“BRETT’S VEGAS VIEW” by Jackie Brett
ULTIMO – A WEEKEND OF EXCELLENCE RETURNS TO VENETIAN-PALAZZO: The culinary event Ultimo – A Weekend of Excellence, hosted by The Venetian® and The Palazzo®, will take extravagance to new levels, Dec. 17-20. Ultimo will celebrate the romance of Italy with lavish feasts and experiences from chefs Jérôme Bocuse, Daniel Boulud, Josiah Citrin, Shaun Hergatt, Gavin Kaysen, Thomas Keller, James Kent, Roland Passot, Philip Tessier, Ming Tsai, Richard Rosendale, and Dario Cecchini – the famed Chianti “Butcher of Panzano.” This weekend will feature the return of The Venetian’s Grand Banquet, the landmark collaboration between several of the world’s best culinarians including Chefs Keller, Tessier, Hergatt and Tsai. The Grand Banquet has become a signature culinary event set on a spectacular table that spans the Grand Colonnade of The Venetian. It will be held Friday and tickets are $1,000. Ultimo will feature an array of special festivities throughout the weekend including: Bocuse d’Or Competition Thursday, Dec. 17; Celebrating Earth: Evening of Truffles, Wild Game and Tradition Thursday, Dec. 17; Celebrating Water: Floating Luncheon on the Grand Canal Saturday, Dec. 19; Celebrating Fire: A Mastery of Cooking Over Open Flame outside reception Saturday, Dec. 19; and Truffle Farewell Brunch Sunday, Dec. 20. Event tickets range from $150 to $250 depending.
WESTGATE OPENS FRESCO ITALIANO RESTAURANT: This week Westgate opens its newest restaurant Fresco Italiano featuring hearty Italian favorites served family-style. Fresco Italiano offers homemade pizzas, signature pastas, entrees and classic desserts. The Tuscan-inspired villa located adjacent to the casino floor operates daily from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
RIVEA AND SKYFALL LOUNGE OPENED AT DELANO: Rivea and Skyfall Lounge by Michelin-decorated Chef Alain Ducasse is now open at the top of Delano. Rivea, the first location in the United States, and Skyfall Lounge bring together Riviera-inspired cuisine, celebrated libations, a chic casual atmosphere and great city views.
GUY FIERI’S EL BURRO BORRACHO WILL OPEN AT THE RIO IN EARLY 2016: Restaurateur, chef, author and Emmy Award winning television host Guy Fieri will open El Burro Borracho at the Rio in early 2016. The restaurant will be Fieri’s second in Las Vegas with the first being Guy Fieri’s Vegas Kitchen & Bar at The LINQ. El Burro Borracho, or Drunken Donkey in its literal translation, will be a fun atmosphere with authentically prepared Mexican dishes.
MR CHOW WILL OPEN AT CAESARS PALACE IN DECEMBER: MR. CHOW plans to open its seventh restaurant location in December at Caesars Palace. The luxurious Beijing cuisine fine dining eatery will transport guests to a glamorous, elegant and electric experience with a raucous atmosphere.
COSMOPOLITAN WILL GAIN JAPANESE RESTAURANT ZUMA IN 2016: The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas and Azumi Group in a joint partnership will bring the contemporary Japanese restaurant ZUMA to the resort in late 2016. Created and co-founded by Chef Rainer Becker, ZUMA features modern Japanese cuisine and award-winning, world-class cocktails in an elegant and sophisticated environment. Inspired by the informal izakaya dining style, the international restaurant features a modern Japanese cuisine that is authentic but not traditional.
OUTDOOR ICE RINK RETURNS AT THE COSMOPOLITAN: For the fourth consecutive year, The Cosmopolitan will create a winter wonderland and open The Ice Rink at Boulevard Pool on Friday, Nov. 20. The Ice Rink overlooking the Strip offers visitors 4,200 square feet of real ice, roasting s’mores by the fire, light snow showers, and seasonal culinary offerings. A light snowfall will occur every 30 minutes between 6 and 10 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.
FOGO DE CHÃO OPENS SECOND LAS VEGAS AREA LOCATION: Last week, authentic Southern Brazilian steakhouse Fogo de Chão founded in Brazil in1979 opened its second Las Vegas-area location at Downtown Summerlin marking the company’s 27th in the United States. The restaurant specializes in fire-roasting high-quality meats utilizing the centuries-old Southern Brazilian cooking technique of churrasco and a differentiated service model known as espeto corrido (Portuguese for “continuous service”) delivered by gaucho chefs. Fogo de Chão is open daily except Saturday at 11:30 a.m. for lunch, and daily for dinner with Happy Hour Monday-Friday in the bar area.
CHOW DOWNTOWN ADDED LUNCH: Chef Natalie Young’s eatery Chow offering fried chicken and Chinese cuisine seats just under 70. It is located downtown at 1020 Fremont Street next to The Writer’s Block. Young has created a menu that features two distinct kinds of comfort food – southern style soul food and standard Chinese dishes. In mid-October, Chow added lunch options and a limited beer and wine menu. A large Chinese paper dragon is suspended from the ceiling and the open kitchen overlooks the walk-up window along one side of the building where carry-out is available. Chow opens at noon daily except Monday.
HAKKASAN GROUP UNVEILS FUTURE NIGHTLIFE EXPERIENCE AT ARIA: Global hospitality company Hakkasan Group has announced its next nightlife venture will be JEWEL at Aria opening in the former HAZE Nightclub space next spring. The multi-level venue will have a main club, an overlooking mezzanine level above the dance floor with five secluded suites, each with exclusive entry, a DJ booth, and a production wall featuring dual-sided LED video screens and special effects lighting.
DONNY AND MARIE OSMOND EXTEND RESIDENCY AGAIN AT FLAMINGO: Donny and Marie, who recently celebrated their seven-year anniversary at the Flamingo, have signed an extension through the end of 2016. Meanwhile Donny and Marie Osmond have been having their measurements taken by the Madame Tussauds studio team because their wax figures will be unveiled in 2016, making them the first new figures of the year for the attraction.
‘LEGENDS IN CONCERT’ PERFORMS ANNUAL HOLIDAY SHOW: Legends in Concert, Las Vegas’ longest-running live tribute show, will perform its annual holiday show from Monday, Nov. 23 through Thursday, Dec. 24 at the Flamingo. This year, Taylor Swift, portrayed by Elizabeth Scarborough, will rock the show with “All I Want for Christmas is You;” Madonna, portrayed by Coty Alexander, will bring holiday cheer with “Santa Baby;” Frank Sinatra, portrayed by Brian Duprey, will wow the crowd with “Marshmallow World;” and Michael Jackson, played by Damian Brantley, will perform the crowd pleaser “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.” In addition, local youth choirs and performing arts groups have also been invited to perform in the holiday production. For a merry finale, the entire cast will perform “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” and the Legends band will perform a stunning version of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s “Christmas Eve in Sarajevo” (“Carol of the Bells”).
BERGER & SON JEWELERS TRADEMARK STUART BERGER DESIGNS®: Berger & Son Fine Jewelers has established a formal trademark for Stuart Berger Designs featuring one-of-a-kind handmade jewelry created in-store. Berger utilizes precious gemstones, diamonds, gold, silver and more to construct body-adorned works of art. Berger & Son will be moving just steps inside the front doors of the Fashion Show mall on the Strip and be 2,500 square feet, which is more than double the size of the existing store. The new outlet will have an exclusive VIP parlor with private service for jewelry design consultations. In addition, Berger & Son will now feature a full time on-premise jeweler and watchmaker for custom designs, repairs and appraisals.
SANTA CLAUS WILL ARRIVE AT MAGICAL FOREST VIA HELICOPTER: The Magical Forest, Opportunity Village’s popular holiday event, will open Friday, Nov. 20 at 1 p.m. with Santa Claus arriving early that day on Papillon’s EC130 helicopter to greet up to 300 individuals with intellectual disabilities (OVIPs). Santa will bring Mrs. Claus and an elf to take photos and hand out treats before heading inside the Magical Forest to begin preparing for the evening’s grand opening.
PEDIPED® FOOTWEAR CELEBRATES 10-YEAR ANNIVERSARY: The award-winning Henderson-based pediped® footwear company is celebrating its 10th anniversary with a 10 percent off for 10 days sale Nov. 10-19 at its boutique store at Town Square. The company with the signature purple shoebox sells children’s footwear to more than 2,500 retailers across the United States and globally in 40 countries. Since 2005, the company has sold approximately 7 million pairs of shoes in 1,500 styles.
ICHI DEUX IS NEW STORE ON MAIN STREET: Ichi Deux that opened downtown on Nov. 1 is a new store at 1412 South Main Street in the arts district, offering conversationally creative colorful glass and steel sculptures created by two talented local artists, Kat Hogan and Jerome Ellis. Formerly they had one of my favorite stores, which was Purr Deux on Rainbow for 15 years.
THE D UNVEILS NEW MEETING AND CONVENTION SPACE: The D downtown has revealed 11,000 square feet of meeting and convention space on the 12th floor of the hotel. The project includes renovations to the 6,000-square-foot Detroit Ballroom, eight 500-square-foot breakout rooms and new features such as an outdoor Traverse City Patio terrace, “Man Cave” party rooms and a fitness and business center.
TOP INTEREST ITEMS: Wynn Las Vegas’ signature seafood restaurant was renamed Costa di Mare with Executive Chef Mark LoRusso at the helm. GIADA restaurant at The Cromwell has debuted a Saturday and Sunday brunch from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. CRUSH at MGM Grand is introducing the all-new CRUSH Fridays Brunch Party from 2 to 6 p.m. every Friday with VIP bottle service, DJs, live music, lighting elements and an exclusive menu from Corporate Executive Chef Billy DeMarco highlighting breakfast and lunch favorites. Las Vegas Ski & Snowboard Resort is back to being known as Lee Canyon, which was its original name when it opened in 1963. Lee Canyon’s revamped website www.leecanyonlv.com goes live Nov. 9 and the new Lee Canyon brand identity will be incorporated into on-mountain signage, marketing materials, uniforms and all other branded items. On Saturday, Nov. 14, the Silverton will present Guitars & Country Stars featuring three country favorites: “American Idol” finalist Josh Gracin; Joshua Scott Jones who is one half of country duo Steel Magnolia; and Chuck Wicks who originally appeared on the reality show “Nashville.” Tickets start at $29. Singer Renee Hale and The Music of Paul Lowden will team again at the Italian American Club at 2333 E. Sahara Avenue on Wednesday, Nov. 18 from 7 to 11 p.m. For dinner reservations, call 702-457-3866 and make a full evening of it. November is Native American Heritage Month and the Charleston Heights Art Center is holding traditional basket weaving workshops using recycled materials for ages 11 and up on two Saturdays, Nov. 14 and 21 from12:15 to 2:15 p.m. Cost for the two sessions is $26, call 702-229-6383. Smash Magazine will present Blessthefall on their Las Vegas tour stop on Nov. 18 for one show at Vinyl at the Hard Rock. Glenfiddich Brand Ambassador Jennifer Wren will host an exclusive dinner featuring the world’s most awarded single malt Scotch whisky at Strip Steak inside Mandalay Bay on Tuesday, Dec. 1 with a paired menu from Executive Chef Gerald Chin. Seats for the 7 p.m. dinner are $125, call 702-632-7200. The highlight will be savoring the Glenfiddich 14 Bourbon Barrel Reserve. Junior Achievement of Southern Nevada’s Suite Holidays fundraiser taking place Saturday, Dec. 5, from 3 to 10 p.m. has announced the current resorts that will be participating and showcasing their VIP suites: the Cosmopolitan; The High Roller at The LINQ; Palms Resort; Paris; The Venetian; and Westgate. Tickets are $200. Last week, Goodwill of Southern Nevada opened a brand new build-to-suit Goodwill Retail Store & Drive-Thru Donation Center in North Las Vegas at the southeast corner of Lake Mead and Civic Center. This is the 17th retail location.
SOUTH POINT HOSTS THE LAS VEGAS NATIONAL HORSE SHOW: The Las Vegas National Horse Show, presented by Blenheim EquiSports, will return to the South Point Arena and Equestrian Center Nov. 10-15, with the Grand Prix event on Saturday, Nov. 14 at 7:30 p.m. The evening will begin with a colorful Parade of Nations introducing some of the world’s top national and international show jumpers. After the $100,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Las Vegas competition, a special autograph signing will be held in the foyer. Tickets are $20. In addition to Saturday night’s event, the South Point Arena will host additional show jumping competitions with talented riders Wednesday through Friday, and admission is free.
LAKE MEAD NATIONAL RECREATION AREA LAUNCHES VIRTUAL MUSEUM: Lake Mead National Recreation Area, which doesn’t have a brick and mortar museum, has launched a Virtual Museum nps.gov/features/lake/museum showcasing a collection of historic photographs and cultural artifacts that have been carefully cataloged and stored by park archaeologists in a climate controlled room to protect and preserve them. Historic photographs captured steamships, early settlements, ranger activities, recreation and explorations. St. Thomas, the once submerged town, is also included.
OANCEA MADE RECORD $2.5 MILLION PAYOUT ON WORLD SERIES: Dave Oancea, aka “Vegas Dave,” one of the most aggressive and successful future sports bettors won a historic $2.5 million payout – the largest future bet in the history of sports betting when the Kansas City Royals won the World Series. He placed his bet in week one when the odds were 30 to 1 and bet it all the way down to 8-1 (the Royals hadn’t won a World Series in 30 years). Oancea placed several bets at different casinos including the Westgate, Tuscany and Golden Nugget. All of his tickets are on his website itsvegasdave.com. His winnings prompted the Westgate to change its policy on accepting his bets, which will change the way casinos do sports betting (no longer accepting such extreme odds or allowing repeat bets). He plans to give back to his community by donating turkeys and toys to underprivileged Las Vegas residents during the holiday season.
APPRECIATING OUR MILITARY: For the fifth year in a row, Westgate and CEO David Siegel are continuing the company tradition of honoring former and current U.S. military personnel by giving away free vacations – and for the first time this year, the number of vacations is being increased to 2,500. Beginning Nov. 11 at 9 a.m., the first 2,500 eligible service members who complete the online military appreciation form at www.westgatedestinations.com /thankyoumilitary will receive a complimentary three-day, two-night vacation at an eligible Westgate Resorts property in Orlando or River Ranch, Fla., Branson, Mo., Gatlinburg, Tenn., or for the first time Las Vegas. At Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay, all active and retired military personnel will receive $10 general admission with a valid ID Nov. 8-11. Each veteran can bring up to four dependents with them using this offer. At CSI: The Experience at MGM Grand, the offer is 2-for-1 admission including for family members. For the Roller Coaster at New York-New York the $7 admission for up to two tickets is an ongoing offer.