Wednesday, September 9, 2015
Avila Beach, a little gem of a beach town on the Central Coast of California could be one of the best beach venues for families and honey-mooners alike. Taking the winding road from Highway 1 , just a side step form San Luis Obispo, we came upon one of our favorite get-away places.
Entering Avila we decided to try out the La Fonda Hotel right off the main street of this quaint little town. The La Fonda is a flattering mix of Mexican and California influences combined with brightly painted walls, Mexican pottery, tile work and cultural art throughout the warm and inviting hotel.
We were greeted warmly at the front desk and walked up to our lovely suite to take look at the view from our porch and the undulating waves of the Pacific. Each room is reminiscent of a small Casita, filled with warmth, color and texture and all the amenities that accompany a world class resort, which is pet friendly for those traveling with their fur babies.
Here is a brief overview from the La Fonda.
World-Class Amenities Include:
• Complimentary 'Hospitality Suite' featuring Fresh Baked Chocolate Chip Cookies, Freshly Brewed Peets Coffee, Tea, Fruit and Bottled Water available 24-Hours a day
• An indulgent manager-hosted Wine Reception held each evening featuring Two Local Wines & All You Can Eat Hors d'oeuvres from 5-6:30PM
• Homemade Pies, Baked Fresh every evening from 8-10PM
• Chocolate Chip Croissants prepared by a Local Bakery and Organic Orange Juice each morning from 6:30 – 11AM
• Decadent Nacho Bar featuring Fresh Fruit Virgin Margaritas, Taco Works Chips, Four Local Salsas, Corona, and Mexican Coca-Cola from 12-2PM
• Complimentary use of Movies, CD's, Books, Board Games, Magazines, Beach Chairs, Towels and Umbrellas
• VIP Welcome Basket including Restaurant and Wine Tasting Discounts
• Commemorative Arrival & Departure Gifts
What more could one desire, and if you do so desire, the amiable concierge will gladly help you plan out any other excursion that you may want to try will in the area.
The staff took great care to provide these services and more during our stay.Our favorite amenity was the homemade pie hour at 8-10 p.m. nightly.
Having met some new found fellow traveler friends, we made a point to meet up together after our many different excursions around the lovely San Luis Obispo area for this nightly occasion. As we all convened back at the hotel, we were met with the enticing smells of freshly baked pies wafting through the lobby. Such a comforting and unique backdrop in spending the remainder of our evening, while bantering back and forth about our lovely adventures, as we indulged in fresh apple, blueberry and cherry pies.
We felt right at home in a most pampered and luxurious manner. With our stomachs richly filled and warm memories engaging our minds, we made our way to our luxurious suite. Along with all the other marvelous amenities and coastal beauty, Avila beach will remain one our favorite places to retreat for some much needed R&R. Our future visits will definitely include a stay at LaFonda a hotel. This is a place that you and your furry friends with become quite “ Fond” of.
Tuesday, August 11, 2015
As a food writer every once in a great while you run into a restaurant that from the moment it opens you know it is special. We watched the build out of Other Mama with great anticipation and have been regulars ever since they opened their doors.
Recently we sat down with Chef/Owner Dan Krohmer at Other Mama to get an intimate look at the man behind the Other Mama.
DK: Many people that are journalists such as yourself, have experience at dining and reviewing all kinds of restaurants. When you talk about Other Mama and what your experience has been like,it creates a buzz with other professionals and locals. People are excited to see what’s going on off the strip. People here are invested in their community and looking to bring in good product and serve it in a non-pretentious at reasonable prices.
Q: What got you to Japan?
DK: I went to Japan and met up with the owners of sushi restaurant I worked at in Sacramento and fell in love with Traditional Japan along with the cherry blossoms and the whole thing, so I stayed. I asked to stay and worked illegally for like $300.00 a month. I did not know any Japanese at the time. I just kept my head down and absorbed. I think everyone should be a minority at some point in your life.
Q: How did you get a chance to work for famed Chef Morimoto?
DK: I got recruited as a Sous Chef after my Japanese training and farm to table experience. I worked for him for about two years before I saw that we was not too much into the kitchen so I transferred to the Sushi Bar where I gained huge experience from him for 2 ½ years.
Q: Tell me about the name Other Mama
DK: My Dads parents weren’t around much, working a lot in Bakersfield. My Great Grand Mother pretty much raised my dad and his brothers and sisters, they called her Other Mama. That’s how she was introduced to us as kids.
Q: The Cuisine at Other Mama is an interesting blend of Asian and American flavors. What is your philosophy on the menu you created?
DK: We take a lot of pride in everything we do here from our salts to our oils. We care about our customers like they are our family. I wanted to keep it neutral after doing Japanese cuisine for so long. I did not want people coming in expecting certain cultural necessities. We just want to be ourselves and celebrate what ingredients we have at the time.
We are not fusion. Obviously we are very seafood based and not following cultural boundaries. For example, Could this certain clam is best presented in a Spanish dish, and then we do it that way. We want to be free to do things as we want to do. I want you to walk out satisfied that you feel like you just walked off a yacht feeing sexy, having enjoyed the abundance of the sea. I learned there is a psychology at a sushi bar. Never let your customers leave full. Have them leave satisfied and wanting to come back. I love the artistry and composition of sushi. I learned don’t have your arms crossed, don’t turn your back on a customer, never have a dirty cutting board, show and give respect to everything you are doing. Sushi is simple but you are always thinking about how you can do it better. Sushi is a lifestyle and s state of mind.
Q: You have traveled and worked for years in this business. What advice would you give someone who is in culinary school or who is an aspiring Chef?
DK: Make sacrifices. It’s not an overnight process. The longer you wait to show what you can do, the better off you will be. Become the best chef you can possibly be before venturing out on your own. The more you sacrifice the better you will be.
Other Mama has become an overnight success. The doors open nightly (closed Tuesdays) at 5pm and it is highly suggested to get there early. It’s not long before the bar and restaurants are at capacity with many enjoying a very special experience. The Salmon Sashimi is one of the best we have had. Check the menu board for an excellent selection of Oysters delivered daily. You can’t go wrong with Caviar & French Toast w Crème Fraiche. This dish is an explosion of contrasting flavors that will keep you coming back for more. For Kim Chi lovers try the Pork Belly Kim Chi Fried Rice with Wild Mushroom and a Fried Egg.
Libations are a big part of Other Mama as well. Try one of their homemade infusions. Their signature cocktails are named after fine southern ladies such as the Billie-Joe which is a tasty blend of Hendrick’s Gin, Luxardo Maraschino, Cucumber & Basil. Or Dive into the Trixie, a perfect combination of Jameson, Canton Ginger, Lemon and Cayenne.
Come early to secure your seat at Other Mama. Chef Dan and his staff will make you feel right at home. It won’t be long before you are apart of Dan’s Other Mama family.
Thursday, July 30, 2015
The name of Donald Trump is often filled with images of opulence, luxury and sometimes controversy. Recently we had the opportunity to re-visit DJT, the upscale dining venue at the Trump hotel in Las Vegas that is the reflection of the name it represents. Hidden away from the hotel row of Las Vegas Strip, Trump hotel is a gold monolith that rises above the ordinary for those who crave a five star experience without the din of casino gambling in the background.
Being both family and dog friendly, we saw many young two legged and four legged visitors entering the hotel for a peaceful stay away from the flashing neon lights, cigarette smoke and roulette wheels.
As the impeccably dressed valet opens our car door, the gleaming gold, marble and glass of the entrance gives way to more opulence as we proceeded into the lobby of the Trump Hotel. We walked up to the hostess stand amid a stunningly decorated dining and carefully ascended into a very private circular booth with plush indigo violet velvet curtains (that can be pulled together for more intimacy). We were greeted by the effervescent Kyuri Cheun. After her upbeat and energetic welcome and introductions to staff, we were well on our way to trying the seasonal chef’s tasting menu and the new beautifully crafted cocktails list.
We started out with a with a creamy “Red Beret” followed by the Pamplemousse old-fashioned, the “Strawberry Fields” , an extraordinary Moscow Mule , “The Jockey “and rounding out our tasting was the refreshing “Watermelon Basil”. Each cocktail was handcrafted with the freshest ingredients to ensure that the flavors come sparkling through without being overwhelmed by the alcohol.
One of the highlights of staying at DJT is the great care and attention to detail that is infused in everything that you may nibble or taste. We were impressed with the quality of each cocktail and the passion of which the mixologist stirred or shook to make sure that only the best is presented in the glass.
Many people comment, “How do you drink or eat so much and yet maintain your sensibility and weight”? Our answer is always a little bite or taste at a time. Being presented with an excellent array of food and drink it is often difficult to say no to over indulgence but our philosophy in our culinary journey has been creating a sense of moderation and respect to ourselves and to our hosts. DJT seasonal menu is both stunning, fresh and presented in the loveliest setting and with utmost sincerity.
A perfect ending to a lovely meal that is one of the benefits of staying at a hotel that reflects the name of someone who epitomizes excellence.
Wednesday, July 8, 2015
Join us on this very special evening
One of our favorite venues is Andiron Steak & Sea in Downtown Summerlin. Join us as they host an intimate whiskey pairing dinner created by Managing Partners Chef Joe Zanelli and Steve Jerome, along with Southern Wine and Spirits. The dinner will take place on Wednesday, July 29, 2015 at 7 p.m. and reservations are required by calling Andiron Steak & Sea at 702-685-8002. Don't miss out on your seat at the table.
The American Whiskey Experience is $90 per person, exclusive of tax and gratuity:
Peaches & Pecans
Sea Scallop with Summer Corn
Wild Turkey 101, grapefruit, maple syrup
Porcelette Hog “Two Ways”
Sazerac Straight Rye Whiskey
Grilled Prime NY Strip over Apricot Wood
Colkegan Single Malt Whiskey
Chocolate Mousse Tart with Raspberries & Caramel Sea Salt
Michter’s US1 American Unblended Whiskey
Passion Fruit Macarons
Thursday, July 2, 2015
Need a place to hang out during the blazing heat of summer? Public school 702 is now open for all those teachers who want “an education in the art of food and beer” and just about anyone who needs a little refreshment from the sweltering heat of Las Vegas.
Public School 702 is the newest addition to the restaurant line up in Downtown Summerlin and they know what essential ingredients are needed to create a space that is inviting and a menu that incorporates great fresh ingredients in a up-beat and flavorful manner. This new gastropub has a décor that has educational nuances, including a cocktail menu printed with blue lined composition paper, mathematical flashcards circling the ceiling around the bar along with lab-style communal tables and world globe light fixtures. With 14,000 square feet of bar and restaurant space, there is a seat for everyone. Beer lovers should rejoice because beers from local breweries are available along with 24 beers on tap, with 11 rotating seasonally. If beer is not your drink of choice, various artisanal cocktails as well as wine on tap and in the bottle are available for your selection.
We stopped in to see what Public School 702 educating the public about in one of the newest dining and drinking spots in Las Vegas. Our “education” began with one of their signature starters, the speck and eggs. Who doesn’t like a good deviled egg? These four beauties came with the creamy yolk accented with a touch of spice in an egg white cloud. The speck lent that savory crunch with a touch of visual taste appeal (and is a one of the best deviled eggs we have tried in this town). Next on our plate was the Grilled Watermelon & Heirloom salad. The refreshing watermelon and vine ripened heirloom tomatoes arrive in a generous portion sprinkled with the pungent feta cheese drizzled with balsamic. The salad has a nice textural component from an abundant sprinkling of marcona almonds. For the entrée, it just had to be the Prime Flat Iron Steak with Truffle Butter. The steak was cooked to a perfect medium rare, emanating signature pinkness, cut into strips and adorned with a side of chorizo mac and cheese. The succulent steak was highlighted with the Truffle Butter, not over powered by it. The mac and cheese had a nice creaminess, and the bits of chorizo added a bit of heat and texture.
Sporting an amazing wrap around outdoor patio and engaging games for the younger crown such as as an over-sized Jenga, Connect Four, and shuffle board, this venue is not only for the 21 and over crowd but for the entire family. For those that are over 21, stop by for the happy hour menu Monday-Friday 3:30-6:30. One of the most affordable bottomless Bloody Mary’s in town is available on the Brunch menu Saturday and Sunday for a mere $10. Educating the palate and encouraging further culinary investigation is what Public School 702 is planning to do. For more information: PSonTap.com 1850 Festival Plaza Dr, Las Vegas, NV 89135 (702) 749-3007
Monday, June 15, 2015
The Clicquot en Route truck with its signature yellow color will continue in honoring Madame Clicquot, the woman who helped create the brand. Before the time of electronic media, Madame Cliquot managed all of the brand’s business through letters to suppliers and agents. The Clicquot en Route truck commemorates the personal attention that Madame Clicquot’s legacy continues to share today. Come out and join Veuve Clicquot and us to celebrate the Clicquot Mail Truck's arrival in Las Vegas! The mail truck hosts a special photobooth, Veuve samples and surprises and encourages visitors to write and mail a letter just as Madame did years ago. We want everyone to join in to welcome the arrival of the some of the France’s best champagnes.
Everyone loves a bit of the bubbly, and in our opinion the best bubbles only come from Champagne. One of the most beloved of Champagnes, Veuve Clicquot is transporting a great celebration of savings with very special offerings this week only at four of Las Vegas’s favorite restaurants: Park on Fremont, Hearthstone at the Red Rock Resort and Casino, Hard Rock Cafe' and the historic Flamingo Hotel.
It all begins with a Clicquot en Route offering at Park on Fremont Veuve Clicquot. Yellow Label will be available by-the-glass for $13 and by-the-bottle for $58 while Non-Vintage Rosé will be available by-the-glass for $17 and by-the-bottle for $72 from 8:00pm – 10:00pm on Thursday, June 18. With the purchase of two glasses of champagne, guests will receive complimentary mac and cheese balls or house-made fried pickles. With the purchase of a bottle, guests will have the choice between a complimentary strawberry summer salad or fried chicken and waffle sandwich.
On Friday, June 19 from 6:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m., stop by the Hearthstone and purchase 2 flutes of Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label of Non-Vintage Rosé and receive your choice of truffle honey popcorn or honey olive cake. Additionally, purchase a bottle of Yellow Label and receive your choice of heirloom watermelon salad or baked ricotta, or purchase of a bottle of Rose and satisfy your hunger with a choice of tune poke or mushroom flatbread.
On June 20, spend your Saturday with Veuve Clicquot at the Nirvana Pool at the Hard Rock Café. From 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.. Cool off with a Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label infused snow cone or indulge in one of Veuve Clicquot’s signature Yellow Label cookies. End your weekend on a high note on Sunday, June 21 at the Flamingo Las Vegas. Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label mimosas will be available for $16 while bottles will be avialable for $160.
Visit www.ClicquotMail.com to learn where we’re headed and follow along at www.Twitter.com/VeuveClicquot for real-time event updates.
Tuesday, June 9, 2015
Alex Stratta is a name synonymous with excellence.
This Michelin award winning Chef is now bringing his culinary magic to the common diner via his newly opened Tapas by Stratta restaurant. The Tapas concept although seemingly the recent rage in bringing an affordability and approachability to the masses here in Las Vegas, has been around for a very long time.
The word “tapas” is derived from the Spanish verb tapar, “to cover.” According to The Joy of Cooking, “the original tapas were the slices of bread or meat which sherry drinkers in Andalusian taverns used to cover their glasses between sips. This was a practical measure meant to prevent fruit flies from hovering over the sweet sherry. The meat used to cover the sherry was normally ham or chorizo, which are both very salty and activate thirst. Because of this, bartenders and restaurant owners began creating a variety of snacks or appetizers to serve with sherry, thus increasing their alcohol sales. The tapas eventually became as important as the sherry.”
Far removed for those days of practical culinary improvisation, we see this concept of small plates popping up from many major culinary Chefs who are bridging the gap between fine dining and affordability. The concept is to share and create an experience with conversation and various small plates instead of focusing on one main entrée. And…We don’t have to worry about the fruit flies invading our sherry, since Chef Alex has honed his culinary skills to now bring a much more sophisticated approach to the Tapas style dining experience.
Nestled amongst the myriad of restaurants in the rustic faux Italian town square of Tivoli Village, Chef Stratta has opened his version of a Spanish Tapas style restaurant that has transformed the now defunct PoppyDen with bright warm beige yellow walls, eye catching red-orange seating, décor highlighted with an eclectic mix of white framed mirrors and lively original Chef Stratta paintings.
As we relaxed into the seats, we were anticipating our turn to try some of the Tapas offered by this amazing Chef. He stated, “This is a labor of love.” And by creating everything from the artwork on the walls to the artwork on the plate, we are thrilled that he has poured his creative soul into this new venture.
We took a look at the menu and found the food to be pleasantly thought out and superbly executed. Starting with the Slow Roasted beet salad with cheese, candied walnuts. The the creamy and pungent taste of the cheese provided an inviting contrast to the dense-semi sweet beets along with the crunch and texture of the candies walnuts to get us off to a great start.
Next on the plate was the Jamon Iberico Spanish ham with tiny cigar shaped crackers. These crunchy treats are paper thin and delicate with a mild saltiness, which provided us a true taste of Spain. A nice sharable plate we highly suggest are the charred Padrón peppers with garlic chips, and onion crisps. Although not too hot, they were an perfect companion to our Tapas line up.
Our favorite of the evening was the special beef cheeks. They were meltingly tender with a deep rich flavor highlighted even further with little bits of Medjool dates,spiced with jalapeno, sprinkled with sesame seed, on a bed of pureed chic peas and braised red wine sauce. Each bite was exquisitely prepared and the meat melted with the spicy sweetness of the sauce. We had to reboot and to halt the motion of the fork in order to try our next dish that was the special Paella of the evening.
Highly recommended was the Paella with squid ink that created an inky blackness, and fresh seafood flavor. It’s cooked to order in shallow pans using bomba rice, dense rice that is similar to Arborio rice. Rice is the most important ingredient in paella, which is the reason many paellas are called "arroces" in spain.
The rice is cooked to a socarrat. Socorrat, from the Spanish verb socarrar (meaning to singe), is an intrinsic part of paella, which when done properly creates a crisp bottom crust that needs to be scraped from the metal pan. The deeply toasted texture lends the dish its signature quality.
We were glad we saved this dish to share later in our culinary journey. Although Tapas is known as small plates, there was nothing small about the flavors and textures of each dish. With several of these plates, we were well satisfied.
Amid, our tasting and conversation, we indulged in the house sangria, of wine and fresh fruit mingled together that was refreshing and thirst quenching. Of course we had to indulge in a glass of Tempranillo to further our “Spanish” cuisine experience. Although the wines by the glass were very reasonable we felt the wine list needed more flexibility in price and range.
Last but now least, was the Flan. Being a native Miamian, Flan was something that was the dessert of choice while growing up. Not just any Flan will do, this one has a firm, dense,creamy texture, layered with a caramel sauce that adds to the sweetness but doesn’t overwhelm with too much sugar.
Growing pains are normal in any new restaurant, and we believe Chef Stratta ‘s depth of culinary excellence far exceeds any beginning hiccups. Adjusting to a more approachable dining experience creates a learning curve for everyone involved. We can only hope that many will come by to share several outstanding Tapas crafted by one of our cities greatest chefs. Having this caliber of restaurant aside from the glare of the neon, is both refreshing and exciting.
Tapas by Alex Stratta is open Dinner:
5:30PM to 9:30PM (Sunday-Thursday)
5:30PM to 10:30PM (Friday & Saturday)With a seven day happy hour menu available from 4:30-6:00 pm.For reservations call 702-483-3555 or visit tapasalexstratta.com
Friday, June 5, 2015
Newport Beach, CA has become one of the biggest destinations in the U.S. for its luxury lifestyle and picturesque beaches. Recently it has been gaining a reputation for its exploding food and wine scene.
The 2015 Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival sponsored by American & Southern Wine Spirits will bring together some of the nation’s biggest chefs while spotlighting Orange County’s best restaurants, wine experts, wineries and more.
This year’s Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival features an all-star Lineup. Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters” and Recent “Top Chefs” reunite for Live Cooking Demos While the Region’s Most Renowned Executive Chefs Offer up the Best in Restaurant Tastings.
Guests will enjoy celebrity chef cooking demos by Rick Bayless, Hubert Keller, Rick Moonen and recent “Top Chef” Alums.
Regional chefs get into the action with Orange County’s most renowned restaurants like Montage, Pelican Hill, Mastro’s, Roy’s, Fig & Olive and RED O.
Oenophiles will take their seats at Elite wine panels led only by Master Sommeliers, including Fred Dame and Michael Jordan (as seen on the movie Somm). There will even be 200 world-renowned, “cult" and boutique wines to be enjoyed and a jazz lounge showcasing live music, mixology courses, hand-crafted cocktails and beers samplings.
At the daytime festival on Saturday, guests will have the unique opportunity to learn from Chefs Rick Bayless and Hubert Keller’s culinary mastery through live cooking demonstrations, while also mingling with them during book signings and special events. Chef Bayless will also be cooking in one of the Grand Tasting Pavilions, personally serving cuisine from his acclaimed Newport Beach restaurant RED O. During Sunday’s Daytime Festival event, Orange County fare will collide with Las Vegas cuisine, as Golden Truffle Executive Chef Alan Greeley takes the stage with Chef Moonen. As long-time friends, this will surely serve as a highly entertaining cooking demonstration.
This year, there will be an ultimate hands-on cooking competition, where guests will channel their inner chef skills on stage while being coached by “Top Chef” Alumni. Season 11 Finalist and TWENTY EIGHT Executive will be leading this Top Chef Home Cook Challenge.
Each of the four contenders will be chosen from the audience and compete on stage with celebrity coaches like Bravo’s “Last Chance Kitchen” Winner and “Top Chef” Finalist Louis Maldonado. One winner will be honored as the very first Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival Top Chef Champion.
Join Cuisineist editors when the festival kicks off on the evening of Friday, October 2 (6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.) with the official Launch Party & Charity Event at Oak Grill & Aqua Lounge. On Saturday, October 3, and Sunday, October 4 (1 p.m. – 5 p.m.), the Daytime Festival at the Newport Beach Civic Center will feature celebrity chef cooking demos, book signing, restaurant and wine tastings, sommelier panels, mixology courses, handcrafted cocktails, live jazz and more.
Net proceeds benefit charity partner Project Hope Alliance.
Tickets for the Festival are on sale now. More information on the Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival, please visit www.newportwineandfood.com or call (888) 511-FEST. For ongoing updates, follow the Festival on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. See you there!
Thursday, April 16, 2015
Bon Appetit’s Vegas Uncork’d bring Celerity Chefs and Guests Together under the Neon.
This year line-up includes Chef Emeril Lagassee , Chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger , Ho Chee Boon, James Beard Award-Winning Chef Shawn McClain , Master Chocolatier François Payard, Michelin-starred Chef Guy Savoy, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Steve Martorano, Julian Serrano, Brian Malarkey and Michael Mina at various events throughout this four day culinary throw down.
Vegas Uncork’d attract guests from all over the world and tickets sell out fast. There are still some very tasty events that you can attend. To get your seat at a celebrity chef table you must act quickly! Start at the ARIA Resort and mingle with culinary superstars Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Julian Serrano, Michael Mina, Shawn McClain, Masa Takayama, and more as they take over The Buffet at ARIA and put their gourmet spin on self-service style dining.
Don’t miss enjoying Tequila and Tacos with the Too Hot Tamales. Join us and watch Chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger spice things up with a fabulous fiesta fueled by tequila and tacos. Mix and mingle with other guests at the new Border Grill inside The Forum Shops at Caesars while enjoying unlimited signature tacos, ceviches, seafood cocktails, oysters, and more. Top off the delicious celebration with a variety of free flowing and award winning margaritas at an interactive drink station.
The biggest night of them all is the Grand Tasting and should not be missed. Are you ready for the ultimate culinary indulgence? Enjoy a staggering variety of signature dishes prepared by the world’s most celebrated chefs. Step into the luxurious Garden of the Gods Pool Oasis at Caesars Palace to experience the best of the best with more than 75 award-winning chefs, free-flowing wines, and spirits from around the world. It’s well worth beating the crowd with a 7:30 p.m. early access ticket. You’ll get exclusive early admission to sample the freshest dishes and drinks from your favorite chefs and top mixologists. It also gives you much more time to mingle with Hubert Keller, Emeril Lagasse, Michael Mina, Rick Moonen,Guy Savoy and Gordon Ramsay!
To finish the evening in true Vegas Uncork’d style join us at the Grand Tasting after party. Why not close out your evening with your favorite celebrity chefs and the acclaimed editors of Bon Appétit while sipping sparkling Champagne cocktails, enjoy passed bites, and get down to a rockin’ soundtrack at FIZZ Las Vegas , the hot new nightclub at Caesars Palace. Partygoers can also revel in the private art collection of Sir Elton John and his partner, David Furnish, who designed the lavishly elegant space.
Are you hungry? Join us at Emeril’s Fish House with Celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse himself. Enjoy an intimate dinner event where we will savor kicked-up versions of market fresh fish and shellfish creations alongside flavorful signature dishes. Emeril’s multi-course menu will be paired with a selection of wines off the restaurant’s award-winning wine list. There is still time to get in on the action. For additional information and to purchase tickets, please visit www.VegasUncorked.com. See you there!
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
We have been fortunate over the years to bear witness to a special partnership that assembled a team and have opened not one, not two, but three successful restaurants. Their venues are not a chain, rehashing and copying the first success. Each one of their restaurants are unique and unlike their sister venues. Three concepts and three successes.
Who are these people that defied the odds and certainly have proven they have the right stuff you may ask? Who else would it be than renowned restaurateurs Elizabeth Blau and her husband Chef Kim Canteenwalla. They are the great minds behind Honey Salt and Made L.V. located in Summerlin and of course Buddy V’s Ristorante in the Palazzo Resort.
The Food and Beverage community waited with great anticipation for their newest and most ambitious venue yet, Andiron Steak & Sea located in Downtown Summerlin. The wait is over! We attended the VIP opening along with a whos’ who of local and national journalists, Chefs and stars from every universe you could imagine. Impressive to say the least, Andiron is simply breath taking. Designer Thomas Schlesser really went all in the interior décor of the main dining room, a very sexy lounge and bar as well as a relaxing patio where guests can dine Al Fresco.
Elizabeth and Chef Kim know it takes a team to be a success and named managing partners Stephen Jerome and Chef Joseph Zanelli to lead the Andiron operations. They both have been on the team all along the journey, from both Honey Salt and Made L.V.
With the opening of Andiron Steak & Sea, this dynamic team have introduced Fine Dining at a whole new level of sophistication not just for the very swank Downtown Summerlin but for Summerlin over all. It’s been a long time coming.
Andiron should be visited on multiple occasions to get a true feel for the restaurant and mixology. Start your experience off with a tasty Little Gem Salad with maytag blue cheese, vine ripe tomatoes and maple glazed thick cut bacon. Next up, enjoy a Yellow Tail Crudo to get your palate ready for some gastronomic fun. We enjoyed Steak Tartare, a nice blend of grass fed tenderloin, capers, Dijon mustard, quail egg and grilled bread to top it off. Don’t forget to order the Hudson Valley Foie Gras with huckleberry jam and toasted brioche. This is only a start!
Looking at Entrés we suggest you do some exploring. For the carnivores, dive into a 36oz Tomahawk Chop for two. You can’t go wrong with a Creek Stone Farms 18oz Bone In Rib Eye cooked medium rare of course. For a little bit lighter fare enjoy a 9oz Wagu Skirt Steak.
From the Sea, we enjoyed a Scottish Salmon with serrano ham crust, shaved brussels sprouts and cipollini onions topped off with a peruvian chili glaze. Andiron’s Grilled Whole Branzino with roasted peppers ragu, capers with wild fennel & pine nuts was suggested by Chef Kim. Also we can say is perfecto!
For the vegetarians, how about a steak? Their Roasted Cauliflower Steak with cauliflower puree, king trumpet mushrooms and pickled fresno pepper vinaigrette is sure to please.
For a great finish, don’t be shy order of few of these tasty treats. Bite into Ashley’s Crème Brulee Donuts featuring a rich vanilla custard or a nice Warm Pecan Carrot Cake with bourbon cream cheese and pineapple currant compote. Hungry yet?
On our visit we enjoyed some excellent choices from their impressive wine list. The lounge features the classic Andirion Martni with stoli elit vodka, vittone bianco vermouth and stuffed olives. The Midnight Rambler is a Chef Kim original and a personal favorite featuring bulleit rye, maple syrup and angostura bitters. The Pineapple Bump with absolut elyx, pineau des charantes, pineapple, apple vinegar, fresh lemon sour and club soda has been creating quite a buzz as well.
What can we say to Elizabeth, Kim and their team but congratulations once again and you will see us often.