Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Project DINNER table helps the community as guests dine on great dishes and libations at some of the most interesting venues in Las Vegas














Project Dinner Table started as a concept to bring the community together as an interactive entity sharing the bounty of social interaction by sharing a communal meal of local seasonal produce and other local foods grown in Nevada.


This worthwhile organization selects a local charity for each individual event to donate proceeds. What a great way to give back to the community by enjoying a lovely dinner that supports our state and city.



































We were invited to meet with members or our community in a unique setting, the Las Vegas History and Museum and Heritage Park.
Executive Chef Joe Koniski prepared the fare with the unique pairing of beers from the famous Anheuser-Bush company. Multi-generational Brew Master, George Reisch enlightened us with the history of the company and the craft of making beers that have been around the American scene for many, many years.



As we entered the museum, there was a lovely platter of artisanal cheeses and meats from Valley Cheese and Wine of Las Vegas. If you have not been out to 1770 W. Horizon Ridge to this unique wine and cheese story, it is worth the trip. We did not have to venture out to Henderson, but to the amazing platter that was before us. Waiters brought around small bites for us to sample. We loved the shrimp and scallop cerviche, with lime caviar. It was light and delicate, with a nice crisp texture. Bud Light Lime Margaritas were served in accompaniment with the preamble. We also tried the mustard crusted beef tenderloin with a cream horseradish and a duck crackling crostini, a confit of duck marinated goat cheese, and sun-pickled cherry bomb peppers. The last two bites were hearty and easy to overindulge in. We were now ready to begin the official dinner as our host indicated that the tables were ready.















We proceeded to large tables under large white tents outside to meet the other s that came here to partake at the community tables set up for family style dining. What a great way to meet people by sharing a great meal together. Our first course, was a carrot dish with locally grown carrots from the Gilcrease Orchard located in the Northwest part of valley. Yes, Las Vegas does have a place where you can pick and buy fresh seasonal produce. This time, we were having Spicy Thai Carrot Puree, Tri-Colored Carrot Ribbons, and cured carrots paired with A Budweiser Select 55. The beer held spicy orange notes, which of course, melted well with the tri-carrots course.



















The second course was a prosciutto, arugula, and watercress salad with figs, roasted crushed hazelnuts, tossed with pecorino Toscana cheese, and a shock top vinaigrette. The dressing was created with the Shock Top Belgian White beer. The vinaigrette, actually took away some of the pepper quality of the arugula. The figs blended a slight sweetness, while the hazelnuts gave the dish a nice crunch













Now, on to the Third course of Grilled Halibut Steak, with a green onion salsa, sautéed summer leeks, , shitake mushrooms and a bacon vinaigrette paired with Budweiser American Ale. The Fish was a bit over cooked and bland. We were rather disappointed, but the beer had a nice apple pie taste which helped hold up the dish despite overcooking.





The final course was very hearty and heartwarming. The Braised Short ribs were braised for 12 hours In the Michelob AmberBock. The meat was juicy, tender and mouth watering. The pureed spring parsnips were well mashed and creamy.















The desert course of coffee rosebud espresso mousse , ricotta filled pistachio cannolis and apple and pear almond bars left us feeling satisfied and eager to meet again for another venue of Project Dinner Table.

This is great way to bring the community together by understanding that there is great food grown here in Nevada. We can all share in supporting our Nevada farmers and our community charities. Project Dinner table combines all the ingredients for a memorable and charitable evening.

RUN ! Dont walk to the Capital Grille's Master Wine Tasting Event with wines selected by Master Sommelier George Miliotes







The Capital Grille is well known for its dry-aged, hand-carved beef selections, fresh seafood and extensive, award-winning wine list that houses roughly 4,000 bottles in the restaurant’s floor-to-ceiling, temperature-controlled wine cellar.



They also offer more than 325 New and Old World wine selections, including a Captain’s List of some of the world’s most highly allocated and sought-after wines. For guests with especially discerning tastes, the restaurant offers a private wine locker membership, by annual lease. Routinely recognized by Wine Spectator magazine, the restaurant has also received the American Culinary Federation’s “Achievement of Excellence Award.




Capital Grille's Master Wine Tasting Event is back and for any Wine Enthusiast and/or Foodie you cannot go wrong. This event showcases a collection of remarkable wines hand-selected by one of the world’s Master Sommeliers, George Miliotes. This one-of-a-kind event offers wine enthusiasts the rare opportunity to sample well-known vintages as well as insider wines they’ll want to know, from five of the world’s most celebrated wine growing regions.





“I strongly believe that wine education must be experiential and first-hand,” Miliotes observed. “That is why I am thrilled to be able to provide a fun and thorough wine exploration at The Capital Grille. We are especially pleased to bring some of the world’s most exclusive wines to our guests this summer, in an enlightening taste journey.”




Recently we had the opportunity to visit The Capital Grille. During our visit we were able to sample their outstanding food along with their returning Master Wine Tasting Event. This is a wine program which gives patrons a wonderful opportunity to sample some superb wines that have been specifically paired with their menu all for an extra 25 dollars per person. This special is available through September. With a reputation as one of the best steak houses in Las Vegas, this is a most excellent offer. This event showcases a collection of hand -selected wines by Master Sommelier, George Militoes.

The first seven weeks (June 7 – July 25) of The Capital Grille’s Master Wine Tasting Event will feature:


Wine from California’s famed Napa Valley, including a Bancroft Ranch Merlot from esteemed Beringer Vineyards







A Cabernet Sauvignon from Sella & Mosca Marchese di Villamarina, and other Italian varietals




A Pinot Noir and other varietals from Villa Maria Cellar Selection of New Zealand





The second six weeks (July 26 – September 5) will highlight:




World renowned wines from Napa Valley, including a Chardonnay from Cambria Winery and Vineyards




An impressive collection from Spain, including a Jorge Ordoñez Muscat Alexandria




Several wines from Australia, including The Chook Sparkling Shiraz




Our gracious host, Corey, guided us through the wines, while suggesting some of the best fare on the menu. We started our dinner with a variety of appetizers including the lobster and crab cakes, prosciutto wrapped mozzarella with vine ripe tomatoes, and pan fried calamari with hot cherry peppers. We were impressed with all of the appetizers, but our favorite was the lobster and crab cakes.






The combination of both with the dry mustard and red pepper was a marvelous way to start the meal. Each bite paired exceedingly well with the Cambria Bench Break Chardonnay Santa Maria, 2006. The Rich, buttery citrus notes accentuated the richness of the lobster and the delicateness of the crab. We were well impressed with this wine that held great mouth feel and structure.

LUNETTA PROSCECCO , TRENTINO, PROSECCO

TERUZZI & PUTHOD TERRE DI TUFI , TUSCANY 2007
Blend of Vermentino , Chardonnay and Vernaccia

GRAGGY RANGE TE MUNA ROAD, MARTINBOROUGH , 2008 /09
Sauvignon Blanc

CAMBRIA BENCH BREAK , SANTA MARIA 2006
Chardonnay













We then went on to try a fresh mozzarella, tomato and basil salad with 12 year aged Balsamic.
The heirloom tomatoes where drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and aged Balsamic vinegar. A tomato salad that was refreshing, light and extremely tasty.

FONTERUTOLI POGGIO ALLA BADIOLA , TUSCANY 2007
Sangiovese /Merlot Blend

WILD ROCK CUPID'S ARROW . CENTRAL OTAGO 2008
Pinot Noir















On to the main courses that gives the Capital Grille its amazing reputation as one of the best steak houses in Las Vegas and around the country. The Filet Mignon was the best we have ever had. Now we have eaten in many great restaurants on in our culinary travels but this night we were pleasently surprised and the meat surpassed other great filets that we have enjoyed.

The filet literally melted in our mouths like butter. We also tried the Porcini Rubbed Delmonico Steak aged with Balsamic. The Balsamic lends sweetness to the meat. The sauce is generous for this dry aged steak. For those who would like a more traditional rib-eye, the Delmonico steak is a hearty, bone in with classic rib eye flavors. With 22 0z. , you will not go hungry.

BERINGER BANCROFT RANCH , HOWELL MOUNTAIN , NAPA VALLEY 2003
Merlot

GRAGGY RANCH TE KAHU , HAWKS BAY 2006
Merlot

SELLA & MOSCA MARCHESE DI VILLAMARINA , SARDINA 2003
Cabernet Sauvignon

FREEMARK ABBY SYCAMORE , RUTHERFORD , NAPA VALLEY 2003
Cabernet Sauvignon Blend




Did we have room for dessert? Corey convinced us that the cheese cake with seasonal berries was a perfect ending to our amazing dining experience. The cheesecake was a lighter version of its New York cousin. It was delicate with the ricotta filling and graham cracker crust. We were not disappointed.




Ten wines from around the world with suggested pairings from Corey made the evening quite complete . We did leave with some favorites of the night however :


CAMBRIA BENCH BREAK , CHARDONNAY , SANTA MARIA 2006

We know the appellation well and were impressed by light but not over bearing influences of Oak with nice minerality and citrus. This was a lovely light bodied Chardonnay



FREEMARK ABBEY SYCAMORE , RUTHERFORD, CABERNET BLEND , NAPA VALLEY 2003
By far our favorite of the night and we had the bottle at our table to enjoy it even more. Black fruit and hints of chocolate with a long lingering finish show why this area and producer make some of the finest California Cabernets we have had.

Every guest is presented with tasting notes from George Miliotes, as well as space to add notes of their own. In addition, The Capital Grille will prepare custom flights for guests particularly interested in comparing and contrasting similar varietals from the regions being presented during each phase of the event. These exceptional wine pairings are available through September. The view, the food and the wine will make your evening a memorable experience.






For additional information about the Master Wine Tasting Event and The Capital Grille experience, please visit www.TheCapitalGrille.com.




Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Vegas Uncork’d Presented by Bon Appétit Celebrates Successful Fouth Year of their Culinary Extravaganza












The first weekend in May should mean only one thing to any Foodie and or Wine Enthusiast , that would be Bon Appetit's Vegas UNCORK'D held in Las Vegas. Using the word weekend is in our opinion an understatement. This event actually runs for 4 days.























“Vegas Uncork’d is truly a national culinary event with a growing international profile,” said Cathy Tull, senior vice president of marketing, LVCVA. “Most people who attend the weekend’s events come here from other cities across the country, with many coming from Canada or as faraway as Asia to participate.














This year new events, new chefs and an even more diverse and enhanced program were featured and raised the bar higher than ever before.
With each year this successful, four-day extravaganza has represented the ultimate who’s who in the food world celebrating the status of Las Vegas as an international gastronomic destination.






















Another notable new addition to this year’s program was Friday’s intimate Masters’ Series Luncheons. The legendary Wolfgang Puck hosted 100 guests at his restaurant CUT, and Joachim Splichal (Pinot Brasserie) and Piero Selvaggio and Luciano Pellegrini (Valentino) rounded out the series at The Venetian/Palazzo, which came aboard this year as the event’s sixth and newest resort partner.









“Once again, Vegas Uncork’d has demonstrated its appeal to the uber-foodie and the luxury traveler alike,” concluded Rob O’Keefe, executive director, Vegas Uncork’d Presented by Bon Appétit. With our strategy of managed growth and the addition of new partners, chefs and restaurants to the mix, we continue to serve up an epicurean experience that showcases Las Vegas as the world’s most exciting culinary destination.












Also new to this year’s roster of events, Saturday night’s Fashion Feast: A Delicious Evening of Style and Taste at Bellagio featured fashion sponsor FENDI presenting a dazzling runway show pairing fashion with cuisine prepared by Bellagio’s stellar collection of chefs: Jean-Marie Auboine, Todd English, Michael Mina, Julian Serrano and David Werly. Fashion-forward Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir and Bon Appétit Executive Chef Cat Cora served as the evening’s co-emcees.
FENDI, which in a show of support to the local community, pledged to donate 10 percent of the weekend’s sales to Vegas Uncork’d partner, the Three Square Food Bank.












A VIP kickoff reception at miX Restaurant and Lounge at THE hotel at Mandalay Bay brought together what might represent the most powerful collection of chef talent ever assembled in one place. Joining celebrity chefs such as Kerry Simon, Carla Pellegrino, Akira Back, Bobby Flay, Jean Joho, Hubert Keller, Bradley Ogden, Charlie Palmer and Julian Serrano, were four of the most decorated French chefs in the world: Guy Savoy, Joël Robuchon, Pierre Gagnaire and Alain Ducasse. All of these chefs reflect Las Vegas’ increasing international flavor.


















Innovative new program additions in 2010 included the after-hours Shinkansen to Shibuya at the MGM Grand , an electric celebration of contemporary, urban Japanese culture. With the restaurant transformed into a spectacular rendition of Neo-Tokyo, revelers sampled countless sakes while enjoying freshly prepared sushi and fare from a teppanyaki bar while Japanese-style go-go dancers grooved to the high-energy dance beats spun by a Japanese DJ.
















Better by the Bay at Mandalay Beach, presented by chefs Charlie Palmer of Mandalay Bay’s Aureole and Alain Ducasse of miX at THEhotel, featured a delicous presentation highlighting the seafood traditions of both France and the United States. Aureole’s Master Sommelier William Sherer selected a wine program that provided the perfect complement to the evening, with aromas of an authentic beachside barbecue.














More than 2,300 guests gathered poolside to experience the ultimate culinary event. The Grand Tasting is the signature event for Vegas Uncork’d Presented by Bon Appétit.


This year’s attendance was a dramatic increase over last year’s attendance of 1,600 and was more than doubled the inaugural Grand Tasting four years ago.
The Friday night event showcased “who’s who” of the culinary world. More than 150 restaurants, vintners and distillers and a record-breaking 70 chefs from around the world personally provided samplings of fine cuisine, wine and spirits. Chefs in attendance included Bradley Ogden, Bobby Flay, Guy Savoy, Hubert Keller, François Payard, Steve Martarano and many, many more.



































Chef Paul Bartolotta of Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare at Wynn Las Vegas racked up his third straight victory at the Celebrity Chef Blackjack Tournament held poolside at Encore Las Vegas. This year’s field included actress Laura Prepon and Bon Appétit Executive Chef Cat Cora and chefs Bobby Flay, Pierre Gagnaire, Shawn McClain, Rick Moonen, Bradley Ogden, Charlie Palmer, François Payard, Joël Robuchon and David Walzog.












Vegas UNCORK'D offers a variety of venues,accommodating each person's tastes and pocket books. With more opportunities for every level of culinary sophistication, this event has something for everyone.










While speaking with Barbara Fairchild one evening we asked her
where else could such an event take place, her response was only in
Las Vegas. Las Vegas has more Master Sommeliers in 3 miles than in
any other city in the world and with more top chefs opening new and
exciting restaurants to please any palate. Next year, the first week of
May, plan on being here for the four day culinary journey that you
will never forget.






Join Elaine and Scott from VINO LAS VEGAS and THE CUISINEIST as we take our readers and viewers from the Red Carpet to strolling along side the greatest Chefs in the world at Cesars Palace for Bon Appetit's Vegas UNCORK'D . For compete coverage of many of these spectacular culinary events please visit THE CUISINEIST Culinary Magazine


Elaine and Scott

Elaine and Scott
Elaine and Scott