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The Strip / Venetian / Palazzo / Shows / Openings / Frank Sinatra / Entertainment / → All Tags
Over the course of many years of writing about Las Vegas entertainment, this VegasChatter writer has often been asked something akin to, “where can I find a good Frank Sinatra act?” Since the legend passed in 1998, the best we can hope for is a solid tribute act. As with most tribute acts, there is a wide variety of quality, degree of physical and vocal similarity and, of course, overall production value.
Matt Goss at Caesars Palace was sort of like the second coming of Sinatra on the Strip in that his voice could mimic Sinatra’s well and he has the good looks and swagger similar to Ol’ Blue Eyes. Steve Wynn produced a dance-centric “Sinatra: Dance With Me” back in 2011 featuring a live orchestra. “Shades of Sinatra,” last at the Clarion, was a well-received show that lived up to its title.
VegasChatter 2014 Awards / VegasChatter Awards / Restaurants / Eating / Dining / Fine Dining / The Strip / Off Strip / Bazaar Meat / SLS Las Vegas / DB Brasserie / Venetian / Palazzo / Japanese Cuisine by Omae / Hearthstone Kitchen / Red Rock Resort / → All Tags
It's time for the fifth annual VegasChatter Awards! Today, we begin bringing you the best and worst of the year. All of our picks are based on what we've personally experienced in Vegas over 2014 -- the good, the bad and the mind-boggling.
2014 was a year filled with great restaurant openings. A whole new crop have shown their colors and, based on what we've tasted, we couldn't just limit it to just two nods. The Vegas Strip has seen the debut of new celebrity chefs while, off Las Vegas Boulevard, some serious chefs have cast out into the wild blue yonder to make a name for themselves. There are many that have made their mark, but here are the ones that did so most indelibly:
Replacing its annual winter festival, but still benefiting the Lou Ruvo "Keep Memory Alive" Center, Ultimo is about to launch at Venetian|Palazzo. Three gargantuan events are planned for December 5-7.
Where last year's La Cucina festival -- especially, the Grand Banquet -- was the ultimate in food events for 2013, Ultimo is shoring up to blow last year out of the water. For a dinner that included food by Mario Batali and Dario Cecchini, Clint Holmes singing Christmas classics and a live reading of Dante's Inferno, that is not an easy task.
Sportsbooks / Venetian / Palazzo / The Cosmopolitan / Tropicana / Hard Rock / The Palms / M Resort / Silverton / Sports Betting / CG Technology / Promotions / → All Tags
The sportsbook operator formerly known as Cantor Gaming and now known as CG Technology has a pretty great cash back promotion. They’ll refund 5% (up to $5,000) of net losses from wagers of $100 or more. The caveats are that bets must be placed through your CG Technology account (not in person) and that only sports wagers will qualify. And no, it's not limited to new members only.
Here are specifics on how the promotion works:
Ice Skating / Events / Holidays / The Strip / Off Strip / Venetian / Palazzo / Gold Spike / Caesars Palace / → All Tags
With high temps in the 70s, things are not even close to beginning to look or feel like Christmas in Vegas. Since snow on the Strip is rare (but, yes, it has happened just check out the photo below from 2008), we usually make our own joy in our own small, over-the-top way.
Eating / Dining / Restaurants / VegasChatter Reviews / DB Brasserie / Venetian / Palazzo / → All Tags
For anyone familiar with DB's lunch menu, you will notice many identical or similar dishes. While a nice piece of Rainbow Trout Grenobloise ($21) may be tempting for those unable to make the daily lunch service, it doesn't exactly scream "brunch," or at least not the American interpretation of it. However, items like the Flat Iron Steak & Eggs ($30, au poivre like the lunch item) or the Fines Herbs Omelette ($15) qualify as well as exemplify the spirit of DB Brasserie: civility, but not to the point of inaccessibility.
Baccarat / Club Grazie / Palazzo / Gambling / → All Tags
The Palazzo will be home to the third annual Grand Dragon Master Baccarat Championship later this month and again in October. Entrants will have the opportunity to win a share of $10 million. The tournament is actually 2-in-1 and entry is anywhere from $0 (yes, free) to $250.
The Golden Dragon Baccarat Tournament will take place September 26-29 and October 3-6. The tourney features a $30,000 daily cash prize pool. Grazie Members receive one complimentary entry per day. Each player is allowed unlimited re-buys for $50. The top three daily finishers will automatically advance to a semi-final round on October 12.
Dining / Eating / Palazzo / CarneVino / Bars / Restaurants / Fine Dining / → All Tags
CarneVino has, for quite some time, had one of the best bar programs on The Strip. Old-school bartender class and new-school mixology wizardry are combined with fantastic steaks for quite an experience. But, if you're not in the mood for a 100+ day, dry-aged ribeye, they now have a bar-only "Cicchetti" menu.
Basically, an Italian version of true Spanish tapas, cicchetti are little bites laborers in Venice get with their beer in the afternoon. They'll get up to the bar, order a brew, and in the time it takes to shuffle over to the ice chest, open it, and exchange Euros, the patron will take a toothpick and nibble on a pepper-stuffed onion, an anchovy-stuffed olive, a little charcuterie. You get the idea. Simple, lovely, and great for both the patron and the bar.
Venetian / Palazzo / Technology / Mobile Phones / Video Poker / Slot Machines / Gambling / Vegas Observations / → All Tags
Tired of losing the charge on your mobile phone while wandering the Vegas Strip? Well, Venetian has you in mind with the most recent addition to its casino.
VegasChatter reader Jeff C. recently spied the installation of Plug & Play mobile charging systems on some of the resort's video poker and slot machines. You don't even need a full charger to get your mobile phone some extra power while you gamble. Just plug a USB cable into the machine and your phone will begin to charge.
Events / Drinking / Dining / Venetian / The Glenlivet / Paiza Club / Palazzo / → All Tags
One of the few real-life equivalents of Willy Wonka and his chocolate factory, the super-exclusive Paiza Club at Venetian is almost never open to the public, either. The hangout of billionaire gamblers, created to cater to every whim of the obscenely wealthy, it is secretly one of the finest Chinese restaurants in Vegas (if not the finest).
The club has the ability to function without a menu and instead will whip up pretty much anything the heart desires. Want super-traditional cuisine? Specialized regional food? A Chinese, high-class version of a hamburger? Cake in the shape of a Ford Model-T? They can do it. And now, this ritzy joint is hosting a dinner featuring selections of The Glenlivet paired with food by Corporate Executive Chef Olivier Dubreuil.
Fine Dining / Eating / Dining / Restaurants / Steakhouses / CarneVino / Palazzo / CUT / Prime / Bellagio / Delmonico Steakhouse / Venetian / StripSteak / Mandalay Bay / → All Tags
What defines the dining character of Vegas (more than buffets)? The all-American steakhouse, of course!
Steakhouses in Las Vegas run the gambit from classic ranch house-style (The Steakhouse at Circus Circus) and high-concept dining spots (Jean Georges Steakhouse at Aria, Gordon Ramsay Steak at Paris) to hip "clubstraunts" (STK at the Cosmopolitan). With the immense variety, it's easy to strike out on your own and hit a dud. Not all steakhouses are created equal, but there are a handful that really make their mark as "essential." There are many that serve up an amazing steak or have an amazing story to go along with them (Herbs & Rye among the best of both), but few are so egregious to miss as those below.
Events / NBA / Ping Pong / Lagasse's Stadium / Palazzo / → All Tags
The second annual TopSpin Charity Ping Pong Tournament is headed to Palazzo and will once again be hosted by Chris Paul, point guard for the Los Angeles Clippers. The charity event will take place at Lagasse’s Stadium July 26 and Paul won't be the only famous basketball player in attendance. Lavoy Allen, Al-Farouq Aminu, Alan Anderson, Jimmy Butler, Willie Green, Roger Mason, Isaiah Thomas, P.J. Tucker, and John Wallace are just a few of the athletes scheduled to appear.
You’ll be able to rub elbows with some of basketball's best while watching them play their way to ping pong greatness. Yes, ping pong greatness! This tournament isn’t only for athletes, though. Should you feel up to the challenge, you can buy your way into the amateur tourney that features a first-place cash prize of $1,000 plus the opportunity to meet Chris Paul and present the night's celebrity tournament winner with the championship trophy.