Monday, October 1, 2018

MB Steak at the Hard Rock Hotel In Las Vegas transitions with taste and flair.




Striving for steak house notoriety is challenging in a city filled with extraordinary restaurants but MB Steak House at the Hard Rock Hoteland Casino is now celebrating a year anniversary with many inventive menu items and new hotel branding on the horizon.  
Photo: Scott Harris



Chef Patrick Munster brings his culinary acumen and artistic flair to dishes he prepares for  notable restaurateur brothers David  and Michael Morton, along with the best in wait staff that the city has to offer; together they have created an epicurean steakhouse that keeps the legacy alive. MB stands for “My Brother’s” and pays homage to their father, legendary restaurateur Arnie Morton, Grandfather Morton C. Morton, and great-grandfather, Hymie.



The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino has been the ideal setting for integrating an urban hip vibe with a fusion of classic steakhouse ambience and modern sophistication for years.  In March 2018, Sir Richard Branson announced his partnership in Virgin Hotels with his ebullient acquisition of Hard Rock Hotel.  MB’s sultry sophistication is the ideal setting for enjoying a classic cocktail or one of the many wines or premium spirits listed on the extensive menu. 



Photo Scott Harris


Sir Richard Branson agrees.  “One of the coolest things he did was to bring the front of the house and the back of house together and tell us that one of the reasons that he decided to buy the Hard Rock was because of MB Steak,” exclaimed Chef Munster.

Munster is motivated to keep his dishes fresh, interesting and a bit edgy to keep the patrons please during the transition process.





 
Begin with the unctuous Maplewood bacon with sweet maple glaze and a simple frizee salad where the acidity of the lemon vinaigrette and  lovely poached egg compliments the sweet, salty and savory taste buds simultaneously. 




Photo: Scott Harris 



Munster’s scallop dish is not to be missed. The scallops sublime golden brown caramelization and earthy Saskatchewan chantrelle mushroom accented with an herb buerre blanc showcases the fall seasonality of the dish with hearty earthy flavors. 










The 18 oz. Creekstone Farms rib-eye or a Miyazaki Japanese A5 Wagu is an unsurpassed way to enjoy your dining adventure as well. Elevate your selection with a choice of Béarnaise, Peppercorn, Bordelaise or MB Steak Sauce. 
Leave enough space for a taste of sweetness with desserts for two; a decadent New York cheese cake or the layered carrot cake with roasted spiced pineapple, and candied pecans.

Photo Scott Harris


 MB Steak combines a private valet entrance, two floors of classic steakhouse fare and an excellent beverage program into a luxurious dining experience that is going forward with continued confidence of superb taste and dedicated hospitality.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Chef Scott Conant, opens his newest venue at a local’s favorite Casino and Resort in Las Vegas.


After shuttering Scarpetta and wine bar D.O.C.G at the Cosmopolitan last year, this was not good bye for Chef Scott Conant but a new hello to a more local friendly crowd just a few miles away from the neon lights of the Las Vegas Strip. Restaurateur, Food network Star and judge of “Chopped” is the first celebrity chef to bring his passionate work ethic and bold Italian cuisine away from the glitz and glamour of the Las Vegas Strip. 


Station Casino’s 4 Diamond AAA rated destination hotel the Red Rock Casino and Resort eagerly anticipated the opening of Conant’s Masso Osteria meaning “boulder” in Italian thus honoring the remarkable surrounding red rock landscape. 

Conant’s honest Italian cooking and dedication to his craft have garnered him celebrity chef status and numerous industry accolades which now give resident Southern Nevadans and visitors a unique opportunity to experience a celebrity chef culinary excellence in a local setting.  


Trading the hustle and bustle of New York for the arid desert landscape, Scott has made his home in Scottsdale and plans on frequenting his newest restaurant endeavor on a regular basis. We had a few minutes to meet up with this affable and astute chef, whose warm and friendly demeanor immediately puts everyone at ease.

We wanted to know why you decided to go off the Strip with the Station Casino’s.

SC: First of all it has been 10 years since I have been spending time in  Las Vegas and I have garnered a lot of friendships and relationships and there are a lot of locals here that do a great job particularly hospitality wise. This is a local’s casino and I feel that you don’t get a lot of the local appreciation on the Strip because it is a lot of tourists. Yes, it is fun and happening but not everyone wants to deal with that. The attention here is in creating something the locals can appreciate.



We have major sport teams coming to Las Vegas, including the Raiders and now professional base baseball and NHL hockey practice facility right next to the Red Rock Resort where these developments an influence on you making the decision to open here?

SC: Let’s just say it did not hurt.

 There are many great Italian restaurants in Las Vegas. What is it about your brand that is going to stand out from the rest?

 SC: I feel like I made a good splash here after the years over year, with some good success. But like I said I felt like I didn’t have many locals coming to the restaurant (Scarpetta). I have good relationships with many of the locals and have been involved in charity work here whether it being Community in Schools, Keep Memory Alive or Opportunity Village. These things that I am involved in here locally have separated us from the other Italian restaurants. 


  How often will you be coming to Las Vegas?

SC: Very frequently since I am now in Scottsdale and it is only a 45 minute flight or a short drive.

What is your favorite meal to cook for your family?

SC: If my weight wasn’t an issue, I would cook pasta all the time. But when I have friends come over, I love doing Risotto, pasta or a nice Rib eye of beef that when you put it front of people there is a wow factor. I did Turkey for Thanksgiving which is fresh memory for me because I am not home very often, and it turned out beautifully and I got the most likes on Instagram.

In one word how would describe Masso.

SC: Yes, I can do that in one word. The word is convivial, which captures that sense of   happiness and sense of gregariousness, a general sense of enthusiasm that I want people to have inside this place whether it is enthusiasm for the food, the atmosphere, the vibe, or the service. There is a lot inside restaurant that ingratiates itself to the people who want to come here and spend time here that is the intention.

What is the number one thing you want to draw people into you doors with?

SC:  That’s interesting because I just had a conversation with my team. What I feel that the staff should exude to the guests who walk in the door is heart, simple as that. Understand the idea that here is another celebrity chef but I am not completely comfortable with that, but I am a restaurant guy who has been working in restaurants since I was 15 years old. This is a part of what I do and all the other stuff I do is to make this all work. The fact of the matter is I want people to know that this really heartfelt for me.  Happy cooks, cook happy food, and happy servers serve happy guests and that’s the way it should be.  Pardon the term but it is a trickledown effect.

 Your mantra is peace, love and pasta.

SC: Yes, that is what keeps me grounded. The sign in the restaurant was designed from my own handwriting.

It takes a village of people to make this all work. Are there any certain people you would like to acknowledge? 



SC: Yes, I have many core team members that make this all work for which I am thankful to, such as Dan Tackett my corporate chef who a super star. He is the guy in the background toiling away and doesn’t always get the credit, my Director of operation, Irene Chang and many others. They are all swimming in their own lane, but we are swimming to the same goal.

 What advice would you give an aspiring culinary student who may have stars in their eyes?

SC:  I once saw the Dali Lama speak and he said I never give unsolicited advice, that is not my role, but if you ask me I would be happy to tell you.  I would say what advice would I give my 20 year old self, such as don’t go out drinking all night and making a jack ass out of yourself. You can never get that time back; it nice to have fun but apply yourself. When you are younger you often think you know it all. I can only speak for myself, but I wish I had taken business classes to fill in my own blanks. If you can do that you are better off knowing business, understanding negotiating tactics and contracts and all that stuff that is very important to learn as far as the business side of things. Also, working very hard in learning how to articulate a thought well is also very important. Learn to talk about food, taste and your experience. I wish I would have know these earlier on, but I have self-educated myself so to speak to learn these things.

 What do you do to relax when not in the kitchen?

SC: I really work non-stop, all day every day. I work more now than I did as a young chef. I think my only down-time is on a plane going place to place. I am not complaining. I have been on both sides of this and this is where I would rather be as opposed to no one is calling. Self perseveration is the biggest thing.

 It must be a challenge to balance it all. Is there more of a trend to healthy living amongst Chefs?

SC: Yes, but it also easy to self medicate and having three or 4 glasses of wine at the end of the evening can become a vicious cycle that disrupts sleep patterns. The alcohol really needs to be cut out. At a certain age things need to become a bit healthier. You see so many Chefs going from self indulgence to a healthier lifestyle. Many have young children and want to be there for them.

 Aside from you knives what is one kitchen could you not live without.

 SC: A spoon, I have a spoon everywhere I go and a pair of tweezers. I can always get a knife from someone else. That way I feel prepared.  


Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Daou Vineyards in Paso Robles California strives to impart family tradition one sip at time.



On the warm dusty summer’s day in Paso Robles California, we entered the palatial Daou Vineyards tasting room where a historic bell hangs and as it sounds it seems to call to those to come and learn of a family that truly respects Mother Nature’s bounty. We were met by Katherine Daou-Versochi, brand manager and daughter of wine maker Daniel Daou.

 Daou wines are a family affair with Daniel Daou at the winemaking helm and brother Georges Daou as proprietor and operations manager. “When you are here we talk a lot of history and tradition; they are the two important pillars we stand on,” said Katherine. “We acquired the property in 2007 and have 212 total acres, 160 are producing wine at this time. We are always looking on was to innovate and improve our wine making aiming at creating more of a lifestyle around the wines,” continued Katherine. 

Gazing over the golden hills of undulating rows of twisted vines, we sipped on glasses of refreshing Daou Grenache Blanc as we settled in to learn more about the history, terroir and philosophy behind Daou Vineyards.

When speaking of great Cabernets most people’s minds immediately light up with the words Napa Valley but Paso Robles California located halfway between LA and San Francisco is gaining international attention as place of superb Bordeaux varietal distinction, especially in the world of Cabernet Sauvignon. 
The AVA has dramatic swings in climatic growing conditions due to the Santa Lucia Mountains buffering effect on Pacific Ocean maritime influence, creating a significant variation between evening and daytime temperatures. 
The warmer growing conditions along with the rocky, limestone or calcareous clay soils found prominently on the western side of Paso Robles provide the perfect planting and growing conditions for Bordeaux varietals. 

The most widely planted varietals in the region are Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Zinfandel, Merlot and Chardonnay. Paso Robles is now home to over 250 wineries with many of which have national and international distinction. Daou Vineyards has taken the art and science of wine making within a family legacy while establishing wines of international excellence.

Located in western Paso Robles is Daou Mountain rising 2,200 feet in the Adelaida District. The clay soils, steep slopes and uniform exposure promote excellent growing conditions that rival Bordeaux’s Right Bank. Renowned winemaking authority Andre Tchelistcheff concluded that the terrior was  “a jewel of ecological elements”; alluding to its tremendous potential in producing world acclaimed wines. Owners and proprietors brothers Georges J. Daou and wine-maker Daniel Daou have combined their efforts in cultivation wines of legacy and lasting tradition within this epitome’s site. “This terroir is naturally inclined to produce wine of extraordinary staying power. We spare no amount of imagination or technology in harnessing that power to make wines of dimension and elegance,” affirmed winemaker Daniel.



 Proprietor Georges  Daou joined us for a few moments to reflect on the arduous, yet rewarding journey that he and his immediate family have united upon in creating wines of destiny. Fleeing from war-torn Lebanon in the early 70’s the family relocated to the south of France where the wine centric culture would later determine their future destinies. 

The Daou brothers went on to pursue their education at University of California San Diego while following the American dream by building profitable tech focused businesses in the United States. Through stalwart determination, dedication, and adherence to family honor, the brothers found great success from which they have parlayed their savvy business sensibility into fashioning a wine destiny and lineage beyond the transitory flight of immediate satisfaction.

“This is definitely an American dream, but I shy away from that word because a dream has an end, this is not an end,” said proprietor Georges Daou.

“I wrestle with what word this is, perhaps destiny. This has grown and continues growing more than we ever imagined. We were semi-retired and yet we wanted something to do that would bring us joy. We have always been entrepreneurs and have always worked for ourselves. We created this with happiness in mind; we wanted to create this to make really nice wines to share with others. At first we had 300 people show up now we have over 4000 a year without advertising except through social media. We are busy every day. I don’t compare myself with anyone. 

My brother is the wine maker, I am a life maker. I am interested in making your life better and I don’t care if someone is bigger or better. I am doing this for those around me, for my parents and those that were before them. I do this for them; their generation went through a lot. It is bigger than me and it will be here after I am gone. I don’t think people will remember me but what matters now is this moment. Our goal is to create a garden, a playground, a community where people will keep coming back. It’s a complex juggernaut. 
You have to go to the abyss of this industry but we know where we are going and we want others to go with us on our journey. We make the best wine and we place it where we think our customers live and then we watch. It is not easy, because every bottle is handmade and hand sorted. I can tell you we are very selective with the best grapes we can get; we select the wines and the barrels. The $25 bottle is made with the same passion and love as the $300 bottle,” imparted Georges. “What are you looking for? We have wines for every occasion.”

The Daou brothers have planted their soul on the soil in their production of these fine wines. The wines express the complexities of flavors, of black currents and bramble fruits, subtle minerality along with incredible structure. Jeb Dunnick of The Wine Advocate stated that the premier 2014 vintage was, “Easily the greatest Bordeaux blends I’ve tasted from Paso Robles.”  




Now with the addition of world renown Master Sommelier Frederick L. Dame as Daou’s Global Ambassador, these exceptional wines are moving forward into the global market. “I couldn’t think of a better final chapter of my career than the opportunity to work alongside the Daou brothers,” said Dame. “Their commitment to excellence sets them apart and it has been demonstrated vintage after vintage with purity and ascent of their wines-from Estate to Reserves. Daou’s ability to process the hand harvested grapes using their unique optical sorting technology, combined with their specific fermentation and aging process in custom French oak barrels combined with in-depth phenolic analysis lends to superior Cabernet Sauvignon in the glass, on the nose, and on the palate.”

Wine speaks for itself, it tells a story and that tale is never ending but always evolving. By honoring Daou Mountain for its hearty soils and precise atmospheric conditions, combined with astute business and scientific acumen, the Daou family is fashioning Cabernets that will endure with the test of time.

Las Vegas to Laguna Beach Ca.- only an hour away for a day of beachy reprieve.

Just an hour flight from Las Vegas is Laguna Beach Ca. A place of reprieve and ease, where the undulating ocean waters can lull you into a Zen like state and the cool ocean breezes can blow away the desert dust that has dried and dulled the senses. Let’s face it-sometimes you just have to get away from the hustle and harried heat of sin city.



 

 Now with JetSuiteX, the convenience of climbing aboard the Embarer-135 while by-passing security screening, long lines and overcrowded conditions makes that ocean side jaunt an effortless and joyful interlude at surprisingly affordable pricing. (Make sure you use the discount code on the website for further savings.) 


The 30 leather business class type seats and complimentary beverage and snack service make the short one hour flight seem ultra transitory. Upon Arriving at the private terminal in Santa Ana’s John Wayne Airport (SNA) a 30 minute Uber ride takes you to the a rare hotel that is literally on the beach, Pacific Edge Hotel

Although a bit pricy, the experience of overlooking the blue Pacific while the primal pounding of ocean waves is just below your window, is worth the extra expense. 

Just a short walk down the beach is Las Brisas restaurant Las Brisas. Serving up a mix of Baja freshness with its California cuisine since 1979, this popular coastline venue has been attracting international and local diners for decades. 

Reservations are suggested since the 360 ocean views are where many longingly lust for the prime ocean side seats. 
There is nothing better than a Las Brisas classic Margarita or hand crafted cocktail as the sun cascades into the golden rose colored Pacific waters. Recently new menu items have been added to keep the locals and visitors apprise of some revamped classics.


 Begin with Ahi Taco Duo where slices of fresh Ahi are intermingled with creamy avocado, sweet Asian pear and crunchy jicama while a dollop of sirarcha aioli brings a hit of heat. 


The Chicken Mole put the mmmmm in ole!  An epazpote marinated chicken blanketed with decadent mole negro and topped with classic pico de gallo is a savory and satisfying addition.

 For those seeking a vegan option, the new plus of the 3 Sisters Vegan Ragu is just for you. (The three sisters refer to the traditional Native American planting in close proximity of winter squash, corn and beans.) 

The ragu of roasted squash, corn, black beans, chick peas, quinoa accented with tangy lemon zest will satiate the most discriminating diner. For sea-food lovers the many fresh fish and crustaceans dishes are layered in authentic Mexican flavors and spices. 


Las Brisas has been serving the finest in fresh Californian coastal cuisine 7 days a week for decades in Laguna Beach, where ambience and appetite are met with the artistry of Mother Nature.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Summer sizzles with specialty dinners in Las Vegas Nevada.



Summer sizzles with specialty dinners in Las Vegas Nevada

Group dining just got a whole lot more interesting with these unique offerings at some of the most popular restaurants in Las Vegas. 

Entrepreneur restaurateurs’ are reaching out to the community with interesting and flavorful dining options that make it easier on the pocketbook while expanding culinary awareness. These Las Vegas dining venues are going forward to promote convivial dining in the community.

Educational wine experience at Ferraro’s Italian Restaurant and Wine Bar

Ferraro’s Italian Restaurant and Wine Bar wants you to learn about the pleasures of pleasing the palate with their Taste & Learn events. Monthly events sell out quickly as the popularity of these educationally delicious dinners has grown exponentially. Franco Wines supply exceptional producers giving patrons the ability to imbibe in exclusive Italian varietals. Three to four course tasting menus paired with the best wines of Italy make this a popular educational and dining offering.  Make your reservations early to get guarantee you seat at the table. For more information go to Ferraroslasvegas.com

Farm Table dinners at Honey Salt Las Vegas

Known for their love of all things edibly fresh and fabulous husband and wife restaurateurs’ Chef Kim Canteenwalla and Elizabeth Blau share their culinary artistry with special monthly dinners that showcase the bounty of Mother Nature. 


By creating special seasonal menus, these monthly dinners have often become sold out social events. August brings diners to the virtual coast with a dinner inspired by summers at Cape Cod. Wellfleet oysters on the half shell, baked stuff clams and warm main lobster rolls with Elizabeth’s refreshing gin and tonic will have you visualizing pounding surf and blazing bonfires. For more information go to: www.honeysalt.com

Popular Pop Ups at Other Mama

Where do fabulous local chefs go to show off their culinary chops outside of their home base? At a Pop up of course? A Pop up is a popular concept among younger chefs to build exposure to their culinary expertise before opening their own restaurant or culinary concept. 

Other Mama, Dan Krohmer’s popular off strip location is the venue for these intimate dining experiences. 

Join Chef Hermant Kishore as he shares his Kerala Indian Food on Aug.23. For more information go to: OtherMama.com

Snack wagon take over at Roy Ellamar’s Harvest

Ellamar’s signature snack wagon has been taken over by a variety of celebrity chefs in the past including the Voltaggio Brothers, Susan Feniger and Jean Georges. 




The notoriety of great small bites and half priced signature cocktails served by noted celebrity chefs has eager diners lining up to see who will be controlling the cart. 




Instead of taking over the entire restaurant these celebrity chefs present their specialty bites and chat with diners in the lounge. September 7th, 2018, Executive chef Jay Calimlim of Della’s kitchen at Delano Vegas will be sharing his sumptuous snacks. For more information go to: www.bellagio.com

Public House’s seasonal Cicerone Experience

Beer pairing dinners have grown in popularity over the years and this strip restaurant wants to make this concept “public”.  Public House at the Venetian Las Vegas is now offering for the first time a summer Cicerone Experience (Prix fixe beer pairing menu). At $65 patrons can indulge in a thoughtfully prepared 4 course tasting menu that have been expertly paired with refreshing brews by beverage manager, Chris Isham. For more information go to www.venetian.com

Monday, July 30, 2018

The Orleans Hotel and Casino is continuing to raise its restaurant options with events and new openings.




The Orleans Hotel and Casino has become a very attractive and affordable place to stay, play and dine in Las Vegas. The newly opened Bailiwick is a gastropub that is fun, interactive with pool tables for those who enjoy friendly competition. 

 Have a pint or cocktail and enjoy live bands as well as tap takeovers from many of your favorite breweries. Bailiwick’s social hour with bite-sized dishes, specialty cocktails, and 40 beers on draft is the ideal place to spend a late afternoon and into the evening. 



Alder & Birch has been a favorite from its inception. Renowned Justin Vineyards featured specially-selected wines paired with a mouthwatering four-course dinner menu that we could not resist. The dinner certainly got off on the right foot when a delightful shrimp, oyster and cold lobster medallion dish arrived at our table with a Justin Sauvignon Blanc to add to the experience.


 From the sea we went to the earth with a rich portabella mushroom napoleon, grilled vegetables, goat cheese, orange and tomato salsa and truffle oil that paired exquisitely with the Justin Cabernet Sauvignon. 


Our final main course was a gastronomic combination of pleasing flavors. Tournedos featuring center-cut medallions of beef tenderloin, roasted bone marrow with foie gras butter, vegetable bundle, garlic crostini and chimichurri were an exemplary combination with the robust Justin Savant Red Blend.



 You can never forget the cannolis. Guests finished in grand style with traditional miniature cannolis served on a cannoli cake with raspberry and crème anglaise sauces, mixed berries and Chantilly. These decadent delights married impeccably with full bodied Justin Chardonnay.



Boyd Gaming is raising the bar with renovations and additions within their properties. What’s happening at The Orleans Hotel and Casino is just a small sample of surprising upgrades. Guests can trust that good things have just begun and Boyd gaming is going forward to greater changes with more venues, specialty dinners, entertainment and gaming.

Boteco and Grgich Wines Provide The Perfect Combination For An Exceptional Evening.



Boteco is a convivial dining venue where owners Marcus & Alessandra Fortunato have fashioned a lovely and inviting space to sip and savor. The thoughtful menu is sure to please even the most discriminating diner. 




Boteco is all about shareable plates with flavors from around the world created with seasonal and fresh ingredients. Boteco or Botequim is from Brazil meaning a casual meeting place for friends and family. Small bites or Petiscos is what it is all about here and wine tasting events have assembled a dedicated following.





On our visit it was a very special occasion: a celebration of legendary winemaker Mike Grgich’s 95th birthday with wines paired alongside Boteco’s distinctive dishes. Mike Grgich is a foremost winemaking pioneer who first gained international recognition at the “Paris Tasting” of 1976. Judges were shocked when they had chosen the 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay, crafted by Grgich, in a blind tasting as the finest white wine in the world. We were eager to begin our culinary journey with Grgich’s exceptional wines.



Plates in front and glasses ready, the first course arrived to our delight. A rich tomato and mushroom salad harmoniously paired with the 2014 Grgich Hills Estate Fume Blanc. 



The next course of Coquilles St. Jacques Gratinées au Vin Blanc married with the 2013 Grgich Hills Estate Chardonnay exceptionally well. Veal Involtini and Euro buttered mashed potatoes with the 2013 Grgich Hills Estate Merlot had the evening ending on a perfect note. 


"Every day do your best, learn something new, and make a friend,” wrote Miljenko "Mike" Grgich. We could not agree more as we raised a glass and a fork in gratitude to great American wines. For future wine events go to botecolv.com

Saturday, July 14, 2018

595 Craft and Kitchen Celebrates Its One Year Anniversary With Rare Brews.



Locally owned restaurants are our go to when looking to celebrate entrepreneurship from the cities incredible culinary talent off the famed Las Vegas Strip.   


 We first met owners Chris Holding and Van-Alan Nguyen most a year before they opened their successful venue.  After talking with them over drinks we could feel their passion for craft beer and desire to provide a restaurant that provides a haven for people to come together, enjoy unique Asian cusine and of course a cold brew. 




“We hope to energize the community in joining us to support the independent brewers who pour their heart and soul into every batch of beer they brew” they said.


A perfect example of their home-grown relationships is when the bar and restaurant partnered with local brewery Joseph James to unveil the brewery’s 10th anniversary beer along with a handful of rare sours and stouts. This epic experience let us experience some great craft beers and just plain have a good time.

In addition to a huge selection of local and rare craft beers,  sink your teeth into a very traditional Signature Banh Mi. This Honey Soy Glazed BBQ Pork, cucumber, pickled veggies ,  cilantro, jalapeño mayo and rich maggi will have you coming back again and again. A personal favorite, the Furikake Tuna Burger with fresh baby arugula, scallion oil, tomato, shiitake and aioli is hard for us to pass up. 
For those who need a boost after a long night, their Hangover Fries with a chopped burger patty, sharp American, bacon, fried Onion, pickled fresno chilis, scallion and fry Sauce is the perfect way to get your day started right. 



It’s always a pleasure to watch a restaurant grow from its inception into a busy, popular place.  Chris Holding Van-Alan Nguyen and their staff have taken their time and done it right.


Saturday, April 28, 2018

Estiatorio Milos Offers Greek Wine Dinners to Educate and to Enjoy the Greek Bounty from Land and Sea.





Milo’s Restaurateur Costas Spiliadis is known for excellence in Greek Dining serving the freshest Mediterranean seafood found throughout the world. He has now taken it up a notch featuring boutique wines from all over this very ancient land. In Las Vegas, guests can now enjoy a monthly Winemaker’s Table Dinner on the first Thursday of each month. These dinners  provide an outstanding, rare opportunity to experience organic, world-class wines produced from indigenous varieties by award winning winemakers accented by a specially designed, six-course tasting menu featuring  Milos' signature dishes.



Recently, the Pelopnonnese region was featured with excellence on the plate and in the glass. Chef’s selection of oysters served with dill cucumber mignonette and a crisp 2016 Rhous Estate White wine was a splendid beginning to the six-course tasting menu ($79 per person).




Pan seared bay scallops with olive oil and sea salt were the next offering and paired beautifully with a 2016 Tselepos Canava Assyrtiko wine. A meal would not be complete without a tasty fish selection from this renowned venue and Milo’s has an elaborate display of fish and produce that is prominently featured for guests to look at as they make their menu decisions.


On this occasion, perfectly prepared grilled grouper served with Mediterranean couscous and a 2015 Venetsanos Nykteri wine certainly delighted all that attended.



The wine pairings were spot on as the 2016 Venetsanos  Mandilara married wonderfully with a colorful dish of red yellow and orange Holland Peppers with EVOO, roasted garlic, aged balsamic and grilled mushrooms.


Colorado Grilled Prime Lamb chops with steamed broccoli and cauliflower arrived tableside and provided guests with an exceptional cut of lamb, paired with 2014 Rhous Kotsifali Mandilara “skipper red” wine.  

The big FINI was just that; a fabulous dining  experience coming to an end with a sweet and tart Kardopita served with Kaimaki ice cream and fresh fruit paired with 2014 RhousVidiano/Plyto “skipper white”wine.




The Milos Winemaker Table Dinner’s provide novices and experienced oenophiles and opportunity to learn about small production Greek wines and some of the most authentic Greek dishes that can be found outside of the Mediterranean itself.


















Las Vegas Renowned Chefs Beyond The Neon, The Feast of Friends presents Vegas UnStripped by Locals.






Without question Celebrity Chefs world wide have staked their claim under the neon making Las Vegas an epicurean destination not to be missed. There is so much more to what has happened over the last decade than the strip’s shinning culinary all stars. World class culinary talent can be found beyond the neon in very corner of the valley. Many of these Chefs and their staff have worked with the world’s best just 10 minutes away on the famed Las Vegas strip.

Many of these Chefs have known each other for years. Now independent, creating their own dream, they are a close group. Supporting each other on each of their own individual venues that are diverse as the chefs themselves.   

Many of Las Vegas’ most acclaimed independent chef-restaurateurs, working together have made their event, UnStripped a reality This very special event is set for May 12, 2018 from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. They call it The Feast of Friends presents Vegas UnStripped by Locals. The name could not be more appropriate featuring dishes at an undisclosed location in the Las Vegas Arts District and a not-to-be-missed afterparty.

The impressive lineup is certainly a whos who of Las Vegas elite chefs.  Participating chefs include:

Brian Howard – Sparrow + Wolf; 2017 Best New Restaurant of the Year, Desert Companion

Chris Decker – Metro Pizza/Lulu’s Bread & Breakfast; Bronze Medalist, International Pizza Expo 2017

Daniel Krohmer – Other Mama; 2016 One of the Best Restaurants in the Country, GQ Magazine

James Trees – Esther’s Kitchen; 2018 Best Italian Restaurant, Desert Companion 

Jamie Tran – The Black Sheep; 2017 Chef of the Year, EATER Vegas

Justin Kingsley Hall – The Kitchen At Atomic; 2018 One of the Best Restaurants Near Fremont Street, Zagat

Ralph Perrazzo – BBDs; USA Today Best of New York, Top 3 Best Restaurants in Long Island

Sheridan Su – Flock & Fowl/Fat Choy; James Beard Foundation Best Chef Southwest Nomination, 2018

Khai Vu – District One/Le Pho/Mordeo Wine Bar; 2014 Ethnic Restaurant of the Year, Desert Companion

 “I’m excited to be a part of creating more awareness of our local dining scene,” said Chef Brian Howard. “At UnStripped, you won’t see anything phoned in. We are coming to impress.”

 This one of a kind event is produced by Las Vegas-based marketing consultant Eric Gladstone who saw a growing need for the off-Strip scene to be recognized “While the world knows Las Vegas Strip dining is incredible,” said Gladstone, “not enough attention is being paid to how great the off-Strip restaurants have become. They deserve their own spotlight.” He said.  Advance tickets are available at www.vegasunstripped.com for $65 (plus fees). All of the chefs and organizers are volunteering their time in order to keep the price accessible to all. Any net proceeds will be donated to a local downtown-based charity.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Celebrity Chef Scott Conant Moves Off The Las Vegas Strip To Open Masso At The Red Rock Resort,

After shuttering Scarpetta and wine bar D.O.C.G at the Cosmopolitan last year, this as not good bye for Chef Scott Conant but a new hello to a more local friendly crowd just a few miles away from the neon lights of the Las Vegas Strip. Restaurateur, Food network Star and judge of “Chopped” is the first celebrity chef to bring his passionate work ethic and bold Italian cuisine away from the glitz and glamour of the Las Vegas Strip.
Station Casino’s 4 Diamond AAA rated destination hotel the Red Rock Casino Resort and Spa eagerly anticipated the opening of Conant’s Masso Osteria meaning “boulder” in Italian thus honoring the remarkable surrounding red rock landscape. Conant’s honest Italian cooking and dedication to his craft have garnered him celebrity chef status and numerous industry accolades which now give resident Southern Nevadans and visitors a unique opportunity to experience a celebrity chef culinary excellence in a local setting.
Trading the hustle and bustle of New York for the arid desert landscape, Conant has made his home in Scottsdale and plans on frequenting his newest restaurant endeavor on a regular basis. We had a few minutes to meet up with this affable and astute chef, whose warm and friendly demeanor immediately puts everyone at ease.
VLV: We wanted to know why you decided to go from being a Strip restaurateur to now opening Masso within to a popular local’s venue, the Red Rock Casino and Resort.
SC: First of all it has been 10 years since I have been spending time in Las Vegas and I have garnered a lot of friendships and relationships. There are a lot of locals here that do a great job particularly hospitality wise. This is a local’s casino and I feel that you don’t get a lot of the local appreciation on the Strip because it draws a lot of tourists. Yes, it is fun and happening but not everyone wants to deal with that. The attention here is in creating something the locals can appreciate.

VLV: We have major sport teams coming to Las Vegas, including the Raiders and now professional baseball and NHL hockey practice facility right next to the Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa. Where these developments an influence on you making the decision to open here?
SC: Let’s just say it did not hurt.
VLV: There are many great Italian restaurants in Las Vegas. What is it about your brand that is going to stand out from the rest?
SC: I feel like I made a good splash here after the years over year, with some good success. But like I said I felt like I didn’t have many locals coming to the restaurant (Scarpetta). I have good relationships with many of the locals and have been involved in charity work here whether it being Community in Schools, Keep Memory Alive or Opportunity Village. These things that I am involved in here locally have separated us from the other Italian restaurants.
VLV: How often will you be coming to Las Vegas?
SC: Very frequently since I am now in Scottsdale and it is only a 45 minute flight or a short drive.
VLV:  What is your favorite meal to cook for your family?



SC:  If my weight wasn’t an issue, I would cook pasta all the time. But when I have friends come over, I love doing risotto, pasta or a nice rib eye of beef that when you put it front of people there is a wow factor. I did Turkey for Thanksgiving which is fresh memory for me because I am not home very often, and it turned out beautifully and I got the most likes on Instagram.
VLV: In one word how would you describe Masso?

SC: Yes, I can do that in one word. The word is convivial, which captures that sense of happiness and sense of gregariousness, a general sense of enthusiasm that I want people to have inside this place; whether it is enthusiasm for the food, the atmosphere, the vibe, or the service. There is a lot inside restaurant that ingratiates itself to the people who want to come here and spend time here, which is the intention.
VLV: What is the number one thing you want to draw people into you doors with?

SC: That’s interesting because I just had a conversation with my team. What I feel that the staff should exude to the guests who walk in the door…is heart, simple as that. I understand the idea that here is another celebrity chef but I am not completely comfortable with that; I am a restaurant guy who has been working in restaurants since I was 15 years old. This is a part of what I do and all the other stuff I do is to make this all work. The fact of the matter is I want people to know that this really heartfelt for me. Happy cooks, cook happy food, and happy servers serve happy guests and that’s the way it should be. Pardon the term but it is a trickledown effect.
VLV: Your mantra is, “Peace, Love and Pasta”. Does that saying help keep you centered?
SC: Yes, that is what keeps me grounded. The sign in the restaurant was designed from my own handwriting.
VLV: It takes a village of people to make this all work. Are there any certain people you would like to acknowledge?
SC: Yes, I have many core team members that make this all work for which I am thankful to, such as Dan Tackett my Corporate Chef who a super star. He is the guy in the background toiling away and doesn’t always get the credit. My Director of Restaurants, Gilles, Jay Kolakowski, Irene Chang and many others are all swimming in their own lane, but we are all swimming towards the same goal.
VLV: What advice would you give an aspiring culinary student who may have stars in their eyes?
SC: I once saw the Dali Lama speak and he said he never gives unsolicited advice, that is not his role, but if you ask him he would be happy to tell you. I would ask what advice I would give my 20 year old self. I would say don’t go out drinking all night and making a jackass out of yourself. You can never get that time back. It is nice to have fun but apply yourself. When you are younger you often think you know it all. I can only speak for myself, but I wish I had taken business classes to fill in my own blanks. If you can do that you are better off knowing business. Learning to understand negotiating tactics, contracts and all that stuff is very important as far as the business side of things. Also, working very hard in learning how to articulate a thought well is also very important. Learn to talk about food, taste and your experience. I wish I would have known these things earlier on, but I have self-educated myself so to speak.
VLV: What do you do to relax when not in the kitchen?
SC: I really work non-stop, all day every day. I work more now than I did as a young chef. I think my only down-time is on a plane going place to place. I am not complaining. I have been on both sides of this and this is where I would rather be as opposed to no one is calling. Self perseveration is the biggest thing.
VLV:  It must be a challenge to balance it all. Is there more of a trend to healthy living amongst Chefs?

SC: Yes, but it also easy to self medicate and having three or 4 glasses of wine at the end of the evening can become a vicious cycle that disrupts sleep patterns. The alcohol really needs to be cut out. At a certain age things need to become a bit healthier. You see so many Chefs going from self indulgence to a healthier lifestyle. Many have young children and want to be there for them.


VLV:  Aside from you knives what is one kitchen could you not live without?
SC: A spoon, I have a spoon everywhere I go and a pair of tweezers. I can always get a knife from someone else. That way I feel prepared.

Elaine and Scott

Elaine and Scott
Elaine and Scott