Sunday, June 19, 2011

Double Helix Wine & Whiskey Lounge sets the bar higher at Town Square in Las Vegas


Double Helix has been in Las Vegas at the Palazzo Resort since 2008 . Founded  by Raymond Nisi, Lucky Metalios and Jonathan Stern, Double Helix has been a hit for tourists and locals alike. In 2010, Double Helix launched its private label line of wines, a Chardonnay and a Merlot from California. They plan to expand the line in 2011 to include a Muscat dessert wine and a high end Italian red blend, as well as an assortment of “old-school” bottled sodas.

With the success of their Palazzo location, Double Helix has just opened their latest location at Town Square in Las Vegas. Double Helix Wine & Whiskey Lounge is the newest addition to Town Square’s busy movie theater corridor. Located in space formerly occupied by The Grape in the intersection shared by Blue Martini and Yard House, Double Helix Wine & Whiskey is now open. The 2,800-square-foot space features a full bar that offers 30 unique wines by the glass, 50 whiskies, sampler flights, and Double Helix’s signature “winetails”. Chef Doug Vega, whose previous experience includes Daniel Boulud’s DB Brasserie, has created a wine and spirit-friendly small-plates menu.



Guests can enjoy shareable, melt-in your- mouth dishes that satisfy any craving for $15 or less. The diverse menu includes cheeseboards, flatbreads, and a range of gourmet comfort food dishes like shrimp and grits, bacon-wrapped figs, banana-Nutella crepes and beignets.

“We feel this is a perfect way to expand our brand,” says owner and managing partner Ray Nisi, “I like that we can capture new people who may not know us,” Nisi says, “that we can bring them in and make them fans.”







Walking in , the first thing that you cannot miss is their new outside patio that includes a fire pit for the cold months and misters for your comfort as you sip and enjoy and ultra-comfortable lounge-style furniture.
Lucky Ray



A real wine bar in our opinion should have a feel that is classy and comfortable. Double Helix’s newest venue captures it all with a large beautiful bar and 16 Enomatic Machines where guests can explore high end wines from around the world ounces at a time. Comfortable tables can accommodate parties of any size. Raymond Nisi has always prided himself in finding quality staff for both Front and Back of the house. Many staff at his newest creation have years of experience and have joined Double Helix Wine and Whisky Bar from some of the finest venues in Las Vegas.

Arancini

























Chef Doug Vega and Raymond Nisi have created a palate pleasing menu that would satisfy any craving you may have. We started off with TARO CHIPS: Which are homemade with sea salt and harissa – lime sauce. After a nice start, Raymond suggested his personal favorite, ARANCINI . The Arancini is a mouthwatering creation of Risotto Fritters with roasted mushroom and white truffle aloli.

This dish, in a word was, WOW! . Looking over the menu, our eyes were drawn to our next dish. HEIRLOOM TOMATO & BURRATA CHEESE. This dish did not look like what we expected. Our eyes darted with excitement when we saw the Heirloom Tomato, Burrata Cheese, Arugula Pesto wrapped in prosciutto and topped with rich balsamic. Very eye pleasing and tasty as well, who would have thought we could have eaten Heirloom Tomato and Cheese with our fingers!

Heirloom Tomato and Burrata Cheese

Taking time out to enjoy a Lucky Ray signature cocktail, we looked over the menu once again. How could we possibly pass up the THREE LITTLE PIGGIES?. This fun dish of bacon wrapped mini Kobe dogs in puff pastry and mustard sauce is sure to bring a smile to anyone’s face. Sweet somethings peaked our interest and we had to indulge in two of them. PASSION FRUIT MOUSSE with Chocolate and berries was an explosion of flavor and actually paired nicely with the Lucky Ray. The ICE CREAM SUNDAE SAMPLER with a selection of chocolate waffle tulip and sugar crisp is a great dish for the summer months.


Three Little Piggies


The Menu also features a nice selection of Cheese and Charcuterie plates or you can create your own with Artisnal Cheese and flavorful Charcuterie selections that are sure to please. Double Helix also offers Paninis and even SOUTHERN SHRIMP & GRITS with bacon, green onion, cheddar, mushrooms and tomato gravy. Double Helix Wine & Whisky Lounge is a perfect combination of atmosphere, good quality dishes, boutique wines, interesting Whiskeys and a knowledgeable professional staff. Town Square as many great dining choices and Double Helix is sure to take its place amongst the best in the city.





The lounge is open at 3:00pm daily, plus lunch Thursday-Sunday. Daily happy hours from 3:30pm-7:30pm will feature 1/2 off select flights, tasting plates and desserts. Moviegoers can show their Rave Motion Pictures ticket to receive glasses of Double Helix Wine for $5. Both wine and whiskey enthusiasts can look forward to barrel tastings, visiting producers, tastings and pairing dinners. The patio will also be available for private tastings and special events.
Passion Fruit Mousse





Double Helix has even more plans for Las Vegas. In early September, they will debut Bottles & Burgers by Double Helix, a 5,000-square-foot, double-terraced addition to Summerlin’s Tivoli Village. “It’s our biggest project to date,” Nisi says. As its name implies, the casual concept will feature inspired burger creations with half-bottles of wine, bottles of beer, and Double Helix’s own line of “old-school” bottled sodas. We look forward to yet another great venue by Raymond Nisi and his partners that is sure to set a new standard in Summerlin.

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Bellagio Resort and Williams Selyem Winery team up for an evening of Epicurean Delight


The Bellagio Resort and Casino has long been known to the world for setting the standard for luxury, and fine dining. Recently the Bellagio and their Director of Wine Jason Smith MS have put together their Epicurean Epicenter series. This one of a kind series teams up one of Bellagio’s world class Chefs in their Tuscany “studio “ kitchen for a multi-course paired luncheon or dinner. The Williams Selyem dinner brought Bob Cabral their Executive Winemaker to Las Vegas and joined Le Cirque’s Executive Chef Gregory Pugin for a six course paired dinner featuring world class French cuisine and very highly rated Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from this legendary producer.




Executive Chef Gregory Pugin , Le Cirque Bellagio






Of course, the only way to get our palates ready for this experience was to enjoy some bubbles. The Bellagio and Chef Pugin were off to a fabulous start with CANAPES ET HORS-D’CEUVRES ASSORTS “LE CIRGUE”. Paired with Williams Selyem Blanc De Noir Sparkling Wine, Russian River Valley 2005 this beginning was just right for what was to come.








                                                       
LANGOUSTINES AU CAVIAR

Langoustines Au Caviar

Citrus-Marinated New Zealand Langoustines, Osetra Caviar, Apple & Vodka Gelee. Paired with Williams Selyem Hawk Hill Chardonnay, Russian River Valley2005

The Langoustines and Caviar paired nicely with the creamy mouth feel of this extended aged Chardonnay. As the dish was placed in front, aromas of the dish combined with citrus and mocha from the Chardonnay that made our mouths water before we even took the first bite.











LE FLETAN D ALASKA
Executive Chef Gregory Pugin , Le Cirque Bellagio

Potato-Crusted Halibut, Celery Root & Mustard of Meaux Puree, Sause Vieux Balsamique. Paired with Williams Selyem Westside Road Neighbors Pinot Noir 2007

The first Pinot Noir, with its aromas of Cherry, plum, rose and clove gave way to a palate of big flavors of cherry, blackberry and even cassis with a long oaky finish and med tannins.













L’AGNEAU DU COLORADO
L Agneau Du Colorado

Espelette-crusted Lamb Chop , Taggiasche Olive Panisse , Piquillo Puree, Farcie of Spring Vegeitables. Paired with Williams Selyem Rochioli Riverblock Vineyard Pinot Noir Russian River Valley 2004 and Williams Selyem Hirsch Vineyard Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast.

Two big, bold Pinot Noirs from Sonoma and Russian River with aromas of Cherries rose and cola lead into a palate of concentrated flavors of red berries, earth, spice and pretty big tannins for a long finish. This dish, with its perfectly cooked Espelette crusted Lamb chop and vegetables was the best pairing of the night bringing out the earthy , mineral qualities in the Pinot Noir and balanced acidity in the dish.








LES FROMAGES

Les Fromages


L’Epoisse , Vieux Comte , Saint Marcellin paired with Williams Selyem Allen Vineyard Pinot Noir 1999.

Lovely Cheese and a 1999 Vintage Pinot Noir, Does it get any better? The Allen Pinot Noir, 1999 vintage with notes of cherry, raspberry, spice, soft tannins and long finish is what a Pinot Noir from this area should be like and was our favorite of the evening.











POT DE CRÈME AU CHOCOLAT

Chocolate Pot de Crème , Cardamom Emulsion , Pop Rock Marshmallows

Most dinners need a “period “at the end. This dish was so pleasing that one could not help but beg for more. A lovely way to end a magnificent dinner.

Epicurean Epicenter is the perfect name for this culinary series at the Bellagio. A dinner that featured a James Beard finalist in Chef Gregory Pugin of the renown Le Cirque , Winemaker Bob Cabral from the highly respected Williams and Selyem Winery and Bellagio’s own Jason Smith MS shows why Bellagio is a Epicenter of Epicurean Excellence. We look forward to see what the Bellagio will do for their next event in the series.

Elaine and Scott

Elaine and Scott
Elaine and Scott