Sanjiv Gupta is unveiling creative new seasonal cocktails at Press.
The Strip is loaded with transporting experiences—tropical islands and colossal pyramids, sleek skyscrapers and European landscapes. Somewhat hidden adjacent to massive Mandalay Bay, the Four Seasons Hotel is an escape within an escape—a quiet, relaxing retreat from casino clatter.
But that doesn’t mean there isn’t any action or fun to be had here. Press, a sophisticated indoor and outdoor venue, opened in May, serving up finely crafted beverages and creative small plates and acting as a lively, lobbyish hub morning, noon, and night. Imagine starting your day with a Lavazza espresso and freshly squeezed juice, then returning in the afternoon for a sip of wine from the Enoteca system or a dry martini. The man behind the all-day bar is Assistant Manager Sanjiv Gupta, a recent Vegas transplant and a dedicated mixologist with 14-plus years of industry experience.
Gupta has spent half his life in Europe and half in St. Louis. His mother is Belgian, and his father, whose position with the agricultural biotech giant Monsanto moved the family to the States, is Indian. While working his way through school, Gupta simply fell in love with the hospitality industry in St. Louis. “It’s more than just a job,” he says. “It’s something I do in my free time as well.” After his first management position included opening a restaurant with a brand-new concept, he knew he was hooked. “You really have to love it to work the kind of hours we do, but research can be a lot of fun in this business.”
Gupta was recruited to join the Strip’s Four Seasons team last year and arrived in Las Vegas wide-eyed. “I still love St. Louis,” he says. “It’s a great town with a growing restaurant scene. But everything in Vegas is done on a much grander scale. There are very few cities that have this kind of concentration of restaurants, bars, and nightclubs.” He’s done plenty of exploring—fun research, remember?—and now, with the arrival of Press, he’s incorporating some of the innovations he discovered and his own style into a creative, classy experience that suits the Four Seasons.
Gupta is most excited about the Press cocktail program, driven by seasonal ingredients and the idea of putting fresh twists on classics. Take, for example, his hibiscus mint julep, white summer sangria with tropical fruit, or refreshing watermelon granita, made with fresh watermelon juice, prosecco, and vodka. “It’s always going to be hot in the summer,” he says. “So we’re switching up the ingredients and going different places with some familiar cocktails and packing them with ice.” Gupta spent his spring tinkering with bourbon cocktails, so expect to see something new come fall. Four Seasons, 702-632-5000