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Thursday, October 25, 2018

Showcasing many of the best chefs of Vegas


The Feast

Showcasing many of the best chefs of Vegas

Story by Bob Gourley


Anticipation is building for Saturday evening, November 3. That is the date for the second Audi Henderson Lake Las Vegas Classic at Reflection Bay Golf Club. If you attended last year, I’m sure pleasant memories linger from tastes available throughout the evening at The Feast. This year’s event promises more great food from some of the valley’s best restaurants.

If you are looking for gourmet Asian, be sure to visit booths manned by both TAO and Zenshin. TAO, beautifully situated at the Venetian Hotel, is guided by Executive Chef Ralph Scamardella, who flawlessly puts together culinary components from China, Japan and Thailand. Notable items include Glazed Salmon with Sesame Eggplant and Shiso Vinaigrette plus Typhoon Lobster with Fingerling Potatoes. TAO is a place to play, as the lounge and nightclub are always lively.

Zenshin continues to shine at the South Point Hotel and Casino. Chef/Owner Terence Fong is well remembered around town from the Bacchanal Room at Caesars. Today he prepares Asian fusion favorites with an emphasis on fresh tastes and affordable prices. His training reflects French and Italian cuisines that enhance the many flavors of his cooking. A large list of specialty rolls is a crowd pleaser.

Lovers of upscale Italian food will want to sample offerings from Lavo at the Palazzo. Executive Chef Marc Marrone worked in both Seattle and New York before coming to Las Vegas. Marrone likes to say that Lavo is an Italian steakhouse with traditional New York-style Italian dishes. Every piece of beef served is hormone-free and dry-aged for 28 days. If you ever wanted to try octopus, this is the place for it. It is oven roasted in red wine vinegar, onion and garlic and then grilled to order.

An award-winning restaurant, Marssa Steak and Sushi will be another contributor to the upcoming grand evening. Located at the nearby Westin Lake Las Vegas Resort and Spa, this attractive location with breath-taking views is famous for certified Angus Beef and Wagyu steaks plus sushi-grade fish. Chef Kazuki Tozawa is the man in charge and guides a professional staff that maintains high standards for every guest.

The Cosmopolitan Hotel is graced with many high-end dining establishments, but one of the most popular is STK, part of the ONE Group Hospitality’s chain. Specialties include a 34-ounce bone-in ribeye and a collection of Kobe steaks. A creative list of sides includes mushroom potpie, jalapeno cheddar grits, and lobster mac and cheese.

A pairing of a pawnshop with a gourmet-dining restaurant was considered unique a couple of years ago. And Beauty and Essex, also located at the Cosmopolitan, continues to please. Casual elegance is the key as memorable chandeliers hang above you and classy gold-silhouetted peacocks add to the ambiance. Owner/Chef Chris Santos is a proponent of communal dining and loves serving up offerings that are made to be shared. One of the favorites is oven-braised chicken meatballs made with sheep’s milk ricotta, wild mushrooms and truffle.

The northwest corner of Town Square is the place for Texas de Brazil, another restaurant that will be delivering samples for hungry participants. The churrascaria is packed on most nights and why not. Visitors are treated to a gigantic salad bar that is filled with samplings like Hearts of Palm, Tabbouleh and Pineapple Carpaccio with thinly sliced pieces of super sweet fruit. The endless parade of meats is prepared Texas-style with a lot of rub and fire. Picanha, the most memorable part of sirloin, is a must-order.

There are many Capital Grilles located throughout the United States, but one of the most popular is situated right here on the Strip. Chef selections include sushi-grade tuna with gingered rice and shared sides like grilled asparagus with lemon mosto plus soy-glazed brussels sprouts with bacon.

When it comes to burgers, diners are certainly better off after visiting Shake Shack. In fact, the shacks are popping up all over the valley and at last year’s tasting event the lines were long for their burgers. They use only 100 percent all-natural Angus beef with no antibiotics. The meat is freshly ground and served on a non-GMO Martin’s potato bun. They offer popular hot dogs and crinkle-cut fries that are the perfect accompaniment for the burgers.

Forrest Mars, Sr. founded Ethel M Chocolates in 1981. His recipes reflect the guidance he got from his mom, Ethel. His mission continues today with a staff that continues to produce the finest candies around. Be sure to end your parade of tasting visits with a short walk to the Ethel M booth. They offered a variety of chocolate samples last year as many folks strolled by often asking, “Can I have another?”

At press time, the participating restaurants were finalizing their menus for the event. A memorable evening of food and entertainment is guaranteed at the classic. Purchase your tickets now!


Lake Las Vegas Classic

November 3, 2018

At Reflection Bay Golf Club, Lake Las Vegas

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