Wednesday, March 27, 2013

OpenTable Diner Reviews Reveal the Top 100 Dining Hot Spots in the U.S.



5 Las Vegas Venues Make the List

Open Table ,the world’s leading provider of online restaurant reservations to announced the 2013 Diners’ Choice Award winners for Top 100 Hot Spot Restaurants in the United States. These awards reflect the combined opinions of more than 5 million reviews submitted by verified OpenTable diners for more than 15,000 restaurants in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.



Winning restaurants are scattered throughout 21 states. California topped the list, taking 26 places on the list of winners. Florida follows with 18 winning restaurants. New York has its share of
fashionable honorees, claiming 14 spots on the list. For the second year in a row, Illinois accounts for 11 winners, followed again by Nevada with seven standouts. Georgia and Texas restaurants earned three places apiece, while Arizona, Louisiana, Maryland, and Tennessee each boast two. Colorado, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina are also represented. Cuisines at the winning restaurants are as eclectic as the list itself.






American, Asian, Greek, Italian, Japanese, and Mexican fares are represented, as are pizza, sushi,
 and tapas


“This year’s winning restaurants have all the ingredients diners need to spice up any evening, whether it’s a midweek meal or a destination celebration,” said Caroline Potter, OpenTable Chief Dining Officer. “Beyond cool crowds, daring drink lists, and inventive menus, these hot spots are cultivating a sexy see-and-be-seen ambiance that will make for a night to remember.”

The Diners’ Choice Awards for the Top 100 Hot Spot Restaurants is generated from more than 5
million reviews collected from verified OpenTable diners between March 1, 2012 and February 28, 2013.
All restaurants with a minimum “overall” score and number of qualifying reviews were included for
consideration. Qualifying restaurants were then scored and sorted according to the percentage of
qualifying reviews for which “hot spot” was selected as a special feature.
Based on this methodology, the following restaurants, listed in alphabetical order, comprise the
top 100 hot spot restaurants in the U.S. according to OpenTable diners. The complete list may also be
viewed at http://www.opentable.com/hotspots.

2013 Diners’ Choice Award Winners In Las Vegas  for Top 100 Hot Spot Restaurants in the U.S.
Firefly Tapas Kitchen Bar – Henderson, Nevada
Lavo – Las Vegas, Nevada
STK-The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas – Las Vegas, Nevada
SUSHISAMBA strip – Las Vegas, Nevada
Tao Restaurant and Nightclub – Las Vegas, Nevada     

Congratulations !

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Celebrity Chef Todd English and JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery Collaborate at Bellagio’s Epicurean Epicenter Dinner


It was  time again for one of Las Vegas’s Premier events.  Bellagio Resort’s Epicurean Epicenter series united the Mediterranean cuisine of renowned celebrity chef Todd English of Bellagio’s Olives with the classic wines of JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery. Chef English prepared a mouthwatering four-course dinner, demonstrated several dishes and answered questions from eager guests.
Chef Todd English

In addition to the expertise in the kitchen, each course was served with fine wines from JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery paired by Master Sommelier Joseph Spellman and Bellagio Director of Wine and Master Sommelier Jason Smith.
Poached Merus Crab Leg accompanied by micro insalata, béarnaise sauce and candied lemons.


The Television lights came on in Bellagio’s Tuscany Kitchen; Chef Todd English took his place and guests prepared to have a culinary experience of a life time. Chef English wasted no time jumping right in with his first course; Poached Merus Crab Leg accompanied by micro insalata, béarnaise sauce and candied lemons paired with Landmark Overlook Chardonnay.




 The second course, titled “Duck Duck Goose,” featured the tasty protein in various forms including seared duck breast with leg confit and foie gras tortellini which was a favorite of the evening. JUSTIN Winery’s Justification, a nicely balanced red blend complemented the decadent course.
“Duck Duck Goose,” featured the tasty protein in various forms including seared duck breast with leg confit and foie gras tortellini









Osso Buco was next on the menu served with parmesan polenta, garlicky spinach walnut gremolata paired with JUSTIN’s renowned Isosceles and Isosceles Reserve red blends.
Osso Buco served with parmesan polenta, garlicky spinach walnut gremolata








Like putting a period at the end of a sentence Chef English prepared a finale that featured Peanut Butter Falling Cake with milk chocolate ice cream and caramel sauce paired with JUSTIN’s Obtuse, a port-style dessert wine made from Cabernet Sauvignon.
Peanut Butter Falling Cake with milk chocolate ice cream and caramel sauce








This was a culinary experience we would come to expect from The Bellagio and not to be missed. The partnership of the culinary expertise of Todd English and JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery’s world-class Bordeaux-style blends and single varietals once again created the type of exclusive experience for which Bellagio’s Epicurean Epicenter series is known for.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Dos Caminos opens in Summerlin and Brings the Popular Mexican Destination Back to Las Vegas



There Back!  New York based Dos Caminos has opened at its new location on Charleston Boulevard in Summerlin’s Canyon Pointe Plaza, March 11.  The popular Mexican eatery is once again bringing its famed guacamole and tequila list back to Las Vegas.


Corporate Executive Chef Ivy Stark, author of Dos Caminos Mexican Street Food, will oversee the menu for Las Vegas, as she does with the four locations in New York City and the outposts in Atlantic City, New Jersey and Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, while Executive Chef Reed Osterholt will be at the helm in the Las Vegas kitchen.

The Dos Caminos menu features  classic Mexican staples of guacamole, empanadas and tacos, along with signature dishes including the Rib Eye Steak Alambre with applewood smoked bacon, cipollini onions, poblano chiles, arroz con crema and chimichurri sauce or the Jumbo Sea Scallops with coconut jasmine rice, jicama, grilled pineapple and passion fruit cascabel mojo. The menu also highlights  brunch offerings as Chilaquiles Verdes, baked tortilla chips casserole, sunny side-up eggs, chihuahua cheese, tomatillo salsa and  even Mexican French Toast.




Of course the critically acclaimed made-to-order guacamole is a must for any dish you may enjoy.  Dos Caminos locations utilize 500,000 avocados a year and serve 1000 orders daily.  This mouthwatering  dish is served with a trio of salsas and warm corn tortilla chips and can be ordered in the traditional style, or in versions including Jumbo Lump Crab-Chipotle, Mango, Papaya-Habanero or with Bacon, Chicharron and Picked Jalapeno.

The cocktail menu is transports us “south of the border” with imaginative margaritas and sangria as well as an expansive hand-selected tequila menu featuring the best Mexico has to offer, which can be sampled in flights or one-by-one. Specialty cocktails include seasonal organic margaritas such as the Blue Pomegranate or the Frozen Prickly Pear Margarita.



Dos Caminos is open seven days a week, serving dinner from 4 p.m. – 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday and until midnight Friday and Saturday.    On Saturday and Sunday beginning March 23, the restaurant will serve brunch from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. and a small selection of favorites on the sunset menu from 3 p.m. – 4 p.m. before dinner becomes available.  A happy hour menu will be featured at the bar Sunday – Friday from 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. – close.

Dos Caminos has been missed since it left its Las Vegas Strip location. Their return has locals and visitors alike dancing in Mariachi Band style celebrating their return.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Why Not Enjoy Pheasant For Dinner ? : Cuisineist Test Kitchens Explore The Possibilities



The largest pheasant farm in North America is MacFarlane Pheasants of Janesville. This family operation provides   two generations of expertise honing and raising of pheasant. The  have  complete control of the process from pasture to plate and  are a great source of information for poultry lovers.



Mark your calendar, National Poultry Day, March 19 celebrates the white meat of the American diet. And for most poultry-lovers, chicken and turkey flock to the top of the list as the go-to-white meat for everyday meals. This year,  why not go beyond traditional and feast on Pheasant.
A hearty meat that is conveniently available year-round, pheasant is a lean protein with superb flavor and superior nutrition. When compared with chicken, domestic turkey or beef, pheasant is lower in total fat, saturated fat and cholesterol.
Whether you're an experienced cook or a rookie in the kitchen, you can cook a Pheasant. A white meat low in fat, pheasant is best when slow-cooked at a low temperature (250°F to 325°F). Like chicken, there are many ways to cook a pheasant. Bake, grill, sauté, glaze, marinate, roast, stir fry or kebab to your desire. You will discover that pheasant is a moist and flavorful ingredient for entertaining appetizers, lunch salads, gourmet sandwiches and delicious evening dinners.

For a fresh take, incorporate this easy-to-cook-with protein; in place of turkey or chicken in your recipes. The MacFarlane Pheasant website at www.pheasantfordinner.com, offers enticing chef-inspired recipes such as Pheasant Fajitas, BBQ Pheasant and Gouda Pizza, Pheasant Salad with Fennel and Pheasant Pot Pie.
With poultry being the second most widely eaten meat in the world, the specialty artisan flavors of Pheasant will create memorable meals. MacFarlane Pheasants are all-natural third party-certified they are fed all-natural grains, with no antibiotics, hormones or animal by-products.
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For simple cooking tips and chef-inspired recipes, visit www.pheasantfordinner.com. Available nationwide at MacFarlan online retail store with convenient shipping coast-to-coast via UPS.
This year celebrate with a different kind of poultry and impress your guests .

Stars Rain Down on Caesars Palace and Restaurant Guy Savoy .


Caesars Palace Receives Two Prestigious Forbes Star Awards Caesars Palace named one of Forbes Travel Guide’s Four-Star Hotels and Restaurant Guy Savoy named as a Five-Star Restaurant.

  The Forbes Travel Guide, formerly Mobil Travel Guide is the originator the prestigious Five Star ratings and certifications has reviewed hotels, restaurants and spas since 1958.




Their teams of expert inspectors anonymously evaluate properties against rigorous and objective standards, providing consumers the insight to make better-informed travel and leisure decisions. Recently, Forbes Travel Guide unveiled its 55th annual listing of Star Award-winning hospitality establishments worldwide, and named The Laurel Collection by Caesars Palace and Restaurant Guy Savoy as part of this prestigious list.
The renowned world-class destination resort was awarded Four Stars and Restaurant Guy Savoy was awarded Five Stars. Both are   featured along with all of the 2013 award winners on Startle.com, the online home of Forbes Travel Guide.
Caesars Palace has introduced The Laurel Collection that offers guests a VIP experience, combining premiere accommodations of the Augustus and Octavius Towers.  The Laurel Collection is focused on providing unique, personal touches that include a private valet entrance, an exclusive registration and a dedicated service staff devoted to creating individualized and expedited service.
Additionally , these pampered guests enjoy  spacious floor plans, plush pillow-top mattresses, luxurious linens, upgraded bath products  are among the many deluxe hotel amenities.
“We are honored to be recognized with two esteemed Forbes Star Awards,” said Gary Selesner, Caesars Palace regional president. “Our highly trained team members are completely dedicated to delivering the utmost experience to hotel guests and we are continuing our mission to raise the bar and set the standard for excellence on the Las Vegas Strip.”
Restaurant Guy Savoy is one of  only three Las Vegas restaurants to receive the highly acclaimed Forbes Five Star restaurant award. Guy Savoy and his staff  amaze guests with renown cuisine  with  seasonal menus  that are always r evolving, allowing guests to taste new creations with the freshest ingredients possible. Classic dishes like artichoke and black truffle soup or the more playful creations like potato and black truffle chips make those who have been lucky enough to experience the Paris location feel as though they are right back in the heart of France.
 “I am so proud of my team at Caesars Palace. Most have been together since I opened my only US restaurant in Las Vegas seven years ago. It is an honor to be awarded the prestigious 5 stars by Forbes,” said Chef Guy Savoy.  “I look forwarded to continuing to provide our guests the high level of service, and of course delectable dishes, they have come to expect at Restaurant Guy Savoy “.
“The Forbes Travel Guide annual Star Awards represent the best in class in luxury hospitality. Travelers seeking exceptional experiences rely on our ratings to guide them to the world’s finest hotels, restaurants and spas,” said Michael Cascone, President and COO of Forbes Travel Guide. “By continuing to evolve our ratings categories, we are establishing a global benchmark for the highest standards in hospitality.
For a detailed explanation of how Forbes Travel Guide compiles its Star ratings, visit www.startle.com/about/ratings. To view the complete list of 2013 Forbes Travel Guide Star Award winners, visit www.startle.com/forbes-travel-guide-star-award-winners/2013-star-award-winners