Las Vegas Dining and Entertainment News 02/06/24

In this weekly update, food and beverage reporter Bob Barnes fills us in on noteworthy restaurant openings and closings, dining news, culinary events and entertainment news worth knowing about.

Events

Buddy V’s RistoranteFebruary 11

Buddy V’s Ristorante at The Palazzo/Venetian will invite fans to join Buddy “Cake Boss” Valastro for Buddy’s Big Game Bash beginning at 2 p.m. Buddy will be there serving up a plethora of endless Italian bites including hot wings, ravioli fritti, truffle cheese fries, sausage and peppers and Italian sandwiches, plus Buddy’s Big Game dessert platter. Bottomless beverages will include buckets of beer, house wines and well and specialty cocktails. The cost is $150 per person plus tax and tip. Guests must be 21+ for lounge and bar seating. Reservations are required by calling the restaurant at 702-607-2355.

ØØ Pie & Pub — February 11

ØØ Pie & Pub will host its 2024 Big Game Watch Party, a ticketed event featuring special menu items, drink specials and raffles every hour during the game. Priced at $65, your ticket gets you six Wood Roasted Wings; an order of House-made Pickles and Chef Michael’s Focaccia; choice of Short Rib All’arancia, Eggplant Caponata or one of a selection of ØØ’s specialty pizzas; and two draft beers. Doors will open at 2 p.m. Tickets include seats and this is a 21+ event. For more info and to purchase tickets, click here.

Aqua Seafood & Caviar Restaurant by Chef Shaun Hergatt — February 14

Aqua Seafood & Caviar Restaurant at Resorts World will offer a Valentine’s Day curated prix fixe choice of menu by chef Shaun Hergatt priced at $125 per person. Available from 4 p.m. to closing, the menu includes amuse bouche of Pomme Soufflé with avocado mousse and caviar; choice of Arugula Salad with grilled shrimp and avocado or Mushroom Soup with sliced fresh mushroom garnish; Gnocchi with parmesan cream (optional truffle supplement $25) or Spaghetti Pomodoro (optional lobster supplement $25); Alaskan Black Cod, Potato-crusted Chilean Seabass or Australian Wagyu Beef; and Strawberry Shortcake. There will be no a la carte service or happy hour on Valentine’s Day, and a 20% gratuity will be added to all checks.

Basilico Ristorante Italiano — February 14

Basilico Ristorante Italiano, located in Southwest Las Vegas, will offer a Valentine’s Day tasting menu for two priced at $150. The menu includes oyster with pomegranate and yogurt; kampachi with grapefruit, avocado and radish; Kaluga Caviar with sunchokes and hazelnut; white asparagus, lardo, cured egg yolk and truffle; celery root, black garlic and passion fruit; lobster cappuccino; cacio & pepe risotto, king crab and lime zest; beet spaghetti, clams and parsley; dover sole, Champagne beurre blanc and chantarelle; and chocolate, banana and jasmine tea. An optional wine pairing for two will be available for $80.

Locale Italian Kitchen — February 22

Locale Italian Kitchen in the heart of Mountain’s Edge, will host a four-course wagyu and whiskey pairing dinner designed by Hooper Hospitality Concepts Culinary Director Jacob Williamson to showcase high-quality wagyu beef with an exclusive collection of whiskeys from the renowned WhistlePig Whiskeys. The menu will include amuse of Tiny “Locale” Burger with tiny wagyu fat fries paired with 6-year WhistlePig PiggyBack & coke; Wagyu Steak Tartare with truffle carpaccio, pommery and aerated brown butter Hollandaise matched with 15-year WhistlePig Estate Oak Rye; Brisket & Foie Gras Ravioli with wild huckleberries and tableside foie gras snow paired with 6-year WhistlePig PiggyBack Rye Manhattan; WhistlePig & Wagyu Tallow with Parmigiano Rind Aged NY Strip with black garlic, broccoli rabe and crispy beef tendon matched with WhistlePig Farm Stock Rye Smoked Old Fashioned; and WhistlePig Old Fashioned Budino with chocolate cherry custard, Angostura bubbles, candied orange peel and tallowed maraschino cherries paired with 10-year WhistlePig Rye Mokka Pot Boulevardier. The dinner pairing is priced at $150 per person and reservations are available from 5-8:30 p.m.

Pick of the Week

Peter Luger Steak House

In November, legendary New York steakhouse Peter Luger opened at Caesars Palace in the former space of Rao’s adjacent to MR CHOW. It marked the first domestic expansion in more than 60 years for the restaurant which opened its doors in Brooklyn in 1887 as Carl Luger’s Café, Billiards & Bowling Alley. It’s also its first US location outside of New York, following openings in Long Island in 1968 and Tokyo in 2021. The iconic steakhouse is renowned for its tradition of hand-selecting the best selection of USDA Prime beef which are dry-aged onsite. Most impressive at the Caesars location is its 4,000-square-foot space currently holding almost a million dollars’ worth of beef aging for 30 days or more.

As for the décor, the first view you encounter is a pill-shaped bar with dozens of spirits bottles displayed on a shelf, followed by a sizeable octagonal-shaped dining room evoking an old school elegance with brick arches, blackish-brown hardwood flooring, bronze chandeliers, brown leather chairs and an open and airy feel compliments of a high ceiling. There are also photos throughout detailing the restaurant’s 136-year history.

Unlike the original version, credit cards are accepted here and the servers here are quite pleasant (not stern and gruff like in NY). The menu is the same as the one in NYC, but this Vegas location is the first to offer a raw bar. Although the menu includes an assortment of seafood and a lone chicken dish, you owe it to yourself to indulge in one of the dry-aged steaks that have made this establishment iconic. They keep it simple here; each cut is given only a light dusting of salt and broiled at nearly 1,000° for just 4-5 minutes, and when delivered to your table your server places the plate atop a dish so it’s at an angle to allow you to dip the pre-cut pieces into the delectable clarified butter and natural juices.

Sides I highly recommend are the German-style potatoes fried in beef tallow and the thick-cut bacon. The famous tart and sweet Luger Sauce is quite delicious, but it would be a shame to dip your steak in it, as it is perfect already, but it does pair quite well with the bacon, house bread and pretty much anything else.

An excellent accompaniment to fine steaks is a well-made cocktail or fine whiskey. Fortunately, there is an extensive menu spanning three pages listing the collection of bourbon, rye, single malt, blended Scotch and Japanese whiskey; and cocktails include the Mid-Town made with Woodford Reserve, Meletti Amaro, Cocchi Americano and spiced cherry bitters.

The lunch menu is the same as the dinner, with the addition of a steak sandwich (made from the same dry-aged beef) and a ½ pound Luger Burger comprised of USDA Prime ground beef and dry-aged steak trimmings. Lunch is available Wed-Sun from 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Dining News

AMARI’s Wine Shop Now Open

AMARI Italian Kitchen & Wine Shop, located within UnCommons at Durango and I-215, has opened its boutique retail and wine shop. The wine collection is available for purchase by the bottle and includes top-notch wines for any budget. There is also an impressive variety of Amaros, available for purchase in packs of six and eight. Guests can also special order hard to find wines as well as purchase liquor and beer. With this new addition, AMARI’s cuisine and wine can be enjoyed on the picturesque grounds of UnCommons. In addition, if guests enjoy a wine while dining at the restaurant, they now have the option to purchase a bottle priced between 25%-30% less than the dine-in price to enjoy at home. The retail and wine shop is open daily during regular restaurant hours.

Mott 32

Mott 32 at The Palazzo is honoring Chinese New Year with a specialty menu celebrating traditional Chinese flavors with its signature contemporary technique and flair. The limited menu, available Feb. 10-24, includes Whole Lobster Salad with abalone and house made sauce ($198); Bird’s Nest in Bamboo with superior broth ($168); Crispy Yellow Chicken and Coriander ($78); Clear Pot with crab meat, scallop, radish and egg white ($78); Romaine Lettuce Heart Casserole with minced pork and shrimp paste ($38); and Lotus Leaf Rice with duck, chicken, prawn and conpoy ($48).

WuHu Noodle

WuHu Noodle at the Silverton will offer limited-time specials from Feb. 9-25 including Braised Sea Cucumber with black mushroom, baby bok choy, ginger, green onion and oyster sauce ($88); Steamed King Crab Legs with ginger, green onion and supreme sauce ($88); Jellyfish Salad with cucumber, sesame, cilantro, pickled radish and carrot ($24); and Sauteed Turnip Cake with green onions and spicy sauce ($24). 

CHĪ Asian Kitchen

CHĪ Asian Kitchen at The STRAT will offer an array of special dishes from Feb. 9-11 featuring ingredients that symbolize prosperity, happiness, good fortune and abundance in the new year. Selections include Soup of the Sea with lobster, snow crab, scallops, shrimp, green onions and shiitake mushrooms ($25); Peking Duck Salad with watermelon radish, cucumbers, mandarin oranges and almond ginger-plum vinaigrette ($45); Shaoxing Drunken Chicken with baby bock choy, ginger sow, Huadiao rice wine and goji berries ($33); Seafood Hot Pot with scallops, shrimp, littleneck clams, black cod, lettuce, mushrooms, bamboo shoots, green onions and ginger garlic sauce ($36); and “Year of the Wood Dragon” cocktail made with Don Julio Reposado Tequila, Haiken Lychee Vodka, yuzu, lime, strawberry, pink peppercorn reduction and aquafaba ($13).

Entertainment News

The Mob Museum will celebrate its 12th anniversary by offering free admission to Nevada residents and buy-one-get-one for non-residents on Feb. 14 from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. The day will include an exclusive showcase of the two Thompson submachine guns used in the infamous St. Valentine’s Day Massacre on February 14, 1929 during which seven members and associates of the North Side bootlegging gang were lined up against a wall and shot to death by assassins believed to have been hired by Al Capone. Offering a look at what the Chicago Outfit became after Capone’s reign, reformed mobster Frank Calabrese Jr. will be onsite from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. sharing the story of his life with the Outfit and how he worked with federal law enforcement to take down the criminal organization, which included his own father, Frank Calabrese Sr.

Rounding out the anniversary celebration, the Las Vegas Cadillac Club will have a display of historic vehicles on view from 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m., Vitalant Blood Donation will be onsite hosting a blood drive from noon-4 p.m. and the Goodfellas Grill will serve food for purchase throughout the afternoon.

PHOTO CREDITS
  • Amari exterior pic credit Chris Wessling
  • Aqua Seafood & Caviar Restaurant
  • Buddy Valastro-courtesy of Buddy-V’s
  • Locale courtesy of Locale
  • Mob Museum Exterior pic courtesy of Mob Museum
  • Mob-Museum-Valentine’s Massacre Wall pic courtesy of Mob Museum
  • Peter Luger aging-room pic by Don Chareunsy
  • Peter Luger steak and sides pic courtesy of Caesars Palace
  • Peter Luger steak pic-courtesy of Caesars Palace

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