photos by Shelley Stepanek   

BRIAN VAN FLANDERN, one of America’s top mixologists, has launched his 5th book in a series, this one entitled Whiskey Cocktails. The book is filled with recipes, stories, hints of serving the perfect cocktail in the perfect glass, and Mr. Van Flandern, entertained with stories at an opening event at the exquisite Baccarat store in the Forum Shops at Caesars. The book is a beautiful masterpiece for anyone who loves whiskey and new recipes. Check out his entire series. If you wish to see superb Baccarat crystals, from glasses, decanters to clocks, stop in. Located at the North end of the shops.

(Editor’s Note: Brian Van Flandern, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits of Nevada Executive Director of Mixology, Spirits Education and Special Events, was featured on the cover and in a feature story in our August, 2018 issue.)

Another nice place to visit in the Forum Shops is theotheroom. Yes, it is spelled right, all small letters, located as the first restaurant inside the north valet. Small, intimate, with great bartenders, they have a new menu tasting of donut courses paired with various Champagnes and wine. Four small donuts, featuring a flaky croissant, a fluffy, “salad” course, the main course of a yeast-raised donut with mascarpone filling and a dessert course, with blackberry glaze and cream cheese Chantilly with a lovely glass of Shiraz, is truly something unique to the city. 

Kick off an evening at THE UNDERGROUND, the new speakeasy in the basement of the Mob Museum. With a secret password to gain access, this historically factual place is a great opening act for an evening downtown. There are two happy hour times, early and late, artifacts to look at, and a private room to book. Top the evening off with a short walk to the Plaza to see the new show, A MOB STORY, Wed. thru Sat. starring a real-life mobster, Michael Franzese of the Colombo crime family. Truly a fantastic show with 16 song and dance numbers, produced by Jeff Kutash, with plenty of commentary from Mr. Franzese. This is what the real mob was all about.

LAS VEGAS FOOD & WINE FESTIVAL held at Tivoli Village on Oct 5 & 6 had over 2,000 attendees each night. With over 50 vendors serving up their best bites and plenty of name brand liquor companies participating, everyone dined from 8 p.m. till 11. There were enough wine glasses engraved with the event to make sure everyone had plenty to taste. Executive chefs from Katsu-Ya Group, Lotus of Siam, Café Americano, Roy’s and Tivoli Village all participated. Kitchen Table Squared, Hamptons, The Orleans Arena, Capital Grill, Mastro’s and Echo & Rig brought out their finest dishes. There was music and plenty of entertainment along with lots of places to do selfies. I personally always enjoy the chance to taste numerous ceviches on the same night. A portion of the proceeds went to the American Cancer Society. Be on the watch for the next one.

MARTHA STEWART Las Vegas Wine & Food Experience was held at the Festival Grounds on the Strip, across from SLS on Oct 13. The gourmet Grand Tasting had everyone sampling some of LV’s finest in food, wine and craft beer. There were unlimited samplings of chef creations, from the very best of local restaurants. Urban Seed, Milos, Bardot, Fiamma Italian Kitchen, Heritage Steak, Hecho, Libertine Social, Andre’s, The Steak House, Black Sheep and Pampas to name a few. Chefs held demonstrations on the Culinary Stage and there was access to some of Martha’s newest productions, cooking classes, plenty of art and entertainment. The hit of the day, of course, was Martha herself cooking. The Cellar provided rums of Puerto Rico. Hoping this will be a yearly event.