Photos courtesy Shelley Stepanek

The RIBOLI FAMILY OF SAN ANTONIO WINERY held a special event on May 1 at the well-known restaurant Nove Italiano at the Palms Hotel. (Nove is now closed and will be replaced with a new concept by the end of the summer.) Guests were greeted with three lovely ladies in full Venetian dress. 

Riboli hand-picked eight bartenders from around the country and flew them in to create their own unique cocktail with the brand-new Aperitif Rosa 22. The panel judged and awarded Jared Sowinski, Director of Beverage from The Phoenician resort in Scottsdale as the winner. Riboli is the home of San Antonio wineries throughout California. Its Aperitif Rosa 22’s beautiful new red bottle is something for them to be proud of. The opening act for dinner was a perfectly-made 6-inch ball on each plate which was tapped with a knife. Inside was the Rosa 22 which was used in all the cocktails that we tried. Riboli features San Simeon Chardonnay, San Simeon Cabernet Sauvignon and San Simeon Stormwatch, along with 17 other wine brands. San Antonio Winery in Los Angeles has been in the same location in Los Angeles for 101 years, and is considered a historic landmark. There is a restaurant and tasting room, at the wine producing facility. There is another location in Paso Robles, where most of the vineyards are located, and Monterrey and one in Napa Valley round out the locations. The president, Santo Riboli, with his son Anthony, who is a 4th generation winemaker, spoke at the dinner.

The first course consisted of Caesar Salad and Lobster Bisque, followed by entrees of Veal Scaloppini, Salmon, Tortiglioni, Truffle Chicken or Risotto. Sides were Grilled Asparagus, Sautéed Mushroom and Death by Potatoes. Dessert was Cheesecake and Lampone Fiore, made with white chocolate and mascarpone mousse sitting next to a huge chocolate strawberry tree. Everyone should try the new Rosa 22, which Lee’s Liquors will be featuring. 

FLOWER CHILD is a fantastic new all-organic, local produce and gluten-lite place to dine. Sam Fox has over 50 restaurants in 16 states with 14 different concepts in dining, including Flower Child, which is located in eight cities, with many more coming soon. There is nowhere in Las Vegas that features food such as this. The restaurant is huge and airy, located in Rampart Commons across the street from Boca Park and next to North Italia. Starters include Crushed Avocado Toast with soft egg, Avocado Hummus with sweet corn and pumpkin seeds, Organic Kale and Vietnamese Crunch Salads, along with a Skinny Cobb Salad to pick from. My favorite was the Mediterranean Quinoa with tabbouleh, cauliflower, cucumber, tomato, sweet pepper, pistachio, feta and harissa yogurt vinaigrette. They then offer plates, one for $4, two for $7 or three to sample for $9. Take your pick from grilled asparagus, Sichuan green beans, smashed organic potato, sautéed spinach, Japanese eggplant, Indian-spiced cauliflower, sweet corn and quinoa or gluten-free mac & cheese. All perfectly done and allow you to add chicken, salmon or steak. They serve up big bowls of Thai Cashew Quinoa, Vegas Poke with marinated beet, avocado, pickled mushrooms, cucumber and brown rice, and a Mother Earth Bowl, with all the ancient grains, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, broccoli pesto and hemp seed, or Forbidden Rice with black pearl, red japonica, snap peas, and bok choy. Again, you can add proteins. Four wraps, featuring Flying Avocado with smoked turkey, Gouda, romaine, tomatoes and hummus; Thai Dye with spicy tofu; The Rebel with grass-fed steak, charred onion and horseradish yogurt; and Bird Is the Word with grilled chicken, broccoli and cheeses. On tap are cold brews, wine, and Kombucha tea, along with lemonade and hot and cold teas. Don’t forget all the vegan gluten-free desserts. There are kid’s choices for $6.50. You can also do a “pick a protein & 2 sides.” The prices are right, the seating is both indoor and patio dining. Come out and support. Daily 11 a.m.-9 p.m. 702-507-2545 at 1007 S. Rampart Blvd. 

TOPGOLF HAS A NEW BRUNCH SQUAD. On Sundays Topgolf Las Vegas launches its Mimosa Summer Sundays. This brunch is focused on ladies and has plenty of early bird items, an all-female DJ lineup, complimentary golf lessons and plenty of $5 mimosas and bloody Marys. It’s first-come, first-served for cabanas and daybeds. The Mimosa Summer Sundays are from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. thru the end of summer. There is a swim-up pool bar and a chance for a free lesson with a professional golf instructor. The brunch menu will have Sticky Bun Skillet, made with cinnamon rolls, orange zest, cream cheese frosting and powdered sugar; the Pork Belly Chilaquiles with smoked pork belly, green chili and cheddar cheese; and the Breakfast Sandwich with bacon, ham, egg, pepper jack cheese, tator tots and Texas toast.