Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Chef Buddy Valastro opens in the Venetian Resort Las Vegas.

Cake Boss Buddy Valastro Credit DCL
Cake Boss Buddy Valastro
Credit DCL
Las Vegas is about to get yet another  superstar Chef with a taste of New Jersey’s other “boss” as Buddy Valastro, the star of the hit TLC series Cake Boss, opens his first restaurant this fall. Partnering with veteran restaurateurs Elizabeth Blau and Kim Canteenwalla, Buddy V’s will be located in The Venetian® Las Vegas and is inspired by his family gatherings and the beloved recipes passed down by his mother, grandmother, and aunts.
This is Buddy V’s  first restaurant and known for his ebullient personality and intricate custom cakes. “People always just think of me as a baker, but beyond the bakery, food has always been at the center of my family’s life,” says Valastro. A partnership with Blau and Canteenwalla, hospitality visionaries widely credited at the center of Las Vegas’ transformation into the world-class culinary destination it is today, lends the creative and operational support system needed to ensure Buddy V’s is the talk of the town. “We’ve been friends with and fans of Buddy for a long time so we are excited to be partnering with him to help bring his vision to life,” says Blau.
The menu will offer new twists on Italian-American classics, as well as Valastro family favorites like Sunday Gravy; Steak Pizzaiola and Lisa’s Linguine and Clams with Lobster. Staying true to Buddy’s baking roots, Buddy V’s will also boast an impressive dessert selection of timeless treats such as Zeppole, Cannoli, and the world famous Lobster Tail Pastry.
Located in the  Venetian Las Vegas and   adjacent to Barney’s New York, Buddy V’s will occupy an astounding 11,000 square feet and offer commanding Strip views in a beautiful room designed by New York based firm, Celano Design.
The Venetian and The Palazzo are well known in the culinary capital of Las Vegas and feature the nation's largest collection of fine-dining restaurants under one roof. “We are thrilled to welcome Buddy as the newest celebrity chef to call The Venetian and The Palazzo home," said John Caparella, president and chief operating officer of The Venetian, The Palazzo, and Sands Expo. "The vision of Buddy and his team is to create a restaurant that will bring many of us back to an Italian Sunday dinner with the family. What a perfect fit for The Venetian and The Palazzo!"
We look forward to welcoming yet another culinary diamond to join the collection of gastronomic jewels on the famed Las Vegas Strip.

MINGO Opens Downtown and offers a unique experience in cocktails and cuisine.

Downtown Las Vegas has been undergoing quite a renaissance coming out the dark ages of not so many years past. It’s the place to be with locally owned bars, restaurants and shops opening up weekly to the delight of the hip crowd, many of whom live within blocks of this newest resurgence in Las Vegas.
One of the early visionaries was the collaboration of entrepreneurs George Harris, Mingo Collaso and Executive Chef Robert Solano with the opening of Mundo in the World Market Center.  Taking a chance that Las Vegas’s renewed attempt at culture, The Smith Center of Performing Arts, would actually come to fruition, Mundo and the collaboration held on, and today Mundo is now a buzz of activity.  The Smith Center is now the cultural pride of Las Vegas and many guests, Broadway Stars and Musicians are known to frequent Mundo on a daily basis.
Fresh off their success at Mundo the trio set out on their next project of opening Mingo Kitchen & Lounge right in the middle of the Downtown Arts District.  Mingo has recently opened and has already created great interest in the downtown lounge /restaurant scene.
Recently we joined George Harris at Mingo for lively conversation and an inside look at his newest hit.  The first thing we noticed is the beautiful courtyard just outside of the restaurant where guest s can order hand crafted cocktails such as the namesake Mingo , craft beers,  Alien Tequila and dine on Chef Robert Solano’s pleasing creations.
The décor can be described as a mix of “old school “ Las Vegas with plush leather couch lounge seating with a contemporary , modern feel  accented by Silver , Black and white classy color combinations. For those who enjoy sitting at the bar, Mingo’s bar is open, comfortable and features power plugs for those who want to stay awhile and catch up on the Internet chatter.
We joined George Harris at a table and ordered up some cocktails to get started.  The beet salad featured fresh, peppery arugula and plenty of tasty beets topped with a crispy Parmesan crisp for richness.

Beet Salad
Beet Salad

We had heard about the Mac and Cheese so we had to see for ourselves if it was as good as we were told.  The plate arrived and the melting cheese aromas enticed our palates for what is one of the best versions of Mac and Cheese we have had in a very long time.  Perfectly cooked pasta topped with three creamy, steamy, rich cheeses was a huge favorite of the day and we would come back just for that.

Mac and Cheese
Mac and Cheese

Chef Robert is known for his skill in using interesting flavor profiles in his dishes. We finished with perfection; the honey –glazed Mahi  Mahi , a blend of sweet, spicy and savory flavors in each bite. The menu also features small bites like tomato and mozzarella crustini, spicy fried wings and sliders, just to name a few.

 This all-star team of entrepreneurs has a huge hit on their hands, judging from the standing room only crowd that goes until the early morning hours. Mingo is a great place to “hangout” with friends; enjoy great cocktails, small bites and even a sumptuous ribeye at prices that are easy on your wallet. Congratulations to the new opening and you will be seeing us mingling at Mingo.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Old Family Favorite S’mores Gains Ground On the Las Vegas Strip.

Remember when you were young and loved anything with melted chocolate? If you think back, most likely the first thing you cooked yourself was s’mores. Golden brown marshmallows, heavenly rich, melted chocolate all in one messy, decadent bite was pure heaven in your mouth. Now you can relive those tasty days in the gastronomic epicenter of Las Vegas.
One stop on your s’mores scavenger hunt is the The Pub at Monte Carlo Resort. Well known for its spectacular choices for craft beer, The Pub brings all the ingredients for s’mores right to the table complete with a flaming hot pot and skewers so you may take great delight in roasting house-made marshmallows to personalized perfection S’mores chefs can choose from lemon, cinnamon-sugar or white crème marshmallows that are served with Hershey’s chocolate and sweet graham crackers.
Monte Carlo - The Pub - Tableside S'mores

 Further down the iconic Las Vegas Strip, visit TENDER Steak & Seafood at the Luxor Resort. This steakhouse features the Campfire More Than S’more platter which features fire-roasted homemade marshmallows served on a warm chocolate brownie.
Luxor - TENDER - More than S'more Platter

Who does not enjoy the very French classic Crème brûlée.  Those with a love of classic French desserts will appreciate the s’mores craze at Red Square at Mandalay Bay Resort with the S’mores Brûlée which includes a palate pleasing orchestra of chocolate and whipped marshmallow fluff accented by a freshly made graham cracker,marshmallow and chocolate s’mores.
Monte Carlo S'mores Tableside
Making your own s’mores is always a fun time, but not all of us are aspiring s’mores chefs but would rather experience a s’more in a whole new light. If that is the case, the Mother Fluffer milkshake from BLT Burger at Mandalay Bay Resort is sure to please. 

This one of a kind marshmallow-flavored drink is made with a rich and creamy blend of vanilla ice cream topped with a sweetly toasted marshmallow.
Las Vegas is at the cutting edge of culinary world with its wide array of culinary all-stars pushing the industry to its limits with eye opening creations from a stable of all-star chefs. In addition, an old family favorite like s,mores has found its place too in a variety of forms in this city of epicurean delights .