Tag Archives: Las Vegas food

Feel No Pain: Get Uncork’d in Las Vegas

For the next four days you can attend the largest foodie event ever held in Las Vegas, if not the Western world: Vegas Uncorked, sponsored by Bon Appetit.

The event officially kicks off at 4 p.m. today when French superchef Alain Ducasse performs the champagne uncorking with a saber at his Mix restaurant and lounge atop The Hotel at Mandalay Bay.

The festival takes place May 6-9, with the signature event being a “Grand Tasting” ($175) on May 7 at the Garden of the Gods in Caesars Palace.  That event will feature chef Hubert Keller serving.

Not everyone has the chance—or wherewithal—to dine at the restaurants of chefs such as Joël Robuchon, Guy Savoy, Bobby Flay or François Payard, but they all will be there (along with about 60 other celebrated chefs) displaying and offering up their delicious wares.

Among the events on May 8 are the Ultimate All-Star Interactive Luncheon ($195) at Encore; Culinary Theater: All the Kitchen’s a Stage ($95) at RM Seafood; and the Wine Immersion Experience ($75) at Bellagio.

The lineup of celebrated chefs who have Las Vegas restaurants includes Bobby Flay, Wolfgang Puck, Paul Bartolotta, Julian Serrano, Todd English, Luciano Pellegrini and Charlie Palmer.

Tickets are going fast; please go to www.vegasuncorked.com for further information.

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Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas Announces New Restaurants, Celebrity Chefs

If Las Vegas isn’t already home to the finest restaurants and chefs in the world, now there’s more of ‘em! 

The restaurant lineup at the sleek new $3.9 billon Cosmopolitan hotel-casino of Las Vegas has been announced.  Four of the five have strong New York ties; the other will be operated by acclaimed Los Angeles chef David Myers of the restaurant Comme Ca. The others: Bruce and Eric Bromberg’s Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill,  Costas Spiliadis’ Estiatorio Milos, Scott Conant’s Scarpetta (Conant was previously attached to Fountainbleau), and Steakhouse STK.

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Tommy Rocker Puts On His Rockin’ Shoes Again in Las Vegas

Tommy Rocker has been a Las Vegas club/restaurant owner and long time musician and entertainment fixture for decades- probably singing more Margaritaville ballads to locals and out-of-towners then Jimmy Buffet himself — and plucking more feelin’ good tunes from his guitar than his patrons drank Margaritas at his Cantina in Las Vegas. TommyRocker

So, it was no major surprise that about four years ago, during a talk after one of his trademark Saturday open-mic shows, Tommy Rocker (real name: Thomas Greenough) spun yet another euphoric and repetitive tale about how he was going to turn his Tommy Rocker’s Cantina into an adult club.  At which juncture, most patrons just so fit to call for another drink. 

Remarkably, he’d held a topless-club license for years but had never taken advantage of using it to ostensibly draw in the big bucks. Then, about a year and a half later, in the summer of 2007, Rocker converted mere bravado into action, turning the one-time Parrot Head emporium on 4275 Dean Martin Drive, just south of The Rio into a gentlemen’s club.  

But soon he found that even the lure of silicone boobies wasn’t enough to make him visit his business often, which was his usual modus operandi.  Inactions and neglect eventually translated into a suffering balance sheet, badly in need of life support and more than just mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, no matter how sexy the giver. The adult club was a good idea, in theory, but so not Tommy. 

So Rocker decided to give up on his “gentlemen’s club” and switch back to his old open-mic, live music beach-club format that was attended regularly by a standing-room clientele. 

“A couple of months ago, I found myself thinking, ‘I hate this bar. I hate coming here, and I own the place.’ I realized then it was time to change it back,” says Rocker. 

And not any too soon.  On Sept. 9 Tommy Rocker’s Cantina & Grill, received 19 demerits including violations for slimy and spoiled mushrooms. 

Under his new business name, Tommy Rocker’s Mojave Beach Bar & Grill, he’s not only vowed to clean up his food act but has scheduled a comedy night (Cozy’s Comedy Corner, the first Friday of every month, inadvertently giving First Friday more competition), his own sing-along show Saturdays at 9:30 p.m. and country night with Seth Turner at 8 p.m. Wednesdays, followed by open mic with Las Vegas singer/songwriter Joey Vitale. 

The grand reopening and 20th anniversary for Rocker’s business in Las Vegas is Oct. 3. 

This is a good thing. This is a very good thing. Tell your friends.  The conga line forms to the left.

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Classic 50’s Diner Opens in Las Vegas

A local man who says retirement was driving him crazy admits he may be even crazier to open a new restaurant in the middle of a recession. But after resurrecting the old Huntridge Diner, he’s just hoping the retro restaurant’s colorful past will help it survive long enough to have a future. 

It’s 50’s and 60’s decor, music, and milkshakes are definitely a blast from the past. If the historic Huntridge Diner can hang on long enough, it’s future could be as bright and shiny as its new facelift. 

Just like the music, the old-fashioned milkshake machines are shaking again and the burgers, ground from fresh round daily, are sizzling on the grill. “I make everything the moment they ask for it,” said Chef Moses Cruz. 

The historic diner, located inside the old Huntridge Drugstore at east Charleston and Maryland Parkway is back in business, much to the delight of old time Las Vegans like Mayor Oscar Goodman and young new regulars like Chris Turner — who can spot a good thing even if he wasn’t even born yet the first time it came around. “It looks like it would have 50 years ago. It’s cool,” he said. 

“This fountain behind me is 40-years-old. You just don’t see places like these anymore,” said restaurant operator Joel Holffman. 

Its bright red booths, shiny counter tops and freshly painted walls are adorned with 50’s and 60’s memorabilia. In fact, Hoffman says all that’s missing here is a steady stream of customers. “It’s frustrating! If the place was dirty, I could understand it. Or if the food wasn’t good, I could understand it,” he said. “Our prices — $6.95 for a fresh grilled hamburger or philly steak, fries and a soda.” 

But like the historic Huntridge Theater directly across the street, which remains closed for now, the Huntride Diner went out of business for a while as well. “I remember going to the Huntridge next door when it was a movie theater. I saw Woodstock there. Wow, that was 40 years ago,” said customer Brian Babbitt. 

Hoffman wonders if folks, like long-time resident Brian Babbitt, just haven’t realized the historic restaurant is back in business and better than ever. “If they come in once, they’ll be back,” he said. 

Hoffman says he only needs 50 customers a day to turn a profit. But right now he’s only averaging 10 to 12. He says word of mouth will have to start traveling faster if the restaurant is going to survive the recession.

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DISH Las Vegas Culinary Fundraiser on April 3

In the depression of the 1930s, soup kitchens and breadlines were the primary sources of nutrition for a large portion of the country.  Now, in the recession of 2009, organizations like Three Square in Las Vegas are serving as disbursement hubs for donated foods and trying to keep meals on the tables of lower to middle class families in Southern Nevada. 

To support Three Square, local Las Vegas chefs and entertainers will be participating in DISH Las Vegas – a first time fundraiser at the Las Vegas Springs Preserve on April 3. 

Planned to participate will be Chef Kerry Simon, Chef Rick Moonen, Chef Peter Sherlock, Chef Rock of Hell’s Kitchen, Carrot Top, George Wallace, Clint Holmes, Louie Anderson, Susan Anton and UFC Fighters. 

The one-day event will include an art exhibit of personally designed plates, exceptional food, wine and musical entertainment.

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19th Annual Epicurean Affair Returns to Las Vegas on April 23

The 19th annual Epicurean Affair, sponsored by the Nevada Hotel & Lodging Association, the Nevada Restaurant Association and Flamingo Las Vegas, returns for its fourth consecutive year on April 23 at 6 p.m. to the Flamingo in epicureanLas Vegas.

Long considered the Las Vegas culinary event of the year, the Epicurean Affair allows guests the opportunity to sample delicious food, wine and cocktails at the Flamingo’s 15-acre tropical oasis, represented by more than 100 of Las Vegas’ top bars and AAA, Michelin, Mobil and James Beard Foundation award-winning restaurants and chefs.  General admission is $100 per person.  For info, call the Flamingo Box Office at (702) 733-3333.

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