Yard House has opened its 50th location, debuting at The LINQ on the Vegas Strip, home to the 550-foot-tall High Roller, the largest observation wheel in the world. Known for its extensive beer selection, this location boasts 160 taps, including beer from local breweries Big Dog’s Brewing Company and Tenaya Creek Brewery. The new taphouse spans more than 18,000 square feet (the chain’s second largest) with seating for 414 in the dining room, 44 at the bar and 140 on the large outdoor patio, which offers possibly the best view of the High Roller. The open floor plan features a mix of warm woods and cool stainless steel accents and an original collection of abstract art commissioned by California artist Jerome Gastaldi. The food menu includes more than 150 items, including appetizers, salads, burgers, tacos, seafood, steaks and ribs. Yard House is open daily for lunch and dinner. Lunch & Dinner daily. Yard House, The LINQ, 3545 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas, NV 89109, 702-597-0434.
Bobby Flay has become the latest celebrity chef to open a burger restaurant on the Vegas Strip. His 146-seat Bobby’s Burger Palace is now open in the Shops at Crystals in CityCenter, just in front of the Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas and is the first West Coast location of the 18-store chain. The burgers come in options of Black Angus, ground turkey or chicken breast. All are all priced under $10, and include the new Vegas burger ($9.50) with white American cheese, Fresno red chilies and barbecue-flavored chips. Accompanying the burgers are milkshakes with non-traditional flavors such as pistachio, blueberry-pomegranate, coffee and coconut. Bobby’s Burger Palace is open daily from 10 a.m.-midnight. Bobby’s Burger Palace, 3750 South Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89109, 702-598-0191.
The Commissary Latin Kitchen is open at the Downtown Grand Las Vegas Hotel & Casino on 3rd Street, just across from the casino. Helming the kitchen is Mexico City native Richard Sandoval, who attended the Culinary Institute of America, and has 37 restaurants in seven states, as well as Mexico, Dubai, Qatar and Serbia. Sandoval has returned to Las Vegas, having previously run the kitchen at Isla at Treasure Island. The Commissary features reclaimed wood, high-back leather chairs and a 140-seat patio. The menu includes made-to-order sandwiches, salads and soups; a selection of crafted burgers and milk shakes; a rotisserie featuring chef Sandoval's spice-rubbed chicken, a 12-hour smoked brisket; and 40 taps of craft beers. The Commissary also has a coffee bar, named Lavazza Coffee Café, featuring coffee drinks, crepes, warm pastries, breakfast sandwiches, yogurt-granola parfaits and a selection of artisanal gelato. The Commissary is open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner daily. The Commissary Latin Kitchen, Downtown Grand Las Vegas, 206 N. 3rd St., Las Vegas, Nevada 89101, 702-719-5311.
Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar has opened a second Las Vegas location on South Las Vegas Boulevard in Town Square. The new restaurant features a large patio that wraps around one side of the building, an open-floor-plan main dining room, an open kitchen, a bar with soft lounge seating from which the Vegas Strip is visible, and customizable private dining rooms. Chef/partner Travis Herbert oversees the kitchen, which serves 21-day, dry-aged Prime rib eye and Prime New York strip; steak companions of truffled poached lobster, Diablo shrimp and king crab with herbed butter; and seafood options of Alaskan king crab, Pacific swordfish, Scottish salmon, New Bedford scallops, seared ahi tuna and North Atlantic lobster tail. Signature sides include rosemary and garlic cipollini onions, grilled asparagus and Fleming’s potatoes with cream, jalapeños and cheddar cheese. The restaurant offers an expertly curated wine list with more than 100 wines served by the glass, which can be navigated using a custom web-based iPad. Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, 6515 South Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89119, 702-407-0019.
The Morton Group has opened CRUSH eat, drink, love at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in the former space of Nobhill Tavern, serving a shared-plate menu by executive chef William DeMarco. The menu includes shrimp risotto, made with arugula and tomato fondue; crudo, prepared with radish, Champagne grapes and lemon; chicken skewers with fiery harissa and hummus; and chocolate and raspberry terrine and fresh berry crêpe served with balsamic ice cream. The 7,000-square-foot restaurant is divided into two distinctive rooms, a “greenhouse” garden with lighting emulating the natural migration of the sun, and a dining cellar topped by a barrel-vault ceiling composed of white brick. The garden room seats 130, and the cellar’s capacity accommodates 100. CRUSH eat, drink, love, 3799 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas, NV 89109, 702-891-1111, 800-929-1111.
Border Grill chef/owners Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger, of Bravo's Top Chef Masters and Food Network's Too Hot Tamales, will open a second Las Vegas location within the first level of The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace. Set to open this summer in the former space of P.J. Clarke’s, the new location will mark the company’s seventh location in the U.S., joining its initial Vegas Border Grill outpost at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino. The restaurant will serve Border Grill classics, the Border Brunch and a variety of new dishes exclusive to Border Grill at The Forum Shops. Border Grill, 3570 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas, NV 89109, 702-731-7110, 877-427-7243.
Chayo Mexican Kitchen + Tequila Bar is now open and is one of the first tenants to debut in the dining and entertainment district at The LINQ. With direct access from The Quad Resort & Casino, Chayo is situated near the beginning of The LINQ corridor, which leads to the Las Vegas High Roller Observation Wheel, offering unobstructed views of the wheel. The two-level, 14,000-square-foot new concept in Mexican dining offers a DJ, a mechanical bull, a vast tequila and cocktail selection, outdoor dining and authentic Mexican fare by executive chef Ernesto Zendejas. Décor elements include exposed beams, distressed fixtures, contemporary lighting and ornate frames showcasing classic Mexican photographs and artwork. The menu features freshly made guacamole; mango and watercress salad tossed with jicama and honey vinaigrette; cilantro cream soup with serrano pepper and roasted pine nuts; Ahi tuna served with fingerling potatoes and mole verde; and the “del mar,” a blend of seasonal fish, prawns and sea scallops. A semi-private dining room seats up to 40, while the entire restaurant accommodates up to 320 guests. Chayo Mexican Kitchen + Tequila Bar, 3535 Las Vegas Blvd. S, Las Vegas, NV 89109, 800-351-7400 .
Jayde Fuzion, a contemporary small plates concept featuring Japanese, Chinese and Korean cuisine, has opened at the M Resort Spa Casino. The kitchen is helmed by executive chef Seonkyoung Longest, the South Korean native who was the recent winner of Food Network’s Restaurant Express. Located in the space formerly occupied by Marinelli’s Italian Restaurant, the 150-seat restaurant has five dining areas: a bar and lounge, an open dining room with booths and tables, an 11-seat sushi bar, a 20-seat private dining room and an outdoor patio on the terrace overlooking the resort’s pool piazza. Design elements include hues of greens, pinks and reds; a 22-foot-wide marble stairway flanked by pink and rose-colored flowers; and large-scale murals of koi fish and cherry blossoms. The menu features versions of dishes that chef Longest created while competing on Restaurant Express, including crab salad, bibimbap, crispy fried chicken skewers, five-spiced duck sliders and Kalbi ribs. Jayde Fuzion is open nightly for dinner. Jayde Fuzion, 12300 Las Vegas Blvd. S, Henderson, NV 89044, 702-797-1000.
Although it was announced last summer that Daniel Boulud would be bringing his DBGB Kitchen & Bar concept to The Venetian in the space of the former Valentino, plans instead are to open DB Brasserie in late March or early April. The Brasserie will be an updated version of Boulud’s original that was open at the Wynn Las Vegas from 2005 to 2010, featuring seasonal French cuisine and signature brasserie dishes with a modern twist. DB Brasserie, 3355 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas, NV 89109, 702-414-1000, 877-883-6423.
Chef, author and television personality Giada De Laurentiis will open her very first restaurant, Giada, in early 2014 when the new yet-to-be named resort (the former Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall) opens at the corner of Flamingo Rd. and the Strip. The venue will be located on the second level above the casino floor with views of the Vegas Strip and al fresco dining. The restaurant space will extend over the pedestrian walkway below, featuring large glass windows affording natural lighting, and will be outfitted with living room-style furniture. Private dining room space will be available for larger parties or group functions. The menu will feature De Laurentiis’ cuisine embracing her birthplace of Rome, with Californian influences, and include traditional family recipes and her signature dishes as seen on her Food Network television shows and in her cookbooks. An open kitchen will give guests the opportunity to watch the chefs in action. The 300-seat restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner daily. Giada, 3595 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas, NV 89109, no phone.
Bellagio Introduces Chef’s Table at Its Buffet with Tableside Service
The Buffet at Bellagio has introduced its Chef’s Table VIP. experience, which includes a skilled chef team that pampers guests, preparing dishes tableside. The menu, which may be adjusted based on guests’ preferences and dietary restrictions, includes artisanal cheeses, charcuterie and caviar; live-action salad creations with fresh dressings, vegetables and sides; premium meat carvings such as lamb and prime rib; and a house-made chocolate fondue presentation for dipping fresh fruit, brownies and marshmallows. Guests can choose to be waited on at the Chef’s Table or visit the American and International cuisine stations on their own. The Chef’s Table is available seven nights a week during dinner and gourmet dinner service, priced at $53.99 and $59.99, respectively. Reservations are accepted for parties of eight or more and can be made through email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Buffet, Bellagio, 3600 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas, NV 89109, 702-693-8111.
Social House Offers $8 Specials During March Madness
Social House inside The Shops at Crystals in CityCenter will celebrate March Madness from March 18 through April 7, with eight food and drink specials for $8, valid in the bar and lounge during all televised NCAA games. Specials include chili-glazed chicken wings; fries layered with braised short rib, white cheddar, wasabi sour cream and green onion; King crab croquettes; Scottish salmon sushi roll; and four drink specials featuring cocktails made with Ty Ku Sake & Spirits. Social House, CityCenter, 3720 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas, NV 89158, 702-736-1122.
Las Vegas Restaurant Week to Benefit Three Square Food Bank Runs March 7-14
Las Vegas Restaurant Week will run from March 7-14. More than 100 of the city’s finest restaurants will offer a three-course menu priced at $20.14, $30.14 or $50.14, with a portion of each meal donated to Three Square, Southern Nevada’s only food bank. Beginning February 20, its website, www.helpoutdineoutlv.org, will offer a list of participating restaurants and menus, and a capability to search by cuisine, location and price.
Interactive Cooking Classes at Bellagio
The Bellagio has announced the 2014 schedule for its An Executive Chef Classroom interactive classes held in the Bellagio’s Tuscany Demonstration Kitchen. The two-hour sessions are led by Bellagio executive chef Edmund Wong and his team, who guide students in creating a seasonal themed menu using fresh ingredients. The schedule is as follows: I Heart Food/Feb. 13, The Noodle Lover’s Guide to Pasta/March 5, Blossoming Taste of Spring/April 3, Grilling Perfection/May 28, Father’s Day Barbecue/June 12, The Chicken or the Egg?/Aug. 27, Farm to Table/Sept. 24, Cooking with Chocolate/Oct. 1 and Harvesting Thanksgiving/Nov. 19. The classes begin at 7 p.m. and the cost is $125 per person. To purchase tickets, call the Bellagio Concierge at 866-406-7117. Bellagio, 3600 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas, NV 89109, 702-693-7111, 888-987-6667.
MGM Reconsiders Parting Ways With Todd English at Olives
MGM Resorts International had previously announced it would be parting ways with chef Todd English at its Olives restaurant at the Bellagio, but now has issued a press release stating, “MGM Resorts International and Todd English Enterprises, are proud to announce that after further consultation, Olives’ tenure at the resort has been renewed.” Olives, which overlooks the resort’s dancing fountains, has been serving Mediterranean cuisine at the Bellagio since it opened 15 years ago. Chef English commented, “Olives at Bellagio is one of my first restaurants. The restaurant and its staff have a special place in my heart, but we could not have reached this level of success and longevity had it not been for the support of Bellagio’s food and beverage team and MGM’s management.” Olives, Bellagio, 3600 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas, NV 89109, 702-693-8181.
New Program at MGM Resorts Provides Menu Selections at 700 Calories or Less
MGM Resorts is taking steps to offer healthy cuisine with its Smart Plate, a program offering healthy menu items at 700 calories or less. The calorie-conscious items are available on select in-room dining menus and at participating cafes including Café Bellagio, Raffles Café at Mandalay Bay, The Café at Monte Carlo, Pyramid Café at Luxor, The Garden Grill at Circus Circus and Market Café at Vdara. Examples of dishes offered are grilled Atlantic salmon with a side of broccolini, topped with yellow tomato and cucumber salsa (690 calories); blackened ahi tuna sandwich with a side of fresh cut fruit (510 calories); and chicken breast topped with balsamic glaze with a side of steamed vegetables and quinoa pilaf (580 calories).
Pizza Rock Serving Sunday Brunch With Acoustic Music
Tony Gemignani’s new Pizza Rock in downtown Las Vegas is now serving a weekly Sunday brunch with live acoustic entertainment. Served from 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., the menu reflects traditional brunch plates and breakfast-style pizza with items such as meatball hash and eggs, double sausage and eggs pizza and Pizza Rock Benedict --- poached eggs, crispy pancetta and hollandaise sauce on toasted focaccia. Also offered are bottomless mimosas (choice of orange juice, mango, strawberry or blood orange) priced at $10 with the purchase of any brunch item. Pizza Rock, 201 N. Third St., Las Vegas, NV 89101, 702-385-0838.
Pizza Rock Hosting Weekly Pizza Cooking Class for Kids and Parents
Pizza Rock in the Downtown 3rd District is hosting Kids in the Kitchen, a weekly series where kids and their parents learn tricks of the trade from pizza-tossing pros, including handling the dough, topping the pizza and cooking it to perfection. Held each Saturday at 10:30 a.m., the class is priced at $10 per person with all proceeds benefiting St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. To reserve, call 702-385-0838. Pizza Rock, 201 N. Third St., Las Vegas, NV 89101, 702-385-0838.
Dom DeMarco’s Pizzeria & Bar has announced the appointment of Robert Caravaggio as executive chef/director of operations. The East Coast native has more than 27 years of experience and will oversee all aspects of the restaurant’s operations including menus, costs and inventory. Before joining, Dom DeMarco’s Caravaggio served as executive chef at Ferraro’s, Kahunaville and Carmine’s. Most recently he was the executive kitchen manager for The Cheesecake Factory locations in Summerlin and Henderson, where he oversaw kitchen operations and managed a team of more than 300 staff members.
Wynn Las Vegas and Encore have named Christopher Hopkins as resort mixologist. Drawing upon his extensive background and knowledge of the beverage industry, Hopkins will focus on educating the staff with training courses to maintain consistency, while creating seasonal cocktail menus and standardizing recipes. Hopkins has more than 16 years of experience in the food and beverage industry; prior to taking the helm at Wynn Las Vegas, he served as property mixologist at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, as a bartender for the DJT Lounge and Restaurant at Trump International Hotel and was the head bartender at SOHO House Group in London. He also served as a cocktail consultant for The Merrywell, in his hometown of Perth, Australia. Wynn Las Vegas, 3131 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas, NV 89109, 702-770-7000, 1-888-320-WYNN.
Border Grill at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino has appointed Chris Keating as its new executive chef. Keating, a North Carolina native, has worked previously at Revival Grill and Sheraton Four Seasons in Greensboro; Caesars Palace in Las Vegas; and most recently, Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill at The Atlantis. Co-owner/chef Mary Sue Milliken said, "We are very happy to bring chef Chris on to our team in Las Vegas. His enthusiasm, wealth of experience and culinary talent is a perfect fit for our company culture.” Co-owner/chef Susan Feniger added, “Chef Chris brings an incredible amount of creativity and leadership to the Border Grill team. We are so excited to collaborate with him in the kitchen and share our passion for cooking.” Keating replaces Mike Minor, who is planning on opening his own food truck, Truck U Barbecue, featuring classic American barbecue with Mexican flavors. Border Grill, Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, 3950 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas, NV 89119, 702-632-7403.
Todd Harrington has left his executive chef position at Central Michel Richard at Caesars Palace to become the assistant executive chef of the new Downtown Grand, which opened in November. Harrington duties will include menu design. On his Facebook page Harrington said, “Happy to be here! A whole new challenge awaits me! The Grand is a truly beautiful hotel and casino, and the food is about to get a serious upgrade!” Central has not yet named Harrington’s successor. Central Michel Richard, Caesars Palace, 3570 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas, NV 89109, 702-650-5921; 877-427-7243.
Block 16 Hospitality closed its LBS: A Burger Joint at the Red Rock Casino, Resort & Spa after the Super Bowl February 3. The restaurant had a five-year run at the resort and was Block 16’s first restaurant venture. The group recently opened Haute Doggery at The Linq on the Vegas Strip and will soon be opening Flour & Barley, a pizzeria and craft brewhouse, also at The Linq. LBS: A Burger Joint, 11011 W Charleston Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89135, 866-767-7773, 702-797-7777.
Hash House a Go Go has closed its doors at the M Resort Spa Casino. Jim Rees, COO and partner with Hash House announced that in early February the restaurant will be relocating to the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in the space currently operating as the Sao Paulo Café, which will remain open until renovations begin in the first quarter of 2014. Hash House a Go Go currently has three other locations that remain open --- inside the Quad, in the Plaza Hotel & Casino and at 6800 W. Sahara. Hash House a Go Go, M Resort Spa Casino, 12300 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Henderson, NV 89044, no phone.
The announcement that Circo at Bellagio will be closing next spring continues the trend of fine dining venues going by the wayside, giving way to more casual eateries by well-known chefs, which are opening on the Vegas Strip on a regular basis. Circo opened its Las Vegas location in 1998. Circo, Bellagio, 3600 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas, NV 89109, 702-693-8150.
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