Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Las Vegas gets entertaining and spooky on Halloween.




On and off the Strip, there are many events to choose from.



Where else would you rather be than in Las Vegas this Halloween. The renowned Strip is full of ghosts, goblins and a wide variety of interesting costumes. On the strip or off, All Hallows Eve 2014 has something for everyone.  
There are numerous parties all over town; many are for adults only and on the risqué side. Taking the top spot would be the Fetish & Fantasy Ball at the Hard Rock Resort. Over that the Palms, you can’t miss the Night of the Killer Costumes and the Haunted Hotel Ball at Mandalay Bay. If you want to compete for some big bucks, create your original costume and enter contests at most of Las Vega’s legendary night clubs.

Off the strip there are many haunted houses that can be quite entertaining. The Asylum has been in operation for 14 years and can be found in the downtown district of Las Vegas. Bloody English is at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino’s Body English club and is always a fun experience.

It’s not all just about adult only activities on this scary night, there are plenty of family friendly events as well for kids of all ages. Who does not like a parade?  The Las Vegas Halloween Parade marches along Freemont street downtown. The Springs Preserve in the center of town features their annual Haunted Harvest where guests can enjoy a petting zoo, carnival games, a haunted house, and trick-or-treat stations. Las Vegas even has a Haunted Reef for all to enjoy. Shark Reef at the Mandalay Bay transforms into a swimming, spooky time.

In the center of the strip, get tickets for Evil Dead at the V Theater at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino. Las Vegas is known for many things all over the world and you can certainly add Halloween for a notable time to visit.

Friday, August 15, 2014

California's Highway 1 Offers Views , Food and Adventure To its Travelers .

MontanaDeOro
Montana De Oro
The Highway is calling you to put your suitcases in the car and move onto The Central Coast of California.  This is a journey on Highway 1 where the ocean wraps around your windshield and the cool ocean breezes waft through the windows allowing your senses to embrace the sights, smells and sounds offered in this pristine part of the country. We decided to share this sojourn along this great part of America. We started our journey along the vistas of the Pacific Ocean as we pulled into our clean and comfortable room at the Quality Inn at Pismo Beach. This hotel is ideal for those who want to spend their time at the beach or investigating the great outdoors but want accommodations that allow them to feel rested and refreshed for the next day adventures along Highway 1.
pismobeach
Pismo Beach Pier
Pismo Beach , An American Beach town located half way between San Francisco and Los Angeles along the Pacific Coast  offers visitors great weather, fabulous dining, golfing, surfing, horseback riding and just about any activity for all outdoor enthusiasts.
  
As we wove our way up the coast, we ended up making a stop in Avila Beach California, another hidden gem off the highway.
Avila Beach
Avila Beach
This unique beach town has a fascinating history and has many new businesses and restaurants. This town was once a refueling station for large ships and in the interim had to be cleaned up from many years of oil spillage and was literally rebuilt from the ground up. With funding, dedication, and great community effort the shores of Avila Beach has been the beach “Phoenix” that rose up from the oil slick to become a glittering gem amongst the beach towns along the Highway. Avila Beach is now a little unknown oasis, that offers get vacation outlets for all travelers. From verdant hiking trails, natural hot springs, and even an Aquarium, there is something for everyone.
hwy26
We strolled along the lovely shops adjacent to the wide blue green Pacific and  we stopped into Cuvee. This unique Bistro, is noted to be a Champagne Bar, but also features, great sparkling wines as well as wines from local wineries, beers, and spirits. Our owner, Alex Radogna, is taking the helm and doing a great service by introducing customers to the area’s culinary abundance.


As we sipped on local Sparking wine, and tried some Veuve Cliquot Champagne, our gracious host was preparing a house specialty, Cerviche on the Beach. The tuna was caught that day just a few miles up the coast and diced with mango, green onions, cilanto, avocado, tomatoes, and black olives served with a lime dressing. This was a perfect pairing with the white peach notes of the Veuve.
Cerviche on the Beach
Cerviche on the Beach
We opted for a Cuvee cheese board, with a sampling of various selection of cheeses, salumi, cured olives, roasted nuts, and sourdough bread. These bites were the perfect accoutrements to our bubbling libations. We bade or lovely host goodbye and thanked her for the gracious hospitality.

Winding down the tree lined road, our stop tonight was the exclusive Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort. This top rated spa and hotel has natural mineral hot tubs that can be rented hourly, or one can indulge in many of the wonderful spa offerings. Tonight we skipped the hot tub but made our way to the restaurant where we dined on cuisine that was farmed from the gardens on the property along with locally caught fish, as well as locally sourced chicken and beef. With bounty brimming with freshness, each dish left us in awe on how the right ingredients and the skill of chef can have your senses awakened on how food should taste.
gardern
Our entrees for the evening were not only stunning to the eyes but the flavors spoke of vibrant freshness.  Walking into the restaurant we were taken aback at the plain décor of white table cloths and minimal accents. A large rock wall can be seen through a panel of the windows and we  looked around wondering “Where was the Garden”, despite the rather austere surroundings the “garden” came to our plates.
Earlier that day we had hiked around the grounds and meandered onto the garden areas to see what was growing and going to be on our plates later that evening. With visions of vine-ripened veggies dancing in our heads, we saw those dream plates come to fruition. Our salads of baby beets, blood orange, greens, burrata, and fennel pollen was a symphony of freshness and art on a plate. Trying the carrot-ginger soup, with cardamom cream was a sensuous sip of creamy goodness. Our entrées of broiled local ling cod, fried sushi rice, soy glaze, flowers and herbs were a hit. Pan roasted organic chicken, crispy broccoli, roasted fingerling potatoes, lemon caper butter sauce all sourced from the nearby ocean and even a local poultry farm gets into the act. The staff was gracious, friendly and very accommodating.
garden1
We enjoyed several of the cocktails that were expertly crafted by the wonderful mixologist on staff. Utilizing the gifts of Mother Nature, the culinary staff, crafted food and cocktails that were both pleasing to the eye and the palate. As our stomachs were filled with nourishment from the local provisions, we were content and pleased that this wonderful getaway is here for the refreshment of body and soul. To book your reservations at this lovely inn tucked away amongst the Sycamore Trees in Avila Beach California, visit, www. sycamore springs.com
Early the next day, we headed to the Avila Valley Barn. Open Daily offering fresh fruits and veggies, a deli, sweet shoppe, pony rides, corn stand, and hay rides, alongside a petting zoo. Many families flock to this place to buy the fresh fruit and vegetables grown locally or to pick up a homemade pie for dessert.
Hwy2
With homemade jams, jellies, and handcrafted gifts there is something for everyone. You can pick your own veggies in the garden or buy them fresh in the “Barn.” The grounds offer accommodations for picnickers, parties, and it is a favorite for children. We gathered up some fresh produce and meandered around the grounds to visit the animals and the growing garden. For more information go to avilavalleybarn.com

The next evening we were on our way to try yet another local’s favorite, The Olde Port Inn Restaurant. We were surprisingly pleased with the historical underpinnings of this restaurant at the end of Harford Pier in Port San Luis. We came at dusk and listened to the sounds of squawking seagulls and bellowing sea lions as they bade us good night while finding a place to roost for the evening.
hwy28
After spending another day marveling at the twinkling blue Pacific Ocean dotted with boasts, sea life and teeming with sun-bathers, our appetites beckoned us again as we walked down the well-worn wooden slates of this historical gateway.

The pier was originally built in 1873 by John Harford to aid in transporting imported goods to the surrounding San Luis Obispo and northern Santa Barbara County. Eventually the pier fell into disrepair but in 1954 local citizens rallied to create a fund to repair the aging pier.

Today the Harbor district in conjunction with the State of California have provided valuable resources to fishermen, boaters and campers alike in this pristine environmental area. Our hostess guided us to a table, albeit austere in décor, the panoramic ocean view captivated our minds of this historically rich venue.
We choose fresh rock cod, lightly breaded and grilled, served with a beurre blanc sauce and the fresh grilled salmon charbroiled and lightly drizzled with soy, ginger and wasabi sauce. Each bite was flaky and truly the most genuine reflection of what only truly fresh seafood can provide. We were elated by each helping of fish and a bite of the creamy house specialty, au gratin potatoes. We paired  a local wine that we know well to to pair with our entrees, a Clairborne & Chuchill Gewürztraminer. Its notes of lemon and melon brimming with good acidity made this a match made in sea-farers heaven.

This venue is the place to relish and relax in casual dining while watching a full golden moon raise slowly over gently dancing waves. A perfect place for all diners; family friendly as well as for a romantic jaunt for two.
As we drove off onto our next part of this lovely journey, we could not help but be reminded that this area of the country is a treasure trove of delights from land and the sea. We continued to pass through the sleepy beach towns of Highway 1 however, they are not so sleepy during the summer tourism boom.
hwy29
Next stop on this journey was another seemingly small town along the highway that was filled with summer action. Cayucos, this picturesque beach town on Highway 1 home to many shopping venues, including the Brown Butter Cookie Company, various Mom and Pop places and great surfing.

hwy30
We  stopped  in at yet another local’s favorite hangout, Schooners Wharf. Lunch is served daily at 11am and we happened to be there right as the doors opened. As the fog lingered on the Coast, we opted to sit in the bar area of this of this rugged pirate themed venue. Giving much love to the locals, we could sense the strong connection to as one by one the community characters would show up for the first bloody Mary or beer of the day. Although we were newbie’s, we soon felt like family.

hwy22

We of course opted for the locals favorites that reflected the connection to the environment. We started with a colossal shrimp cocktail brimming with spicy cocktail sauce adorned with a circle of giant fresh shrimp.
colossal shrimp cocktail
colossal shrimp cocktail
The local Halibut and Chips were next, with a light panko crust, just adorning the flakey goodness of the locally caught fish. Their decadent bloody Mary aided in our merry outlook as we took in the sights of the pier, the ocean and the abundant sea-life that resides in these local waters.
Halibut and Chips
Halibut and Chips

As we said our good byes to our new found friends, we headed out once again to find yet another amazing community just a few miles up the Highway 1. Driving along the ocean, we are pleasantly peaceful as one feels there is not a care in the world but to enjoy all amazing coast line that rushes pass our windows.
Cambria
Cambria
We soon are in the yet another cozy little town that lies adjacent to the Highway 1, Cambria Named “One of America’s Prettiest Towns” by Forbes. This idyllic town is free of chain stores and filled with novel shops and restaurants that are engaging and charming for all family members including the four legged kind.

Cambra Boardwalk
Cambra Boardwalk
 

Traveling with our doggie-friends we were pleased to stay at the lovely Fog-Catcher Inn.
This quaint, upscale hotel features a variety of comfortable bungalows nested amongst the pine trees with large comfortable rooms, and fire places to cut the chill of a fog covered evening. This is a place to get away from it all and take a breather in the cool ocean air.
Fog Catcher Inn
Fog Catcher Inn
Dog Friendly Accommodations
Dog Friendly Accommodations

Our room was located right across the street from the ocean where miles of boardwalk allow people a chance stroll, jog or bike ride along the magnificent views of Mother Nature.
We took advantage of nature’s splendor, and spent time enjoying the crashing waves and the sandy shores. After enjoying our nature walk, we headed over to the only winery Located in Cambria, Stolo vineyards. We were invited to evaluate wines and tour at this family vineyard. This is the only fully operational winery, tasting room and vineyard in Cambria.
hwy11
Our visit included a walk about in the vineyard, while being educated on all aspects of this unique winery and eventually ending up in the tasting room to taste and explore the wines. Meeting with the lovely winemaker, Nicole Pope, we were in for a treat and a personal look on her wine making process. The 2011 Chardonnay with hints of orange blossom and lots of bright acidity, a nice creamy mouth was a great way explore the goodness of nature in a glass.
hwy13
We also enjoyed  the 2011 Pinot Noir, another expression of the local terrior. This Pinot Noir featured cola notes, cranberries, and red cherries on the palate with elegant tannis on the finish. Nicole also brought out her Syrah, Zinfandel, and Savignon Blanc for evaluation and they were all exquisite.
hwy14

Nicole Pope is most assuredly  a winemaker we are going to keep our eyes on.
 
For more information visit www.stolofamilywinery.com. Getting the chance to visit with the astute winemaker, sample some of the current vintages, we were on our way again day unfolded.
Working up an appetite we made our way to a highly regarded restaurant, Robins, in town of Cambria. Robin and Shanny Covey started their love wholesome ingredients at a health food store in Cambria.
hwy3
With the urging of many locals, they expanded and now have one of the most popular places off the Highway 1. This restaurant has a rustic, homey feel to it with white linens, and fresh flowers adoring the tables. It also features a wonderful garden area, with handcrafted mosaic tables, communal dining spaces.
hwy4

Our lively hostess, escorted us to the garden area that was humming busily with happy diners. A local couple next to us, informed us that we really needed to try the Salmon bisque. They raved about the soup, saying they come often and make a point to have that once a week. We opted for the bisque and we were not disappointed with the creamy, rich salmon colored bisque, loaded with chunks of locally caught Salmon. We had to try the garlic bread with the soup to “sop’ up all that glorious richness. This tasty bread made with cracked wheat sourdough, fresh garlic butter, and parmesan cheese was a perfect complement to our first course.
Salmon bisque
Salmon bisque

Our salad course, was that of the Heirloom Tomato, ricotta salata, pistachio granola, arugula pesto, balsamic vinegar. The pistachio granola was a unique twist to create crunchy texture that a traditional crouton and were pleasantly surprised at the creativity of the dish. Our main courses of Robin’s Chow which is a wok flashed pasta, farmer’s market vegetables, garlic, ginger and soy was another recommended dish.


We thought this dish, even though eye appealing was rather plain and would recommend adding chicken, tofu or prawns to the pasta.

The next dish was a delightful Thai green chicken curry of mild-coconut curry, sugar snap peas, cilantro, kaffir lime leaf, lemongrass, with a pickled cucumber salad. This dish was a bit too mild for this curry for our taste. All the flavors were typical of a green curry but a little heat would have been much appreciated in this dish. However, the ingredients in each entrée spoke for themselves of freshness and locality.
The best dish was the finale. A rich goat cheese cheesecake was perhaps one of the best cheesecakes we have ever eaten. Light in texture but with a richness from the goat cheese that just begged for one more bite. The restaurant is clearly a local favorite due to love that is evident in each and every dish presented. We will come again whenever we are in this part of the country.
hwy9
Our sojourn along Highway 1 was coming to an end but we had to make one more stop. We had to visit “the rock”, Morro Rock that is! in Morro Bay. This working fishing town has always been a favorite stop for us when we are in the area.
Visit the docks, watch the fishing boats depart and return with their bounty from the sea. Stop into one of their locally owned restaurants and sample some fresh seafood caught just outside the window. It was now time to put the Pacific over our right shoulder, listen for the sea lions until next time and head south along this iconic highway of discovery.
hwy10
Highway 1 a great way to discover the treasures of the Coast. By focusing on this historic highway we were able to pick several destinations that showcases the richness of culture, cuisine and nature.
With renowned wineries, the freshest of California produce, abundant beauty, and many recreational opportunities, this is the place to book your next vacation. Visit CoastalDiscoveryRoute.com or WineCoastCountry.com to help you in selecting the best experience alone California’s Highway 1 Discovery Route.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Mercadito comes to Summerlin in Las Vegas .


merc3


merc4


merc1

Mercadito, meaning little market, is not a market at all in Las Vegas but a new dining venue that is creating a large “Ole” to the Mexican cuisine scene. This new restaurant offering at the Red Rock hotel in Las Vegas is quickly becoming one of the locals and visitors favorite dining options. The pricing is perfect for families on a budget or for those wanting maximum food quality for their well-earned green backs.


Blending traditional Mexican cuisine with seasonal ingredient, along with the creative flair of Chef Patrico Sandoval, Mercadito is worth a visit trip to this region without leaving the USA. Upon being seated by our friendly hostess we were whisked into a corner both of this spacious, causal eatery. There is nothing pretentious about this eatery'. Open seating gives it a communal and lively feel.
We were directed by our helpful and knowledgeable server to start with the “trios”, meaning the three samples of salsas and guacamoles that tease the taste buds. On the menu the options for trying one to three guacamoles are yours for the taking. We opted for the three and tried the traditional tamatillo pico de gallo, jalapeno, garlic, key-lime, and cilantro along with the mango, jicama, chipotle, pico de gallo, and the Tocino, bacon, corn, habanero, crispy hominy, pico de gallo.
merc2
After sampling all the verdant creamy goodness before us, the Tradicional was a favorite as it lent to the most authentic to a guacamole. The mango was a bit too creamy and reminded us of a creamed condiment. The Tocino was spiked with crispy bits of texture to the smoothness of the guacamole. The beauty of the menu is that it lends to trying and sharing and experimenting with flavors and bites. We cerviches of shrimp, mahi, mahi, and the “Mixto” is the best way to experience all three, combining mahi, mahi, octopus, shrimp, tamatillo pico de gallo, passion fruit-Serrano broth.
And the Tacos, yes the Tacos, are plentiful you will need more than one trip to savor their flavors. A nice option for the gluten-free crowd, is to substitute the torillas for the bibb lettuce cups. You can pick up to four different tacos on your order and we sampled the entire menu. Our favorites being the Carne, with the perfectly cooked marinated skirt steak, watercress-jicama slaw with Serrano-roasted garlic aioli, and crispy shallots. Another standout amongst the wide assortment, epada of blackened swordfish, spicy aioli, cabbage-jalapeno slaw. The list is worth investing time to revisit and experiment with flavors and textures.
merc5
There are also large plate offerings of Carne Asada, Enchiladas, and Chile Relleno. There is a selection that will keep the door of Mercadito wide open for you. Don’t forget to indulge in one of the many interesting cocktails that are unique to this venue. Many of these cocktails are served draft with infused tequilas that provide a delicious fresh cocktail. Try the draft Margarita of el jimador blanco tequila, grand marnier, fresh lime juice, organic agave nectar, and you can add smoke, heat and fruit for a creative twist.
A good bet on a blistering hot day in Vegas are the frozen cocktails. Consider the Auntie Ox, green-tea infused sobieski vodka, fresh lemon juice, passion fruit, agave nectar, guajillo. Our favorite was the Pepino el Pyu, olmeca altos blanco tequila, lemon, cucumber, hoja sata, and cumin salt. A full beverage menu is filled with great tequilas, mescals, and wines. After great cocktails and Mexican fare don’t forget to leave room for the desserts.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Yusho at the Monte Carlo Resort is most likely the best , innovative restaurant that has opened in Las Vegas in years.


The Monte Carlo Resort has recently completed a multimillion dollar renovation to its strip facing façade. This fun, open air plaza features six dinning venues, live entertainment literally located right on the famed neon of the Las Vegas strip. One of these homes of gastronomic treats is Yusho.
Yusho_Pickles-01

We dined on creative Izakaya fare, perfectly prepared by the tutelage of chef Matthias Merges, His artful culinary creations have been honed for years as he was at managed the helm of Chef Charlie Trotter’s acclaimed Chicago flagship and now has brought this experience to Las Vegas with this gem of a restaurant. His culinary expertise is amplified in this new Japanese street food eatery


We started our meal trying some very unique on tap cocktails, which are made in limited quantities and then poured from a tap like a beer, giving the cocktail a fizzy, slightly carbonated finish. Our meal started with lovely oysters, fresh with their salty briny taste, alongside our plate of the octopus with haricot vert, egg yolk and enoki mushroom. The octopus is cooked to perfection and the mixture of the green beans, and creamy egg yolk makes it a dish worth visiting over and over again.

Up next, our server delivered an assortment of tasty bites. A stand out was the Logan Poser Ramen, made with crispy pork, egg, nori and cucumber. This dish had a rich savory broth, delectable noodles, and a lovely dallop of nori and egg. Another treat was their homemade pickled radishes which help bring a bite of acidity and sparkle between courses. The 2X Fried Chicken, created with spicy kanzuri, green tea and lime zest was sumptuous and satisfying. We weren’t over yet as perfectly cooked rib-eye that would satisfy any meal-lovers palate arrived on our plates.

The final ending to our meal was their signature dessert, the soft serve-ice cream drizzled with Fernet caramel. This refreshingly light treat left us presently pleased. Yusho is most likely the best , innovative restaurant that has opened in Las Vegas in years.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Chef Daniel Boulud is Back on The Las Vegas Strip At The Venetian / Palazzo Resorts .

He is back, that grand and gracious gastronomic genius, Chef Daniel Boulud is back in Las Vegas. He has opened his DB Brasserie in the world renowned Venetian and Palazzo Resort. We were fortunate enough to get a preview of the menu with Executive Chef David Middleton, a legendary Chef in his own right, as well as attend a culinary all-star VIP reception that included Chef Thomas Keller and many more.
We could not wait to make our first official visit to see DBBrasserie in full service mode. Walking past the hostess stand, we noticed this bright 280 seat venue also includes two private dining rooms, as well as a casual bar and lounge.
Taking our seats we were greeted by Wine Director Devin Zendel who has graced this city for years with unmatched service and knowledge of sprits as well as wine. We took a long look at his approximately 300 bottle wine list featuring international as well as many new American AVAs and great classics of California. Of course this is a Daniel Boulud restaurant, the list features the best French producers from the Rhone Valley, Burgundy, Bordeaux, Alsace, the Loire Valley, Provence, the Languedoc and Roussillon.
Salmon llettes with fennel, crème fraÎche, dill, egg mimosa and caper emulsion
Salmon llettes with fennel, crème fraÎche, dill, egg mimosa and caper emulsion
After choosing a wine it was time to jump right in and THAT, we certainly did. Starting with salade lyonnasie, a juicy Chicken Breast, frisée, lardons, and poached egg to top it off. Being its Chef Daniel, we went classic French. A COQ au VIN Braised Chicken, lardons, mushrooms, pearl onions, hand-rolled garganelli was a perfection of layering of flavors. Salmon you say? , sure! let’s do this.  The Salmon llettes with fennel, crème fraÎche, dill, egg mimosa and caper emulsion was a palate pleasing delight.
Maine Sea Scallops with sweet corn, king trumpets, tomato and jalapeño
Maine Sea Scallops with sweet corn, king trumpets, tomato and jalapeño
Taking a breather, we looked over the menu and spotted a few dishes we just had to try. Thai Calamari, crispy beer battered, spring onions, pickled red peppers, mizuna salad topped with kaffir lime was a huge favorite. The Maine Sea Scallops with sweet corn, king trumpets, tomato and jalapeño were prepared in perfect fashion with fresh favors from the sea and land merging for a culinary work of art. It’s time for some beef and of course we choose a Daniel house specialty.
 Frenchie burger is a juicy medium rare 7oz. beef patty with morbier cheese confit pork belly, arugula, tomato-onion compote mustard on a peppered bun finished with cornichon & pommes Frites
Frenchie burger is a juicy medium rare 7oz. beef patty with morbier cheese confit pork belly, arugula, tomato-onion compote mustard on a peppered bun finished with cornichon & pommes Frites


The Frenchie burger is a juicy medium rare 7oz. beef patty with morbier cheese confit pork belly, arugula, tomato-onion compote mustard on a peppered bun finished with cornichon & pommes Frites was a nice way to finish, or so we thought. Devin arrived at our table with a Black & White Fondant and Gateau Basque , a custard cake, brandied cherries and vanilla anglaise.
dbwhiskty


The beverage of his choosing was Micthter’s Small Batch Bourbon Whisky which provided a perfect FINI to a perfect experience. Of course what else would be expect from Chef Daniel Boulud but perfection? DBBrasserie is much needed. We are grateful that Chef Daniel is back and here to stay.


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

She's HERE !! Food Network’s sweetheart Giada De Laurentiis Opens GIADA In Las Vegas .


 It was only a matter of time .  Where will she do it? The Food Network’s sweetheart Giada De Laurentiis has been looking for just the right place and feeling to open her first restaurant for quite some time. After searching, she has added her star to the long list of celebrity chef all-stars on the famed Las Vegas strip.
Chef Giada De Laurentiis
Chef Giada De Laurentiis
Doing it up in true classy Giada style she opened her namesake “GIADA” in the brand new $185 million boutique hotel The Cromwell operated by Caesars Entertainment. Located on the second floor her comfortable venue overlooks one of the most bustling intersections right on the Las Vegas strip.
Over the last month we have had the opportunity to speak with Giada about her venue and what it means to her. “It’s time to get some girl power here in Las Vegas “she said. If you really think about it, she is the only celebrity chef that did not have a restaurant, until now.
Giada1
She has been working with Caesars Entertainment for close to seven years. “When I saw the building, I immediately said, I want this space “she stated. “The space is high up and light is very important to me “she added. “ Giada’s maternal grandfather, is renowned film producer Dino De Laurentiis. “My name is a big one. I want make my family proud and stay true to who we are “she said with determination.Giada3
Her warm venue features three dining experiences for guests to enjoy.  Diners can choose the main dining room, lounge or the terrace where you can dine al fresco with a bird’s eye view of the strip. We really enjoyed the terrace on our visit with a view of the Bellagio fountains through seven custom 12X10 remote controlled hydraulic windows that wrap around the entire restaurant.
giada12
This is Giada’s “baby” and she was very hands on in the development. She even tested every chair in the restaurant. “I need to know how narrow, how wide, how sturdy they are. “If I don’t sit in each chair, how am I going to know ‘?
The kitchen also adds to the overall experience. As we walked in for the first time, aromas from the custom antipasti bar, pizza and bread ovens jumped out at us and making us feel right at home.


The highlight of the antipasti bar is the hammered brass bar face and a Carrara gold marble counter stop, with floating glass display shelves.
Giada10
The menu has something for everyone. Keeping true to her De Laurentiis Italian heritage, the menu offers Italian fare with California influences. Her dishes utilize fresh ingredients and show off her take on new Italian cuisine. Looking over the menu, signature dishes Lemon Spaghetti , Lobster Arancini , Pea Pesto Crostini , Marsala Herb Chicken Meatballs and our favorite, Lemon Ricotta Cookies jump off the page.
Marinated calamari salad




GIADA is a gastronomic party for its guests. Chefs prepare fresh pastas by hand, slice Italian meats, and make bread and desserts, all as guests watch with anticipation. We highly suggest a look at their wine list that features a nice section of Italian and California wines. For something a little stronger enjoy a signature cocktail or a tasty martini with blue cheese hand stuffed olives.
Chef Giada De Laurentiis and Cuisineist  Editor Elaine Harris
Chef Giada De Laurentiis and Cuisineist Editor Elaine Harris
Giada’s opening is probably the most highly anticipated restaurant in the country. Giada De Laurentiis‘s GIADA will be a big hit with locals and visitors alike. Open for Lunch and Dinner, we highly recommend a visit to GIADA where the food, décor and atmosphere make you feel right at home with Giada herself. Who knows, Giada herself may see you at your table.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

WILD In Downtown Las Vegas introduces new menu developed by Chef Natalie Young of Eat.

 Downtown Las Vegas is constantly evolving with new bars and restaurants opening almost weekly. Keeping with that pace, the farm-friendly eatery and bar, WILD in downtown Las Vegas, has unveiled an all-new menu developed by Chef Natalie Young, owner and chef of locals popular breakfast and lunch restaurant, Eat.  WILD’s new menu stays true to its original intent to offer delectable comfort food favorites with a healthy twist.


“We were honored to have Chef Natalie lend her years of restaurant and culinary experience to us as a consultant and oversee the development of a new menu that brings the restaurant to the next level,” said Elyse Martin, general manager of WILD. “She has brought our menu from good to great.”

New appetizers include Pulled Chicken Nachos and WILD’s own guacamole and chips. Entrees include Emily’s Zucchini Pasta made with fresh julienned zucchini, broccoli, mushrooms, marinara, basil, garlic and parmesan cheese and a half free-range Oven Roasted Chicken served with fingerling potatoes and roasted seasonal vegetables. Tasty sandwiches also join the menu, including an Ahi Tuna Burger and a double decker Chicken Salad Club.
 Chicken Salad Club.


The menu retained  some of the signature items, like a selection of its oven flatbreads, including the Wild White with mozzarella, truffle ricotta, cracked black pepper and arugula, as well as WILD’s popular gluten free cupcakes created by Pastry Chef Tatiana Lewis. To end a meal on a sweet note, WILD offers three cupcake flavors daily, including vegan chocolate with mocha frosting, vegan lemon with blueberry compote, and carrot cake with orange butter cream frosting.
Tuna Shrimp Poke

 
In addition to the new menu, WILD has hired new culinary and front of house team members, including Sous Chef Judy Dezarn-Mack, previously a sous chef at  Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa.

 “Great food that just so happens to be gluten free, is their mantra and they live it. WILD’s new menu remains completely gluten free and continues to offer vegan options and whenever possible, using meats and cheeses that are hormone and antibiotic free, as well as local and organic produce.

This vibrant area is alive with locals and visitors alike, exploring the plethora of options awaiting them all day and into the night.