Thursday, December 19, 2013

MGM Resorts Guests and Employees get healthy with SMART PLATE®

 In the United States ,  obesity has reached epidemic levels and people are looking to become more health conscious. There is one corporation that is taking its guests health seriously, The MGM Resorts International. They are reinforcing the company’s commitment to healthy living with the addition of Smart Plate®, a new program providing guests and visitors delicious and healthy menu items at 700 calories or less per dish. The exclusive calorie-conscious items are available on select in-room dining menus and at participating cafes. Smart Plate selections, designated on menus with a specialized logo, will be updated frequently, offering guests new choices throughout the year.

Blackened Ahi Tuna Sandwich served with a side of fresh cut fruit (510 calories)
Blackened Ahi Tuna Sandwich served with a side of fresh cut fruit (510 calories)
“The Smart Plate program is an excellent resource for Las Vegas visitors wanting to manage their healthy lifestyle on the go,” said Mandalay Bay Vice President of Food and Beverage Sean DiCicco. “In order to positively impact eating decisions, it’s important to provide guests flexible options that cater to their dietary needs. Smart Plate menu items provide all of the essential nutrients required per meal while allowing guests the opportunity to stay on track and motivated throughout their travels.”
Grilled Atlantic Salmon served with a side of broccolini and topped with yellow tomato and cucumber salsa (690 calories).
Grilled Atlantic Salmon served with a side of broccolini and topped with yellow tomato and cucumber salsa (690 calories).
Guests can get healthy and experience The Smart Plate program at Café Bellagio and a tasty Grilled Atlantic Salmon served with a side of broccolini and topped with yellow tomato and cucumber salsa (690 calories). Also over at Raffles Café at Mandalay Bay try the . Monte Carlo Resort’s The Café  has a very healthy club Wrap made with Boar’s Head ham, Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato and mayo; served with a pickle and side of fresh cut fruit (620 calories) The Pyramid Café at Luxor is featuring Chicken Breast topped with Monari Federzoni balsamic glaze and served with a side of steamed vegetables and quinoa pilaf (580 calories). Market Café at Vdara is serving a Primavera Pizza made with summer squash, artichokes, red onions, sun-dried tomatoes, zucchini, fresh basil, crumbled feta cheese, nonfat mozzarella cheese, black pepper, olive oil and raw garlic (700 calories). Further down the strip , the Garden Grill at Circus Circus has a very healthy Chef’s Salad made with spring mix lettuce, turkey breast, ham, cheddar cheese, Swiss cheese, cucumbers, tomatoes, croutons, cabbage, carrots, hard-boiled eggs and red onions and topped with balsamic vinaigrette (680 calories)
Red Bean Chili Bowl made with red bean chili mix, cilantro leaves, onions and cheddar cheese (260 calories)
Red Bean Chili Bowl made with red bean chili mix, cilantro leaves, onions and cheddar cheese (260 calories)
In-Room Dining is getting resort guests healthy as well.  The ARIA resort will deliver a Cracked Wheat Fettuccine mixed with chicken fennel sausage, shrimp, asparagus and tomatoes (570 calories) right to your room. If staying at the MGM Grand why not call down and ask for their Caprese Sandwich made with Buffalo Mozzarella, yellow and red tomatoes, balsamic pesto aioli, fresh basil and pickled vegetables (690 calories). In-room dining at The Mirage has Market Fresh Greens with Chicken a spring lettuce mix, tomatoes, cucumbers and radishes, topped with balsamic vinaigrette and served with a fresh fruit cup (630 calories) that is sure to put a spring in your step. Not to be left out The Monte Carlo Resort has a rich Red Bean Chili Bowl made with red bean chili mix, cilantro leaves, onions and cheddar cheese (260 calories) that will warm you up.

Chicken Breast topped with Monari Federzoni balsamic glaze and served with a side of steamed vegetables and quinoa pilaf (580 calories).
Chicken Breast topped with Monari Federzoni balsamic glaze and served with a side of steamed vegetables and quinoa pilaf (580 calories).
Promoting healthy eating is one component of MGM Resorts’ greater healthy living efforts. In February 2013, MGM Resorts announced the launch of Healthy Eating, Healthy You, a complimentary mobile application, available to the public, featuring more than 50 recipes from property chefs, including world-class chefs Julian Serrano, Emeril Lagasse and Wolfgang Puck. Calorie counts and other nutrition information are included with each recipe as well as photographs of the finished dish. Additional healthy living initiatives include:
MGM Resorts also partnered with The Jared Foundation on a comprehensive program to cultivate a healthier workforce, healthier schools and ultimately a healthier community. Founded by weight loss icon Jared ‘the Subway Guy’ Fogle, the foundation is committed to raising awareness and developing programs that educate and inspire kids to live healthier, happy lives.
Primavera Pizza made with summer squash, artichokes, red onions, sun-dried tomatoes, zucchini, fresh basil, crumbled feta cheese, nonfat mozzarella cheese, black pepper, olive oil and raw garlic (700 calories).
Primavera Pizza made with summer squash, artichokes, red onions, sun-dried tomatoes, zucchini, fresh basil, crumbled feta cheese, nonfat mozzarella cheese, black pepper, olive oil and raw garlic (700 calories).
Valuing time, cost and quality care, MGM Resorts introduced the Direct Care Health Plan option in 2012. The plan focuses on patient engagement with a strong emphasis on prevention, early detection and annual physicals.
MGM Resorts employees were introduced to “Jim’s Plate,” a program coined after Chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts International Jim Murren. The initiative ensures that all employee dining rooms offer healthy meals daily with recipes created exclusively by chefs at MGM Resorts properties. Each recipe has been reviewed by registered dieticians and is modeled after the United States Department of Agriculture’s MyPlate.
Since 2011, MGM Resorts has partnered with Wellness Coaches, USA to provide on-site wellness coaches at five Las Vegas properties: Bellagio, Mandalay Bay, New York-New York, MGM Grand, and The Mirage. Wellness Coaches work with employees to build personalized health plans centered on reaching fitness goals and reducing health risk factors.
With all of these programs in place, The MGM Resorts guests and employees are sure to be the healthiest on the famed Las Vegas strip.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Openings: Hash House a Go Go to Open inside Rio All-Suite Hotel the first quarter of 2014.

Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino will be home to one of Las Vegas’s dining venues.  Hash House A Go Go, will open in the first quarter of 2014.

  Hash House A Go Go is famous for its creative menu offerings, huge plates of piping hot comfort food, and unique décor.
“We’re happy to join forces with the team at Hash House A Go Go, who has created a truly unique restaurant where guests are treated to memorable dishes in a comfortable and lively setting,” said Dan Walsh, Vice President and Assistant General Manager of Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino. “Hash House is a very strong brand with a loyal following and we are looking forward to welcoming their fans, both tourists and locals to Rio.”
Hash House A Go Go offers guests an large menu of breakfast and brunch options. That include those hunger ending signature dishes like sage fried chicken, stacked with bacon waffles, hot maple caramel reduction and crowned with fried leeks, their famous roasted chicken pot pie, an upside down crust stuffed with house-roasted chicken, red potatoes, veggies and pan gravy served with mashed potatoes, Andy’s Crispy Indiana Style Hand-Hammered pork tenderloin sandwich and the Man v. Food favorite, sage fried chicken benedict.  The restaurant also features a bar, complete with a full menu of mimosas, Bloody Marys and creative cocktails.
Founder and executive chef Craig "Andy" Beardslee says his restaurant has two main objectives: “To keep the fun in food while pulling from the experiences of farm fresh agriculture, livestock, and old recipes with a twist and to maintain a level of excitement & entertainment within the dining experience, while ensuring excellent service each and every day.”
“We are looking forward to joining the roster of popular restaurants at the Rio,” said Jim Rees chief operations officer and partner of Hash House a Go Go Restaurants. “I’m honored and humbled with the reception of our restaurants in Las Vegas and can’t wait to introduce our twisted farm food to even more guests with this Rio location.”
Hash House A Go Go will be located in the current São Paulo Café location, which will remain open until renovations begin in the first quarter of 2014. Hash House A Go Go will serve breakfast and brunch daily from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Morels French Steakhouse & Bistro at The Palazzo Resort Introduces $49 Three-Course Holiday Steak Menu To Enjoy With A Few

When looking for a fine dining venue with an outside patio overlooking the strip, there is no better place to enjoy fine french cuisine than Morels French Steakhouse & Bistro at the Palazzo Resort.
Named one of the Strip's best steakhouses by USA Today's and recipient of Wine Spectator's "Best of Award of Excellence," Morels French Steakhouse & Bistro marries a classic steakhouse with interesting  culinary delights that  include  an iced seafood bar and a cheese and charcuterie bar with more than 60 farmhouse and artisanal cheeses with handmade salamis and meats that are sure to impress even the most discriminating  diners.
It's always fun to visit the culinary epicenter of Las Vegas during the holidays. The lights seem brighter and mood more exuberant than usual. If in Las Vegas this holiday season Executive Chef J.L. Carrera of Morels French Steakhouse & Bistro at The Palazzo has created a special  $49 three-course steak menu that will run through Dec. 24 that is a must to experience .
This dinning experience starts with a  choice of soup of the day or Boggiato Farms baby iceberg with house dried cherry tomatoes, spring red onion, applewood smoked bacon and Bleu D'auvergne dressing. Next , sink your teeth into a 14-ounce grilled New York sirloin with pesto pommes puree and bordelaise sauce. For the FINI  how about a flavorful mixed berry crumble dessert with blackberries, blueberries, strawberries and raspberries, served with vanilla ice cream to finish it off in style. Morels has an excellent wine list , so why not  take advantage  and pick a nice bottle to accent this delightful , tasty experience.
Morels French Steakhouse & Bistro is located in the main lobby of The Palazzo and open Monday through Thursday 8 a.m. - 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday 8 a.m. - 12 a.m. and Sunday 8 a.m. - 10 p.m. Brunch is served Saturday and Sunday 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. For reservations, please call 702.607.6333 or visit
Enjoy and Bon Appetit

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The 2013 World Food Championships bring the best of the best in food sport competition to Las Vegas .


Las Vegas is home to many “Championships” from Boxing to Poker and everything imaginable you can think of.  Yet another Championship calls Las Vegas its home. The World Food Championships with $300,000 at stake for the winners,  is a newcomer to the list of Vegas Championships.This true world class event has grown exponentially since its inception in 2012 and  is the highest stakes food competition in the world.

The World Food Championships attracts professional Chefs and home cooks from all over the world. The 2013 Championships had a very spirited team all the way from South Africa to see if they had what it takes to win it all.

The world’s best competed in barbecue,chil,burgers,dessert,sandwich,bacon,recipe and a chef challenge with the overall winner being named 2013 World Food Champion.
One may ask how do you judge such a prestigious event such as this one. First, judges were hand selected from the Food Network,celebrity chefs, food writers,and other experts in their respective culinary fields. Using the EAT methodology in a tournament style competition, the World Food Championships judges identified  winners in each of the seven key categories of competition. Once the champions of each category were determined they competed at the final table for the 2013 crown.


Over the last few years, the sport of competition food has grown into a multi-million dollar industry and can no longer be ignored. There are recipe challenges, barbecue festivals, chili cook-offs and the thousands of other food competitions that take place all over the world that have millions of hungry admirers and passionate cooks.
This year, more than 300 competitors and 20 food celebrities literally took over Downtown Las Vegas for a world class event like none other. After days of competition, Championship Sunday arrived with a very fun and educational culinary competition, “Flip-The-Bird” Thanksgiving Challenge.

On a cloudless morning the inaugural “Flip the Bird” Thanksgiving Challenge featured three renowned chefs,each asked to create a holiday meal with bison, in place of turkey, as the primary ingredient.

Competing chefs included Emily Ellyn, creator of the Retro Rad cooking movement, Giorgio Rapicavoli, founder and chef of Miami’s Eating House and Rick Giffen, executive chef of Stratosphere in Las Vegas.
After a very spirited competition, judges Josh Ozersky, Sam Hazen of NYC’s The Chester and Roberto Treviño, former participant on Iron Chef: America and The Next Iron Chef, determined the winner based on the taste, appearance and execution of each dish. The winner was Chef Giorgio Rapicavoli with  his three-course Thanksgiving meal, and was awarded a $2,000 check. His first course consisted of Roasted Pumpkin Bisque with Bison Sausage, Raw Pears, Pecans and Sage. His main dish featured Grilled Bison Ribeye with Charred Broccoli, Braised Cranberry and Yams, and he finished off with a dessert of Braised and Raw Apple with Bison Bacon Fat Streusel, Salted Caramel and Cinnamon.
“Until this weekend, I never associated bison with Thanksgiving, but that sure has changed,” said Chef Rapicavoli.  “As the first-ever ‘Flip the Bird’ Champion, I have a new appreciation for bison and recommend home cooks incorporate it into their favorite recipes. It’s a great addition to any holiday menu and will be a big hit among your guests.”

Bison was a very big deal at the  2013 World Food Championships. The winning chili dish from Ray Bogart featured bison tenderloin and the winning recipe dish from Beth Peterson was an Asian hot pot of bison tenderloin and homemade udon noodles. Who says Thanksgiving is just about the traditional Turkey.
The 2013 World Food Championships brought the world’s best to downtown Las Vegas to thousands of enthusiastic crowds.Having attended the event the last two years we have seen the positive growth of this one of a kind event. If 2013 is any indication, 2014 will be a weekend not to be overlooked.

Friday, November 15, 2013

La Cucina Italiana Food and Wine Festival at the Venetian / Palazzo Resorts promises Italian Culinary Excellence.

mario It’s that time of year again in Las Vegas.The lights on the famed strip seem to glow a little brighter, snow on the distant mountains, a nip in the air and The Venetian / Palazzo Resort’s month long Winter in Venice Celebration entertains visitors and locals alike.This year, the resort’s Vice President of Food and Beverage Sebastien Silversti  has a very special festival that brings the best of Italy to the picturesque property right in the center of the Las Vegas strip.

La Cucina Italiana Food & Wine Festival is a weekend celebrating Italian gastronomy  at its  finest .This tasty  weekend, held in conjunction with Southern Wine and Spirits of Nevada and La Cucina Italiana magazine, is part of The Venetian’s annual Winter in Venice holiday festival.
Chef Mario Batali, Cuisineist Editor-In-Chief Elaine Harris
Chef Mario Batali, Cuisineist Editor-In-Chief Elaine Harris
Visitors can enjoy four days of colorful events and mouthwatering culinary experiences, featuring a collaboration between some of the best Italian chefs and culinary celebrities, including, Iron Chef Mario Batali, Dario Cecchini, Chef Wolfgang Puck, Buddy “Cake Boss” Valastro,Roberto Caporuscio,Anthony Giglio and Robin Leach.

This gastronomic throw down is for a good cause, a portion of ticket sales will benefit Keep Memory Alive supporting the mission of the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. The weekend is a food and wine lovers delight. Why not enjoy Dinner with Wolfgang Puck at CUT, in the Palazzo Resort Thursday, December 5, 2013 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. This palate pleasing experience will team up Chef Wolfgang Puck and Dario Cecchini, the legendary Chianti “Butcher of Panzano,” as they prepare an intimate dinner for VIP guests, press and media. If you want a meal with personality, this is it. These renowned chefs are sure to delight guests, with lively stories and a carnivore’s dream dinner featuring Cecchini’s traditional Tuscan-style dishes.
For the ultimate dining experience The Grand Banquet is for you. This Italian experience of a life time will be held in the Grand Colonnade, at the Venetian Resort  Friday, December 6, 20137 p.m. – 11 p.m. Here you can enjoy the ultimate Italian feast as you sit down to a delicious dinner featuring new and old-world Italy, prepared by Mario Batali and Dario Cecchini, the legendary Chianti “Butcher of Panzano.”
The banquet will be served Tuscan-style in the Venetian Resort’s beautiful Grand Colonnade, and will include such delights as veal Carpaccio, 24-month Galardi prosciutto, risotto with white truffle, and aporchetta created by Cecchini that Chef Batali refers to as "the porchetta to end all porchettas."

"This format," says Chef Batali, "will conjure meals eaten in Italy, where banquets are spread out quite literally in the middle of a street. Though something you often find in a Tuscan or Umbrian village, it is a novelty in this country, especially in the heart of the Las Vegas Strip."
Each course will feature a world-class wine pairing by Carmelo Messina and Anthony Giglio. "Very few people have the opportunity to attend an event that so eloquently blends the finest Italian food with extraordinary vintages from renowned Italian wine producers."
This Italian extravaganza is about education as well. Stop into How to Italian , An Afternoon of Food & Fun at the  Palazzo Resort’s Waterfall Atrium, Saturday, December 7, 2013 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. This will be an excellent opportunity to experience Italy with an afternoon dedicated to learning about authentic Italy from the world’s greatest chefs and culinary celebrities. La Cucina Italiana magazine’s Anthony Giglio will be the master of ceremonies for an afternoon of fun and food. In a village-like setting, guests will taste some of the finest homemade Italian dishes while learning about authentic artisanal products.
Are you getting hungry yet?  Want to mingle with Celebrities? Visit Bella Notte , Hosted by none other than  Robin Leach at Doges Palace,  at the Venetian Saturday, December 7, 2013 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. “Bella Notte” celebrates Italian-Americans who have made a significant impact on the culture of the United States. Honorees and attendees will experience the fine Italian cuisine of visiting chefs from across the country, while enjoying fine entertainment under the stars.
 Truffles are nature’s gift of gold, their aromas and flavors are unmistakable. One event that we will not miss is The Great Venetian Truffle Hunt at Mario Batali’s B&B Ristorante, Carnevino and OTTO Sunday, December 8, 2013 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. What a great way to close a memorable weekend than hunt for truffles! Sponsored by Urbani Truffles, the truffle hunt takes place in Chef Batali’s three hotel restaurants. The day kicks off with breakfast, including Cipriani-style Bellinis and Italian coffee. Attendees will each receive half of a golden-colored truffle and, while they sample truffle dishes and paired wines at each venue, they’ll discover if their golden-colored truffle matches one of three hidden throughout the restaurants. The three winners will receive prizes and their names will be entered into a raffle for an once-in-a-lifetime trip to Italy to visit the famed La Cucina Italiana Cooking School.
The Venetian / Palazzo Resorts always do everything first class.  The La Cucina Italiana Food and Wine Festival is sure to be no exception to the rule. We can only look to a gastronomic weekend of excellence.

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Venetian / Palazzo Resort have yet another star under its roof and this time is a family affair.

Buddy “Cake Boss” Valastro , Cuisineist Editor Elaine Harris
Buddy “Cake Boss” Valastro , Cuisineist Editor Elaine Harris
The Venetian / Palazzo Resort have yet another star under its roof and this time is a family affair. Renowned baker Buddy “Cake Boss” Valastro opened his first restaurant with veteran restaurateurs Elizabeth Blau and Chef Kim Canteenwalla with a fabulous view of the Las Vegas strip.
Chef Kim Canteenwalla
Chef Kim Canteenwalla

Known for his family’s Carlo’s Bakery in Hoboken, New Jersey, Buddy Valastro’s Buddy V’s offers up family recipes passed down by his mother, grandmother, aunts and siblings.
The décor made us feel warm and welcome as we we felt like we walked right into his family’s dining room. On our visit we actually did dine with Buddy’s very energetic, enthusiastic family and of course his lovely mother Mary. 
Sitting at the table with his family, is reminiscent of a Sunday dinner at his grandmother's house. The entrance features metal and glass inspired by the Lackawanna train station in Hoboken . The bar area is rustic with floor to ceiling windows overlooking the famed Las Vegas strip.

There is a real feeling of intimacy as we gazed around the walls  adored with  photographs of the Valastro family and light fixtures made  of whisks and hanging rolling pins as room dividers.
The cocktail list shows off libations  like a Negroni Biondo, Buddy V's Hobokon Sling and our favorite , Buddy’s own take on a Manhattan .For dinner, we highly suggest the Osso Bucco and the grilled Octopus, yes that’s right grilled!  and on this night it was cooked to perfection. For the Fini , Oh come on !  He’s the Cake Boss, pick anything and its going to be great.

We have stopped in on numerous occasions since the opening and found the dishes consistent and the service right on spot.
 Buddy , Elizabeth and Kim have a huge hit on their hands and the Venetian / Palazzo Resorts another tasty dining venue .

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Cuisineist Editors dine with Sirio Maccioni at Risrorante Sirio in Las Vegas .

Long one of Manhattan’s most celebrated restaurateurs, Sirio Maccioni has wined and dined high society in New York for nearly half a century. In March of 1974, Maccioni opened Le Cirque in the Mayfair hotel. Le Cirque was the first privately owned hotel restaurant in the city and quickly became the hub of café society in New York.
 Sirio Maccioni
Sirio Maccioni

In 1998 he opened Circo and Le Cirque in Las Vegas’Bellagio Hotel.Then In 2009 Maccioni along with his sons opened their third Las Vegas restaurant, Sirio Ristorante at the Aria Resort and Casino here in Las Vegas.
No stranger to accolades , Maccioni has received numerous honors and accolades including the coveted James Beard “Restaurant of the Year” award, the Impresario dell’ Anno (Entrepreneur of the Year) award at Affreschi Toscani, a festival in Tuscany and being selected Father of the Year in 2002 by the National Father’s Day Committee.
We have received many invitations to dine in our years as journalist from tops in their fields, when we were asked by Sirio  Maccioni to join him at Sirio Ristorate ,humbled b y the prospect we accepted . Walking into a very busy Sirio  Ristortate were were greeted by the always pleasant General Manager Carlo Cannuscio and his staff.
A few feet away, sitting in a chair poised like a king on his throne ,there he was ,the man ,the legend, Sirio Maccioni waiting with a smile and an outstretched hand of greeting . Sitting at the Chef’s table overlooking the pristine kitchen “a buzz “with activity we began a culinary expedition of epic proportions.
After opening a lovely bottle of GAJA we began with our appetizer , Carpaccio Di Manzo .This traditional tasty dish of beef carpaccio ,lemon oil dressing ,fried capers and a shaving of parmesan cheese was the perfect way to start. The suggested Vermintino , Rocca Di Frasselino , Sirio, Tuscany 2011 was a nice touch , picking up on the richness of the dish.
, Carpaccio Di Manzo . Beef carpaccio ,lemon oil dressing ,fried capers and a shaving of parmesan cheese
, Carpaccio Di Manzo . Beef carpaccio ,lemon oil dressing ,fried capers and a shaving of parmesan cheese

Seeing a antipasto and squash soup we just had to indulge as we listened intently to Siro recount his culinary pedigree from hotel training programs in Paris and Hamburg , apprenticeships in Montecatini and Paris and  a variety of positions at hotels and restaurants in Italy, France, and Germany.

A bottle of Rosso , Rocca Di Frassinello , Sirio, Tuscany 2009 signaled the beginning of yet another delight from the kitchen. Of course, being at Sirio, our treat of Pici Toscani Al Ragu, Di Carni was a must. This mouthwatering hand rolled spaghetti with three meats ragu was a gastronomic delight.
of Pici Toscani Al Ragu, Di Carni .Hand rolled spaghetti with three meats ragu
of Pici Toscani Al Ragu, Di Carni .Hand rolled spaghetti with three meats ragu

Sirio kept us entertained with his one-of-a-kind sense of humor as Carre’ D ‘ Agnello arrived at our table. A succulent Roasted Rack of Lamb with creamy potato fennel gratin and garden vegetables was a perfect example of why Sirio and his world class restaurants have been at the top of their game for decades.The exemplary Chianti Classico, Castellare , Tuscany , 2011 married with the layers of flavors of the dish  that will soon not be forgotten.
 Carre’ D ‘ Agnello  Roasted Rack of Lamb with creamy potato fennel gratin and garden vegetables
Carre’ D ‘ Agnello Roasted Rack of Lamb with creamy potato fennel gratin and garden vegetables
Gastronomically satisfied by signature dishes, classic wines and a renowned host, we settled back a little as Sirio engaged us in a lively conversation.

When asked about retiring, he smiled, leaned back in his chair and said “Me, retire? I am too busy to retire”,  we could not have been happier to hear that. Sirio has always been “hands on “and has no plans to stop. He still has fiery passion even after all these years.
Panna Cotta Tricolore
Panna Cotta Tricolore
Our experience would not be complete without a Panna Cotta Tricolore and house made Berry Cello 2013.Enjoying a cappuccino as Sirio singed his namesake book “Sirio Maccioni” made the evening one we will remember for a very long time.

Monday, September 30, 2013


Fall offers a bounty of colorful fruits and vegetables that are delicious and packed with nutritional benefits. This is the best time of year to enjoy a variety of healthful produce such as orange winter squash, yellow pepper, Brussels sprouts, okra and turnips, among others.  They are especially delicious when part of a pasta dish, offering an excellent source of fiber that’s low in calories and cholesterol, but packed with flavor.  De Cecco, the Italian premium pasta maker, invites you to taste the De Cecco Difference using this fall recipe, in celebration of 120 tasteful years in the USA.

De Cecco is unlike many other pastas available on supermarket shelves today.  Carefully made in the mountains of Central Italy, De Cecco uses a proprietary process to make more than 160 different pasta shapes. This process starts with full control of the milling process and using only the heart of durum wheat to produce premium semolina, then mixing it with cool natural waters from De Cecco’s own mountain spring, drawing the semolina dough through bronze dies and drying the pasta very slowly at a low temperature.
Though time consuming, this process yields a great tasting pasta with a perfect semolina color that cooks al dente every time, retaining its shape and all of its nutritional goodness thereby assuring the highest quality pasta for American tables.
Today the family owned company is the third largest pasta producer in the world.  De Cecco pasta has been recognized with several certifications for customer satisfaction, food safety and purity, and is certified kosher.
Use this fall recipe featuring healthy  Whole Wheat or Spinach Fusilli as is, or change it up with your favorite fall vegetables:


Brussels Sprout, Cauliflower and Shiitake Fusilli
Prep Time: 17 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Serves 8
1 pound De Cecco Whole Wheat Fusilli or Spinach Fusilli
8 ounces Brussels sprouts, trimmed
12 ounces cauliflower florets (about 4 cups)
1/4 cup De Cecco Extra Virgin Olive Oil 100% Italian Olives, divided
4 medium shallots, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
7 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed
1 cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Cook pasta and Brussels sprouts according to pasta package direction, adding cauliflower during last 5 minutes of cooking. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup pasta water.
2. While pasta is cooking, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic; cook 15 to 30 seconds, stirring constantly, or until fragrant. Add mushrooms; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until browned. Remove from the heat.
3. Return hot cooked pasta, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower to pot; add reserved pasta water and mushroom mixture. Set aside 2 tablespoons parsley. Stir in remaining 2 tablespoons oil and remaining parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and reserved parsley.

Enjoy and Bon Appetit !

MTO CAFÉ TO OPEN IN DOWNTOWN LAS VEGAS THIS OCTOBER Fresh comfort food made to order for breakfast, lunch and weekend brunch.

Downtown diners will have a new go-to destination when MTO Café opens this October.  Standing for Made To Order, the café will serve breakfast and lunch daily, with a brunch menu each weekend.  MTO Café is the first restaurant from Las Vegas-based Shift Solutions, a company whose founders have had a hand in numerous venues in the city and beyond.

Located across from the Las Vegas City Hall on the ground floor of the city parking garage, the 65-seat eatery pairs a modern industrial design with a retro comfort feel and features a fourteen seat communal table, ideal for networking in the burgeoning collaborative business environment of downtown.
MTO Café will feature the cuisine of chef partner Johnny Church, who was named by Wine Spectator as a Rising Chef and has helmed the kitchens of several noted Strip restaurants and worked with Gordon Ramsey for the 2013 season of the TV hit Kitchen Nightmares.

Egg-centered breakfast specialties available as a wrap, omelet or skillet include a chile offering with jalapeno, cheddar, sour cream and scallions, one featuring chicken sausage, roasted tomato, caramelized onions and arugula as well as citrus house cured salmon with cream cheese chives and dill.  Pancake offerings include lemon poppy seed with blueberry-ginger compote and vegan carrot and coconut pancakes with pecans and agave nectar while the chicken in a waffle satisfies both savory and sweet cravings.

Lunch features selection of soups and salads, along with inventive wraps such as the Celery Sucker with collard greens, quinoa, tatziki, babaganoush and tomato-basil and the Fat Elvis sandwich with French toast, bacon, banana, peanut butter, strawberries and Nutella. Burger lovers can feast on The Hang Over with bacon, fried egg, Tillamook Cheddar, lettuce and special sauce, a turkey version served open-faced with truffle bread pudding and orange-cranberry sauce, or the Tree Hugger with quinoa, corn, red pepper, spinach, onions, mushrooms and chipotle aioli.

Sides include 3rd Street Farmers Market vegetables, fries and gravy and more, and the meal can end on a sweet note with treats including banana split bites, fried apple rings or walnut tossies.MTO Café will be open weekdays from 7 am – 3 pm and from 8 am to 3 pm Saturday and Sunday. 

Chef, author and television personality Giada De Laurentiis will open her very first restaurant in early 2014 at the upcoming and all-new luxury lifestyle resort Gansevoort Las Vegas.

She’s here !  Finally, Chef, author and television personality Giada De Laurentiis will  open her very first restaurant in early 2014 at the upcoming and all-new luxury lifestyle resort Gansevoort Las Vegas. This innovative concept is expected to open in early 2014 in conjunction with the hotel and casino.
Located in the heart of the dynamic city of Las Vegas, De Laurentiis’ outlet will become the cornerstone of the hip and luxurious destination, located on the second level above the casino floor. This outlet will boast al fresco dining and breathtaking views of the Las Vegas Strip and the Bellagio fountains.
"Ever since I was a little girl hanging out at my grandfather's restaurant, I've dreamed of having a restaurant of my own,” says De Laurentiis. “I've held back on past opportunities because I really wanted to be ready for the responsibility and challenges that come with a restaurant. Now, I couldn't be more excited about working with Gansevoort Las Vegas and Caesars Entertainment to turn this dream into a delicious reality. The location, the al fresco dining and the views were just too good to pass up!"
De Laurentiis’ cuisine will embrace her birthplace of Rome, mirroring her passion for Italian cooking with lighter, Californian influences. Guests can enjoy her signature dishes made famous through her many cookbooks and “Food Network” television shows, along with uniquely crafted family recipes that focus on quality ingredients and great flavors.
Guests will be greeted with delicious aromas of bread baking along with a signature antipasto station, a first for Italian eateries on the Strip. The appeal of an open and airy kitchen will set the space apart giving guests the opportunity to watch chefs prepare the specialty pasta of the day, create beautiful flatbreads and bake divine desserts.
“Gansevoort Las Vegas will be a completely unique boutique resort experience and will bring a new level of social excitement to the Las Vegas Strip. Drai’s Beach Club and Nightclub, Drai’s After Hours, the signature lobby bar, and now Giada’s very first restaurant, are certain to set the destination apart,” said Tariq Shaukat, chief marketing officer for Caesars Entertainment.  “Giada’s exuberant warm personality and dynamic style will undoubtedly result in a restaurant that will not only be a perfect match for the experience we are creating, but also will become a destination in itself.”
With De Laurentiis’ vision in mind, the restaurant will be a completely new build-out, revealing a modern, yet sleek design with clean lines and pops of color.  Los Angeles-based Studio Collective, whose prestigious portfolio includes several well-known hospitality venues including Thompson Hotel in Beverly Hills and Hyde Lounge at the Staples Center, will lead the overall design. The restaurant space will extend over the pedestrian walkway below, featuring large glass windows with daytime and nighttime views of the Strip. The overall design will bring forth a comfortable, warm and welcoming charm with natural light and unique energy. Posh living room-style furniture will provide a cozy space for guests to relax, while views of the open kitchen from the bar will create an air of excitement. Private dining room space will also be available for larger parties or group functions.
“Giada is a gem,” said Caesars Entertainment Regional Vice President of Food and Beverage Jeffrey Frederick. “She’s the first female celebrity chef to join the Caesars Entertainment family in Las Vegas and will fit right in with our lineup of many renowned chefs including Bobby Flay, Gordon Ramsay, Nobu Matsuhisa and Guy Savoy. Finally fans will experience firsthand Giada’s style and sophistication via her restaurant’s ambiance and cuisine.”
The new restaurant will be open daily for lunch and dinner and will accommodate nearly 300 guests.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

An Evening of Cuisine, Wine,Books and Angels with Iconic Chef Charlie Palmer.

Las Vegas has no shortage of celebrity chefs, perhaps one of the biggest names throughout the world is Chef Charlie Palmer. This renown Chef ,restaurateur , author and television host has collected a plethora of awards ranging from a James Beard award and coveted Michelin Guide stars just to name a few .

Recently we visited with this iconic Chef at his Michelin award winning restaurant Aureole in the Mandalay Bay  Resort in Las Vegas. Charlie has been a fixture in this culinary epicenter for many years. Always keeping things fresh , He was in town to launch his new cookbook , Camp Cooking and to show off the new “wine angel “ costumes that are shall we say , pretty delightful to say the least .
Arriving at Aureole we were escorted to a private dining area where we were met by none other than the legend himself and settled into what would become an evening of signature dishes prepared by Charlie and a selection of wines that caused us to do some serious research on indigenous varietals  from Spain, France and Austria.
Elaine Harris, Cuisineist Editor-In-Chief and Chef Charlie Palmer
Elaine Harris, Cuisineist Editor-In-Chief and Chef Charlie Palmer
Chef Charlie Palmer has been known for years for his Progressive American Cuisine built on big flavors and surprising combinations with an infusion of classical French technique.Today, a big “buzz word” is farm to table cuisine. Chef Charlie Palmer explained that he was an early advocate of farm over factory food. In 1988, he made a commitment to creating dishes featuring regional American ingredients at his three-star Aureole Restaurant in New York City.
It was now time to enjoy some of this renowned cuisine prepared by Chef Charlie just for us. Our first course was a succulent Santa Barbara Spot Prawn Duo paired with Txomin Etaniz Txakoi, Hondarribi Zuri, Getariako Txakolina, Spain 2012.
Seared Loup de Mer & Stuffed Calamri a’ la “Setoise
Seared Loup de Mer & Stuffed Calamri a’ la “Setoise

Our second course featured a lovely Seared Loup de Mer & Stuffed Calamri a’ la “Setoise” joined by a very nice Moulin de Gassac, Picpoul de Pinet , Languedoc, France 2011.
Keeping the culinary hits coming, Charlie Palmer delivered a perfectly prepared Roasted Moulard Duck Breast  with sautéed dandelion greens,bing cherries and muscat jus paired with a Schloss Gobelsburger , Zweigelt, Kamptal , Austria 2010 that was a perfect marriage of cuisine and wine.

 Roasted Moulard Duck Breast  with sautéed dandelion greens,bing cherries and muscat jus paired
Roasted Moulard Duck Breast with sautéed dandelion greens,bing cherries and muscat jus paired
Three courses of gastronomic artistry and Chef Charlie Palmer still had one more treat for us. A beautiful Roasted Oregon Wagyu Beef Strip Loin with braised beef cheeks,barley and porcini mushrooms and a Chene Bleu Heloise, Syrah/Grenache/Viognier , Rhone Valley, France 2007.Pastry Chef Megan fished off our evening with a rich Roasted fig and Goat Cheese Cake with chicory ice cream and a Toro Albala,Don PX Gran Reserva, Pedro Ximenez,Montilla-Moriles, Spain 1985.

. A beautiful Roasted Oregon Wagyu Beef Strip Loin with braised beef cheeks,barley and porcini mushrooms
. A beautiful Roasted Oregon Wagyu Beef Strip Loin with braised beef cheeks,barley and porcini mushrooms

The evening was not just about great cuisine from Chef Charlie Palmer and his kitchen but also about his new cookbook, Camp Cooking.  This leather bound book complete with a Remington stamp is all about cooking and eating outdoors compete with selections from the Remington Arms Art Collection and is a must for any kitchen and lovers of the great outdoors.
Camp Cooking
Camp Cooking

Charlie Palmer is always keeping things fresh and his wine angles are no exception.The wine angles have been soaring for years overseeing almost 10,000 bottles of wine are stored in the iconic tower. The “angels” ascend and descend the climate-controlled, stainless-steel columns on mechanical hoists fetching wine for their guests.
Wine Angels
Wine Angels
They how have new uniforms that make them very hard to miss with new two-piece outfits outfitted with more than 100 LED bulbs. “We were often given feedback by our guests that they were hard to see in the tower, so we really wanted to make them shine, now they have a uniform that suits the excitement of their job “stated Charlie Palmer. The new uniforms are a creation of Las Vegas fashion designer Bunker Hill Bradley, who won a competition among local designers.The uniforms feature a progression of colors that symbolize the hues found in various wines and they made of recycled materials.
Chef Charlie Palmer
Chef Charlie Palmer

Charlie Palmer’s new cookbook and new wine angel uniforms show this iconic Chef is not afraid of innovation or invention which keeps him and his Charlie Palmer Group at the forefront of the culinary industry around the world.