Notes from the Road, June 2008 – Vegas baby, Vegas!
Vegas greetings to you all! This update is from much closer to home, as I’ve returned to Las Vegas and our offices here. However, I figured you’d all be curious as to what is happening in Vegas – so here we go!
It was an interesting week overall, so I’m going to start with Wednesday night. I was fortunate to celebrate my good friend Franck Savoy’s birthday at his restaurant, Guy Savoy at Caesars Palace (www.GuySavoy.com). The gathering was a small group of restaurateurs, public relations mavens and wine professionals. We were able to enjoy their ‘Bubble Bar’ for a festive and rich meal, combined with some outstanding Champagne and still wines. My highlight of the night was the Guinea Hen, cooked in Pig Bladder! Quite a site and an outstanding version of ‘en Papillote’ cooking…
Of course, the night couldn’t end there as a small group of us continued to Noir Bar (Pure Management Group’s inventive cocktail lounge at the Luxor). Creative cocktails were the standard and Ken Hall’s libations were the plan for the evening. He created an outstanding Gin cocktail for me with muddled watermelon and cucumbers, simple syrup and Hendrick’s Gin.
Thursday brought with it a day in the office to start, so no daytime adventures for you all there! However, that evening we continued out to watch the Celtics/Lakers Game #1 of the NBA Finals at a neighborhood bar and grill, Home Plate. Our buddy Matt holds it down over there and we had a blast catching up with him. They do really simple, but great bar food from spiced Buffalo Wings to Patty Melts and one of the best dishes, their Chicken Souvlaki!
After the game, I went on to meet some friends at one of the newer hot-spots in Vegas, over at Town Square to Blue Martini (www.bluemartinilounge.com). This is a concept that started down in Florida and is known for its martinis (obviously), live music, a boisterous crowd and good times. I believe they’re doing pretty well overall, but the ‘security’ guards need to remember it’s an off-Strip place, not a Strip nightclub – so mellow out guys!
Friday night we went over to TAO Beach to support Chris & Sonny from Rock ‘n Roll Wine (www.rnrwine.com). This was a great event from the very start – smaller than usual for the boys, but a great crowd, killer wines and a beautiful night in Vegas. If you’ve never been to one of their events, you’ve got to get there! Hit the boys up on their website, myspace or out and about – they’re really making it happen with wine!
The evening’s culinary adventure that night was a bar dining experience with our long-time friends at Valentino. From Bob to Cristina to Carlo and over to James Beard Award winner, Luciano Pellegrini – we had a great time and some outstanding wines and culinary creations. The highlight was a new appetizer Luciano created – Swordfish Carpaccio with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce and capers. Perfect for Spring and Summer in Las Vegas.
Next stop was a quick visit to see DJ Roger Gangi (a good friend and also my neighbor!) spinning at V-Bar. Roger was sounding great on the 1’s & 2’s, with an interesting crowd visiting the lounge that night. But, if you haven’t heard him spin yet – make sure to check him out. He’s on myspace as well – with his calendar letting you know where his next gig is.
To end the evening, we continued over to PURE at Caesars Palace (www.PUREthenightclub.com) to support my friend DJ Vice (www.DJVice.com). By the way, Vice just released his latest CD/compilation, Vice Vice Baby – it’s his take on music from the 90’s, a great listen! PURE was jumping that night with locals and tourists, and we got some great service behind the bar from friends Nick, Jady and Alexis – man, they can make a mean cocktail!
Saturday was another adventure evening, starting with a few glasses of Peju Sauvignon Blanc (for my girls, the Sisters Peju!) over at Sedona Restaurant & Lounge (www.sragg.com). It is always a great place to grab a drink in a cool environment in the suburbs, away from the hustle of the Strip. Dinner was a fantastic sushi experience at Naked Fish, a great little Sushi Bar on the Westside. The quality of their fish is superior to many off-Strip sushi bars and the guys behind the counter are friendly and fun, especially when you buy them a beer!
Well, that’s about all from this week’s adventures and notes from the road, even though I was home in Las Vegas. Stay tuned for more adventures and remember; Keep eating and drinking!