Monday, September 30, 2013

Three Caesars Entertainment Restaurants Earn 2013 Wine Spectator Awards,Restaurant Guy Savoy renews its Grand Award; Old Homestead garners its first Award of Excellence.

 It’s all about the wine! , Restaurant Guy Savoy and Old Homestead at Caesars Palace and Gordon Ramsay Steak at Paris Las Vegas have been honored in Wine Spectator’s 2013 Restaurant Wine List Awards. Restaurant Guy Savoy has successfully renewed its coveted Grand Award, Old Homestead earns the Award of Excellence for the second time and Gordon Ramsay Steak is proud to be a new recipient of the Best of Award of Excellence.

Wine Spectator’s Restaurant Wine List Awards are earned based on the wine list’s selection, its pairing with restaurant cuisine and the general appeal to wine lovers. Wine lists are judged on a variety of criteria including vintages and appellations for all selections, complete producer names and the presentation and appearance of the list.
The Grand Award winners, representing the program’s top echelon, typically offer 1,500 or more selections and feature a serious breadth of top producers, outstanding depth in mature vintages, large-format bottles, superior organization, presentation and wine service. Best of Award of Excellence winners carry over 400 selections with superior presentation and a broad selection. Restaurants that win the Award of Excellence offer wine lists with at least 100 selections from quality producers and match the menu in price, style and theme.
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Six-time winner of the Grand Award, Restaurant Guy Savoy at Caesars Palace offers gourmet dining from French Chef Guy Savoy in his only U.S. dining establishment. The two Michelin star and Forbes 5-star restaurant features amazing prix-fixe menus and a la carte options including signature dishes like the silky artichoke and black truffle soup and the decadent colors of caviar complimented by an impressive wine list and dessert cart. Restaurant Guy Savoy is open Wednesday through Sunday from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
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The Best of Award of Excellence winning wine list at Gordon Ramsay Steak at Paris Las Vegas is led by Sommelier Jeff Eichelberger. Open just over a year, the restaurant’s initial wine list was straight forward, conservative and developed slowly as the wine team observed the seasonal menu changes and the interests of guests. The list is focused on wines that interest guests and work well with Ramsay’s menu. The menu is a blend of established vintners with wide appeal and wines of highly limited allocations allowing constant development. Using this approach, the wine list has practically tripled in size since opening, swelling from 225 selections to 600 currently with a special emphasis on growing the fine and rare sections while maintaining choices in a wide array of price levels. Gordon Ramsay Steak opens at 5 p.m. nightly; to make a reservation, call (877) 796-2096.
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Award of Excellence winner for the second year in a row, Old Homestead Steakhouse at Caesars Palace, is one of New York City’s most historic restaurants. A classic eatery known for its quality steakhouse selections and legendary history, Old Homestead features mouth-watering dishes from the classic New York menu. Robb Report named the restaurant’s signature 26-ounce bone-in, 30-day dry-aged Gotham rib one of Las Vegas’ seven best steaks in its August 2012 issue. Boasting more than 16,000 square-feet, the space features a total of 250 seats with a full dining room, private dining room, lounge and bar. Old Homestead Steakhouse is open daily from 5:00 p.m. to 10:45 p.m.

Arroyo Seco Celebrates 30 Years as an American Viticulture Area (AVA) .

With world-renowned terroir ideal for producing complex and concentrated Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, Monterey County’s Arroyo Seco district celebrates its 30th anniversary as an American Viticulture Area (AVA) this fall.
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One of the first areas in Monterey County to be distinguished as a unique winegrowing region, and one of the smallest in California, the Arroyo Seco AVA had already been recognized for growing outstanding wines – Chardonnay in particular – since the 1960s.  Factors such as a cool climate influenced by nearby Monterey Bay, well-drained rocky soils, extreme winds, and experienced growers have combined to make wines from the Arroyo Seco AVA some of the most sought-after and awarded in the country.
“As one of the pioneers of Monterey County, Jerry Lohr planted his first grapes in the Arroyo Seco in 1972 knowing that the region was destined for producing high quality Chardonnay and Riesling,” said J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines President and COO, Jeff Meier.  Since that time, Jerry Lohr’s passionate efforts to instill farming practices that bring out the best from the terroir have prompted his namesake and family owned company to expand varietal programs with Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, and Valdiguié. “Celebrating thirty years as an AVA is a milestone for the region and we at J. Lohr look forward to the opportunities that lie ahead for all of us who will continue to have a presence in the AVA over the next 30 years.”
“There just are not many places in California – or the world – where all of the elements that make Arroyo Seco unique can exist,” said Rich Smith, owner and founder of Valley Farm Management, one of Monterey County’s pioneer wine producers.  “We began growing the forty-two acres of vines at Cobblestone Vineyards in the Arroyo Seco area in 1975, and have added about eleven-hundred acres of vines over the past thirty-five years on four other properties in Arroyo Seco. If imitation is the best compliment, we obviously believe in complimenting the Arroyo Seco.”
Fourth-generation winegrower and Chief Executive Officer of Wente Family Estates, Carolyn Wente, recalls how her father, Karl Wente, came to plant vineyards in the Greenfield area of Monterey County in 1963. “He was attracted to the unique soils and climate he found along the Arroyo Seco river and bench lands, and became an advocate for others to plant in the region.  At that time, there were no other vineyards in the area, which was widely planted to vegetables and row crops such as sugar beets.”

Wente went on to describe how additional winegrowers gradually purchased and planted in Arroyo Seco, learning how different rootstocks, clonal selections and varietals excelled in the region with the experience of multiple vintages.  Eventually, it came time for recognition of the district’s excellence.  “My mother and I drafted first the Monterey and then the Arroyo Seco appellation petition and championed them with other vineyard and winery owners in the early 80s. Since then, our belief in the unique attributes of the appellation has only strengthened with the outstanding quality of the wines produced through the years. This AVA is clearly a hidden gem in the coastal winegrowing valleys of California!”
In 2007, the Arroyo Seco Winegrowers & Vintners Association was established to promote the district’s distinguished terroir and wines.  Headed by Michael Griva of F&G Vineyards, the association has made great strides in defining and celebrating what makes this district so special.  “I grew up among the greats of the Arroyo Seco AVA,” said Griva, “people like Karl Wente, Rich Smith and Jerry Lohr.  It’s been a pleasure to promote their vision for what makes Arroyo Seco stand out, and to support their legacy of incredible wines grown by people who are passionate about its terroir.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Interesting Wines featured in an evening of cuisine, Wine,Books and Angels with Iconic Chef Charlie Palmer.


Las Vegas has no shortage of celebrity chefs, perhaps one of the biggest names throughout the world is Chef Charlie Palmer. This renown Chef ,restaurateur , author and television host has collected a plethora of awards ranging from a James Beard award and coveted Michelin Guide stars just to name a few .
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Recently we visited with this iconic Chef at his Michelin award winning restaurant Aureole in the Mandalay Bay  Resort in Las Vegas. Charlie has been a fixture in this culinary epicenter for many years. Always keeping things fresh , He was in town to launch his new cookbook , Camp Cooking and to show off the new “wine angel “ costumes that are shall we say , pretty delightful to say the least .
Arriving at Aureole we were escorted to a private dining area where we were met by none other than the legend himself and settled into what would become an evening of signature dishes prepared by Charlie and a selection of wines that caused us to do some serious research on indigenous varietals  from Spain, France and Austria.
Elaine Harris, Cuisineist Editor-In-Chief and Chef Charlie Palmer
Elaine Harris, Cuisineist Editor-In-Chief and Chef Charlie Palmer
Chef Charlie Palmer has been known for years for his Progressive American Cuisine built on big flavors and surprising combinations with an infusion of classical French technique.Today, a big “buzz word” is farm to table cuisine. Chef Charlie Palmer explained that he was an early advocate of farm over factory food. In 1988, he made a commitment to creating dishes featuring regional American ingredients at his three-star Aureole Restaurant in New York City.
It was now time to enjoy some of this renowned cuisine prepared by Chef Charlie just for us. Our first course was a succulent Santa Barbara Spot Prawn Duo paired with Txomin Etaniz Txakoi, Hondarribi Zuri, Getariako Txakolina, Spain 2012.
Seared Loup de Mer & Stuffed Calamri a’ la “Setoise
Seared Loup de Mer & Stuffed Calamri a’ la “Setoise
Our second course featured a lovely Seared Loup de Mer & Stuffed Calamri a’ la “Setoise” joined by a very nice Moulin de Gassac, Picpoul de Pinet , Languedoc, France 2011.
Keeping the culinary hits coming, Charlie Palmer delivered a perfectly prepared Roasted Moulard Duck Breast  with sautéed dandelion greens,bing cherries and muscat jus paired with a Schloss Gobelsburger , Zweigelt, Kamptal , Austria 2010 that was a perfect marriage of cuisine and wine.



 Roasted Moulard Duck Breast  with sautéed dandelion greens,bing cherries and muscat jus paired
Roasted Moulard Duck Breast with sautéed dandelion greens,bing cherries and muscat jus paired
Three courses of gastronomic artistry and Chef Charlie Palmer still had one more treat for us. A beautiful Roasted Oregon Wagyu Beef Strip Loin with braised beef cheeks,barley and porcini mushrooms and a Chene Bleu Heloise, Syrah/Grenache/Viognier , Rhone Valley, France 2007.Pastry Chef Megan fished off our evening with a rich Roasted fig and Goat Cheese Cake with chicory ice cream and a Toro Albala,Don PX Gran Reserva, Pedro Ximenez,Montilla-Moriles, Spain 1985.



. A beautiful Roasted Oregon Wagyu Beef Strip Loin with braised beef cheeks,barley and porcini mushrooms
. A beautiful Roasted Oregon Wagyu Beef Strip Loin with braised beef cheeks,barley and porcini mushrooms
The evening was not just about great cuisine from Chef Charlie Palmer and his kitchen but also about his new cookbook, Camp Cooking.  This leather bound book complete with a Remington stamp is all about cooking and eating outdoors compete with selections from the Remington Arms Art Collection and is a must for any kitchen and lovers of the great outdoors.
Camp Cooking
Camp Cooking





Charlie Palmer is always keeping things fresh and his wine angles are no exception.The wine angles have been soaring for years overseeing almost 10,000 bottles of wine are stored in the iconic tower. The “angels” ascend and descend the climate-controlled, stainless-steel columns on mechanical hoists fetching wine for their guests.
Wine Angels
Wine Angels
They how have new uniforms that make them very hard to miss with new two-piece outfits outfitted with more than 100 LED bulbs. “We were often given feedback by our guests that they were hard to see in the tower, so we really wanted to make them shine, now they have a uniform that suits the excitement of their job “stated Charlie Palmer. The new uniforms are a creation of Las Vegas fashion designer Bunker Hill Bradley, who won a competition among local designers.The uniforms feature a progression of colors that symbolize the hues found in various wines and they made of recycled materials.
Chef Charlie Palmer
Chef Charlie Palmer

Charlie Palmer’s new cookbook and new wine angel uniforms show this iconic Chef is not afraid of innovation or invention which keeps him and his Charlie Palmer Group at the forefront of the culinary industry around the world.

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Elaine and Scott

Elaine and Scott
Elaine and Scott