Sunday, July 27, 2014 | 9:58 p.m.
As Robin Leach arrives for his annual summer vacation under the Tuscan sun in Italy — plus, Lake Como and Lake Maggiore this year — many of our Strip personalities have again stepped forward in his absence to pen their own words of wisdom. We continue today with Jeffrey Bank, CEO of Alicart Restaurant Group, whose restaurants include Carmine’s at the Forum Shops in Caesars Palace.
I’m often asked “Why Las Vegas?” when it comes to my decision to open the first West Coast location of Carmine’s NYC.
The truth is when it came time to decide where I would next take the brand, I couldn’t think of a better place than a city that is known for giving over-the-top experiences since that’s exactly what we do best at Carmine’s.
We are so happy with the decision to call the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace home after such an incredible first year with the support from locals and tourists alike.
This is a big year for Carmine’s, however not quite as big as our portions. In New York, we are celebrating 25 years of serving giant dishes and authentic Italian food, and, throughout the month of July, we’ve been celebrating our first birthday in Las Vegas.
These are momentous milestones for both locations filled with a lot of pasta and tons of Italian food lovers.
During the last year in Las Vegas, we’ve managed to serve 125,000 meatballs, 14,869 pounds of garlic, 1,200 Titanic ice cream sundaes and 25,362 gallons of marinara, giving our New York locations a run for their money.
We’ve been lucky enough to feed guests from all over the world, including many who have visited one of our six other restaurants and made their way across the country to check out the West Coast outpost at the Forum Shops.
Carmine’s has helped guests celebrate birthdays, weddings, reunions and anniversaries in addition to feeding hundreds of hungry conventioneers. We’ve become Las Vegas’ go-to restaurant for large groups of any kind with such great value in our large portions and our massive space.
One of my favorite things about Las Vegas is the incredible culinary scene and what an effect it has had on the restaurant industry. This city has something for everyone, and it’s become our goal to be the Strip restaurant that provides locals with an affordable white-tablecloth experience.
It also is our intention for every guest to not only say “wow” when they see their food come to the table, but to also say wow when it comes time to pick up the check.
This is just the beginning for Carmine’s Las Vegas as we are just settling into our new home. We look forward to many more celebrations and milestones and can’t wait to see what Las Vegas brings us in the years to come.
Be sure to check out our other guests columnists today, Michael LaPlaca, executive chef of Portofino at the Mirage, and Shawn Stockman of Mirage headliners Boyz II Men. Then this week we'll meet up with the sexy topless dancers from “X Burlesque” at the Flamingo, stunt superstar Ricardo Laguna, the SLS Hotel president, who reveals a few secrets, and more.
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.
Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.
Follow Vegas DeLuxe on Twitter at Twitter.com/vegasdeluxe.
Follow Sun A&E Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.
Transport yourself to the opulent and excessive Roman Empire at Caesars Palace. But the ever-changing Caesars Palace is far from ancient. The hotel and casino is constantly raising the bar for what visitors can expect in a Vegas resort experience.
Caesars Palace features 3,348 rooms and suites in five towers, including the new luxury boutique Nobu Hotel and Restaurant, which opened Feb. 4, 2013, in the totally remodeled Centurian Tower. Caesars features 129,000 square feet of gaming space, including the Strip’s largest poker room and a 250-seat sports book. Other amenities include about two dozen restaurants, a four-level shopping mall, four pools, a spa, Pure and Poetry nightclubs and Pussycat Dolls.
Dining options include restaurants from world-renown chefs Guy Savoy, Wolfgang Puck, Bobby Flay, Gordon Ramsay and, on Feb. 4, 2013, Nobu Matsuhisa.
You never know what characters you’ll run into at Caesars with regular performers like Jerry Seinfeld, Bette Midler, Elton John and maybe even the emperor himself.