Denise Truscello / WireImage / DeniseTruscello.net
Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014 | 1:58 p.m.
Twenty of America’s 100 top-grossing restaurants are located here in Las Vegas and only bested slightly by those in the Big Apple. Sales of menu items and wine and spirits combine for jaw-dropping and eyebrow-raising statistics.
The Restaurant Business magazine and website says Tao at the Venetian is the No. 1 restaurant for sales last year totaling a whopping $64.6 million. Its sister Lavo next door at Palazzo was fifth with $24 million in sales.
Three other Venetian restaurants also ranked highly: Mario Batali’s Carnevino at $19 million, Emeril Lagasse’s Delmonico Steakhouse had $13.3 million in sales, and Zefferino’s on the Grand Canal raked in $10.9 million. They placed 13th, 53rd and 88th, respectively.
Top seller inside a shopping mall was Joe’s Stone Crab at the Forum Shops in Caesars Palace with $20.1 million, placing third in Las Vegas and 12th in the nation. Steve Wynn scored with his SW Steakhouse ($18.6 million) and Paul Bartolotta’s seafood restaurant ($11.6 million).
Other celebrity restaurant owners included Bobby Flay’s 10-year-old Mesa Grill at Caesars Palace with $18.8 million, Barry Dakake’s N9NE Steakhouse in the Palms with $13.2 million, Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Prime ($17.3 million) and his Steakhouse in Aria ($12.1 million). Charlie Palmer’s Aureole rounded out the Las Vegas listings with $10.9 million in sales.
What Happens Here Stays Here
IT’s BAAACK! The “What Happens Here Stays Here” advertising campaign for Las Vegas tourism has been renewed with the first national broadcast commercial on Monday of the newly extended adult-freedom expression. The hilarious introductory spot features an office worker destroying a water cooler to drive home the point that Las Vegas tourist officials want to stop water cooler talk, which is an epicenter for office gossip.
Carrot Top, Chippendales dancers, Blue Man Group and Jabbawockeez are part of the follow-up social media campaign using #StopWaterCoolerTalk. They have created various methods of water cooler destruction! Cathy Tull, senior VP of marketing for our Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority, said: “As a destination, we strive to preserve the only-in-Las Vegas moments for our visitors.”
ALZHEIMER’S AND AGING: Las Vegas playwright and director Ryan Elisabeth Reid, the eldest daughter of Sen. Harry Reid’s son Rory Reid, brings the beauty and complexity of Alzheimer’s and aging to the Smith Center starting Friday through Oct. 26 with the play “Henri” featuring an ensemble cast ages 8 to 80. After each performance, there will be a panel discussion and audience Q+A for patients, caregivers and doctors. Ryan’s maternal grandfather was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2012. She said: “Understanding aging, dementia and the way the elderly are being marginalized in our society is what we hope to address with this play and to its audiences.”
“Wicked” continues at the Smith Center’s larger theater, Reynolds Hall. I saw the show last week, and it is still the captivating and entrancing production that won it Tony Awards. Emma Hunton and Chandra Lee Schwarz are delightful as Elphaba and Glinda, and former “Guiding Light” star Kim Zimmer gets kudos for her role as Madame Morrible. Former “SNL” star Tim Kazurinsky plays the Wizard magically. It’s a wonderful show that you must not miss before it leaves town Nov. 9. Nine Las Vegas musicians joined the touring orchestra.
MUSTACHES AND BEARDS
Can you picture a serious Caesars Entertainment board meeting where all 20 to 30 corporate chiefs are fully bearded with out-of-control mustaches? That’s what will happen by the end of the first week of November. Top brass is already letting their beards and mustaches grow as part of an American Cancer Society fundraiser.
Their fuzz will go up for auction next month, and winning bidders will get to shave them clean and into any design shape, which the execs then have to wear until Nov. 30. As part of the fundraiser, gentlemen on the Strip with beards and mustaches will get free rides during November on the High Roller at the Linq Promenade.
BEST BOSS: Steve Wynn, chairman and CEO of Wynn resorts (Wynn and Encore Las Vegas, Wynn Macau) has been crowned one of the Best Performing CEOs in the World by Harvard Business Review. On its 2014 rankings, Steve placed 17th out of 100 business bigwigs.
The Harvard Business Review analyzed more than 3,000 CEOs around the world to obtain its ranking based on shareholder returns and increased market capitalization.
PENNY’S DANCE PARTY: The Gazillionaire’s sidekick from “Absinthe” at Caesars is busting a move out on her own, having won notoriety for her madcap adventures in their web series. Zany Penny Pibbets is hosting her own dance party at Unspoken Studio next Tuesday and challenging guests to her adventurous and thrilling dance moves.
Having watched her perform in “Absinthe,” I don’t know if I dare accept that challenge — but you might!
‘INK MASTER’: Las Vegas tattoo artist Cleen Rock One, who owns Chrome Gypsy Tattoo, was safe on Spike’s “Ink Master” on Tuesday night after a six-hour challenge to design a traditional American tattoo. One of the female artists was eliminated, and Cleen Rock now continues against 11 rivals after seven weeks of competition.
He’s still in the running for the $100,000 grand prize and bragging rights to the title. Next Tuesday, the contestants face a three-hour scrimshaw challenge using needles and blades to create thousands of scratches on a walrus bone before inking in the design.
More than 50 of America’s best food trucks and food vendors from Food Network, Cooking Channel and Travel Channel host the five-day, 4 p.m. to midnight Las Vegas Foodie Fest at the Linq Promenade.
For the second year, the official PGA tournament for Shriners Hospital for Children gets underway with the nation’s Top 36 golf pros at TPC Summerlin and continues through Sunday.
The Pretty Reckless and Las Vegas’ Adelitas Way are at Vinyl in the Hard Rock Hotel.
The Donald’s son Eric Trump from “Celebrity Apprentice” arrives at dad’s hotel here, and our preview as fall and winter day parties begin anew this weekend with Ghostbar Dayclub at the Palms first up.
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.
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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.
In the spirit of Venice, The Venetian is a little piece of romantic Italy right here in Las Vegas. The Venetian is an "all-suite" hotel, with rooms accented with plush linens and Italian marble. The 4,027 suites are divided into two towers: The 36-story Venetian Tower that offers guests a taste of luxurious Las Vegas and the Venezia suites, which guarantee 12 floors of high-end elegance. The top five floors are the hotel's highest level of luxury with its private access, concierge lounge, upgraded features and even a dedicated staff.
The flagship of Venetian nightlife is TAO, an ultra-hip nightclub located inside of TAO Asian Bistro. V Bar is The Venetian's super smooth ultra lounge, made by the owners of New York City's club Lotus and Los Angeles' super swank Sunset Room.
The Venetian features 19 restaurants including Thomas Keller's award-winning French restaurant Bouchon, Mario Batali's B&B Ristorante, Aquaknox for fresh seafood and the 42,000 square foot TAO Asian Bistro. There's also the food court inside the Canal Shoppes for those looking for a quick bite.
Guests can float along The Grand Canal Shops in an authentic Italian gondola ride and pass stores like Burberry and Kenneth Cole along the way. And if you haven't caught a real celeb, on the street in Vegas, you can head over to Madame Tussauds to check out a wax version.