and operate a slew of venues in Las Vegas. 

The Morgan’s Hotel Group, who owns the Delano, had a brainstorm in involving the Light Group for the hotel’s much needed revamp. The brightest spark of the brainstorm bulb was the recruitment of South Beach alum, Chris Paciello who co-owned (along with Ingrid Casares) two of South Beach’s greatest and most famous nightclubs during the 1990s:  Liquid and Bar Room- hands-down, the best club of our time (somewhat biased opinion-but many would concur). No doubt, Paciello was responsible for much of the celebrity sparkle at Bianca’s opening; which he is sure to also bring to the soon-to-open FDR lounge in the former Florida Room underground space.  Incidentally, FDR stands for Franklin Delano Roosevelt, for whom the Delano was named.

In setting out to change the image of the Delano’s restaurants, bars and food, seeking a sexier, more glamorous décor the Light Group hired Sam Robin, world-renowned designer and Miami sweetheart, one of whose past projects was South Beach landmark and celebrity magnet, Joia Restaurant, one of our favorite haunts of all time, owned by Casares and Paciello in the late 90s (coincidence…we think not!).  Hailed by Travel Muse as a place where “Beautiful people enjoyed exquisite Tuscan cuisine in a chic South Beach setting” (thanks), Joia was “a place to see, be seen, and have an incredible Italian meal.”  It seems like the Light Group was spot-on in hiring Robin for the job.  Bianca offers the same casually-elegant vibe with an emphasis on workmanship and detail-right down to the engraved napkin rings, which is at the cornerstone of Robin’s designs- a key element in ensuring that Bianca becomes the celeb and pretty people “sandbox” that Joia once was.


Leave a Reply