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November 18, 2017

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Counter Intelligence: Mario Batali, Daniel Boulud, Carnevale, Epicurean Affair and Aureole wine angels


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The Daniel Boulud announcement and the 2013 Epicurean Affair at the Palazzo on Thursday, May 23, 2013.

2013 Epicurean Affair and Daniel Boulud Announcement

The Daniel Boulud announcement and the 2013 Epicurean Affair at the Palazzo on Thursday, May 23, 2013. Launch slideshow »
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Charlie Palmer and wine angels in new uniforms at his Aureole in Mandalay Bay on Thursday, May 23, 2013.

Hot off the grill!

As Carnevale, the three-month salute to art, food and culture, gets underway at The Venetian and Palazzo, star chefs are announcing new restaurants there. Carnevale started this week and continues through Sept. 8 with Mario Batali celebrating its grand opening with a Taste of Italy on Saturday.

Mario will announce a new burger and beer restaurant at the Palazzo named B&B for the food and drinks and the initials of owners Mario and partner Joe Bastianich. Inside word is that they are taking over the former Rattlecan.

That news is on the heels of famed French chef Daniel Boulud’s announcement before Epicurean Affair that he will open two restaurants there. Daniel, formerly at Wynn until 2010, already works with Venetian execs at the Singapore casino resort.

He told me his first restaurant set for next year will be an updated version of his two-star-hit DBGB Kitchen & Bar in Manhattan (his spin on the CBGB rock club in New York’s Bowery). Once that’s up and running, he plans a burger pub, too.

“It will be fun and casual,” he told me. “I’m exploring all the possible venues at The Venetian and Palazzo for the moment before settling on a specific space. I want to create an entirely new menu to reflect how I see an American tavern meets up with a French brasserie. I want to do lunch and dinner with affordable prices with a lot of dishes for sharing.”

Daniel, who created the knockout first gourmet DB burger in Manhattan more than a decade ago, added: “We’ll have a private room in the back for parties, but up front it will be rock and roll, burgers, bangers, beers and sundaes.” He boasts 16 types of sausage on his Big Apple menu and will offer 20 beers on tap and 75 bottled beers here.

Daniel has seven food venues in Manhattan, two in Florida, two in Canada, one in China and one in Singapore. I go back with Daniel nearly 30 years when I met him first as a chef at Sirio Maccioni’s Le Cirque; Sirio has a Le Cirque at Bellagio and Sirio at Aria.

Daniel hosted the 50-plus dine-around restaurant booths at Epicurean Affair, a fundraiser for the scholarship and educational programs of Nevada Restaurant Association. “Staying in Vegas has always been my goal, “ he added. “I’m thrilled to be returning.”

Mario’s Carnevino, Ott Enoteca and B+B Ristorante will present a special foodie experience Saturday as part of Carnevale’s opening. The gastronomic superstar and TV personality kicks off the festival at noon in the Palazzo’s waterfall atrium area.

During the run of Carnevale, there will be some 300 experiences to convey the romance of Italy. Every night, there will be a welcome reception, a masquerade parade and a 3D light projection using The Venetian facade for digital mapping.

Highlights during the festival will include fashion shows, beachwear parades and star chef visits by Emeril Lagasse, Wolfgang Puck and Curtis Stone. Red rocker Sammy Hagar is throwing a tiki party at The Venetian pool with synchronized swimmers.


Celebrity chef Charlie Palmer has given his wine angels at Aureole in Mandalay Bay a change of costume. After 14 years, sleek black jumpsuits, which showed up on a recent episode of “Model Employee” on VH1, have been tossed for a new look. They certainly light up his unique tower cellar of wine as they fly up to get bottles for diners.

Charlie also has introduced a three-course menu for $48 at Charlie Palmer Steakhouse in the adjoining Four Seasons for audiences at the new Cirque du Soleil show “Michael Jackson One.” His tribute to Michael includes a “bottomless glass” wine pairing at no extra charge.

And Jet Tila, former chef of Wazuzu at Encore, has opened Kuma Snow Cream in Chinatown.

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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