Page 1







Outrageous aquariums: Meet the guys from Animal Planet's new hit Tanked



W W W. V R AT E D . C O M



Three star chefs give new meaning to the phrase dinner party



$40 cheese? Penn Jillette and others reveal what's inside their refrigerators




VINTAGE BR 126 C ronograp . AVIATION BR 03-92 Automatic Bell & Ross Inc. +1.888.307.7887 . . e-Boutique:

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My Five Favorite ShriMp CoCktailS 1 N9NE Steakhouse at Palms

Casino Resort. Best eaten with lots of horseradish. 2 Comme Ca at The Cosmopolitan

Before there was Bravo’s Top Chef, Bon Appetit’s Uncork’d or any of the outposts of famous restaurants from around the world that now line the Strip, there was the Golden Gate Hotel & Casino and its contribution to history: the 50-cent shrimp cocktail. Las Vegas’ true culinary awakening happened in 1959 at 1 Fremont Street inside the city’s oldest resort, and it came in a tulip-shaped glass filled with plump, pink shrimp. For it was at this juncture that the city truly learned how to market its amenities, in addition to its gaming, and created its first cliché. (There were many that followed, including volcanoes, white tigers, pirate ships, castles, amusement parks … and, of course, the premise that what happens here, really stays here). The Golden Gate, developed around a San Francisco-city theme, became known far and wide for its “Original 50-Cent Shrimp Cocktail.” Where else could you get all that shrimp for a couple of quarters? People came, they ate shrimp, they left happy. And they came back for more. The food was the star. Digging into this savory delight, you wouldn’t find the piles of lettuce that other “lesser” seafood cocktails use in order to scrimp on the shrimp. This was a true value. Then came the $1.99 buffet, the $2.99 steak and eggs breakfast and so on … until we arrive at present day and world-class eateries like Le Cirque, Guy Savoy, Joël Robuchon. We owe it all to the shrimp. Vegas/Rated’s October issue gives a deliciously accurate rundown of the current state of our foodobsessed city. From pizza to pork to the growing number of culinary events that happen year-round, there is certainly no shortage of great places to eat, new spots to discover and exciting dishes to try. I will admit that there is one thing lacking from this edition: something sweet. We only feature one item that is not of the savory realm—and it’s a cocktail (see page 156). Because who really has room for dessert anyway? Melinda Sheckells Editor-in-Chief Follow us on twitter @vegasrated

october / 2011 | V R A T E D . C O M

3 The Seafood Platter at STK

inside the Cosmo. Try it with their signature drink, the Green Intensity, which features a jalapeño kick. 4 Spago at The Forum Shops.

Always fresh and firm. 5 Simon Restaurant & Lounge at

Palms Place. Pink delights served on a bed of ice, best when paired with their veggie salad.

INSIDer INteL In the 1930s, the hotel component of the Golden Gate casino was named Sal Sagev—Las Vegas spelled backward. Many notable figures have used this “code” name over the years when registering for hotels. So, if anyone asks, my name is Sal.

Photo by Ryan Reason; Styling by Nicole Chandler; Hair by Marshall VanIerland; Makeup by Natasha Chamberlin; Dolce & Gabbana dress, Neiman Marcus, Fashion Show

of Las Vegas, as served in its Grand Plateau.

TASSO ELBA Only at Macy’s Regular fit wool/ cashmere suit. $595. Cotton dress shirt. 69.50. Silk tie. 49.50.


Advertised merchandise may not be carried at your local Macy’s and selection may vary by store. 1080081.

with $99 online purchase ($8 flat-fee shipping with purchases under $99). No promo code needed; exclusions apply.

find your magic _ 2.0




Working in restaurants since his early teens (both back- and front-of-house) Scali “feeds” his followers the ins and outs of the Vegas food and beverage scene with his popular social networking site Scali profiles chef Akira Back on page 44.

Grace Bascos has been eating, drinking and writing in Las Vegas for more than six years. For this month’s issue, she ate her way through more pizzas than she can count, discovered that chowing down before a night out is paramount and encountered some of the finest pork the city has to offer. She will still not, however, use “pork” as a verb.

“My favorite dish as a kid was Kugel (think Google with a ‘K’). It’s a sweet/savory noodle casserole. My family has the best recipe out there, period.”

“My favorite dish my mom used to make: Pancit molo, which is essentially a Filipino-style wonton soup.”


Anthony Mair hates bios, but loves movies and Mila Kunis. If he could take anyone’s picture it probably would be Leonardo Dicaprio. As for his work, he likes creating a whole mood in a picture. “If someone says it looks like a scene from a movie, I’m a happy chap.” Mair photographed many people for this issue, including Penn Jillette, page 102. “My mom will kill me for saying this, but growing up it was all about grandma’s cooking. I would ask my mom to ‘make it like grandma’ with a smile on my face.”






Photographer Sabin Orr was spending his days shooting people and products, until out of the blue, he was commissioned to photograph food, and it was a perfect fit. For this issue, he went behind the scenes to snap all the action at all-star Cochon. See page 134.

Jarret Keene loves comic books, rock ‘n’ roll and Godzilla. His post-apocalyptic doom-metal band Dead Neon terrorizes the dive bars of Vegas. He covers arts and entertainment for Vegas/Rated, see his article about Safewalls by Cirque du Soleil. See page 76.

For this issue’s “Mixology” section, Vegas/Rated borrowed sister-publication Vegas Seven’s senior editor and sent the confirmed cocktailian on a bar crawl and to uncover treasures at Artisanal Foods. She also names the city’s most promising up-andcoming mixologists.

From Brooklyn, photographer Robert John Kley splits his time between Los Angeles, New York and Las Vegas. He lives by the adage “it’s not who you know, it’s who knows you.” He shot this month’s cover feature in the kitchen of RM Seafood at Mandalay Bay.

“Grandma was more of the cook and a baker. She would always make the grandkids their favorite dessert—mine was Angel-food cake. I’ve yet to find another that I actually like.”

“My favorite dish my mother still makes is oatmeal boiled in milk and served with a boiled egg.”

“Does the 12-item amusebouche at New York’s original Bouley restaurant (co-owned by my family) that I had in 1987 count as a home-cooked meal? It inspired my lifelong love affair with all things edible.”

“Being Italian, my mom was an amazing cook. But the one dish that was probably my favorite was Cream of Wheat. Still brings back memories of when the only thing I had to worry about was being home as soon as the streetlights came on.”

october / 2011 | V R A T E D . C O M

Ryan T. Doherty | Justin Weniger PUBLISHERS


















Michael Skenandore Melinda Sheckells Dean Sebring Raine Bascos, Valerie Sebring Alvaro Diaz-Rubio, Evan Karlan, Alyson Stokkers, Timothy B. Wooten Matt Jacob Elizabeth Sewell Callie Driehorst, Kacie Lochner, Scott Matti, Stephanie Ortega, Cierra Pedro, Agnes Poliquin, Heather Yuille Chris Ablan, Michael Dobias Hew Burney, Anthony Mair, Tomas Muscionico Marc Barrington Robert Opacki Sarah J. Goitz Christy Corda Nicole Bullis Jacqueline Bicknell Teahnna Suriano

Ryan T. Doherty | Justin Weniger








Michael Skenandore Phil Hagen Ashley Staszak Keith White Sherwin Yumul Chris Grover Anthony Mair





























627 NORTH LA PEER DRIVE, W E S T H O L L Y W O O D , C A 9 0 0 6 9 , 310.652.2944

Yolanda E. Yoh Christopher Fabian James Dimonekas Tom Cooper Annie Oddo Michael Callahan Jr. Emmanuel Crouvisier Gary Vieira Joseph Alexander Fern E. Meshulam Katharine Tucker Jeffrey Rovner Andrea Efland Barbara Mabie Kristen Delisio, Raquel Howell, David Wulk Sherry Chelchowski, Shirley Cruz, Shannon Kavanagh Erick Hernand, Karen Theierl Emel Emin, Kristy Kilian, Yelena Tartakovsky Kristen Hitchcock Lisa F. Silver Ashley Akins Monica Del Borrello Stephanie Brady Selene Ceballo Alexander R. Cruz Ron Sklon

3 7 3 1 N W 8 T H A V E N U E , B O C A R A T O N , F L 3 3 4 3 1 , 561.750.0151

3 6 0 P A R K A V E N U E S O U T H , 1 7 T H F L O O R NEW YORK, NY 10010, 646.805.0200


Vegas/Rated® is a registered trademark of Sandow Media, LLC and used in partnership with WENDOH Media Companies. Vegas/Rated (ISSN 2162-6340) Vol. 1, No. 2 is published monthly by Sandow Media LLC, Boca Raton, FL and WENDOH Media Las Vegas, NV. Subscriptions are $29.95 for one year in the US. Address subscription requests and correspondence to: Vegas/Rated, PO Box 810369, Boca Raton, FL 33481-9941. Email: S A L E S @ V R AT E D . C O M

october / 2011 | V R A T E D . C O M


E D I TO R I A L @ V R AT E D . C O M




what’s in store

v/rated exclusives

DISCOVER 21 David Barton Gym comes to Las Vegas RELAX 22 The Cosmopolitan takes on tennis




V/RATED Places to savor swine

V/RATED Delicious and healthy spa menus

30 KITCHEN DUTY Luxe fall fashions inside the kitchen of RM Seafood


DINE 23 Lavo launches a sexy Saturday brunch

AUTOPIA The Ferrari turns into what you would never expect—a family car

SHOP Sweat: a super secret boutique


44 BACK STORY Akira Back’s rebellious nature equals pure genius in the kitchen

64 SUITE SENSATION The Barbie suite is a very pink place to get away from it all

48 TASTING MENU The Strip’s only Greek eatery offers a $20.11 lunch special

68 SPA DAY The Spa at Red Rock takes pampering to the next level


WATCH 23 Photographer Erik Kabik and John Varvatos collaborate 24

get away from it all

V/RATED Sexy shoe salons

MINGLE 22 10th annual Jean-Louis Palladin dinner

MIXOLOGY An $18,000 Scotch whisky

the culinary scene

THE PLAYERS Six food and beverage experts share their stories

52 HIGH/LOW Splurge or scrimp? Gyros have great range

54 CURRENT Six slices of heavenly pizza

PLAY 24 New York hot spot 1OAK replaces JET at The Mirage


30 Margaux in a Mandalay dress available at Neiman Marcus, Fashion Show. Styling by Christie Moeller.

UNCORKED Rosé is a perfect complement to Northern Italian cuisine

58 THE CELLAR The inspiration behind N9NE Steakhouse’s wine program

64 OCTOBER / 2011




Milla Jovovich


48 East 57th Street, New York, NY



concerts, shows



beyond the strip

on the list

who to know





V/RATED Upcoming concerts not to miss

V/RATED Delicious off-the-Strip dishes

V/RATED DJ Eric DeLux’s essential tracks

V/RATED Vegas-based reality shows




CURRENT Cirque du Soleil’s international art project makes a stop at Trifecta Gallery

DINNER PARTY Where to grub before you hit the club

MEET The men behind Animal Planet’s new hit show Tanked




CALENDAR The monthly resource for arts, entertainment and culture in Las Vegas

ALL ACCESS Moon Nightclub at Palms turns five years old

THE SCENE All-Star Cochon stages a pork takeover at The Cosmopolitan

102 WHAT’S IN THE FRIDGE? Take a peek inside the refrigerators of notable Las Vegans



CALENDAR The monthly resource for nightlife in Las Vegas

THE SCENE Relive summer 2011

138 THE SCENE Vegas/Rated’s exclusive debut party weekend at Wynn/Encore Las Vegas




154 144 V/RATED Rising star mixologists


146 WE’LL DRINK TO THAT Crawling for cocktails at The Cosmopolitan

OCTOBER / 2011

CURRENT Brett Ottolenghi explores artisanal foods for just the right bar dressings



160 THE END Tis’ the season for football

ON THE COVER An exclusive look inside the kitchen of RM Seafood at Mandalay Bay. Top Chef Masters Rick Moonen let Vegas/Rated showcase fall fashion among his many edible delights. Margaux (Elite) sharpens her skills for a one-on-one battle with flames, fish and feathers. She wears a Paul Smith dress available at Paul Smith, Crystals at CityCenter. La Perla bra available at Neiman Marcus, Fashion Show. Tuleste Market necklace available at Photo by Robert John Kley.


THE SCENE Spanish brand Desigual unveils a Cirque du Soleil-inspired collection




––––> Tired

of the milquetoast big-box chain gyms? Grit, glamour and body sculpting are the priorities at the adults-only DavidBartonGym, opening in November at Tivoli Village in Summerlin. The 35,000-square-foot, opulently designed space that more closely resembles a nightclub than a workout facility has outposts in New York, Miami, Seattle and Chicago. Each location has a unique feel based on its geography—but consistently inspires the comment, “That’s a gym?” DBG Las Vegas will be home to four yoga studios, pilates, cycling, international DJs, state-of-the-art equipment and more. Vegas-specific classes will also be available, including one called Fear and Loathing. Owner David Barton chose to set up shop in the desert because the residents “get it.” “Las Vegas has a sexy reputation, and it’s well-deserved,” he says. “It’s the fittest city I’ve ever seen. They have access to the best of everything—food, shopping, entertainment—but not much choice when it comes to the gym.” VRATED.COM

| OCTOBER / 2011

v/Rated exclusives: always the fiRst to know


Relax: Get your Game on ––––> Since opening in December, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas has put a topspin on nearly everything it touches, even tennis. Guests and locals have access to the resort’s two tennis courts (single and double), making The Cosmopolitan one of just three hotels in town with court action. Racquets, courts and ball machines are rented by the hour, and resident tennis professional Adrin Himmelheber of Himmelheber Tennis, who has played and trained with pro Andy Roddick and 2004 Olympic Gold Medalist Nicolás Massú, is onsite to give private lessons ($95 per hour), group lessons ($135) and two weekly clinics ($30). It’s proof that “play hard” doesn’t just apply to nightlife in Las Vegas.


Mingle: top chefs unite for jean-louis palladin ––––> Jean-Louis Palladin was a locavore before anyone knew what a locavore was. The famous chef, who died in 2001 at age 55, embraced fresh and local foods, and is often credited with bringing the dining revolution to Las Vegas. The restaurateur, who was the culinary force behind Napa at the Rio, will be honored during the 10th annual Jean-Louis Palladin Dinner on October 16 inside Alizé at Palms Casino Resort. Alizé chef and proprietor Andre Rochat says the event’s unrivaled culinary fare prepared by 18 chefs (including Luciano Pellegrini of Valentino, Martin Heierling of Sensi, Gregory Pugin of Le Cirque) pays tribute to Palladin. “Everything is about food. It’s the best charity dinner in the country, without a doubt,” Rochat says. Paired with wine, the nine-course meal (each course has two menus) is $295, and proceeds will benefit the Jean-Louise Palladin Fund of the James Beard Foundation.

tennis: a nd rew james; chefs, joey celis




Dine: LaVo’s sexY saturdaY bruNcH ––––>

Just in case Sunday brunch wasn’t enough, Lavo at The Palazzo will begin serving a Saturday Champagne Brunch on October 15. On the menu: hedonism at its finest and Vegas/Rated got a sneak peek. Modeled after the Bikini Brunch at Lavo New York, the Las Vegas incarnation will showcase gold-painted dancers, elaborate costumes, DJs and bottle service, and the food will be as tantalizing as the atmosphere. Imagine white polenta pancakes topped with toasted hazelnuts and wildflower honey apricot jam, and lemon ricotta waffles with glazed apples, dark raisins and whipped yogurt.

Check it out Saturdays from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. 702.388.8588;

k abik : r2k stud io

Watch: it’s a Hard rock Life ––––> Renowned concert photographer Erik Kabik is showcasing a number of never-before-seen images with Classic Rock for the Future Vol. 1: The Photography of Erik Kabik on display at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. Kabik, who is the house photographer for the Hard Rock, worked with visual director John Varvatos to create the show. While Kabik has photographed just about anyone who’s anyone—Barack Obama, Jerry Garcia, Robert De Niro, Carlos Santana—the photographer says Varvatos’ insights were helpful in assembling the latest exhibit. “His input was invaluable to me,” says Kabik. “Sometimes others see things in my shots I don’t see. I think lots of artists are like that. We are so close to our work we sometimes miss elements, or we over-think things and discredit images that are our best work.” The show runs through November.

John Varvatos at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, 800.HRD.ROCK;


| octobeR / 2011


play: 1oak coMes to MiraGe

Shop: Fashion bY invitation onlY

Scott Sartiano and Richie Akiva head up The Butter Group

Mixology:  Double Your Pleasure ––––> The Ardbeg Double Barrel is locked and loaded, and ready to be served in the spirit of the traditional British shooting party. These two bottles of rare, 1974 vintage Scotch whisky, which come from two different single casks, are presented in a bespoke leather gun case. Inside each, which is made by the same craftsmen who make guns for Purdey, Beretta and Boss, you’ll find two hand-blown bottles and eight sterling-silver drinking cups. The perfect gift for the discerning whiskey palate/gun aficionado, only 250 cases of the Ardbeg Double Barrel were produced. And the only place in the United States that can connect you with the $18,000 bounty is Stitched at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.


ocotber / 2011 | v r a t e D . c o M

––––> In the coming weeks, 50 of Las Vegas’ female fashion elite will be receiving a special invitation to shop at Sweat, a new boutique experience. The store will be located in a “secret Summerlin bungalow.” Sweat will carry exclusive brands such as Monrow, Twenty8Twelve, Rebel Yell, Mother, Foley, Kenneth Jay Lane, Free People, Sydney Evan and Kettle Black (shown above). Need to know more? You’ll just have to wait and see if you’re invited.

scott sartiano anD richie akiv a Photo bY henrY s. Dziek an iii/WireiMaG e


––––> Jet Nightclub is out and 1OAK is in at The Mirage. After six years, Jet closed in September but the space will live again after being transformed into 1OAK, scheduled to open New Year’s Eve. The club is a venture between New York-based The Butter Group and The Light Group. The New York outpost of 1OAK, located near Chelsea, has become a celebrity magnet, drawing in Beyonce, Jay-Z, Madonna, Rihanna, Katy Perry, Bruce Willis, Cameron Diaz and more. The Mirage location looks to lure much of the same crowd to the space after it gets a full facelift courtesy of design firm Munge Leung and rebranding based on 1OAK’s ultra-cool reputation. While most of the world will have to wait until after the grand opening party to sneak a peak, VIPs will get to catch a glimpse of Roy Nachum’s surrealist artwork adorning the walls at the über-exclusive New Year’s Eve opening party.

shop what’s in store and on trend

hot DISH ––––>  Luxe

Photo by Robert John Kley

fall fashion finds its way into the kitchen of Rick Moonen’s RM Seafood at Mandalay Bay. See page 30.

Etro gown available at tuleste Market necklace available at


| october / 2011



nine sexy shoe salons

SExy ShOE SAlOnS Boutiques to appease a footwear fetish

gOing up


shoein Wynn Las Vegas

---------------------Stocked with high-end heels such as Stuart Weitzman and Chloe, ShoeIn is the place to go for top-of-theline designers. 702.770.7000;

* *

christian Louboutin The Shoppes at The Palazzo; The Forum Shops

----------------------The genius behind the towering red-soled shoes has two boutiques in Las Vegas to keep the well-heeled happy. 702.818.1650 (The Shoppes at The Palazzo); 702.818.8444 (The Forum Shops);



----------------------After browsing Urban Outfitters or getting drinks at RiRa, stop by Shoe Obsession and slip on brands such as Donald Pliner and Onyx. 702.740.8623;


rush shoes 750 S. Rampart Blvd.

---------------------Rush Shoes keeps Summerlin residents in step by carrying brands such as Sam Edelman, Elizabeth and James and Dolce Vita. 702.478.7400

suite 160 Mandalay Place; 9350 W. Sahara Ave.

---------------------As one of the original sneaker boutiques in Las Vegas, Suite 160 has made a name stocking hard-to-find Nike, Meister and Converse. 702.304.2513 (Mandalay Place); 702.562.6136 (West Sahara);

shoe obsession Mandalay Place


october / 2011 | V R A T E D . C O M

chinese Laundry Miracle Mile Shops; Fashion Show

---------------------Two of the cult favorite’s four stores can be found on

niketown The Forum Shops

---------------------This sports-dedicated superstore recently got a facelift, and now custom shoes can be ordered in-store via its NikeID program. 702.650.8888;


Miu Miu Crystals at CityCenter

---------------------The Italian house famous for its chunky wedges and avant-garde styling finally has a Las Vegas outpost, located center Strip. 702.737.2529;


Giuseppe Zanotti The Forum Shops

---------------------Sky high and architectural, Giuseppe Zanotti shoes come in exotic colors and textures. 702.866.0055;

A Dallas shoe institution for more than 20 years, Gregory’s keeps Southern belles on their toes with out-of-this-world footwear. Now the boutique has exported its curated collection of designer shoes to the desert, with an outpost at The Grand Canal Shoppes inside The Venetian. Gregory’s specializes in being the first to secure limitededition designer accessories for its customers, and personal shoppers are always on hand to offer advice on the right heel for every occasion. While the shoes take center stage, you can also accessorize with their ready-towear apparel for both men and women. Gregory’s, The Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian, 702.792.1300;

nEOn DREAMS leave it to Christian louboutin to out-neon even Caesars palace. The shoe czar’s newest boutique at The Forum Shops (shown, above left) features an eye-popping window display by Eric Clough of 212box. The longtime louboutin collaborator spelled out the designer’s infamous name in neon lights. it’s a sight for sore shoe-loving eyes. 702.818.8444;

Louboutin photo by Zackery Williams; Gregory’s photo by Kacie Lochner

Las Vegas Boulevard. Choose from a wide variety of boots, flats and candycolored jellies. 702.836.9707 (Miracle Mile Shops); 702. 369.3114 (Fashion Show);

Christian Louboutin at The Forum Shops


Credits: Photography by Robert John Kley; Photographer’s assistant/Unico Clemente; Makeup and hair by Stephanie Peterson; Wardrobe styling by Christie Moeller; Wardrobe assistant/Devin Howell; Model/Margaux (Elite)

salmon sensation Elie Saab romper available at Neiman Marcus, Fashion Show. AZ by Azature necklace available at shop kitchen duty

tHe DetAILS A champion of sustainable seafood before it became vogue, Rick Moonen opened his signature restaurant inside Mandalay Bay six years ago. Designed as two spaces in one, downstairs offers casual fare along with a sushi and raw bar, while upstairs guests get to experience Moonen’s more creative dishes. The Top Chef Masters alum is a founding member of the Seafood Choices Alliance, an organization devoted to preventing overfishing. Yep, RM Seafood is a restaurant with a cause. So eat it up!


| october / 2011

FISH & FEATHERS Dior dress available at Dior, Crystals at CityCenter. Fendi shoes available at Fendi, The Shoppes at The Palazzo. Melinda Maria earrings, necklace and bangles available at

in the mix

| october / 2011

kitchen duty



Fendi dress available at Fendi, The Shoppes at The Palazzo. Vince muffler available at Neiman Marcus, Fashion Show. Melinda Maria earrings and cuff available at

hard BOILEd Moonen’s eggs come from his very own chickens raised at Andraki’s Sunbaked Farm in Nevada. His fowl, however, prefer not to wear Miu Miu on the job like Margaux. Etro dress available at Miu Miu shoes available at Neiman Marcus, Fashion Show. Tuleste Market bracelet and necklace available at

shop kitchen duty

Haute Fixins Black garlic, gochujang chili paste and pomegranate molasses are just a few of the specialized ingredients that can be found in Moonen’s pantry. As for Donna Karan, that was a one-time affair. Donna Karan dress and necklace available at Donna Karan, Crystals at CityCenter. VRATED.COM

| october / 2011


not your father’s ferrari


N ot You r FAtHEr’S

Ferrari Four is the magic number for this new four-wheel drive sports car/station wagon By Sondra Schneider

Sticker Shock The Ferrari FF will set you back about $300,000 depending upon selected options.

Functional luxury Part sports car, part station wagon, the Ferrari FF seats four adults comfortably, while a rear hatchback provides ample space for storage. All interior options are fully customizable.

Power & SPeed The FF comes equipped with a 6.3-liter, V12 engine that features a seven-speed automatic transmission and pushes 660 horsepower. In a hurry? Go from 0-60 mph in 3.7 seconds, topping out at 208 mph.

When the Ferrari FF debuted at the Geneva Motor Show in March, you could practically hear the collective jaws of the car world dropping. The FF—or Ferrari Four (four seats, four-wheel drive)—had been touted as a replacement for the 612 Scaglietti, but the car on display was more of a Prancing Horse revolution. The Pininfarina-designed FF is based on a classic design—the three-door shooting brake (or “estate”) car beloved of the European gentry. Still, on this side of the pond, we’d be inclined to call it a station wagon rather than a shooting brake. Among the FF’s many innovations and attractions is the largest capacity engine Ferrari has ever produced. Yet it’s the four-wheel drive—another Ferrari first—that has everyone excited. Also newsworthy is the array of options available in the FF. After you’ve selected the color and options for the exterior, the entire cabin is elective. Want a specially designed bucket seat? A particular color of seatbelt? It’s entirely up to the consumer, who can actually design his ride before even leaving the house. Just visit and play around with the configuration option. It just might be the most fun you’ll have ... at least until your new ride arrives.


Penske-Wynn Ferrari 702.770.2000;

october / 2011 | V r a t e d . c o M

dine The Culinary SCene unCovered

cold case Photo by Anthony Mair

––––>  Before

wielding his skillful knife nightly at Yellowtail Restaurant & Lounge, Chef Akira Back worked and played slope side in Aspen, Colorado. Three years after opening inside Bellagio, his chic Japanese eatery is now a favorite with celebrities and scenesters, where they eat dishes like the Shikoku octopus with cucumber jalapeño vinaigrette (shown here), $23. See page 44.


| october / 2011


nine places to savor swine


plACEs TO sAVOR swinE From pork cheek to pork butt, Vegas offers plenty of opportunities to pig out By GRACE BAsCOs


Porchetta from Table 10 at The Palazzo

rao’s Caesars Palace

----------------------The bone-in, double-cut pork chop ($32) is thick, juicy and well-seasoned, and the accompanying sauce made of the reduced juice of vinegared hot and sweet cherry peppers adds great tang and heat. 877.346.4642;

* *

----------------------Guanciale is the Italian treatment of pork cheek, cured to intensify its pork flavor. B&B’s Bucatini all ’Amatriciana ($25) pairs it with fresh, hollow spaghetti and a spicy tomato sauce. 702.266.9977;



comme ça The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

----------------------Pork trim and fat often end up as forcemeat, and pâté de Campagne ($20) is one of those happy endings. 702.698.7910;

raku 5030 W. Spring Mountain Road

----------------------Grilled over Raku’s special Japanese lump charcoal, the skewer of Kurobuta pork cheek ($3.50) is crispy, fatty, sweet and smoky all at once. 702.367.3511;


and other spices. Okada’s braised Kurobuta pork short rib Kakuni ($16) presents the fork-tender meat in a clay pot with the braising liquid. 702.248.3463;

b&b ristorante The Venetian


okada Wynn Las Vegas

----------------------Short ribs do well after a five-hour braise in a mixture of soy, mirin, garlic, ginger

october / 2011 | V R A T E D . C O M

mozen bistro Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas

----------------------MOzen offers pork collar as one of its Bento options. The collar is grilled and served with a cooling green papaya slaw. 888.891.9367;

border Grill Mandalay Bay

----------------------Yucatan Pork ($24) is pork butt (actually, just the pig’s shoulder) that’s slow-cooked for four hours then wrapped in banana leaves. Try it once and you’ll come back again. 702.632.7403;


social House Crystals at City Center

----------------------Social House has taken traditional Filipino pata ($24) and refined it. Pork shank is fried so that the skin gets bubbly and crispy, while the meat remains tender on the inside. 702.736.1122;


table 10 The Palazzo

----------------------This Emeril Lagasse eatery gives us porchetta ($33), which turns slowly in the restaurant’s rotisserie. The pig is deboned, re-stuffed and then roasted until the skin is crispy. Yep, Emeril knows his pork! 702.607.6363;

BOTTOM’s Up Pig and pinot noir— the perfect match Master sommelier William Sherer knows his way around both the wine and the swine. His vino of choice for pork dishes: pinot noir. There’s even an annual festival in honor of this pairing every year in Healdsburg, Calif., hosted by Chef Charlie Palmer. As Palmer’s wine director at Aureole, Sherer participates in Pigs & Pinot and knows why the two work so well together. “Both pork and pinot are soft and juicy, and both have a silky texture,” he says. “Pork is a fine-grained meat, and pinots are a fine-tannin wine. Pinot has a soft, luscious, cherry fruit, and pork is a lush, sweet meat.” Palmer himself has always been a lover of pork, Sherer says. “And he loves using the whole animal— tail to snout.” What lies between the tail and snout is what lends itself to pinots such as Sherer’s recommendation of 2008 Antica Terra from Willamette Valley, Oregon, or 2009 Rochioli from the Russian River area of California. Enjoy both at Aureole at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino. 702.632.7401;



AkirA BAck turns his rebellious nature into pure genius in the kitchen of Yellowtail restaurant & lounge at bellagio bY Dominic scali / photographY bY anthonY mair


| october / 2011


Beluga caviar pasta with tapioca, king crab and Pop Rocks

On the Menu One part Aspen snowboarding dude, two parts Vegas culinary phenom, Chef Akira Back is a fierce competitor both in and out of the kitchen. Before perfecting the many flavors of Japanese cuisine, Back spent seven years on the professional snowboarding circuit. Although he had game—he was featured both in Snowboarder and Transworld magazines—getting banged up wasn’t exactly paying the bills. So Back put down his board and picked up an apron, breaking in a new course … as a dishwasher in the kitchen of Kenichi Restaurant in Aspen. “I showed up with blue hair,” he says. “The owner made me go home and shave my head.” Back worked his way to the top, becoming Kenichi’s executive chef after securing a culinary arts degree. This would eventually take him on the “ride” of his life. After opening restaurants for Kenichi in both Hawaii and Austin, Texas, Back began traveling the world to further perfect his craft— alongside such master chefs as Masaharu Morimoto and Brian Nagao. It was these experiences that gave The Light Group all it needed to lure Back to Bellagio to become the star behind Yellowtail Restaurant & Lounge. Back has been at the helm of Las Vegas’ Japanese “haute” spot for the past three years; right before coming on board he did a turn on Iron Chef in March 2008 (he lost to Bobby Flay in a spinach battle). Yellowtail’s success can be attributed to the chef’s exotic menu that boasts eclectic ingredients and items such as yuzu citrus fruit, kumamoto oysters and octopus, among the fresh seafood that’s is flown in daily from some of the world’s top suppliers. The owner of Kenichi may have made Back shave that wild streak off of his head, but originality remains one of his key ingredients, reflected in the culinary innovations and the atmosphere at Yellowtail. To wit: Guests are welcomed to the eatery—which epitomizes the swank Las Vegas restaurant in nearly every sense—by an in-your-face bronze fish sculpture. Now we’re just wondering when he’ll turn the Bellagio fountains into his own personal half-pipe.


Yellowtail, Open 5-10 p.m. Mon.-Thurs., 5-11 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 702.693.8865;

Best ! tHe DetailS tip Do you want your own Iron Chef experience? Then go all-in with Back’s seven-course Omakase (Oh-ma-kasay) tasting menu ($150 per person). These inventive, individually prepared dishes are sure to awaken senses that you never knew existed.

october / 2011 | V R A T E D . C O M

Mitsuba-stuffed Kuchujang miso Jidori chicken with vegetable orzo, sweet corn and ginseng air

big-eye tuna Pizza ($26)

Chef Back takes finely cut big-eye sashimi, lays it on a grilled tortilla and finishes it with a touch of micro basil and truffle oil. PoPPing SPicy crab roll ($16)

It sounds like your run-of-the-mill sushi roll with cucumber and asparagus but it’s ... topped with Pop Rocks. temPura alaSkan king crab ($23)

When it’s been featured on the Food Network, you know it’s good.

tastinG menU

1 White, Please Costas Spiliadis and his son, George, have been working for more than a decade to import Greek wines from their own Cava Spiliadis in Greece. One of their labels, Biblia Chora, presents wines featuring Assyrtiko or an Assyrtiko-Sauvignon Blanc blend.

The STrip’S only Greek eaTery offerS a

Three-courSe lunch for $20.11


When Estiatorio Milos was set to open at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, people wondered if the prices would match those of the other outposts of Costas Spiliadis’ acclaimed Mediterranean seafood restaurant in New York—which is to say, expensive. And while dinner can be pricey if you’re not careful, the cost of the three-course prix-fixe lunch is nearly impossible to believe: $20.11, a value that will increase by exactly one penny each year. This from a restaurant that flies seafood in daily from some of the world’s most pristine and sustainably fished waters, that adorns nearly every dish with its own label of fruity and aromatic imported extra virgin olive oil, and that imports its own wines from Greece. Milos’ culinary philosophy follows ancient Greek techniques, which have changed little over time: The fresh ingredients are to be treated as simply as possible, with a deft hand and the right amount of restraint, in order to be transformed into the most ethereal of dishes. There’s nothing wrong with a little bit of heaven for around 20 bucks. Estiatorio Milos at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, 877.893.2003;

2 Go Fish (and heads UP!)


triPle diP The Mezze platter starter showcases three classic Greek dips: tarama (made with fish roe), tzatziki (Greek yogurt with cucumber) and htipiti (roasted red pepper spread), as well as stuffed grape leaf and beautifully creamy feta cheese. You’ll be saying Opa! with every bite.

Yes, the lavraki is served whole with the head still attached, as it is done in, well, everywhere else in the world except for the United States. Just avoid eye contact and dive into this beautiful Mediterranean sea bass, which is grilled then dressed with nothing but lemon juice, olive oil and capers.

dine triple treat


| october / 2011

the players


From left to right: ChrIstINa ClIFtON


seBastIeN sIlVestrI

vice president of food and beverage, Aria Resort & Casino

executive chef at Okada, Wynn Las Vegas

vice president of food and beverage, The Venetian and The Palazzo

Years in food and beverage? More than 20

Years in food and beverage? 15

First job in the industry was ... as a hostess in a finedining room.

What was your best meal? “The tasting menu at Bartolotta. It included octopus salad and a squid-and-crab risotto that was pure perfection.”

Favorite restaurant off the Strip? Raku. At home she cooks ... wonton soup. “Of course, I have a great teacher in Executive Chef Chi Choi of Blossom [at Aria], and I have learned to make the stock—which has to be very clear and flavorful—and the dumplings from scratch.”

At home he cooks ... very rarely. “My wife, Donna, cooks amazing Korean food for me every day. I’m blessed.”

Years in food and beverage? 19 First job in the industry? Commis de Rang—a traditional fine-dining French restaurant located south of France. The last thing he completely messed up in the kitchen was ... Gigot d’agneau and Gratin dauphinois four years ago. “I invited over Chefs Martin Heierling and JeanPhilippe Maury. I left the Gigot d’agneau and Gratin dauphinois in the oven too long. The food was awful.”





property sommelier, Green Valley Ranch

wine director, Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas

managing partner, Drive This! Entertainment

Years in food and beverage? 20

Years in food and beverage? 10

Years in food and beverage? 15

What was your best meal? “Le Chiberta in Paris, France. It’s owned by Guy Savoy.”

Where was your best meal? French Laundry in Napa Valley.

What was your best meal? “A dinner that the late, great Jean-Louis Palladin prepared for some visiting chefs.”

At home she cooks ... grilled meats such as a Tomahawk 48-ounce double-cut rib-eye steak. “I am a barbecue queen.”

At home she cooks ... as often as she can. “It’s a form of therapy and deeply satisfying to cook for my family and friends. I would say my speciality is using fresh, seasonal ingredients and adding just a few touches to enhance them. I don’t have time to gild the lily, so to speak.”

At home he cooks ... regional Italian cuisine, everything from scratch, like Caesar salad, Cioppino and Veal Milanese with roasted potatoes.


| october / 2011


The Year of The

GYRO Splurge or scrimp, deliciously filled pita pockets have great range B Y D e B B i e L e e

b Roasted Leg of Lam es iv sandwich at oL tyle makeover at Street meat gets a swan-s diterranean mainstay. Todd English’s Olives, a Me swiveling spit—executive Forget mystery meat on a for the top round from a leg chef Jaime Mendoza opts . ked into a warm grilled pita of lamb, sliced thick and tuc b her cy; fan and h ch of fres Fresh corn raita adds a tou fort food. Dress the haute com for d nee the d fries fee tar-spiked aioli and enjoy sandwich with a side of za’a . w of the Bellagio Fountains over a front-and-center vie

high $$$



Olives at


Photography by Debbie Lee


dine the year of the gyro

supeR gyRo at Kabob KoRneR ––––> A jaunt down the Fremont Street Experience after a drink or two at one of downtown’s hip cockt ail bars may leave one feeling a bit famished. Ditch the ubiquitous steak and shrimp cocktail specials and head to Kabob Korner, an unassuming, fluorescent-lit hole-in-the -wall. The super gyro—not to be confused with a plain gyro—is a deliciously messy monster of a meal. Strips of seasoned lamb loaf are topped with the works (feta, onions and lettuce), encased in a pillowy pita and served in news print. Make sure to grab a bottle of minty yogurt tzatziki from the Halalobservant families and tipsy downtown deniz ens on either side of you—it’s just not a complete sandwich without it.

lOw $ $5.99

507 E. Fremont 702.384.7722


| october / 2011


SLICE OF LIFE LOng LAst, LAs VEgAs hAs bEcOmE a pIzza paRaDISE. hErE ArE SIx pIES YOU DOn’t WAnt tO mIss

––––> At

B y G R A C E B A S C O S / P H O T O G R A P H y By ANTHONy MAIR Over the past 15 years, Las Vegas’ culinary reputation has shifted from home of the all-you-caneat buffet to home of the five-star, celebrity-chef-helmed restaurant. But in morphing into an epicurean wonderland, there was one food genre that Sin City struggled to perfect: pizza. That’s all changing, though, thanks to an influx of authentic Italian eateries that now serve up pies that would pass taste tests from New York to Naples. Sausage and pepperoni, step aside. Las Vegas is home to big-boy pizza now.

1 Rao’s Broccoli raBe + sausage + ricotta cheese pizza ($14): Diners who want to

give the pizza at Rao’s a try will have to plan ahead. That’s because Rao’s only serves pizza during lunch … and they’re only open for lunch Wednesday through Sunday. But if that fits your schedule, go ahead and dive into the broccoli rabe pizza with ricotta. If you’re feeling saucy, add Italian sausage to it for a whole new flavor dimension. Caesars Palace. 702.731.7110;

2 Wolfgang Puck Pizzeria & Cucina Yukon gold potato pizza ($15): Wolfgang Puck is a known master of the nontraditional pizza, and that reputation is on full display with this creation. Paper-thin slices of Yukon gold potatoes are layered with the most succulent of cured pork, guanciale, on a bed of creamy mascarpone cheese. Fresh rosemary adds an herbaceous and earthy quality to each bite. Crystals at CityCenter. 702.238.1000;

3 Settebello Margherita pizza ($10): Settebello can be credited with establishing the first true Napoletana-style pizzeria in the Las Vegas Valley. Owner Brad Otton learned the trade himself in Naples after falling in love with the pizza during his mission to Italy. The Margherita—topped simply with crushed tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil, Parmigiano Reggiano and extra virgin olive oil—is as classic as it gets. 140 Green Valley Pkwy., Henderson. 702.222.3556;

4 Due Forni Bianca pizza (neapolitan-stYle, $14.95): As the name suggests, there are two

ovens firing two different types of pizzas here: the cracker-like crust of Roman-style pie, and this softer, chewier-crusted Neapolitan pizza. This oven heats up to around 900 degrees to cook the Bianca al Prosciutto Cotto, which is topped with prosciutto, fontina cheese, caramelized onions, oregano and aged balsamic. Total cooking time? About 90 seconds. 3555 Town Center Dr., Suite 105. 702.586.6500;

5 Stratta MeatBall pizza ($17.50): The wood-fired

oven at Stratta is constantly stoked, as the pizzas here are perfect for the pre- and post-theater crowds at Wynn Las Vegas. Diners with hearty appetites should consider the meatball pizza. The house-made meatballs are a mixture of beef, veal and pork, and sliced before being placed on the pizza so that their flavor blends with the sweet tomato sauce and mild Bel Paese cheese. Wynn Las Vegas. 702.770.3463;

6 D.O.C.G. d.o.c.g. pizza ($18): This namesake pie is

the ultimate in white pizzas. Creamy fonduta, a sauce made of fontina cheese, begins as the base, then a poached egg is cracked right at the table, its silky contents poured over the entire pie. Finished with shaved truffles whispering their musky scent, this pizza is a heavenly sensory overload. The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. 702.698.7000;

dine slice of life


| octoBer / 2011


PrettY IN PINK The 2010 Cavalchina Chiaretto from Bardolino, Italy is a perfect complement to Northern Italian cuisine



by xania woodman

I n O T h E R WORds Meaning “claret”—or light red in color—chiaretto is a pleasantly dry rosé, a DOC (denominazione di origine controllata) from the Italian province of Verona.

pretty in pink

6 On ThE PalaTE The flavor profile is generally dry (some more so than others), fruity and well-balanced with a delicate aroma. Some chiarettos are even a little naturally effervescent.

5 ThE aCId TEsT Unlike their French counterparts, Italian rosés are not generally known for their acidity. But Cavalchina harvests its grapes two weeks early to capitalize on their acidity. The resulting wine displays a delicious, bracing acidity and more than just a hint of tannin.


ThE GRaPEs cavalchina chiaretto is made from 55 percent corvina grapes, 35 percent rondinella and 10 percent molinara.

3 ThE QualITy Things are looking up! chiaretto was once a mere by-product of the Bardolino red winemaking process, but is now made separately, and therefore quality is steadily improving. cavalchina’s chiaretto shows the full potential of Italian rosé.

4 PaIR IT Don’t feel you need to stick to Italian cuisine, though it is great with shellfish, fried fish and even some red meat. Experiment with sushi and Japanese cuisine in general. cavalchina chiaretto makes a delicious aperitif.

Can’t Find it? ––––> Try

aVaIlaBlE aT duE FORnI 3555 S. Town Center Drive, Ste. 105 702.586.6500; $9.95 (glass); $40 (bottle)

OCTOBER / 2011 | V R A T E D . C O M

Scarbolo Ramato XL pinot grigio ($28), made in the ancient Friulian style in which the juice ferments on the pressed skins, imparting the copper (ramato) color and flavors of citrus, wild strawberries and rose petals.


FRUITFUL LABORS ––––> Without the appropriate guide, choosing the perfect wine to complement a fine meal can be a process filled with uncertainty. However, guests of N9NE Steakhouse at Palms Casino Resort do not undertake the journey alone, thanks to Christian Margesson, director of wine and spirits. Margesson is a self-taught sommelier, originally from Vancouver, who worked under famed chef Emeril Lagasse in New Orleans for seven years. Having moved to Las Vegas a decade ago, he has built an impressive resumé of wine and spirits management—currently managing the wine program for seven venues at the Palms, including N9NE Steakhouse and Nove Italiano. Since it’s a steakhouse, N9NE has a cellar full of powerful reds. “Where we like to be heavy on the list is California cabs, California proprietary blends and Bordeaux,” he says. West Coast pinot noir-based wines are important here, as is Spain. Rhône Valley wines are present, but Margesson doesn’t see as much demand for them. He also says that the Australian red category is steadily decreasing in popularity, as tastes are moving away from huge, jammy flavors. “They’re not great food wines,” he notes. “Even with a steak, sometimes they’re just too big.” Margesson puts the cellar’s ratio at around 60/40 in terms of New World to Old World. That strikes a balance so diners can choose something close to their “comfort zone,” he says. Or, better still, allow the sommelier to steer patrons to a gem that opens them up to a new (or old) world of wine choices.

N9NE Steakhouse, Palms Casino Resort, 702.933.9900;

Best ! tip

INSIDE INTEL Margesson is in the winemaking business himself, producing a Lake County cabernet called “KALEIDOSCOPE” and a syrah called “BOREALIS.” His newest is a soon-to-be-released 2007 Oakville Cabernet dubbed “SWEARWORD.”

OCTOBER / 2011 | V R A T E D . C O M

INSIDE THE CELLAR Walking with Christian into the cellar holding a fine, rare Bordeaux, I touched a dream bottle for the first time: a 1945 Château Lafite Rothschild, whose grapes were budding on the vine while the Second World War was still being fought across Europe and the estate’s owners had fled to Britain. Margesson has built a vertical of Lafite that includes the 1966 and 1982 vintages, among others. The 1945 vintage is on the list at $5,900. Deeper into his stock, there is a mix of wines from Harlan Estate, Scarecrow, Ornellaia, Château Margaux, and one of the rarest whites of them all: Domaine de la Romanée-Conti’s Montrachet, of which only two barrels are made each year. Margesson currently stocks six vintages at $6,500 per bottle. He maintains a range of wines from the very rare to the well priced. He points out two personal favorites he loves to share with his customers: Clio—a big, terroir-driven red wine from the Jumilla region of Spain, priced at $120—and a New World selection, Neal Family Vineyards Cabernet from Napa. Margesson says that the Neal family, who are winegrowers, reserve a small portion of their best fruit for their own production. This wine is priced at $95.

Christian Margesson and wine bottle photography by Nick Coletsos

fruitful labors


Christian Margesson reveals the inspirations behind N9NE Steakhouse’s wine program BY CHRISTOPHER CALLICOTT

relax the best places to get away from it all

MODERN dOLL Photo by Francis + Francis

––––>  She

traveled to the moon, worked at McDonald’s and then cruised in a yellow Corvette from her Malibu dream home all the way to Palms Casino Resort. Barbie, everyone’s favorite plastic gal, has her own suite inside the hotel’s Fantasy Tower. The space is adorned with such whimsical treasures as this Barbie special-edition Louis Ghost Chair by Philippe Starck for Kartell. See page 64.


| october / 2011


BEyOnD ThE spA, ChECk OuT

DEliCiOus AnD hEAlThy spA MEnus Food to complement a relaxing day

nine delicious and healthy spa menus


Sandbar. 702.797.7878;


Spa bellagio Bellagio

----------------------Book the spa’s private tranquility room to indulge in decadent dishes such as the caviar and vodka tasting from Bellagio’s in-room dining menu. 702.693.7472;

* Salmon with blueberry mango salsa from the Canyon Ranch Spa


----------------------The famed Canyon Ranch Grill and Canyon Ranch Café serve up healthy favorites. The menu even has nutritional information. 702.414.3600;



drift Spa and hammam Palms Place

----------------------If your massage works up an appetite, chef Kerry Simon’s famous “junk food platter” is right across the hall, including cotton candy and Ding Dongs. 702.944.3219;

Spa vdara Vdara Hotel & Spa

----------------------Order a snack from Market Café Vdara and enjoy chef Martin Heierling’s “California Coastal” cuisine in the coed spa lounge. 702.590.2474;


Hard Rock’s extensive 24-hour room-service menu is available for guests to enjoy in the spa lounge. 702.693.5520;

canyon ranch Spa The Venetian


reliquary Spa Hard Rock Hotel & Casino

----------------------Because you can’t go to the spa on an empty stomach, the

october / 2011 | V R A T E D . C O M

the Spa at red rock Red Rock Casino Resort

----------------------Lounge outdoors by the dedicated spa pool and enjoy salads, burgers and cocktails from the adjacent

four SeaSonS Spa Four Seasons Las Vegas

----------------------Did your facial leave you yearning for crab cakes? They’re among the afternoon delights that can be ordered while lounging in the spa’s quiet area. 702.632.5000;


the Spa at mandarin oriental Mandarin Oriental

----------------------After enjoying Mandarin Oriental’s patented Chinese foot spa, step out to the eighth-floor pool deck and grab fresh fare from the Pool Café. 702.590.8886;


Sahra Spa & hammam The Cosmopolitan

----------------------Reserve the exclusive Sahra Suite and enjoy The Spread, featuring cheeses and dips from the creative in-room dining menu. 702.698.7000;

Chocolate that curbs cravings Rich in magnesium and flavonoids, cacao bean nibs—the raw form of chocolate— are a natural superfood: They contain more antioxidants than red wine, green tea and blueberries and are thought to suppress the appetite while improving brain health and skin elasticity. Compared to other snacks these are minimally processed, only roasted, and still manage to taste sweet and delicious. SweetRiot, $4 per tin,

kAlE ThAT TAsTEs gOOD The leafy green vegetable kale is often thought of as having a strong “green” taste. But kale is one of the most versatile vegetables. kale has tons of phytonutrients, which is good for the body and its alkaline, which helps with detoxification. For those who find kale too strong, try kale chips, which can easily be made at home (just sprinkle with a little olive oil and salt and bake). Kaia Foods Kale Chips, $3,



ONE MAN’S DOll ––––> Jonathan

Adler, the king of irreverent luxury, designed the lavish accommodations to resemble a real-life Barbie Dream House.

WELCOME TO THE DOLLHOUSE Located inside PaLms casino ResoRt, THE BarBiE SUiTE offeRs a veRy Pink PLace to get away frOm iT aLL PhotogRaPhy by fRancis + fRancis

SITTINg prETTy ––––> Six Louis Ghost “Barbie”

chairs by Philippe Starck for Kartell surround the dining table of the 26th floor hideaway.

2 ReLaX welcome to the dollhouse

wHErE’S THE ParTy? the 2,350-square-foot space was created in celebration of barbie’s 50th birthday in 2009. originally the hot Pink suite, it holds 50 people and is popular with bachelorettes. it has only one bedroom but can be made larger with an adjoining suite.


| october / 2011


3 pIllOW TAlK ––––> The “B” pillow was woven in Peru and made with Llama wool for the “Barbie Hearts Jonathan Adler” collection, pieces of which are available on The pink velvet-tufted headboard is also from the same collection.


BArBIE CAN rEAD ––––> Yona Zeldis McDonough’s book Barbie by Assouline can be found in the suite just in case you’re stumped for trivia on the eternal blonde.

PLaSTic dReams ––––> an

original barbie in mint condition can fetch more than $10,000. the suite, by comparison, is a steal, renting at $4,000 per night.


BlINg BlINg ––––> Mattel

specially designed the metallic silver wallpaper for the suite.

ReLaX welcome to the dollhouse

OUT Of ThE BOx ––––> the

shadow box next to the bed features 90 barbies both classic and contemporary. Jonathan adler also designed the Parker hotel in Palms springs and was a judge on bravo’s Top Design.


| october / 2011


Quiet in the Canyon The Spa at Red Rock takes pampering to the next level By Laura Coronado ––––> Behind a set of red doors and adjacent to a state park filled with red mountains sits an

expansive realm of rejuvenation known as The Spa at Red Rock at the Red Rock Resort & Casino. A full-service spa enclave that offers everything from facials to massages to lash extensions, The Spa features 23 treatment rooms to accommodate its impressive menu of services. Recently added offerings include an acid body peel microdermabrasion treatment designed to revitalize a youthful appearance and perfect to nurture sun-damaged skin; and an 80-minute body massage that uses warm, handcrafted bamboo shoots for deep-tissue treatment. Services range from $45 for a manicure to $285 for a 105-minute Shirodhara Hot Stone Massage. The Spa at Red Rock, Red Rock Resort & Casino, 866.363.2872;


Get Fit ––––> A

full selection of cardiovascular and weight machines are available inside the spa’s large Fitness Center.


GreAt OutDOOrS ––––> Outside,

there is a noise-free, adults-only lap pool and cabana area.

––––> The

spa’s retail area includes cookbooks for healthy eating, New Age literature, candles, body butters, bath salts and more.

more reasons to love red roCk spa



ShOP FOr SerenitY

Eucalyptus Stea m R o o m Nothing nur-

cold Plunge Tub There’s nothing new about a hot Jacuzzi, but the cold plunge tub revs up the metabolism and closes pores. Vanity Area Looking disheveled after a

day at the spa is not an option so spruce up in the vanity area, where you will find everything you’ll need to get ready for the rest of your day. Movement Studi o Bend but don’t break inside the yoga studio, where three types of classes are offered for $10 each. In between classes, guests are invited to use the studio for their own practice. Nothing In between Some hold their tension elsewhere than their back. The Nothing In Between treatment offers a combination scalp massage and foot reflexology … and nothing in between. $145 for 50 minutes.

INSIDER INTEL ––––> If you fall in love with the spa’s Oka B. sandals, you can

purchase a pair from the retail area for $25.


| ocTobER / 2011

quiet in the canyon

tures the sinuses more than eucalyptusinfused moisture.

CLOWNiNg AROUND ––––>  Safewalls,


an art project by Cirque du Soleil, pays homage to street art in its purest form via the rich heritage of the circus poster. Commissioning cutting-edge artists to create original works inspired by Cirque shows, Safewalls travels internationally, hot on the heels of the company’s various productions, holding exhibitions to showcase the pieces. The exhibit recently landed at Trifecta Gallery (located downtown)— and appropriately so since many of the artists have Vegas roots. See page 76.

Corteo by SpaniSh artiSt MiSS Van

must-see concerts and shows


| october / 2011


CONCERTs NOT TO Miss Comeback tours and old school rockers dominate this month’s concert lineup By CRAig NyMAN

start at $60.50. 877.893.2003;


----------------------OCT. 13: The Rock and Roll Hall of Famers hit it big in the 1970s, and they’re still going strong. Tickets start at $87.35. 702.944.3200;

watch nine concerts not to miss

sTEEly dan The Pearl, Palms Casino Resort

* Foster the People


fuRTHuR The Joint, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino

----------------------OCT. 4: Bob Weir, Phil Lesh and an ensemble of musicians crank out classic Grateful Dead tunes. Tickets start at $49.50. 702.693.5583;


Blink 182 & My CHEMiCal ROManCE Red Rock Resort & Casino

----------------------OCT. 7: Blink 182 performs plenty of new material while still taking fans all the way back. Tickets start at $20. 702. 797.7598;


inCuBus wiTH yOung THE gianT The Joint, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino

----------------------OCT. 8: Lead singer Brandon Boyd rolls the multiplatinum

OCTOBER / 2011 | V R A T E D . C O M

rock band through Las Vegas in support of their seventh studio album. Tickets start at $60.50. 702.693.5583;


EnRiquE iglEsias wiTH PiTBull and PRinCE ROyCE Red Rock Resort & Casino

----------------------OCT. 8: Each artist will perform a solo set before the real fun begins when everyone hits the stage. Tickets start at $49. 702.797.7598;


THE sMasHing PuMPkins Boulevard Pool, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

----------------------OCT. 8: Billy Corgan brings the latest Smashing Pumpkins lineup to Las Vegas. Tickets

JiMMy BuffETT MGM Grand Garden Arena

----------------------OCT. 15 & OCT. 22: Parrotheads will be out in full force for Buffett’s annual Vegas shows. Tickets start at $69.25. 702.891.7777;


fOsTER THE PEOPlE Boulevard Pool, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

----------------------OCT. 20: The festival darlings of summer take to the big stage to perform their hits. Tickets start at $30.80. 877.893.2003;


ROgER dalTREy PERfORMs THE wHO’s TOMMy The Joint, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino

----------------------OCT. 22: The legendary front man for The Who tackles the band’s rock opera in its entirety. Tickets start at $52. 702.693.5583;

MusiC TO OuR EARs Festival welcomes a who’s who list of headliners by scott matti

How big is September’s iHeartRadio music festival at the MGM Grand Garden Arena? This big: The event was spread over two days (September 23 and 24) and more than 25,000 tickets were snatched up in 10 minutes. Then again, the swift sellout is easy to understand when considering the endless list of headliners, including Steven Tyler, Lady Gaga, Coldplay, Kenny Chesney and Jay-Z. On top of that, Ryan Seacrest is hosting the shindig. If you were among the thousands who were denied tickets to the festival, don’t fret. You can still live the experience, as the concerts will stream live on the new iHeartRadio app (which allows users to access more than 750 radio stations) and on Clear Channel Communications websites. Whether you’re inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena or listening on your mobile device of choice, this much is certain: With such an array of genre-crossing artists, this is one musical party that promises to offer something for everyone.




SteP rIGHt uP Street LeGAL ––––> In

street-art circles, “safe walls” refers to legal areas in urban landscapes where artists working in graffiti, stencils, stickers, wheat-pasting or poster art can show off their talents.

––––> Traveling

circuses would often use public-art spaces to plant their eyecatching posters designed to draw in passersby to explore the world under the big top.

cirque du Soleil ventures into the realm of visual art BY JArret Keene

––––> Cirque

du Soleil has long been a haven for street performers, so it should come as no surprise that the Canadian-based theater company best known for its over-the-top stage spectacles would launch Safewalls, a traveling exhibit featuring artists paying homage to classic circus posters. Each one of the works created for Safewalls is inspired by a particular Cirque show. After showing in Houston, Madrid and London—and working with artists such as Shag and Travis Louie—Safewalls arrived in Las Vegas in late summer and took up residence at Trifecta Gallery in the Arts District. And with the installation came Zumanity posters by Chet Zar, Frank Kozik and Casey Weldon. “Chet is among my favorite artists and, it turns out, a Cirque fan,” says Safewalls curator André Bathalon. “He’s a monster-maker, doing movie FX for years. We asked him to depict Zumanity while keeping his dark style and adding some sensuality.” Meanwhile, Weldon’s take on the “Glass Bowl” act is unforgettable. “The beauty of the two girls and the light enveloping them—I couldn’t let go of that,” says Weldon, a former Las Vegan. “I could’ve painted 20 Zumanity images; it’s such an amazing show.” The biggest news coming out of the Las Vegas show is the debut of Amy Sol’s KA poster. Sol, a Vegas-based artist, chose to focus on the show’s twin protagonists. “It’s deceptively simple, pure, feminine and succinctly explains what KA is about,” says Trifecta owner Marty Walsh. “Sol enjoyed her very first show here at Trifecta, so Safewalls will be a kind of homecoming for her.” Limited-edition prints of the posters can be purchased at touring exhibits and online, but the Sol poster is only available at Trifecta Gallery.;

3 Wet & WILD ––––> The

“Glass Bowl” act (depicted right by Casey Weldon) is one of the highly erotic onstage “adventures” that Zumanity is known for.



| OCTOBER / 2011





The Pearl Palms Casino Resort Tickets start at $45 The Grammy-winning ‘90s rock group returns to The Pearl to perform hits such as “Sour Girl” and “Interstate Love Song,” and to celebrate its latest selftitled album, which hit No. 1 on the Top Rock Albums chart last year. 702.942.7777





The Pearl Palms Casino Resort Tickets start at $65.50

The Boulevard Pool The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas Tickets start at $32.50

It’s been eight years since Maroon 5 exploded on the scene with Songs About Jane, a debut album that boasted four chart-topping singles. Returning to Palms, the spot where the group recorded the Grammy-winning single “Makes Me Wonder,” Maroon 5 presents its stylized bluesy sound once more in Las Vegas. 702.942.7777

Breaking away from its Americana roots, Bright Eyes releases its seventh studio album, The People’s Key, which features a new modern sound. Bright Eyes will perform poolside, along with special guests Kurt Vile and The Violators and Warpaint.

at The Joint. One of the top rock bands in the United States, Bush has sold more than 10 million albums. Meanwhile, following collaborations with Deftones and 30 Seconds to Mars, Chevelle’s latest album Sci-Fi Crimes will be released in September.







The Joint Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tickets start at $39.50

The Joint Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tickets start at $89.50

Grammy-nominated alternative rock band Bush joins Chicagobased trio Chevelle for a night

The former new-wave darlings of MTV are still jamming out the hits during their All You Need


Is Now North American tour. Alternative pop-rockers Neon Trees join Duran Duran as special guests for this Vegas show.

Ice and more.





Mandalay Beach Mandalay Bay Tickets start at $37.50

Hip-hop auteur DJ Shadow gets back to basics on The Less You Know, The Better. No more hyphy street rap a la 2006’s poorly received The Outsider, just backpacker jams with Talib Kweli and Posdnous (“Stay the Course”), introspective landscapes (“I’ve Been Trying” and “Sad And Lonely”), funky beat mashups (“Run For Your Life,” “I’m Excited”) and one killer collaboration with Yukimi Nagano (“Scale It Back”). It’s comforting territory from the man famous for pioneering “trip-hop.”

What happened to the cute and eccentric Canadian indie-pop girl of The Reminder, “My Moon My Man” and “1, 2, 3, 4”? Leslie Feist has turned pensive for Metals, and though her albums always include plenty of ballads, they dominate this new one. She sings of unfulfilled love on “How Come You Never Go There” and “Comfort Me” while collaborator Gonzales adds hard percussive handclaps that sound like a fist stomping a table. Melancholy pleasures such as “Graveyard” and “Get It Wrong, Get It Right” simmer with tension and naked feelings.

Blondie, the iconic pioneers of new wave and punk, releases its ninth studio album, Panic of Girls, on September 13. In celebration of the new material, lead singer Debbie Harry and her band will tour North America, performing the hits that made them famous. 702.632.7777


The Theatre for Performing Arts Planet Hollywood Tickets start at $100

Justin Timberlake brings his all-star concert benefiting Shriners Hospitals for Children back to Las Vegas to cap the annual professional golf tournament that Timberlake sponsors. Guests include Earth, Wind & Fire, The Commodores, Charlie Wilson, Color Me Badd, Sugar Hill Gang, Vanilla


Hard Rock Beach Club Hard Rock Hotel Tickets start at $30.50

This American Celtic punk group has developed a loyal following thanks to such Top 20 albums as The Meanest of Times and Going Out In Style.

Anthony Gonzalez is one of the least-ironic evokers of ‘80s-era teen angst, Simple Minds-like bombast and Vangelis-sized synthesizer operas. The French artist’s apparent sincerity makes his recordings under the name M83 akin to time capsules. He stretches his patterns quite thin on Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming, mostly because the songs sound less developed than those on 2008’s acclaimed Saturdays = Youth. But even thinly sketched arias such as “Midnight City” and “Wait” soar with the dedication of a man who believes his emotions are true.


House of Blues Mandalay Bay Tickets start at $22

Alternative rock group Minus The Bear celebrates its 10th anniversary by performing Highly Refined Pirates in its entirety, along with songs from its latest album and a couple of new tunes just for this tour. 702.632.7777



| OCTOBER / 2011


Stylish New York musician Elizabeth Harper isn’t the most innovative exponent of ‘80s new romance. Yet Rapproacher, her full-length debut as Class Actress, has a wonderful simplicity that often evades such peers as Nite Jewel and Toro y Moi. She sings of love and nightlife in an enchanting voice, and embellishes songs with wry comments like, “You make me late for work/ You make me late for church” on “Weekend.” Producer Mark Richardson makes synth-pop beats that throb and pulse, sure to deliver the required dose of dopamine.


Though Mayer Hawthorne is still working the blueeyed soul-boy shtick that made fans out of Justin Timberlake and John Mayer, he proves himself more than a novelty on How Do You Do. One of the man’s admirers, Snoop Dogg, delivers his own charmingly out-of-tune vocal on “Can’t Stop.” And Motown replicas such as “Stick Around” and “The Walk” show that he hasn’t lost his touch for throwback pop. The key is excellent songwriting and memorable choruses, though Hawthorne’s husky, Michael McDonaldlike voice on “A Long Time” helps, too.


CALENDAR∙ The BeaTles lOVe By Cirque du sOleil The Mirage Tickets start at $79 Performing: Ongoing Dark: Tuesday, Wednesday & Oct. 10

Blue Man GrOup The Venetian Tickets start at $74.90 Performing: Ongoing Dark: None

Fans of The Beatles will fall in love with this show as it takes the audience on a journey through the Fab Four’s musical history, incorporating more than 30 of the iconic band’s songs.

Pure music and pure comedy, Blue Man Group consists of three blue-faced men who never utter a word, instead communicating through gestures, facial expressions and percussion music.



Criss anGel BelieVe Luxor Tickets start at $59 Performing: Ongoing Dark: Sunday & Monday Recently revamped, Criss Angel Believe brings the illusions from the magician’s hit show “Mindfreak” to the stage, with a dash of Cirque spectacle thrown in for good measure.

702.262.4400 daVid COpperfield


MGM Grand Tickets start at $69 Performing: Ongoing Dark: Sept. 15-28; Oct. 20-31

Monte Carlo Tickets start at $52 Performing: Ongoing Dark: Tuesday & Wednesday

MGM Grand Tickets start at $69 Performing: Ongoing Dark: Sunday & Monday

Copperfield is in the Guinness Book of World Records for having won 21 Emmys and it’s not because he simply cuts a woman in half or pulls a rabbit out of a hat.

With original and creative break-dancing and choreography, this popular dance crew manages to tell a unique story without saying anything at all.

Different than other Cirque shows, one of the highlights of KÀ is the ever-changing stage, from various landscapes such as a calm beach to a snow-covered mountain to an uneven sea.



Wynn Las Vegas Tickets start at $247.50 Performing: Sept. 23-24; Oct. 7-8, 21-22 Dark: Sept. 15-22, Sept. 25-Oct. 6, Oct. 9-20, 23-31

Jersey BOys

le rêVe

Garth Brooks returns to the intimate Encore Theater at Wynn Las Vegas, where he’s performs his greatest hits to sold-out crowds and rave reviews.

This Broadway musical tells the story of the rise to fame of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, and the show features all their charttopping hits.




kÀ By Cirque du sOleil

GarTh BrOOks

The Beatles Love

The Palazzo Tickets start at $73.10 Performing: Ongoing Dark: Monday

Wynn Las Vegas Tickets start at $99 Performing: Ongoing Dark: Wednesday & Thursday Meaning “the dream” in French, Le Rêve features synchronized swimmers, dancers, acrobats and aerialists, all performing around and in a 27-footdeep pool. 888.320.7110

eLTon John: The MiLLion doLLar Piano Caesars Palace Tickets start at $55 Performing: Sept. 28, 30; Oct. 1-2, 6-9, 13-15, 18-19, 21-23 Dark: Oct. 3-5, 10-12, 16-17, 20 Returning to Las Vegas, the Rocket Man centers his show on a Yamaha piano that took four years to build.



Mandalay Bay Tickets start at $75 Performing: Ongoing Dark: Friday Transformed from the beloved Disney movie, this Tony-award winning Broadway show combines exquisite costumes, high-quality actors and talented singers.

PhanToM The Las Vegas sPeCTaCuLar The Venetian Tickets start at $59 Performing: Ongoing Dark: Sunday Performing in a custom-built theater, the famous opera transports guests to 19thcentury France through an atmosphere that’s as fabulous as the music. 702.414.9000


Board, he even sits down to play piano and guitar during his show.

MaTT goss


Caesars Palace Tickets start at $40 Performing: Sept. 23-24; Oct. 1 Bringing memories of vintage Vegas days, Goss croons (and even looks like) Frank Sinatra, only unlike the Chairman of the

MysTère by Cirque du soLeiL Treasure Island Tickets start at $69 Performing: Ongoing Dark: Thursday, Friday & Sept. 3-7 Now in its 18th year, Mystère—the first resident show in Las Vegas for Cirque du Soleil—continues to hypnotize audiences with its upbeat music and wacky circus acts.

702.894.7722 “o” by Cirque du soLeiL Bellagio Tickets start at $93.50 Performing: Ongoing Dark: Monday,

Tuesday & Oct. 9 From the French word for water, “O” consists of 85 performers who achieve sensational acts over a 1.5-million-gallon pool. You have to see it to believe it. 702.693.7722

Performing: Ongoing Dark: Sunday & Monday


The ultimate tribute to The King, a live band gives guests a concert experience the Cirque du Soleil way.

Penn & TeLLer Rio Hotel & Casino Tickets start at $75 Performing: Ongoing Dark: Thursday & Friday

ZuManiTy, The sensuaL side of Cirque du soLeiL

Swallowing needles, throwing knives and shooting bullets at each other are only some of the mind-blowing illusions in this famous duo’s bag of tricks.

New York-New York Hotel and Casino Tickets start at $69 Performing: Ongoing Dark: Wednesday, Thursday & Oct. 17-18

702.777.7776 ViVa eLVis by Cirque du soLeiL

Follow the mistress of ceremonies as she guides you through Zumanity’s erotic acts featuring contortionists and more.

Aria Resort and Casino Tickets start at $69


oCTober / 2011 | V R A T E D . C O M


The Lion King

culture & culinary CalENdaR emphasizes the most miniscule of details in ordinary spaces that are often ignored by the general public. This is a rotating exhibition series and is the first solo showing for Beehn in his hometown. Highlighting the urban scenery, Beehn’s personal debris and litter are incorporated into the art. Aerosol paint, graphite, gold leaf and even beeswax are used to create lustrous layers. The exhibition is free and open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Centerpiece; and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at MCQ Fine Art Salon, Friday and Saturday, or by appointment.

culture & culinary calendar




Brett Wesley Gallery 1112 S. Casino Center Blvd. 702.433.4433 Celebrating the human form with simple shapes and bright colors, San Francisco artist Jylian Gustlin wanted to create dramatic and realistic structures of art. Drawing, painting and unconventional scratching have yielded Gustlin’s newest pieces. After more than a decade as a full-time artist, Gustlin has galleries in New York; Boston; Charlotte, North Carolina; California; and Canada. The “Humanity” exhibition is free and open from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday-Thursday until Oct. 29.

0CT0BER / 2011 | V R A T E D . C O M



The Orleans, North Parking Lot Tickets start at $7 4500 W. Tropicana Ave. 702.365.7111


Centerpiece Gallery at CityCenter and MCQ Fine Art 3720 Las Vegas Blvd., Ste 181 702.739.3314

This exhibit features Las Vegasbased artist Erik Beehn, who

Las Vegas opens its doors for the first Asian Food Festival & Trade show. Expect a two-day gathering of culture, cuisine, music, fashion and more, with live entertainment and special guest celebrities. 


Sin City Gallery 107 E. Charleston Blvd., Suite 100 702.608.2461

Erik Beehn

Two premier female artists combine their talents to showcase a common theme: the luminous body. Heather Hermann’s romantic, 1920sinspired pieces speak with simplistic yet ornate details, which artfully focus on the influence that ancient mythology still has over our fleeting

thoughts. Crystal Solis, design manager for The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, features “Bloom Explosion.” These larger-thanlife paintings romanticize the abstraction of color in hopes of striking wonder. 1 p.m.-7 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday.


Sports Center of Las Vegas $5 adults; $10 kids 121 E. Sunset Road 702.770.7611

Get an early jump on Halloween at this festival, which benefits the Communities In Schools of Nevada charity. Parents and kids are invited to wind through the hay-bale maze that will feature scarecrows decorated by community businesses and youth groups. A variety of games will be available for kids of all ages, and the rock-climbing wall and batting cages will be open for use. The event runs from noon to 4 p.m.


Aria Resort & Casino Tickets from $75 to $150 877.318.2742

Internationally ranked chefs and sommeliers join forces with Food & Wine magazine and two noted Las Vegas resorts to host a weekend designed for the wine and gourmet connoisseur. MGM, Bellagio and Aria host the Food & Wine All-Star Weekend, which boasts interactive cooking demonstrations and seminars with 16 celebrity wine and culinary masters. Times vary by day.


| month / 2011

the city beyond the strip

out is as much as much about celebrating community as it is about revering the cuisine. Three Square—Las Vegas’ only foodbank— loves it when people dine about town, especially during restaurant Week, which benefits the organization in its mission to feed 300,000 hungry people each year. Southwest Valley favorite DW Bistro (shown here) is one of 125 restaurants participating in restaurant Week. See page 100.


FOOD FOr THOUGHT ––––>  Eating


DEliCiOus Off-ThEsTRip DishEs Eating well is not limited to Las Vegas Boulevard; the neighborhood eatery is on the rise By gRACE BAsCOs

with crispy braised pork belly, thick tomatoes, romaine and a garlic aioli. 2620 Regatta Drive, Ste. 106, 702.804.8008;


nine delicious off-the-strip dishes


Grilled hamachi collar Kyara Japanese Tapas

----------------------The rich and meaty grilled hamachi collar runs as a special, so if it’s available, snatch it up. 6555 S. Jones Blvd., 702.434.8856 Mundo’s skirt steak tacos

* *

ponent of this pizza joint’s French fry menu is the poutine, made with shredded mozzarella instead of the typical cheese curds. But the gravy, properly savory and well-seasoned, is killer. 3240 S. Arville St., 702.243.6277;

----------------------Pay homage to Mother Russia with pelmeni, Russian-style thin-skinned dumplings filled with meat and served with ample amounts of sour cream on the side. 4180 S. Rainbow Blvd., 702.220.3876



beef roll China Mama

----------------------Thin-sliced beef is warmed with a sweet sauce and topped with slivers of scallions, then rolled in a paperthin wheat crepe similar to a tortilla. 3420 S. Jones Blvd., 702.873.1977


Skirt Steak tacoS Mundo

----------------------Fresh tortillas wrap around tender, marinated skirt steak, topped with earthy chile arbol salsa, fresh avocado and the traditional accoutrement of onions, cilantro and Chihuahua cheese. 495 S. Grand Central Pkwy., 702.270.4400;


PoUtiNe Naked City Pizza

----------------------So what if we’re not in Montreal? An integral com-

PelmeNi Forte Tapas Bar and Bistro

koreaN JiraShi Salad Greenland Market Food Court

----------------------Fresh and raw sushi-grade fish is combined with a heap of mixed greens atop a bed of steamed rice. What makes it Korean is the spicy red pepper sauce, or kochujang, on the side. 6850 W. Spring Mountain Road, 702.459.7878


october / 2011 | V R A T E D . C O M

blt Marché Bacchus

----------------------A good-ol’ BLT, only made

homemade tofU Salad Raku

----------------------Tofu at Raku is made inhouse, and it’s silky, creamy and oh-so airy. 5030 W. Spring Mountain Road, Ste. 2, 702.367.3511;


the SiN city bUrGer Smashburger

----------------------Topped with a fried egg and fried onion strings, this appropriately named burger is our favorite at this casual, yet quality, burger joint. Multiple locations;

DW Bistros

REsTAuRAnT WEEk DOuBlEs DOWn By DOMiniC sCAli Three Square’s annual Restaurant Week gives Las Vegas an excuse to dine out for a good cause each fall. The Valley’s only foodbank partners with more than 100 of the top restaurants around town to create low-priced, prix fixe menus for patrons, with a portion of the proceeds going to feeding the hungry. For the fifth anniversary, Three Square doubled the fun by extending the deals over two weeks from August 29 to September 11, giving participants more time to eat up for charity. helping hungry children

In Las Vegas, 50 percent of school children are enrolled in free and reduced-price meal programs. feeding a city

Since 2007, money raised during Restaurant Week has helped pay for 800,000 meals to feed the hungry in the Las Vegas Valley. the inside track

Be on the lookout for a spring Restaurant Week set for February 27-March 4. dish


Check out Three Square’s thirdannual DISH event, Sept. 22 at Palms Pool & Bugalows. The event includes tasting stations featuring cuisine from more than 20 local restaurants, plus cocktails, a silent auction and live entertainment from Sugar Ray.

* $40 cheese Hook’s 10-year aged sharp cheddar.

Three noTable las Vegans reVeal what’s inside Their refrigeraTors B y G r a c e B ascos / pHotoGrapHy By antHony mair

Penn Jillette, enTerTainer


“You wanna try some $40-a-pound cheese?” Penn Jillette asks, reaching into the fridge to find the hunk of hook’s 10-year aged sharp cheddar. he roots around the drawers and shelves, searching for his prized cheese. “Did the kids fucking eat it all?!” finally he locates it, and he sighs with relief. he slices quarter-inch thick slices and hands them off. it feels like communion. The 10-year sharp cheddar is indeed sharp and tangy, with salt crystals in the cheese. as we savor it, Jillette admits that when he’s alone, he’s fine with eating cereal and peanut butter and jelly, but his wife and kids, especially his 5-year-old son, love to cook. although he has two children, his refrigerator doesn’t indicate that. They eat, of course, but what Jillette used to consider “grown-up food”—as in the cheese and olives that are ever-present in the fridge—his kids eat as well. “i should have ice cream,” he says, putting away the hook’s cheddar and opening the freezer. “but the kids eat that all, too.”

open wide

| october / 2011

open wide


Carla Pellegrino, chef is it disturbing that the refrigerator of a chef is nearly empty? “i don’t cook at home, really,” carla Pellegrino says, “but this is what i have here so i don’t starve.” and indeed, between bratalian (her famlilyrun off-strip restaurant), Pellegrino’s Pizza and Deli, and bacio by carla Pellegrino (the latter two at Tropicana), it’s obvious why she might not be home to cook all that often. What does populate Pellegrino’s fridge are essentials for maintaining her active lifestyle. coconut water, now all the rage, has been a hangover cure in brazil forever. “except in brazil, we drink it straight from the coconut.” fruit serves not only nutritional needs, but it has medicinal purposes as well. a runner, Pellegrino keeps a bowl of cherries in her fridge for muscle inflammation. champagne grapes and a protein shake are part of her morning routine, while overripe bananas get smashed cold into oatmeal with honey. “it’s what we feed babies in brazil,” Pellegrino says. “i eat it when i feel like i want comfort food from home.”

hangover cure “except in brazil, we drink it straight from the coconut.”

october / 2011 | V R A T E D . C O M

an exclusive first peek at nyman’s wine.

open wide



labor Wines

Corey nyman, resTauranT anD hosPiTaliTY consulTanT, The nYMan grouP as a partner in his family’s restaurant consulting business, and a veteran of the las Vegas restaurant industry, corey nyman knows a thing or two about good food and wine. in fact, he doesn’t have just one fridge; he has eight, seven of which are devoted solely to wine. he even recently launched his own label, labor Wines, a 2009 Willamette Valley, oregon, pinot noir. in the fridge where his food resides, there’s more than just endless bottles of vino. “i travel a lot, so when i’m home, it’s nice to have a fridge stocked with fresh fruit.” even

october / 2011 | V R A T E D . C O M

though you can often find him dining at restaurants all over town, nyman tries to cook at home whenever he’s not on the road, and his assortment of condiments falls right in line with someone whose lifestyle is consumed by the art of eating and drinking. Multiple mustards, various intensities of hot sauces, and asian condiments are all at the ready for whatever he’s whipping up for a meal. but it’s hard to ignore the other seven refrigerators, lined up, each slot filled with a patiently waiting bottle. “Wine is my passion. i’ve always gotta have it.”

Open wide ––––>  Five

years later and Moon Nightclub at Palms Casino Resort still raises the roof. The retractable ceiling opens to give partygoers a view of the Strip from the 53rd floor, and also lets DJs, such as Clinton Sparks, kick off their residencies in style. Sparks entered his “Awesome Party” by coming in through the roof, literally. Awesome, indeed. See page 122.

play on the list and on the lips


| october / 2011


ERiC D-lux’s EssENTiAl TRACks As the temperature drops, stay hot with these club jams By CRAig NyMAN


Since co-writing the hit song “Shots” for LMFAO featuring Lil Jon, Eric D-Lux has been a hot commodity when it comes to penning music for major recording artists. He can also be found DJing at the top nightspots on the Strip. If you’re looking for a real party rocker in Vegas, D-Lux is your boy, holding residencies at such prime spots as Marquee Nightclub at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas (main room on Mondays and Boom Box on Saturdays), Vanity Nightclub on Fridays and Rehab on Sundays, both at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. D-Lux is also an entrepreneur, designing a line of buttons dubbed E.M.O.T.I.O.N. Co., which stands for “Every Mind Operates Through Its Own Nature.” The acronym, he says, along with the smiling hearts on the buttons, encourages people to wear their heart on their sleeve no matter what kind of day they’re having.

october / 2011 | V R A T E D . C O M

* * * *

LiL Jon ft. LMfAo Drinks

* *

ALexAnDrA StAn Mr. Saxobeat


SWeDiSh houSe MAfiA Save The World

* *

DrAke Headlines

what is the best way to attract ladies to your table ? Energy. And champagne, of course.

Avicii Levels WAkA fLockA fLAMe Hard in Da Paint (Bellizio Dubstep remix)

feLLi feL Boomerang (DJ Vice remix)

bASSJAckerS Mush Mush big SeAn I Do It

what is an absolute no - no when dealing with cocktail servers ?

Grabby hands. I tell my overzealous customers, “You can talk to me, smile at me and even dance with me without touching me, … always with a smile on my face!” you ’ ll be on my good side for the night if you … Have as good of a time as I do at Tao.


Joey WIllIAms photo by Josh metz

nine essential tracks


Here are his picks for the season’s hot songs:

As a cocktail server at Tao nightclub inside The Venetian for the last five years, Joey Williams has been the main facilitator of the “party” experience for many guests. The exotic beauty knows the ins and outs for luring ladies to your table, having the best time in the club and—most importantly—how to treat your cocktail server.

Dinner Party By Grace Bascos / PhotoGraPhy By anthony mair

Nighttime is an exciting time in Las Vegas, and before every great night out comes a great meal. Remember, the body needs fuel to survive nonstop revelry—and that juice shouldn’t come entirely from a bottle. Meet three chefs whose food not only whets the appetite but keeps your engine running till dawn.

Marc Marrone chef De cuisine, Lavo ––––>as


part of tao Group, Lavo at the Palazzo is well versed in the restaurant-cum-nightclub dynamic, and marc marrone, having been with tao Group for five years, knows how to make a good night happen. marrone has been at the helm of Lavo for the past 18 months, ensuring that guests are happy both in the dining room and on the dance floor of the club upstairs. “We try to do exciting food that gets people excited about going out,” marrone says. Lavo’s guests are often found feasting on the famous one-pound Kobe meatball and lighter dishes such as pastas and chilean sea bass with heirloom tomatoes and white wine butter sauce. marrone, who has to work in symbiosis with the club that looms upstairs, has a clear understanding that the beginning of the night often foreshadows the end of the night. his one tip: “you’re having a champagne night? have some raw oysters from the raw bar. it’s a sexy way to start the night.”

dinner party


| october / 2011

Peter Woo executive chef, Social houSe at cryStalS in citycenter electronic music wafts through the long dining room of Social house, putting guests in the mood for some more thumping bass later in the evening. Peter Woo keeps a menu that is mindful of guests whose nights are just getting started. “our style at Social house is shared, and a lot of it is based on flavor, so before a big night out, you’d like to have a lot of different flavors but not fill up so much,” Woo says. “it’s more about satisfaction in the meal and the social aspect of the meal.” offerings of fresh sushi and sashimi frequently arrive at tables, and other asian small plates—including lighter, balanced dishes such as seared scallops with salsify and lap chang—are ideal for sharing. But, Woo says, the Social house experience doesn’t necessarily end when the meal is done. for those who haven’t fleshed out their plans, front-of-the-house staff is happy to help out by making arrangements at sister venues, such as lax and Savile row (shown here) at luxor and Pure at caesars Palace. “We try to blend the nightlife and dining experience together,” Woo says.



––––> ambient

october / 2011 | V R A T E D . C O M

MarK LorUSSo executive chef, Botero to xs nightclub at encore, Botero sees its fair share of clubgoers who are ready for a night of fun. chef Lorusso welcomes them all with open arms and a menu that has something for everyone—even vegans. “We have a wide range of items,” Lorusso says. “so we’re not just a steak house. We have a lot of appetizers, a lot of sides. People who come in before the club—they’ll [order] a lot of stuff to share, they don’t want to fill up. the menu lends itself either way; you could go big or go with lighter fare.” steaks, including a 40-ounce porterhouse and a chateaubriand, are as popular to share as the restaurant’s tuna and hamachi tartare starters. those seeking a more extravagant evening will find that calling ahead to Botero works. for instance, although there’s no caviar on the menu, Lorusso can offer some fantastic spanish oscetra if given some advance warning. the one request Lorusso receives most? vanilla bean yams, a hearty side dish usually only available during the cooler fall and winter months. Whatever the dish, Lorusso operates with one goal in mind: Be as accommodating to diners as possible. “We just tell them if they can call [in requests] the day before, we can usually get them done.”

dinner party


––––> adjacent

october / 2011 | V R A T E D . C O M

A L L  A C C E S S


Five years in club land may seem like an eternity, but Moon Nightclub—celebrating its half-decade anniversary in October—rages on with fresh entertainment offerings, including a residency by producer Clinton Sparks. Never afraid to put on a show, Sparks kicked off his tenure at the club by descending from a helicopter through Moon’s iconic retractable roof, while celebrities such as Criss Angel and Frank Thomas looked on. Completely galactic in design with a hexagonal motif, Moon occupies the top floor of the Fantasy Tower, and when the roof is closed, it acts as a backdrop for state-of-the-art video projections. Las Vegas scenester Jason “JRoc” Craig is the face of this hotspot, and its Tuesday night party “Bang” is not to be missed..



Want to see an amazing performance? Moon has hosted Mariah Carey, Mickey Avalon and LMFAO, among others.


Open: Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 11 p.m. 702.942.7000;



The most expensive bottle on the menu is Louis Roederer Cristal 3.0 for $12,000. Don’t forget about the 20 percent gratuity charge included on all bottle service.


––––> On the 53rd floor, Moon is the highest elevated nightclub in Las Vegas, so killer views of both the city and the sky are available at this very spot with no extra charge.



Some of the world’s best DJs have graced this booth, including Paul Oakenfold, DJ AM, Clinton Sparks and Morgan Page.


| october / 2011

total eclipse




JRoc says Table 27 is his favorite since it’s right in the middle of all the action. Table 32, not shown, is where super VIPs and celebrities sit as the walkways can be easily blocked off for extra security.


CaLENDaR∙ The Bank Bellagio Cover: $30 (ladies free) Open: 10:30 p.m.-4 a.m. Thursday-Sunday Living up to Bellagio’s five-star reputation, The Bank is decorated in deep blacks with rich gold accents. The Cristal Room, which features walls covered in the stuff, doesn’t hurt either.

702.693.8300 Blush BouTique nighTcluB Wynn Las Vegas Cover: $20 Women, $20 Men (locals are free) Open: 9 p.m.-4 a.m. Tuesday-Sunday The plush interior features a 4,500-squarefoot ceiling sculpture whose lighting changes to the music. It complements the space’s lit onyx dancefloor.

702.770.7300 chaTeau nighTcluB & gardens

to the paintings whose eyes move.


Light Group joined forces to open Gold in conjunction with Viva ELVIS, the resident Cirque show at Aria.



Paris Las Vegas Cover: $20 women (local ladies free), $30 men Open: 10 p.m.-4 a.m. Tuesday, Friday and Saturday

Palms Casino Resort Cover: $20 Sunday-Thursday; $30 Friday-Saturday Open: 8 p.m.-4 a.m. daily

Chateau combines classic French opulence with modern, eclectic style, and the French chateau theme extends all the way down to the naughty French maid outfits the cocktail servers wear.

Sitting 55 floors above the Vegas Strip, Ghostbar has been taking nightlife to new heights since 2002, and still manages to stay relevant.

702.776.7770 gallery Planet Hollywood Resort Cover: $20 women, $30 men Open: 10 a.m.-4 a.m. Wednesday-Saturday Gallery is the place to be if you like to be watched—by everyone from the patrons

702.942.6832 gold BouTique nighTcluB & lounge Aria Resort & Casino Cover: $10 women, $20 men Open: 5 p.m.-4 a.m. Tuesday-Saturday

DJ talent. Popular DJ Vice throws a can’t miss party on Sunday nights.

702.791.1818 laX

haze Aria Resort & Casino Cover: $30 women, $40 men Open: 10:30 p.m.-4 a.m. Thursday-Saturday Party till dawn inside this 25,500-square-foot palace that features an Avalon Sound system and a 70-foot wall of lights. It’s the ultimate Vegas nightclub.


Luxor Cover: $20 women, $30 men Open: 10 p.m.-4 a.m. Wednesday-Saturday Young, sophisticated, stylish and energetic, LAX is adorned with rich, red leathers, oversized mirrors and shimmering chandeliers.


krave/krave lounge

Marquee nighTcluB & daycluB

Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood Cover: $20 men and women Open: 10:30 p.m.-close Monday-Sunday

The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas Cover: $20 women, $30 men (locals free) Open: 9:30 p.m.-5 a.m., Thursday-Monday

Krave is one of the top LGBT clubs in Las Vegas, but its allinclusive atmosphere makes it a place for anyone to play.

Marquee is home to three distinct rooms and an attached day club.

Cirque du Soleil and The


702.333.9000 Moon

lavo The Palazzo Cover: $20 women (local ladies free), $30 men Open: 10 p.m.-4 a.m. Tuesday-Wednesday, Friday-Sunday

Vanity Nightclub at Hard Rock

Intimate and upscale, Lavo features a smaller space to see all of your favorite

Palms Casino Resort Cover: $40 men and women Open: 11 p.m.-close Tuesday, Thursday-Saturday Situated atop the Palms Fantasy Tower, Moon’s retracting roof gives partygoers a view unlike any other in the city.


Open: 10 p.m.-5 a.m. Friday-Saturday

Playboy Club

Rain combines performances by international headliners, an electrifying dance club, a private event facility and intimate enclaves to create one dynamic, multisensory destination.

Palms Casino Resort Cover: $40 men and women Open: 9 p.m.-close daily The Playboy Club offers nine blackjack tables, one roulette table and ... what else? Oh yeah, dealers dressed as Playboy bunnies.

702.942.6832 PuRE Caesars Palace Cover: $20 women, $30 men Open: 10 p.m.-4 a.m. Tuesday, Thursday-Sunday Part of the Angel Management Group family, Pure is many distinct experiences rolled into one. It consists of four venues, each featuring its own DJ and style.

702.731.7873 Rain Palms Casino Resort Cover: $30 (local ladies free)

702.942.6832 SavilE Row

This luxe nightclub features a combined 60,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space—so there’s plenty of room to boogie down.

702.770.7300 Tao The Venetian Cover: $20 women (local ladies free), $30 men Open: 10 p.m-5 a.m. Thursday-Saturday

Luxor Cover: $20 women, $30 men Open: 10 p.m.-6 a.m. Wednesday-Saturday

A hand-carved, 20-foot-tall Buddha is the centerpiece of this nightclub and restaurant, which features Asian-inspired decor.

Catering to an eclectic group with a “made-tomeasure” experience, Savile Row is a haven reminiscent of the legendary street in London.


702.222.1500 SuRREndER Encore Las Vegas Cover: $30 women (local ladies free), $40 men Open: 10:30 p.m.-close Wednesday-Saturday

TRyST Wynn Las Vegas Cover: $20 women (local ladies free), $30 men Open: 10 p.m.-4 p.m. Thursday-Saturday Classy and stylish, Tryst opens up to an opulent waterfall that serves as the backdrop to one of the hottest dance floors

Tryst Nightclub at Wynn Las Vegas

in Las Vegas.

brass and black chrome.





Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Cover: $20 women (local ladies free), $40 men Open: 10:30 p.m.-4 a.m. Friday-Sunday

Encore Las Vegas Cover: $20 women, $30 men Open: 10 p.m.-4 a.m. Friday-Monday

An eclectic jewel box, Vanity is adorned with pearls and hand-cut crystals fused with bronze and gold metallic, surrounded by antique mirrors, rubbed

XS lives up to its name with gold busts of female employees lining a glittering staircase, along with a rotating gold-plated chandelier.

702.770.0097 DJ Roger Sanchez at Marquee Nightclub

play calendar


| oCTobER / 2011



scent of bacon wafted through The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas as eager pork lovers converged on The Chelsea Ballroom and the heritage pig heaven known as All-Star Cochon. The all-pork, all-the-time showcase proved the “other white meat” still holds court. Shown here, delectable spareribs. See page 134. VRATED.COM

| OCTOBER / 2011

who to know and where to be seen



SET ThE DVR Coming this fall, two new reality shows

VEGAS-bASED REALiTY ShOwS Some were hits and some were misses, but no city has garnered more nods than Las Vegas in the realm of factual television


VegaS StriP

----------------------GuardingthesidewalksonLas VegasBoulevardisn’teasy,and VegasStrip—whichairson truTV—capturesallthedrama theLasVegasMetropolitanPoliceDepartmentexperiences.


rehab: Party at the hard rock hotel

----------------------Itdoesn’tgetmoreVegas thantheHardRock’sout-ofcontrolSundaypoolparty. Rehabcapturedthemadness fromthestaff’spointofview forthreeseasonsontruTV. The Real World

nine vegas-based reality shows



----------------------MTV’sfamedrealityshow madetwostopsinLasVegas, firstatPalmsCasinoResort in2002andthenatHard RockHotel&Casinoearlier thisyear.


PaWn StarS

---------------------TheHistoryChannel’smost successfulrealityseriesgives viewersalookbehindthe scenesattheGoldandSilver PawnshopontheStrip.


cludingstarringinPeepshow atPlanetHollywood.

the real World


the Ultimate Fighter


the caSino

----------------------In2004,realitycameras followedyoungmogulsTom BreitlingandTimPosteras theymanagedtherebirthof downtown’shistoricGolden NuggetHotel&Casino.

----------------------Lookingforthenextbigthing inmixed-martialarts?Sois thisLasVegas-basedprogram, whichdebutedin2005and american caSino airsonSpikeTV. ----------------------Realityhitthesuburbsin 2004whentheDiscovery American Restoration ChanneldocumentedthehappeningsatGreenValleyRanch CasinoResortinHenderson.

holly’S World

----------------------E!followsHughHefner’sformerNo.1girlnextdooras sheconquersLasVegas,in-

october / 2011 | V R A T E D . C O M



american reStoration

----------------------FinallyaLasVegas-based showfilmedofftheStrip,as TheHistoryChannelshadows RickDaleasherestoreshiddentreasuresforlocals.

TRAiLER PA Rk hOuSEwiVES Rather than capture the ritzy lives of the elite, TV producer and Las Vegas local Marklen Kennedy wants to bring a different reality to the small screen—the reality of trailer park living. Trailer Park Housewives, now being cast, aims to give viewers a glimpse into the lives of six women who call a Las Vegas trailer park home. The characters range from the park’s resident woman-in-charge to the lowly newcomer looking for her place in the community.

GRAb YOuR TiARA bachelorettes are long known for invading Las Vegas with tiaras on their heads and penis straws in their mouths as they celebrate their final days of singlehood. Now some of these brides-to-be (and their entourages) just might have to come clean with their Vegas debauchery, at least if they spent time partying at the Palms Casino Resort. Bachelorette Party, set to debut in October on Oxygen, tracks the exploits of these ladies as they party at the Palms’ many restaurants and nightclubs getting the full ViP treatment.


three QUeStIONS

1 ----------------------VEGAS/RATED: We see some wild tanks on the show. What’s an example of one you did previously?

By steve freIss PHOTOGRAPHY BY



We put one in the trunk of Usher’s car for some MTV awards show thing. He wanted an aquarium there. We have no idea what he did with it after that. BRETT:

thing(s) AnImAL PLAnet Loves LAs vegAs ––––> Television

has made household names of expert couponers, pawnshop owners, fancy motorcycle customizers and couples with a zillion kids. Why not, then, develop a show around a pair of wacky, oft-bickering Las Vegas brothers-in-law who also build fantastical fish tanks out of such objects as old sidewalk phone booths? That’s what admitted reality-TV junkie Brett Raymer was thinking when, five years ago, he began his mission to bring the outlandish personalities and eye-popping aquariums of Acrylic Tank Manufacturing (ATM) to the small screen. To him it was an obvious combination, and at long last the six-episode first season of Tanked began airing on Animal Planet in August. “The answer was no, no, no, that sounds kinda lame, that sounds kinda stupid, that sounds kinda corny,” the 41-year-old Raymer says of the long road before Nancy Glass Productions said yes. “But my lifelong dream was to be on TV, and it was going to happen.” On Tanked, viewers meet Raymer and Wayde King, who is married to Raymer’s sister, Heather. The cameras follow those three as well as Greg and Heather’s dad, Irwin Raymer, who met King 17 years ago when he had his future son-in-law install an aquarium in his Vegas home. King, 44, was the group’s original fish expert, having been raised on Long Island with a father, a fish dealer who operated a pet store out of their basement, and a stepfather who cleaned aquariums in local restaurants and offices. Their company had long been a well-regarded leader in building unusually shaped aquariums, but they added the customized, themed versions when they chose to pursue a TV show. In the first season, they create a Mafia-tinged aquarium complete with shoes still buried in cement for the Las Vegas Mob Experience at the Tropicana; a shark-tank reception desk for a local law office; and a tank built inside a discarded New York City phone booth for transplanted Manhattanites seeking a taste of home. On the penultimate episode, which airs on September 16, they put an 8-foot-tall aquarium in Serendipity3 at Caesars Palace with a mammoth, functional gumball machine. Raymer and King are fully aware that Tanked will inevitably be compared to another reality series featuring a Vegas family in an unusual business: Pawn Stars. And they don’t mind. “If we are anywhere as successful as those guys, we’ll be thrilled,” Raymer says. “That is a great show because it provides information. At the end you say, ‘Man, I learned some history today.’ At the end of our show, you’ll say, ‘Man I learned about fish today. And those guys? They’re the funniest two guys we’ve ever seen.’”

2 -----------------------

Have people asked you to build tanks that are simply impossible to do?


It’s not so much that it’s not possible. It’s just that if you’re a hotel and you want to cover your pool for a dance floor with an aquarium beneath you, you may not realize the thickness of the acrylic and what it takes. They will budget $500,000 and it costs $3 million or $4 million. It’s more the budget stops them from doing it. WAyDE:

3 ----------------------VR: How important is it to you that Tanked succeeds?

It’s a huge deal. Look at what all these reality shows have done for people’s lives. Look at Jersey Shore. Look at them now, look at their lives. This is the kind of stuff you work your whole life for. BRETT:

MINGLE wild thing(s)

INSIDER INTEL ––––>The most expensive tank built on the show cost

$4.7 million and is a 70-foot-long aquarium with two 18-foot-wide tunnels that serve as entrances to the Inspiring Body of Christ Church in Duncanville, Texas.


| ocToBER / 2011


Voted Best Show in Las Vegas 2011

TAKE THE VEGAS RATED READER SURVEY TO ENTER FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN. Just log on to to ďŹ ll out our reader survey and be automatically entered into the sweepstakes. Rules and regulations online at

thE scEnE

this little piggy All-StAr CoChon mAkeS it ACCeptAble tO uSe “pork” AS A verb B Y G R A C E B A S C O S / P H O T O G R A P H S B Y SABIN ORR Chefs Lon symensma (Left) and aLex siedeL (Right) of denveR, CoLo. LOREM AOKI

If we learned anything during All-Star Cochon it’s that you can’t have too much of a good thing. The culinary festival featured the winners of Cochon 555—which has toured the country as a pork-centric competition promoting heritage breed pigs—bringing them all together for an only-in-Vegas style Bacchanalia at The Cosmopolitan. The 10 winners from the smaller Cochon events went nose-to-tail with presentations from breeds sourced from their local markets, while the Cosmo’s restaurants provided their own tasty delights. More than 40 dishes showcased the versatility of the animal, from bacon-in-the-batter waffles and bacon ice cream to charcuterie featuring a dirty rice terrine and Mangalitsa face banh mi. 2010 King of Porc and Vegas culinary veteran David Varley, now of Michael Mina, made his triumphant return with Pork-eos (homemade Oreos with sweetened, whipped lardo as the creme filling) and “ham” burgers—the latter, Varley explains, being an idea long overdue. “I always wondered why no one ever actually made hamburgers out of ham.”


As a food photographer, Sabin Orr is accustomed to taking photos of not only finished dishes, but braving the heat of the kitchen to capture behind-thescenes action at All-Star Cochon, Orr documented the chefs the day before, while they began preparations for the pig day.

bacon cotton candY bY MarY duMont of harvest in caMbridge, Mass.

Yes, there was bacon

“This full-scale pork evenT feaTuring Three years of cochon 555 was The ulTimaTe way To celebraTe heriTage breed pigs in las vegas .” –brady lowe, founder cochon 555



JaMie bissonnette of coppa in boston

MINGLE this little piggy

charcuterie spread froM fruition farMs, denver

(froM left to right): 2010 king of porc david varleY, Michael “the reverend of fat” sullivan and the cosMo’s executive chef gerald chin look on as a MeMber of varleY’s crew works on a dish VRATED.COM

| october / 2011

thE sCEnE

Summer Lovin’ Relive summeR 2011’s hottest moments P H OTO G R A P H Y B Y H E W B U R N E Y

––––> The legendary Las Vegas pool season—which runs from March through October, for the re-

cord—has reached its twilight. So before digging out the jackets, let’s reminisce on all the warm (correction, hot) days spent basking in the never-ending Vegas sunshine. As the official kickoff to summer, Memorial Day weekend is annually one of the biggest, and this year was no different, especially given the performance by rarely-seen-in-the-U.S. Fatboy Slim at Marquee Dayclub at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. Over the course of the summer, celebrities such as Kim Kardashian and Holly Madison (and just about every member of the Jersey Shore cast) graced us with their bikini bods, while DJs such as Afrojack, Kaskade and Tiesto played to scantily clad poolgoers.

DRAKE wAsn’t thE OnLy stAR tO hIt thE stAgE At thE InfAMOus RL EO hA p OA OL RbE M OKI pARty. LIL wAynE ALsO jOInED hIM. ChRIs bROwn, spORtIng A bLEACh bLOnDE ‘DO, ALsO MADE A suMMER AppEARAnCE.

thE “captains quaRteRs” wAs thE pLACE tO bE EvERy sunDAy fOR A LIttLE computeR love –DJ STONEROKK , The Captains of Industry

mINGLe summer lovin’


| october / 2011


rate THis a celebration of new beginnings P H OTO G R A P H Y B Y H E W B U R N E Y

––––> If there’s one thing we know how to do in Vegas it’s throw a party. And the launch of a new

national magazine all about our fair city is one hell of an excuse. Vegas/Rated celebrated its debut with a weekend of lavish parties at Wynn and Encore Las Vegas. Sponsored by Bombay Sapphire East—the storied gin company’s newest infused spirit—Vegas/Rated’s three-day extravaganza included a VIP-only event at Michael Morton’s wine enclave, La Cave. Special guests were spotted throughout the blowout weekend that included a soundtrack provided by DJs such as Derrick Anthony at Tryst Nightclub and DJ Pizzo at XS, and a performance by the voice of Tiesto’s many hits, Jes. Superstar DJ Afrojack wrapped up the festivities with a performance at Encore Beach Club.

EcMo rAeO K I a nLdO R en are the home of five World-class nightlife venues. from tryst’s opulent Waterfall to surrender’s vieW of encore beach club, the host location for vegas/ r a t e d’ s d e b u t p a r t y set the scene for more than Just another night out.

W y n n

vegas/rated is THE

window iNTO OUR WORlD – Melinda sheckells, editor-in-chief, vegas/rated Mingle rate this


| october / 2011

thE sCEnE

CirCus ChiC Fashion brand Desigual reveals a new collection inspired by the artistry oF Cirque Du soleil b y l a u r a c o r o n a d o / p h oto g r a p h y be hew burney ––––> If you ever needed proof that fairy tales do come true, then the new fashion collection from contemporary apparel manufacturer and retailer Desigual is it. Aptly named Desigual Inspired by Cirque du Soleil, the collection was presented at this summer’s MAGIC trade show in Las Vegas, with the two brands showcasing their stylish co-creation as a fable dubbed “The Tale of Two Emotions.” “We seek not to join two brands but two sensibilities, two flows of creative energy,” Desigual CEO Manel Adell says about his story of fate. Similarly, Mario D’Amico, senior vice president of marketing for Cirque du Soleil, acknowledges that a partnership was inevitable. “When you look at our shows and our costumes, we always thought there should be an interesting retail application to complement what you see onstage,” he explains. “If you look at the aesthetics of the two companies, they’re kind of similar.” More than just joyful, the new apparel and accessories collection for men, women and kids is an artistic construction of whimsy and fantasy, with a dramatic Tim Burton-like appeal that will put the wearer center stage. Desigual Inspired by Cirque du Soleil will be available in December at Desigual, Fashion Show.; 702.696.9027

WWDMAGIC fEAtuRED MORE thAn 2,000 LAbELs fR O M E M E R G I n G D E s I G n ERs tO GLObAL bRAnDs. thE shOW D n DAsOOKnI LEOsRCEEM LA s V E G A s t W I C E A y E A R fO R t h R E E D A y s f I L L E D WIth fAshIOn DEbuts.

We’re all about Color Joy anD Happiness – Mario D’Amico, senior vice president of marketing, Cirque du Soleil

MiNGLE cirque chic


| october / 2011

mixology spirits, bartenders & cocktails



––––>  Say

sayonara to the typical sake bomb—hot sake dropped into a cold beer— and hello to a more refined way to enjoy the ultimate party starter. The Blueberry Muffin shot from Yellowtail Restaurant and Lounge at Bellagio features Star Rabbit blueberry-infused sparkling sake and Blue Moon beer, creating a pop of flavor in a single glass. And there’s plenty more where that came from. See page 156.


| 0CT0BER / 2011


rising star mixologists

Keep an eye out for these up-and-comers on the cocktail scene By XAniA WOODMAn


JereMy Merritt Downtown Cocktail Room

----------------------Merritt, who holds the dual role of general manager and lead mixologist, prefers a lowkey image to the competition scene and is currently focused on creating the cocktail menu for Oscar’s steakhouse at downtown’s Plaza Hotel.


Wendy Hodges, Fusion Latin Mixology Bar


----------------------This Aussie represented Las Vegas in the United States Bartenders’ GuildnDonQ rum competition at the Manhattan Cocktail Classic.



Wendy hodGes Fusion Latin Mixology Bar in The Palazzo

----------------------Bubbly and bright, Hodges routinely applies her expertise in concocting holiday-inspired creations for the property and special events.

J.r. starkus RM Seafood in Mandalay Bay

----------------------RM Seafood’s barman and head mixologist’s loveinspired creation won the People’s Choice award in Russian Standard vodka’s Emotion in a Glass contest.


National Restaurant Association convention and made the Top 25 of Imbibe magazine’s 2011 cover contest.

chris hopkins Vesper in The Cosmopolitan


nathan Greene Vanguard Lounge

----------------------Greene won the 2010 Star of the Bar competition at the

october / 2011 | V R A T E D . C O M

Matt Myers Bellagio

----------------------The assistant beverage director serves up cocktails such as the Thai Bacardi Piña Colada, which won him the People’s Choice award at the Bartenders’ Guild’s 2011 Tales of the Cocktail competition.

Mark kiyoJiMa Red Rock Resort

----------------------Despite his full-time gig as an assistant banquet manager, Kiyojima is an ambitious cofounder of the ProgressiveBar mixology consulting group and a motivated ambassador for the Green Bar Collective, which is the world’s largest portfolio of organic, handcrafted spirits.


Max solano Delmonico in The Venetian, Table 10 in The Palazzo

----------------------Solano’s quarterly duties include updating Delmonico’s Book of Whiskey, which boasts a staggering 346 labels.


anthony pullen Rock and Rita’s at Circus-Circus

----------------------Pullen, who is originally from London, has his own flair bartending school in Amsterdam and was also a trainer and senior bartender at Bols Bartending Academy, Europe’s largest bartending school.

FilTHy GOOD Fun It’s what happens when olive meets pickle. The Filthy Pickle pairs a fleshy green cocktail olive with a firm, crunchy gherkin and bathes them both in a uniquely filtered brine that makes one hell of a Filthy Martini—one that’s earned the Filthy Pickle the title of “World’s Sexiest Drink Garnish.” Look for this convenient Filthy foursome in rooms at Soho House New York, at Artisanal Foods in Las Vegas ( and in tasteful minibars wherever your travels may take you.

An ApplE A DAy As hot summer days give way to crisp autumn evenings, tastes change from light and airy to hearty and warming. Hiram Walker hopes to capitalize on that yearning with its Caramel Apple liqueur. perfect for fall’s decadent flavor profile, Caramel Apple is made with all-natural flavors blending the sweetness of caramel with a crisp apple follow-through.

Wendy Hodges photo by Anthony Mair



we’ll drink to that five rising-star mixologists who make a bar crawl

front and center with

at the cosmopolitan

worth every sip

by xania woodman / photography by tomo

hair and makeup by whitney urichuk using makeup forever (one luv agency)

2 FeSSor, $1• • • • o r P Y t t U • • • tHe N • • • • • • DIeNtS •


• • • • • • • • • • • • • •


nut cream 2 ounces coco nut liqueur hi Nocello wal ½ ounce Tosc ur es peanut lique a 1 ounce Castri hocolate vodk C n Gogh Dutch Va es nc • ou • • 1½ • • • • • • • • • •

• • • • • • • • •

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

and dd ice, shake tail shaker. A med with Nutella, ck co a in Combine glass rim into a cocktail ated nutmeg. double-strain gr y hl es ds and fr toasted almon


| october / 2011

we’ll drink to that

Schaefer likes her cocktails fun, approachable and, above all, simple. “If you want it to last forever, keep it simple so others can make it, too,” says the Bond general manager and property mixologist. But of course she values color, presentation and taste as well. Anything else is “like a girl in an amazing Versace dress who puts on a pair of K-Mart sneakers and a beanie— it just doesn’t make sense.” At Bond, Schaefer adheres strictly to her own rules by breaking those of others: She takes apart outmoded, maligned or misunderstood cocktails, fixes them up with superior-quality spirits and fresh ingredients, and puts them back together. Case in point: the Nutty Professor, which in a former life may have been called a Chocolate Martini. But if you’re savvy enough to find your way to The Cosmopolitan, then you’re savvy enough to graduate from Chocolate Martinis.


KRIstEn sChaEfER, Bond

Juyoung Kang, Comme Ça Every cocktail is a balancing act. That works just fine for Kang, who was born and raised on the East Coast, then spent time on the West Coast before arriving just eight months ago in Las Vegas. And she takes her work as a “liquid chef” very seriously. “Everything we do and have at Comme Ça is about the classics,” she says. “We want elegance with a twist.” Aiding in that mission, New York-based consulting mixologist Sam Ross created a menu that borrows from classic cocktail style and updates recipes with today’s high-quality spirits and fresh produce to create a complex yet familiar product. This process elevates cocktails such as the Sunflower—Ross’ take on the Lemon Drop—to new heights. Says Kang, who treats each drink like a business card, “I always believe in staying classy instead of trendy.”

5 wer, $1 • • • • • • • • • • • • • o l F N U S • • • eNtS • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •





ju esh lemon ¾ ounce fr in g th u o lym ¾ ounce P ointreau C ce n u ¾o t. Germain ¾ ounce S • • •

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

tin shaker. to a large nd shake e ic d d A shaker. rge one a a small tin into the la il coupe, Combine in tents of the small tin into a chilled cockta Strain n e ss co th exce . f absin Pour the and discard eel to express ur a dash o d o te P a y. co sl u is ro vigo mon p e glass nd until th ss. Twist a swath of le ge, then place the swish arou la ed g ’ e ss th la g to e in th the cocktail the cocktail and rim cing up. r the oils ove cktail with the rind fa co twist in the

• • • • • • • • • • • • • •


EdwaRd allEn, The LiBrary aT m a r q u ee nighTCLuB

we’ll drink to that

“Less is more, and fresh is best,” says Tao Group beverage director Edward Allen. The seventh-generation Texan was inspired by desert wildflowers when he created the Piña Blossom, “a lightbodied, aromatic cocktail that is a great way to begin your evening in the club.” The fact that his gorgeous, library-themed mixology bar—complete with books, roaring fireplace and vintage pool table—sits atop Marquee Nightclub has to influence his cocktail perspective. With so much traffic, Allen says, it is imperative that his drinks be “simple, clean and refreshing” while keeping in mind that “balance is key.”

PIña b loSSo m


• • • • • • • • • • • • • •

INGr 1¾ oun eDIe ces Kete NtS l Citroe 1 ounce n St. Germ ain elde 1 ounce rflower pineapp liqueur le juice ¼ ounc e lime ju ic e • • • • •

, $14

• • • • • • • • • • • • • •

• • • • • • • •

• • • • • • • • Combin • • • • e in a s • • • • • • • • haker w chilled • • • • ith ice. cocktail • • • • • Shake a Using a glass. T nd strain “Q” sten op with the glas in cil and ¼ to o u a nce a s top. Rem and lightly spr mister bottle, c Sierra Mist. ay Peyc o ove the haud’s b ver the top of stencil. itters ov er the


| october / 2011

andREw Po llaRd, Vesper “Understand classics; all we are doing is reinventing them anyway,” says Vesper general manager and Cosmopolitan property mixologist Andrew Pollard. He understands that even with the infinite combinations of new spirits and exotic spices, every cocktail we create today bears the DNA of its forbears. He calls Vesper’s bar program “classic restoration.” In the case of the Dutch Rose, Pollard builds upon the platform of a 1920s Jack Rose (applejack, lemon juice and grenadine) “while staying true to the cocktail’s origins,” he says. “This is achieved by adding a different syrup, juice, spice, bitter, modifier or even a base spirit.” Inspired by the impending fall and winter seasons, Pollard headed right for such soul-warming flavors as apple, ginger, pomegranate and rosemary, and a base of Nolet Silver for its forward fruit and floral notes that come from Turkish Rose and raspberry. “This cocktail showcases something that I preach so heavily: complexity by simplicity.”

DUtcH roSe, $12 • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •



1 ounce fresh lemon juice 1 ounce house-made grenadine 1 ounce apple juice 1½ ounces Nolet Silver gin 1 ounce Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

dash of egg white freshly ground black pepper Marasca cherry rosemary

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Strip one rosemary sprig into a mixing glass. Add 1 ounce fresh lemon juice, 1 ounce house-made grenadine (1-to-1 ratio of POM pomegranate juice to sugar, simmered 20 minutes and cooled) , 1 ounce apple juice. Muddle then add 1½ ounces Nolet Silver gin, 1 ounce Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur, a dash of egg white and 3-4 turns of freshly ground black pepper. Add ice and shake vigorously for 20 seconds. Double-strain over fresh ice into an old-fashioned glass. To garnish, lightly torch a rosemary sprig over the cocktail; do not burn. Slide a Marasca cherry onto the stem and place.

cocktails we’ll drink to that

| october / 2011





2 FLoor 1.5


lade e marma on orang 1 barspo ice lemon ju le syrup 1 ounce sed simp fu n -i ry a rosem 1 ounce Mark 46 • • • • Maker’s • • • • s e c • • • • 2 oun • • • •

• • • • • • • • • • • • • •

with ice, lass. Top key tumg g in ix m nts in a fresh ice in a whis up pure ingredie c r Combine ke and strain ove foam (combine 1 juice, 3 e a g p h n s ru ra y r, o s e v p co maple p, 1 cu h ru it y w s and dou e r p k o te a bler. T p panc m canis rosemary. u a c 1 re , -c p d ru e maple sy hites in a whipp a sprig of fresh h w cups egg ), and garnish wit e rg a h -c le b

• • • • • • • • • • • •


1 FLoor


• • • • • • • • • • • • • •

cHerrY SmokeD coke, $14 • • • • • • • • • • • • • •


• • • • • • • • • • • • • •


Infuse 1½ ounces Maker’s Mark for five days with leather strips that have been tanned with vegetable oil, not chemicals. Strain out leather and rebottle. Infuse water with a commercial smoker (available on with cherry wood and place in ice ball tray to freeze. Add Maker’s Mark to a Collins glass over the cherry wood-smoked ice sphere and fill with Mexican Coca-Cola. Add four dashes of Fee’s Aztec Chocolate bitters and stir gently. Garnish with a demitasse spoon of housemade Maraschino juice “caviar.” • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •


3 FLoor



r tHe rea

• • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Per, $ INGr 1½ oun eDIe 13 ces Cîr NtS • oc Coco • • • • 1 ounce n u • • • • t v o d Yuzu Lu • • • • ka • xe Sour ½ ounc by the P e freshly e rf e ct Pure squeez 1 ounce é of Na ed lemo house-m pa Valle n juice ade Ch y leaf infu inese fi sed sim v e s p p ice and le syrup 1 ounce kaffir lim Zingibe e r ginger • • • • • • • • coconu • • • • t Rooib • • • • os tea b • • • • Combin • • • • y Teava e 1½ oun • • • • na • • •

Sour by ces Ciro • • • • • • • • c th • • • squeeze e Perfect Pur Coconut vodka eé of Na , 1 ounce d lemon p spice an Y a ju u zu Lux V ic a e, 1 lley d Zingibe kaffir lime lea ounce house-m , ½ ounce fres e r ginger hly f-infuse ade Ch c d shaker. Add ice oconut rooibos simple syrup inese five and 1 ou , shake a tea by T glass. T nd ea nc o with a s p with Gosling strain into a d vana in a cock e tail prig of fr ouble-old ’s Storm esh kaff y ir lime le ginger beer a fashioned n aves an d star a d garnish nise.


| october / 2011

we’ll drink to that

Three bars make up the towering weddingcake-like tangle of glittering crystal that is Chandelier, the showpiece bar at the center of The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. Here, Chandelier’s general manager and a Cosmo property mixologist works her magic. Mercer’s nickname, in fact, is Ms. Wizard. Her quirky, charming nature is best expressed in the menu on Floor 1.5, where ice tastes like smoke, bourbon bears hints of leather and nothing is as it seems. The so-called Inside Bar at Chandelier is Mercer’s progressive playground. Her Cherry Smoked Coke pays homage to her first cocktail experience—the Roy Rogers, but with a cheeky molecular twist. Downstairs, the menu focuses on spotlighting spirits. “Mixology is the celebration of craftsmanship and artistry of the cocktail,” Mercer says. “The ingredients must always be fresh, the spirits well-crafted and the mixing executed by a knowledgeable mind and a loving hand.” Her award-winning signature cocktail, the Libertine, won the Whiskey for Women’s Maker’s Mark competition and ended up on the cover of the book of the same name. “This cocktail explores the individual roles of the basic tastes—sweet, sour, salty and bitter—and balances each note in perfect harmony.” Finally, upstairs on the second floor, Mercer expresses her culinary side with product-driven and savory cocktails, such as her Kaffir the Reaper. “I love bringing the kitchen to the glass. This cocktail showcases my ability to take unique ingredients and balance them.” This gem channels all the flavors of tom khai gai soup into a glass. “When I drink this cocktail I am automatically transported to my favorite Thai bistro,” she says. And in case you’re wondering, yes, “I pay homage to Blue Oyster Cult with the name. Don’t pretend like you aren’t humming the song as we speak …”

$12, rtINe, • • • • • • • • • • • • • e b I l tS • tHe eDIeN


MaRIEna MERCER, ChandeLier


1 Murray River

artisan bred A boutique purveyor TO CHEFS iS pOiSEd TO BECOmE VEGAS’ mixOlOGy GO-TO Guy By x A N i A W O O dm A N / p H O T O G R A p H y B y SABiN ORR

Flake Salt

The high mineral content of the aquifer helps make this gorgeous apricot-color Australian flake produce a wonderfully mild taste with not a hint of that iodized commercial flavor. As the crystals dissolve quickly, it’s perfect for sprinkling over a sweet cocktail to create a bit of contrast. $14, 3 ounces,

2 Lazy Kettle

Liquid Smoke

The essence of fire suspended in water! Just a drop of this all-natural concentrated hickory liquid smoke goes a long way. Try it in a fresh-fruit margarita or dilute to make your own smoked ice. $6, 5 ounces,

3 Grampa’s Gourmet

Chamiso Honey

From Colorado’s Southern San Luis Valley comes this homespun pure, raw honey in five flavors. Chamiso (rabbit brush) flowers impart beautiful flavors of orange peel and hazelnut as well as floral notes and even a little barnyard essence. Dissolve in water at a 1-to-1 ratio to make a mixable honey syrup, then substitute for simple syrup in your favorite cocktails. $9, 11.5 ounces,

4 Mugolio Pinecone

Über-foodie and adventure-forager Brett Ottolenghi is the kind of guy chefs want on speed dial. He deploys worldwide to source and personally vet each of his products. He understands that pedigreed produce is in high demand, and his Artisanal Foods wholesale business has serious chefs covered. Ottolenghi is also a godsend to the ambitious home chef via his retail store at 2275 E. Sunset Road (702.436.4252, Here, the culinary confident and curious alike can find acorn-fed jamon Iberico de Bellota; free-range, humanely harvested chicken; real Tahitian vanilla bean pods; and rare oak barrel-aged Napa Valley Gravenstein cider vinegar. But it was a mixologist’s request for Castelvetrano olives that spurred Ottolenghi to make the leap from kitchen to cocktail. Vegas/Rated scoured the shelves at Artisanal Foods and found the makings of some pretty inspired libations.

Bud Extract

From way out in left field— Sardinia, really—comes this syrupy elixir, umami in a bottle. The lightly sweetened and reduced extract of Mugo pine gems (buds) imparts a deeply earthy, piney fruitiness not unlike real açaí berry juice, and behaves rather like balsamic vinegar. A riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside a pinecone. $21, 3.6 ounces,

5 Filthy Food Olive Brine Trade up from the salty, oily discarded salad olive brine in your current dirty martini by adding a dash or more of Filthy Food’s cocktail-tailored

olive brine to make “The World’s ‘Cleanest’ Dirty Martini.” The secret is the filtration process, which results in olive juice that is flavorful, free of bits and pits, and perfectly balanced. $4, 12 ounces,

6 Giusto Manetti Gold

and Silver Leaf

If it’s good enough for Versailles, the Louvre and Buckingham Palace, then Giusto Manetti Battiloro gold and silver leaf is certainly good enough for our rolled chocolate cigar garnishes. $63.40 gold, $42.20 silver, 200 miligrams,

7 Teance Jasmine

Dragon Pearls

This premium, whole-leaf tea is naturally infused 13 times by summer-blooming jasmine flowers to give your next tea-infused syrup a delicate jasmine aroma and a lingering floral flavor. The trick is in striking the right balance: 1 teaspoon of tea pearls per 8 ounces of water, steeped for four minutes. $7.45, 50 grams,

8 Tahitian Gold

Vanilla Bean Sugar

Pure organic cane sugar meets premium ground Tahiti and New Guinea vanilla beans. Substitute measure for measure in any cocktail or product recipe calling for granulated sugar. $4, 2 ounces,

9 Texturas Molecular

Products by Albert & Ferran Adrià

Poised to open the next elBulli? Do your friends call you Mr. Wizard? To make your next molecular cocktail pop— or fizz, or smoke—you’ll first need to load up on Algin, Agar and freeze-dried fruit Lyo-Sabores from the father (and brother) of Spanish Vanguard cuisine, otherwise known as molecular gastronomy. $35 Algin, $46 Agar, $19.50 strawberry Lyo-Sabores,



artisan bred

5 1

3 6 9 7

2 8


| october / 2011

thE gUIdE

Liquid inspiration take a sip, reLax and enjoy



Japanese Mule As served at Switch Restaurant in Wynn, $16

––––> Don’t turn your nose up to scotch in summer, especially in a place like Las Vegas, when summer doesn’t end till mid-October. When properly employed, the peaty brown spirit lends itself to plenty of refreshing libations. At Wynn, fearless property mixologist Patricia Richards doesn’t let September and October’s enduring heat deter her from using fine scotch and malt whisky in her menus. New to the lineup at Switch, Richards’ Japanese Mule utilizes Yamazaki whisky by Suntory, Japan’s oldest whisky distillery (founded in 1923) and the first to use copper pot stills to make malt whisky outside of Scotland. “This is a refreshing Japanese whisky cocktail,” Richards says. Her inspiration lay with the Moscow Mule, a blend of vodka, lime juice and ginger beer, traditionally served in a copper mug. This mule is a little more refined, however, layering complex flavors such as ginger and agave on top of the single-malt whisky. “The spice of the ginger and the whisky notes pair well with charred meat dishes and fuller-flavored Asian dishes,” Richards advises, making it an ideal barbecue sipper. —Xania Woodman

In a mixing glass, muddle 10-12 fresh mint leaves with ¾ ounce freshly squeezed and strained lemon juice. Add 2 ounces of Yamazaki 12-year-old single-malt whisky, ½ ounce Canton ginger liqueur and a splash of light agave syrup, and shake well with ice. Strain ingredients over fresh ice into a Collins glass, top with 3 ounces of Goslings Bermuda ginger beer and gently stir. Garnish with a lush sprig of mint.

Japanese Mule photo by Nick Coletsos


THE guidE

1 SEan connERy by Jeremy Merritt at Downtown Cocktail Room • • • • • • • • • • • • • •


• • • • • • • • • • • • • •

1½ ounce Johnny Walker Black ½ ounce Faretti Biscotti Famosi liqueur ½ ounce Lagavulin e syrup ½ ounce house-made orange-ginger simpl juice ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lemon bitters dash The Bitter Truth Old Time aromatic • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

• • • • • •

e and strain Combine ingredients. Add ice, cover, shak gingerwith ed rimm over fresh ice in a rocks glass m wntow sugar. thedo

2 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

SmokE & mIRRo RS

by Mariena Mercer at • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Chandelier Bar in The Cosmopolitan


• • • • • 1 ounce Glenlivet 12 Year 2 ounces Perfect Puree of Napa Yuzu Luxe sou r 4 leaves of torn sage 2 barspoons of seedle ss apricot preserves dash Fee’s rhubarb bitt ers • •

• • • • • • • • • • •

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Combine ingredients. Ad • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • d ice, cover, shake and double-strain into a chilled cocktail coupe, garnished with a “spanked” sage leaf. cosmopolitanla

3 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

PEnIcIllIn by Sam Ross at Comme Ça • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •




• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

2 ounces Famous Grouse blended scotch ¾ ounces ginger ¾ ounce honey ¾ ounce lemon juice • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

In a cocktail shaker, combine ingredients. Shake thoroughly with ice and strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice. Top with a float of Laphroig 10 Year and garnish with a piece of candied ginger.


| octobER / 2011

thE gUIdE

two perfect Beginnings anD Two HaPPy EnDingS dine around town and tRy SOME tRUE SPIRItS

the Man abOUt tOwn the spot: Diablo’s Cantina at Monte Carlo the cocktail: Sinful Vixen, $11 What’s in it: Lemon wedges, fresh raspberries, lemon sour, Stoli Razberi vodka, Crème de Cassis. glass and garnish: Skewer of fresh raspberries in a margarita glass. eat it With: Mexican Pizza with three cheeses, roasted tomatillo sauce and spicy chorizo.

Las Vegas teLeVision personaLity Jason Feinberg shares his tips on how to buy a Lady a drink the Vegas way

i am not a huge fan of buying girls drinks at bars—frankly, i’d rather use the money to gamble on football. but every once in a while i’ll play the pickup game. here are four smooth-as-18-year-old-scotch ways to connect with the ladies at a Vegas bar, courtesy of yours truly. Line up. they pay hollywood writers good money to come up with quotable movie lines. why not steal one and use it to your advantage? Like this from owen wilson in Hall Pass: “how much does a polar bear weigh? enough to break the ice. Can i buy you a drink?”

the spot: Union at aria Resort & Casino the cocktail: The Cadillac Lg, $25

i’m reaLLy not Cheap. busting out drink coupons likely won’t get you as far as flashing plastic or cash. but sometimes desperate times call for, well, you know. so here’s the approach: “hey, these vouchers expire at midnight. i’d hate for them to go to waste. want a drink?” note that this usually only works on girls who have already had a few.

What’s in it: Frothee, Madhava agave nectar, fresh orange juice and lime juice, Patron Reposado Tequila. glass and garnish: Lime wedge on a martini glass. eat it With: Crispy baked mozzarella with Parmesan garlic bread crumbs.

the spot: Max Brenner at The Forum Shops the cocktail: Berry Lovely, $13.50 What’s in it: Chambord, fresh raspberry sauce and white chocolate served up. glass and garnish: Strawberries and powdered sugar in a custom-made glass. eat it With: “Really Cheesy, Really Crunchy Mac n Cheese” with marinara and fresh tomatoes.

money taLks. gold diggers are everywhere in Vegas, so you might as well talk their game. From twitter: “i’m not really this tall, i’m just sitting on my wallet.” Just make sure you can back up such a cheesy line with cold, hard cash. Foreign aFFairs. if you actually paid attention in that 11th grade foreign-language class, now’s the time to put those conjugated verbs to use, as nothing makes a lady’s knees buckle like a thick italian accent. For instance, whereas “want to go back to my place?” could get you a drink in the face, “Torniamo a casa mia?” could get you laid.

mixology the guide

sage advice Sineo Daniele, the olDeSt bartenDer in laS vegaS on recorD, ShareS the wiSDom he haS earneD from more than a half-century making cocktailS by agent 21

Finish it off after a great meal, heaD over to Savile row at luxor. like the 1922 rudolph valentino film of the same name, the blood & Sand is an oldie but a goodie. the recipe first appeared in the 1930 Savoy cocktail book, but over the last year or two has been increasingly spotted at savvy bars all over town. Savile’s lead bartender ray Srp has had the drink on his cocktail list since the restaurant opened in December. “the inspiration was to have a list of classic cocktails that are the foundation of our craft and to provide unique choices that our guests may not have heard of or tried. besides offering a unique cocktail to our classic cocktail page—along with the Sazerac—it offers a whiskey choice to keep the menu well-rounded.” while beloved by those who appreciate a well-made classic, the combination of ingredients is rather unusual. “the taste is smoky, citrus and sweet, almost savory,” Srp explains. So please reserve judgment until after the first sip, maybe even the second. even the perfect suit requires a fitting or two.—Xania Woodman

Blood & sand • • • • • • • • • • • • • •


• • • • • • • • • • • • • •

1 ounce Dewar’s 12-year-old scotch 1 ounce Cherry Heering 1 ounce Carpano Antica sweet vermouth 1 ounce fresh orange juice • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Add all ingredients to a shaker glass. Add ice, shake and strain into a chilled champagne coupe. Garnish with the oils of a flamed orange peel, discard and float a fresh orange peel on top.


| ocToBER / 2011

Sineo Danielle photo by Josh Metz; Blood & Sand photo Anthony Mair

not everyone is cut out to be a bartender. and certainly not everyone can bartend for 53 years. which makes Sineo Daniele, or as his peers call him, “Dino,” a rare commodity in las vegas. Dino is 80 years old and doesn’t drink, smoke or do drugs, all of which he attributes to his strong health. “everyone always asks me, ‘what are you on?’ when they see me moving behind the bar,” says Daniele, who works at multiple harrah’s entertainment properties. “i tell them, ‘i’m high on life.’” he started back in 1958 at the continental in hollywood and joined the bartender’s union when he relocated to San francisco. Dino moved to las vegas in 1976, working for local bars and golf courses, eventually landing a job at the flamingo. for now, retirement is not an option, in part because he enjoys assisting young bartenders, teaching them the “street smarts” of the job. his three tenets of bartending: humor, sarcasm and knowing the right time to use both. “you got to love people,” Dino says.—Agent 21


tis’ the season

on a roll

Tis’ The SeaSon Are you ready for some football? Las Vegas certainly is. Although the city lacks an NFL franchise—and its college football team (UNLV) has had less success in the last decade than the Detroit Lions— football fever still strikes at this time every year. The epicenter of the epidemic: Local sports books, where the action is often more intense than it is on the actual gridiron. If you’re a football fan and have never spent an autumn Saturday or Sunday in a sports book, well, then you’re really a soccer fan.


Wh a t h a p p e n s h e r e … onl y h a p p e n s h e r e Nevada is the only state where you can (legally!) bet on (or against) your favorite team. There are more than 60 sports books in Las Vegas-area hotel-casinos, plus various “satellite” outlets around town.



In 2010, $2.76 billion was wagered in Nevada sports books, and of that amount the state held on to $151.1 million. That’s a 5.47 percent net gain, which was a record.

the catch


For every $10 you want to win when making a point spread wager, you must risk $11. Example: To win $100 on a particular game, you must put up $110. If you win, you get back $210 (your original $110 bet, plus your $100 winnings). If you lose, the house keeps the cash.

the big score

4 insiDer intel

Looking to turn a little into a lot? Pick up a parlay card, where you can pair as few as two or as many as 20-plus teams in a single wager. The more teams on your parlay card, the higher the payout. The caveat: To cash your parlay, all of your teams must win. If you go 9-1 on that 10team parlay, you might as well have gone 0-10.

––––>Two words: free cocktails! Most sports books on and

off the Strip comp drinks to players who stick around and see how their wager plays out. Sometimes drink tickets are required, and those are given out upon request when you place your bet. So, you know, request! The Race & Sports Book at Red Rock Casino, Resort & Spa

october / 2011 | V R A T E D . C O M

VegasRated Issue 2  

Everything about Las Vegas. VEGAS / RATED Is the Window Into our World