BRETT’S VEGAS VIEW
Contributed by Jackie Brett
MANDALAY BAY AND CHEF MICHAEL MINA REOPEN STRIPSTEAK: With the reintroduction of StripSteak at Mandalay Bay, Chef Michael Mina is stripping away the formality of steakhouses. Now open, the James Beard Award-winning chef, restaurateur and cookbook author is bringing the quality of traditional steakhouses into a lively atmosphere of innovation reinvigorating classic steakhouse flavors with modern techniques, Asian influences and creative culinary fusions. StripSteak’s kitchen is outfitted with unique equipment including a row of heated butter baths, aging lockers and wood grills expanding the possibilities of what the chefs can deliver. Guests can expect to sample inventive new plates such as Foie Gras Doughnuts, Caviar Jelly Doughnuts, Maine Lobster Toast and Truffle Corn Bread. The new menu is served in a refreshed interior design evoking the setting of a secret desert lair from a spy movie. Inspired by the surrounding Mojave Desert landscape, the space boasts a striking bar, seductive mid-century furnishings and an expansive new private dining room, which allows for up to 72 guests and can be configured in several ways. Modernist details throughout are complete with seductive furnishings and eccentric art. Half-circle sage green upholstered booths line the perimeter of the restaurant and deep burgundy chairs accentuate the comfortable yet stylish feel. StripSteak, located on Mandalay Bay’s restaurant row, is open daily from 5 to 10 p.m.
WIDESPREAD PANIC WILL RETURN TO THE THEATER AT VIRGIN HOTELS: Georgia rock band Widespread Panic will make their return to The Theater at Virgin Hotels, part of Curio Collection by Hilton, for three back-to-back shows Friday-Sunday, March 3-5. Virgin Hotels Las Vegas is offering complimentary self-parking. As Georgia Hall of Fame inductees, Widespread Panic is known for their unique brand of improvisational rock. The band has been together for more than 30 years and is comprised of John “JB” Bell (guitars, vocals), John “JoJo” Hermann (keyboards, vocals), Jimmy Herring (guitars), Domingo “Sunny” Ortiz (percussion, vocals), Dave Schools (bass, vocals) and Duane Trucks (drums). Throughout their monumental career, the band has released 12 studio albums including “Street Dogs” along with 43 live albums, selling more than three million copies as one of the most successful touring acts in the world. Widespread Panic has continuously broken attendance records at major venues throughout the U.S. as well as headlined major music festivals.
ORIGINAL VEGAS HOTEL, GOLDEN GATE, CELEBRATES 117 YEARS: The first hotel in Las Vegas, Golden Gate Hotel & Casino, celebrates 117 years of operation this week on Jan. 12. Since its inception in 1906, the downtown mainstay on Fremont Street has played a pivotal role in the evolution of the city’s hospitality and gaming industry. Originally opening at One Fremont Street as Hotel Nevada, Golden Gate’s legacy spans the birth of Las Vegas, the Roaring 20s, the Rat Pack era and now the 21st century. Golden Gate has become the pinnacle for vintage Vegas charm with the preservation of 10 of its rooms from the original incarnation of the property, as well as artifacts, memorabilia, slot machines and prohibition-era details from decades past. The historic property now sits directly across from CEO Derek Stevens’ Circa Resort & Casino, meaning the beloved casino operator owns downtown’s oldest casino and its newest one.
BREWDOG LAS VEGAS OPENED ROOFTOP BREWPUB: International brewery BrewDog opened its rooftop bar in Las Vegas last month on the third and fourth floors of the Showcase Mall on the Strip. Visitors can enjoy 360-degree views, a menu with Vegas-exclusive bites, 96 taps featuring BrewDog brews, local favorites and non-alcoholic options, lots of TVs, full-size shuffleboard tables, retro arcade games and more. BrewDog’s standout feature is a 30,000-square-foot rooftop bar with extraordinary views of the Strip. Unique to the location is a custom-fabricated 30-foot illuminated sign set atop the fourth-floor rooftop. As the name suggests, BrewDog is dog-friendly, complete with K9 hydration stations and treats for furry friends.
JEFF ROSS, THE ROASTMASTER GENERAL, WILL VISIT M RESORT: Jeff Ross, best known as the “Roastmaster General” for his insult comedy, will appear at the M Pavilion at M Resort with his social commentary on Saturday, March 11 at 8 p.m. Ross is making a stop in Henderson as he tours the country with his stand-up and plans to bring his own brand of speed-roasting to audiences both stateside and abroad. Tickets start at $40 and go on sale Friday, Dec. 16. Ross is a comedian, writer, actor, director, and producer. His television projects include “Roast Battle” for Comedy Central, a series which he produced and starred in for three seasons. Ross also starred in the three-episode comedy special “Bumping Mics” with Dave Attell for Netflix. This rapid-fire, two-man stand up series has a joke-per-minute ratio and continues to tour the country as a live show. Ross also produced and starred in six episodes of Netflix’s “Historical Roasts.” Ross has performed at the Boston Police Department, in a maximum-security prison, and on both sides of the Mexican border. He also regularly tours with the USO to perform for troops overseas. Cartoons are a new platform for Ross, as his voice has recently been used in “Penn Zero: Part Time Hero,” “The Emoji Movie,” “Future Worm,” and as a series regular character Hook Foot on the popular Disney show “Tangled.”
‘MJ LIVE’ AT TROPICANA MOVES TO NEW TIME SLOT: “MJ LIVE,” the award-winning Michael Jackson tribute concert at the Tropicana highlighting the talented legendary Michael Jackson will move the show’s start time to 7:30 p.m. beginning Monday, Jan. 16 and run nightly except Tuesdays. “MJ LIVE” takes over the time slot “Legends in Concert” had before it closed on Dec. 30. As the #1 Michael Jackson tribute show in the world, “MJ LIVE “recreates the electrifying stage presence of one of the greatest performers. From iconic dance moves like the moonwalk to timeless hits like “Bad,” “Billie Jean,” “Thriller” and “Beat It,” the spot-on show brings all the Gloved One’s staples to life. There is also a special Jackson 5 segment featuring classics like “I’ll Be There,” “I Want You Back,” “ABC,” and more, inspired by Soul Train. This production also features dazzling lighting and effects, plus the MJ LIVE dancers and a live band.
DONNY OSMOND CONTINUES SOLO RESIDENCY AT HARRAH’S: Legendary entertainer and music icon Donny Osmond has extended his award-winning solo residency inside Harrah’s Las Vegas Showroom at Harrah’s. He’ll be back headlining Jan. 24-28 and 31. He has more dates on the calendar through May. Winner of Best Show, Best Headliner and Best Singer for the 2021 Best of Vegas awards, Osmond’s show is a dynamic, energy-filled musical journey of his unparalleled life as one of the most recognized entertainers in the world. Fans are treated to Osmond’s engaging performances throughout the show including the fan favorite and showstopping “Auto-rap-ography” – a rap song accompanied by milestones photos and videos from his impressive six-decade career. Osmond also does a full Broadway production of his classic Disney hit from Mulan, “I’ll Make A Man Out Of You.” Plus the show includes an audience interactive segment where anyone can request any song he’s ever recorded.
NEW CHEF AT CHICKIE’S & PETE’S CRABHOUSE AND SPORTS BAR: At the Sahara, Vladimir Chavez is the new executive chef at Chickie’s & Pete’s Crabhouse and Sports Bar, which is renowned for earning ESPN’s designation as the “No. 1 Sports Bar in North America.” Chavez brings nearly a decade of experience in the restaurant industry to his new role at the sports-viewing hotspot. Prior to his current role, Chavez served on the opening team for Fleur French Bistro at Mandalay Bay where he served as the restaurant’s executive chef. Over the course of his eight-year career at Mandalay Bay, Chavez also worked at a number of other esteemed venues, including Aureole by Charlie Palmer, Libertine Social and the property’s convention center banquet department. Additionally, he worked at Della’s Kitchen located inside Delano.
JAZZ SUPERSTAR EUGE GROOVE WILL HEADLINE SANTA FE STATION: Jazz superstar Euge Groove will be returning to Las Vegas for a performance in the Chrome Showroom at Santa Fe Station on Saturday, June 24 at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $42.50. Groove studied piano before taking saxophone studies while at high school. At the University of Miami, he gradually developed an interest in jazz. Gigging locally, he played in the All-American College Band at Disney World, Orlando. Adept on alto and tenor saxophones and clarinet, he played in Latin and pop bands, including Exposé. In Los Angeles in 1987, together with James Slater he wrote “Hearts on Fire,” recorded by Richard Elliot on “Power of Suggestion.” Elliot was with Tower Of Power and when he went solo, Groove took his place in the band, appearing on 1991’s “Monster on a Leash.” He also played in the band accompanying Huey Lewis and the News on their Small World tour. In 1990, he toured with Richard Marx and later with others, including Joe Cocker, and Eros Ramazzotti. He toured again with Marx in 1997. Groove has also recorded with Aaron Neville, Bonnie Raitt, Paula Abdul and Elton John. At the end of the decade, Groove halted his busy touring schedule to begin work on a solo project resulting in his first album. His first single, “Vinyl,” spent 27 weeks on the R&R NAC/Smooth Jazz chart and he was voted Best Breakout Artist for the year. Bringing technical expertise and inventiveness to his playing, Groove comfortably straddles the worlds of both jazz and pop.
THE COSMOPOLITAN HOSTS HOOPS & HOPS COLLEGE BASKETBALL PARTY: The college basketball viewing experience, Hoops & Hops, will return for its 12th year at The Cosmopolitan. From Thursday, March 16 through Sunday, March 18, the 40,000-square-foot Belmont Ballroom will transform into a reimagined basketball-lover’s dream featuring wall-to-wall high-definition projection screens, a dedicated on-site sports book along with 10 betting stations, a hardwood basketball court with regulation hoop, complimentary games including Golden Tee and Super Shot, an array of culinary offerings and more. Ticketed guests will also receive complimentary entry into Marquee Nightclub all weekend long with a valid Hoops & Hops wristband. Luxury reserved seating and open bar packages go on sale Friday, Jan. 13.
THE MOB MUSEUM HOSTS ‘AGAINST ALL ODDS’ WITH OSCAR GOODMAN: The Mob Museum downtown will host “Against All Odds: Oscar Goodman and the 40th Anniversary of the Jimmy Chagra Murder Trial” on Wednesday, Jan. 18 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Cost is free to Museum Members or with Museum admission. Drug kingpin Jimmy Chagra, accused of paying a hitman $250,000 to kill U.S. District Judge John Wood, retained Las Vegas attorney Oscar Goodman to defend him. Goodman punched holes in the government’s case and the jury acquitted Chagra. It was a shocking verdict after the FBI conducted its most extensive investigation since the Kennedy assassination. On the trial’s 40th anniversary, Goodman and Chagra’s eldest daughter Catherine will look back at the case and what it meant for Goodman and the Chagra family. A book signing of Catherine Chagra’s “Dirty Darlings” will follow this program. Goodman spent more than 35 years defending some of the most notorious alleged Mob figures, including Meyer Lansky, Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal, Tony Spilotro and Jimmy Chagra. Catherine Chagra was the daughter of Jimmy Chagra, a Las Vegas high-roller and drug trafficking kingpin once named the “Pablo Escobar of weed.” After her father was arrested and his $100 million disappeared, Catherine and her siblings were left penniless at the mercy of a Texas society that vilified them. With the help of her principled mother before her tragic death, and haunted by the shadow of their father, Catherine Chagra’s book “Dirty Darlings” provides a portrait of courage as she and her siblings attempt to re-assemble the shattered pieces of their lives.
FERRARO’S HOLDS WINE ‘TASTE & LEARN’ EVENT JAN. 21: Ferraro’s Ristorante’s next Taste & Learn event will be held on Saturday, Jan. 21 at 5 p.m. The monthly wine-tasting and education event provides illuminating wine education along with a menu of expertly prepared, authentic Italian small plates crafted by Chef Mimmo Ferraro. Tickets for the all-inclusive experience are $110 per person, call 702-364-5300. The January Taste & Learn gathering will spotlight wines from Castello di Monsanto’s four vineyards in Tuscany. For more than 60 years, Castello di Monsanto has been regarded as one of the world’s best producers of red wine. “Castello di Monsanto is not only one of Tuscany’s best producers of red wine but also one of the most highly regarded vineyards across the globe,” said Gino Ferraro, owner of Ferraro’s. “Whether guests are seasoned wine enthusiasts or are searching to try something new, Taste & Learn will offer a memorable food and wine experience for all.”
VEGAS CELEBRATES THE YEAR OF THE RABBIT: Chinese New Year will take over Rampart Casino in Summerlin Jan. 22–Feb. 7 with the casino floor showcasing festive decor, a special Lion dance performance, dining specials, giveaways, and casino promotions to celebrate the Year of the Rabbit. The Rabbit sign is said to be a symbol of longevity, peace, and prosperity with 2023 predicted to be a year of hope. The traditional Lion dance through the Rampart Casino will be on Friday, Jan. 27 at 9 p.m. Guests are invited to fill red envelopes and feed romaine lettuce to the lion during the traditional ceremony. Boyd gaming properties The Orleans and the Gold Coast will celebrate the Chinese New Year 2023 with festive Lion’s Dance performances on Wednesday, Jan. 25. The Lion Dance at The Orleans will begin at 5 p.m. and travel through the casino with the main dance ending in front of Ondori Asian Kitchen. At the Gold Coast, the Lion Dance will begin at 7 p.m. and travel through the casino with the main dance ending at Ping Pang Pong.
AUDITIONS FOR POOL SEASON TO BEGIN: While it may be winter, resorts are looking ahead to warmer weather and fun in the sun. Two properties Mandalay Bay and the Sahara are holding auditions this month for pool season. The DAYLIGHT Beach Club, located at Mandalay Bay will host auditions for the upcoming 2023 pool season Tuesday, Jan. 17 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. The auditions will be held at the Jasmine Ballroom inside Mandalay Bay Convention Center. The club is looking to fill positions such as model bartenders, model cocktail servers, promoters, security and lifeguards. DAYLIGHT Beach Club will offer a luxuriously entertaining pool experience with its 50,000-square-foot space, including a 4,400-square-foot main pool and two additional private pools for cabana guests. AZILO Ultra Pool at the SAHARA will host auditions for the 2023 pool season on Tuesday and Wednesday, Jan. 17 and 18 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Positions available at Ultra Pool include model cocktail servers, model server assistants, model bartenders, barbacks, food runners, lifeguards and security officers. Model applicants must audition in swimwear and lifeguard candidates must be 18 years or older. Auditions will be conducted at AZILO Ultra Lounge just off the casino floor through the Casbar Lounge entrance.