Photos by Suzy Hendrix/Unlokt and compliments of SkinnyFATS  and Joe Urcioli

Lagasse’s Stadium Beer Dinner Featuring Joseph James

Our friend Chef Scott Pajak is set to wow us with another of his beer dinners at Lagasse’s Stadium at The Palazzo on May 6. This time he’s pairing five Joseph James beers—Weize Guy, American Flyer, Citra Rye, Hop Raider and Hop Box—with arugula and blueberry salad, Asian marinated shrimp with sweet soy glaze, BBQ ribs with homemade creole mustard potato salad, blue cheese crusted filet on roasted cauliflower puree and double chocolate Grand Marnier-infused cake. The dinner will begin at 6 p.m. and the cost is $65. To RSVP call the restaurant at 702-607-2665. 

SkinnyFATS Offering Unique Brews

SkinnyFATS locations are popping up all over town, and currently number six, spanning across the Vegas Valley. What initially peaked my interest was the beer selection, which while not expansive (about a dozen taps and an equal number of cans/bottles at each location), are not the same old choices you see everywhere. During my recent visit to the location in The District (in the former Lyfe Kitchen spot) some of the interesting brews available were Able Baker Atomic Duck IPA (locally-brewed), Saugatuck Brewing Neapolitan Milk Stout and Almanac Beer Company Farmer’s Reserve No. 5 Fruited Sour.  Each location has its own beer list, which rotate frequently, and I’m told customers can request beers to be brought in and management will try to accommodate. To enjoy more brews, your best plan of action is to partake in the beer flights, which allows you to choose any four beers for $20. Another cool aspect is you can view the current beer selection at each location by accessing the untappd app (just search Skinnyfats beer board).

The name is a clue to the type of menu the fast-casual restaurants offer, with half the menu devoted to healthy choices 600 calories or less and the other half to happy. I tried a mix of both, enjoying the Tu-Nuts with ahi poke, avocado and spicy aioli in a cucumber boat (healthy), Filet of Fire sandwich with filet mignon, fried jalapeno and avo pico (happy) and Balls 2.0—fried spinach and corn risotto balls with pesto aioli (happy). I give high marks to the food and unique beer selection and the cheerful décor brightened with lime green hues, repurposed wood walls and real hanging plants. As for the concept, it appears to be a good idea to offer a menu for those wanting healthy choices and also not leaving out those wanting to splurge a bit.  

Scenic Brewing Company Now Open

For the past two issues I’ve been providing updates on the opening of Scenic Brewing and now I can report that the new brewery celebrated its opening on March 15. The 15-barrel brewhouse at Durango and Desert Inn is using the same equipment as the former Old School Brewing, but has converted from a three-vessel system to a two-vessel. Doing so made space to fit in more fermenters, doubling the previous tally of three to six, allowing for more of its brews to be tapped. 

Weeks before the opening I met with Head Brewer Jamie Roberts, who after earning a degree in Food Science & Technology (specializing in fermentation) at Oregon State University moved to Las Vegas and worked his way up from volunteer to assistant brewer at Joseph James Brewing. Jamie has left Joseph James on very good terms, and in fact, Joseph James Director of Brewing Matt Marino referred him and consulted on the initial brews, which were actually brewed at Joseph James while finishing touches on Scenic’s brewing system were being completed.

Jamie says the 20 taps will be 100% devoted to local beer, and eventually will pour 10-12 of his own. The opening lineup includes Yeast Bud IPA (a collaboration with Joseph James), Blonde Ale, Imperial Coffee Stout, Cocoa Nut Brown and Lemon Ginger Hefe. Jamie’s future plans include brewing an assortment of lagers, including a Mexican lager, and also a Hazy IPA. An interesting tidbit is that Jamie is likely the tallest brewer in Southern Nevada, and his 6’7” height necessitated cutting down the brewing platform by a few inches, as he kept bumping his head. 

As for the restaurant, the non-smoking, family-friendly eatery has a sports focus, with TVs throughout, but is also decorated with scenic pictures of locales from around the world. The “scenery” in both the décor and name is likely a tease to make you think about traveling, as Scenic owner Leo Falkensammer’s family founded Prestige Travel. He also has some of the local Marie Callender’s restaurants, but if you think the menu will be a repeat of Marie’s, it’s not, but is a mix of flatbreads, brats, burgers and entrees such as fish & chips and baby back ribs.   

As always, great beer happens in Vegas!