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Three signs of a good night: you wake up clutching a poker chip in one hand, Elvis Presley’s email address in the other, and your camera seems to have magicked up pictures of you with vodka luges and feather boas that you definitely don’t recall going anywhere near. This was our morning after the BA London-Vegas route launch party at Studio Valbonne in London last night.
Mayor Goodman was guest of honor along with his wife, Carolyn, his showgirls (six of them) and his Elvis impersonator. Two Cirque du Soleil folk were doing acrobatics around the room, Rain DJ Paul Oakenfold was on the decks, and everyone was in the party spirit – including the waitress who was so sozzled that she fell over as she was taking a picture of us with Elvis.
Last night, the Scripp’s Spelling Bee aired, cute kids made ridiculous faces and words no one thought existed were spelled. But that’s not the only spelling bee that happened last night.
ESPN Zone held its own version of a spelling bee last night in all its restaurant locations nationwide (after the Orlando Magic played the Cleveland Cavaliers of course.) The second annual athlete spelling bee was even more successful this year. Last year in Las Vegas, 15 people signed up. This year 24 people signed up...and a female, Laura Vasquez, made it to the final three! Who says girls don’t know their sports?
Instead of three rounds like last year, this year’s spellers went through six rounds. Spelling the names of athletes isn't as easy as it sounds. Can you spell Houston Astros outfielder Michael Bourn? Well, now you can, because it was typed out, but if you heard it, wouldn’t you put an “e” on the end? Or spell it “Born?”
An estimated 1,000 people crowded the Garden of the Gods pool complex at Caesars Palace Friday night for the Vegas Uncork’d Grand Tasting. The crowd was substantially larger than last year – we heard one estimate of 40 percent larger – which equated to high energy and, in some cases, choked walkways and long lines at the roughly 70 high-end restaurant- and vintner-sponsored booths.
At this rate, folks planning next year’s event would be wise to find a larger venue.
In any event, once we made it to the front of those lines we especially enjoyed the gnudi drizzled in a pesto sauce from Simon at Palms Place. Turns out gnudi are like bloated gnocchi, but stuffed with ricotta cheese. Also tasty were the open-faced, pulled-pork sliders from NobHill and the fascinating lobster ravioli from Joel Robuchon. Instead of pasta, the ravioli’s filling was wrapped in what appeared to be a paper-thinly sliced root vegetable. Fancy!
Last evening we stopped by the kickoff of Vegas Uncork’d to raise a glass with the Las Vegas’ Mayor Oscar Goodman, Bon Appetit publisher Barbara Fairchild, umpteen or so elite Las Vegas chefs and a smattering of random foodies.
The official champagne toast kickoff took place on the Strip-fronting patio at Caesars Palace’s PURE nightclub and was preceded by a death-defying, knife-to-the-cork gesture delivered by Michelin-starred chef Guy Savoy (of the eponymous restaurant at Caesars Palace).
Sure, something called the Epicurean Affair sounds like a sophisticated soiree – and we’re not saying it’s not classy or anything – but “Booze-n-Ceviche” would be just as accurate a designation for this poolside, restaurant and bar showcase.
We were lucky enough to be a guest at last night’s annual shindig at the Flamingo where we joined hundreds of others who were trying not to fall into the pool as the night wore on. It was no easy feat, considering the crowd was large and the drinks plentiful – more plentiful than the food, as best as we could tell
Girly-drinks seemed to be the popular trend of the evening from Wet Republic’s watermelon mojitos to Rhumbar’s pineapple-y rum shots to Danny Devito’s own limoncello (we think the latter is what the diminutive star was marinated in during his loopy appearance on “The View” a while back). But lest you think we only care about booze, we did manage to sample some of the food on display.