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October 22, 2017

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Counter Intelligence: ‘Eating Las Vegas,’ ‘Iron Chef,’ Rice & Co., Spago


Bryan Adams/Flash Photography

John Curtas, Geno Bernardo, Al Mancini, Max Jacobson, Robin Leach and Guy Savoy at “Eating Las Vegas” 2012 at Restaurant Guy Savoy in Caesars Palace on Nov. 14, 2011.

'Eating Las Vegas' 2012 at Guy Savoy

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Fantasy's 12th Anniversary VIP Party

Fantasy's 12th anniversary celebration at the Luxor on Sept. 20, 2011. Launch slideshow »

2012 Vegas Uncork'd: Border Grill, Michael Mina, Jose Andres

Day 2 of 2012 Vegas Uncork'd by Bon Appetit with Susan Feniger, Mary Sue Milliken and Adam Rapoport at Border Grill, Michael Mina at Stripsteak and Jose Andres at Jaleo on Friday, May 11, 2012.
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2012 Vegas Uncork'd: Wolfgang Puck Anniversary, Saber-Off

Wolfgang Puck celebrates his 20th anniversary on the Strip and opens 2012 Vegas Uncork'd by Bon Appetit with a saber-off on Thursday, May 10, 2012. Launch slideshow »

Las Vegas food critics John Curtas, Al Mancini and Max Jacobson have nearly finalized their Top 10 and Top 50 listings for the third edition of “Eating Las Vegas: the 50 Essential Eats, which is shipped to the printers in mid-August. The new rankings, with changes to the Top 10 and Top 50, will be unveiled in November.

Meantime, Al and John have teamed up for a new Travel Channel pilot filmed on location in Chicago where they emulate “Siskel & Ebert” with a two thumbs up and down critique free-for-all.

*Following up on my reveal Tuesday of “The Next Iron Chef” filming here at MGM Grand, I can add that there are no Las Vegas chefs in the lineup for this competition.

*There are no less than 28 bourbons served by the sexy leather-and-lace servers who double as dancers at the new Bourbon Room in the Venetian. Named after the club featured in “Rock of Ages,” the entertainment lounge and bar will play host to the cast of “Rock of Ages” nightly after its December premiere at the Venetian.

*“Fantasy” at the Luxor has teamed up with nearby Rice & Co. with a dinner and show package of $95 for a three-course dinner with “Flirty Beginnings,” “ Seductive Temptations” and an “Exotic Encore” for dessert.

*Flamingo comedian headliner George Wallace has partnered with the two Hard Rock Cafe locations here in which $5 from every Legendary Burger is donated directly to the children’s medical charity Operation Smile to provide free reconstructive surgery for kids around the world suffering from facial deformities. The Legendary Burgers include a Bugsy Burger and a Hangover Burger as tributes to the gangster and the hit comedy movie.

*The new lounge and restaurant Heraea taking over Garduno’s at the Palms will be a state-of-the-art, sports-themed restaurant for “viewing games, flirting and DJs spinning with live performances when sports are asleep.”

*Congratulations to Bellagio’s assistant pastry chef Simon Bregardis, who won the Cacao Barry Chocolatier of the Year Award in Chicago.

*Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken, the too hot tamales from the Food Network who run Border Grill at Mandalay Bay, have decreed Meatless Mondays in a national campaign encouraging people to go meat free once a week for their health and that of the planet.

Their two-course lunch for $20 includes a sampling of vegetarian appetizers and a choice of a vegetarian taco, quesadilla, entree or salad. A three-course dinner for $29 includes the sampling, a choice of a vegetarian entree and a choice of a homemade dessert. Included are quinoa fritters that Mary Sue used as her winning recipe on Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters.”

*With Celine Dion’s return to Caesars Palace, Spago executive chef Eric Klein has created a $65-per-person pre-show prix-fixe menu with seasonal dishes available from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on show nights only. The three-course dinner at Wolfgang Puck’s original Las Vegas restaurant includes Santa Monica Farmers’ Market Tuscan melon salad, yellowfin tuna tartare cones, grilled Scottish salmon, pan roasted free range chicken breast and a honey lemon chamomile tart.

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

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