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  • Everything Las Vegas Issue # 801

    Bagatelle nightclub and restaurant set to open Oct. 31 at the Tropicana.
    BY: Robin Leach/Las Vegas Sun.

    The long-awaited opening of Bagatelle nightclub and restaurant alongside the Tropicana is set for Oct. 31. The owners the One Group promise that it will be the biggest and best Halloween party on and off the Strip.

    The club has begun hiring staff who start training Friday for the next three weeks in advance of the family-and-friends shakedown the last week of October to prep for the Halloween gala premiere.


    New Directions. Tropicana stirs up excitement with property wide renovations.
    By Susan Stapleton/Las Vegas magazine.

    One of Vegas’ most storied resorts has undergone a renaissance of sorts since completing a $180 million renovation in 2011 that includes South Beach-inspired rooms and a white marble face-lift. But the 55-year-old Tropicana Las Vegas has a few more tricks up its sleeve before the complete picture takes shape.

    Coming in late October is Bagatelle Beach & Nightclub, a dramatic entry from the ONE Group that features two pools, a supper club, outdoor dining and the infamous Bagatelle champagne brunch, an import from the original in New York. Inside, a circular room will be home to the supper club and brunch, but outside, a soundstage, replete with sand volleyball courts, awaits, capable of holding 3,000 fans that might come for concerts or outdoor movies.

    Inside, Bagatelle plans to have a glass-enclosed private dining area to finish out the dining room that will have space for 260. Above, a 12-by-12-foot chandelier commands the room.

    More here:

    After three years, Garth Brooks closing at Wynn Las Vegas on Nov. 17.
    BY: John Katsliomentes/Las Vegas Sun.

    There is no plug to pull in Garth Brooks’ acoustic show at Encore Theater, but he’s packing the guitar and heading out of Vegas.

    Announced today is the final performance date for Brooks’ solo shows at the Wynn Las Vegas enclave: Nov. 17.

    In a statement, Brooks said: "I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Wynn. Mr. Wynn told me that the Wynn audiences were some of the best in the world, and he was right. As for Steve Wynn, he is one of the smartest guys I have ever had the pleasure of talking to or listening to. He does everything top notch and is the easiest and best boss I have ever worked for … I just love him!"

    More here:

    Steve's Las Vegas Quickies:

    Nobu Hotel Caesars Palace launched its website Monday and is taking reservations for stays beginning Feb. 4.

    The 181-room hotel - a renovation and rebranding of a hotel tower at the Strip resort - is expected to have a soft opening by the year's end. Additional reservation dates will be announced.

    Nobu Hotel Caesars Palace will also feature the 12,775-foot Nobu Restaurant and Lounge, which will be the largest Nobu restaurant worldwide and the first on the Strip.

    Sammy Shore - who did a lot of things in life besides being Pauly's father - is teaming up with one of the great Las Vegas raconteurs, Pete Barbutti, for "Sammy Shore's Legends of Comedy" each Saturday night at the Clarion starting this week.

    After months of sold-out shows, two-time Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Rod Stewart will extend the schedule of his Las Vegas residency at Caesars Palace. The “Hot Legs” star resumed his current run last week, and now “The Hits” will play on at the Colosseum into 2013. The first nine new shows have been set for Jan. 23 through Feb. 9, with tickets going on sale Friday. Other 2013 dates will be announced later.

    Kevin Burke has renewed for another five years at Harrah’s with his hysterically funny one-man show “Defending the Caveman.” He’s already been at Harrah’s for six years but performed as star of the Broadway touring company for three years before settling here. The quirky production now becomes the longest-running Broadway show in Las Vegas and shortly will surpass the 2,691 shows that “Phantom -- the Las Vegas Spectacular” performed at the Venetian before closing this month.

    Executives at MGM Grand today celebrated the completion of its $160 million room and suite remodel in the hotel’s main tower, marking a major milestone in the resort’s grand renovation. The remodel, which began in October 2011, includes 3,570 grand king and queen guest rooms and 642 suites, including the Skyline Terrace, Skyline Marquee Suites and Stay Well Rooms, 42 of them incorporating medical science and technology to support physical and emotional health and well being.

    The 12-plus health wellness features in each suite will help guests reverse jetlag , promote better sleep and cleanse the body with infused vitamin C in the shower water. Dr. Deepak Choprawelcomes guests with an educational video on the in-room Stay Well channel. MGM Grand’s evolution continues into next spring with the opening of Hakkasan at the former site ofStudio 54.

    The limited engagement of the Da Vinci “Genius” exhibit has been extended until January.

    Think of these date alignments: 10/11/12 and 12/12/12 -- the last time that takes place this century. Demand for Las Vegas weddings on those dates are increasing, and Chapel of the Flowers is encouraging couples to book a round-the-clock slot now available from midnight to midnight. Chapel of the Flowers, here for 60 years, was named Best in the U.S. by Wedding Industry Experts Awards.

    No sooner did the curtain come down Monday night on the final exotic“Crazy Horse Paris” show at MGM Grand than we learned that two of the dancers, Candy St. Louis and Crystal D’Arc, will join the parent company in the French capital; Nahia Vigarosa and Boa Angora have left for the Barcelona, Spain, production; Daisy Blu has joined the London show.

    “Bite” that recently closed at the Stratosphere is said to be opening in early November at the Plaza. Producer Tim Molyneux was spotted at the hotel’s showroom Wednesday. “Bite” is closing despite doing some solid business during its seven-year run at the Stratosphere, and it seems a move made chiefly to change the hotel’s image into a more classically themed property. Topless vampires shaking and shimmying to rock music was not an ideal fit in that schematic.

    The iconic "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas" sign has replaced its traditional-toned outer bulbs with vibrant pink ones this month, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

    Comme Ça French brasserie inside the Cosmopolitan has a new happy hour. Offered daily (Mon-Thurs, 5:30-7 p.m.; Fri-Sun, 5-7 p.m.), the menu features 50% off the extensive cocktail menu and select food items,including the popular Comme Ça Burger. Happy hour's available in the bar and lounge only.

    Following Monday's closing of MGM Grand's Crazy Horse Paris revue comes breaking news from gossip maestro Robin Leach that five of the ladies from the cast, who transplanted here from the Paris original, will star in a new British-produced topless spectacle at New York-New York called Shades of Temptation, based on the book 50 Shades of Grey.

    We just learned that South Point has a new Asian restaurant opening in December. Tea House Asia Grill & Sushi will apparently feature sushi, sashimi, dim sum, and large plates.

    On Oct 21, Pastry Chef Hank Sbraccia at TREVI in The Forum Shops at Caesars will create a special gelato flavor to mark - what??? – National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day! His unique take converges sweet spiced pumpkin, cheesecake and graham crackers. Have a slice, I mean scoop, for $4.50.

    This special one-day treat is just one of the inventive gelato flavors waiting to cap off some of chef Peter Scaturro’s “classic and contemporary Italian fare.”

    Hooray, after about a two year absence, Japanese Wagyu beef is hoofing it back here to the US, and leave it to Wolfgang Puck to be among the first to put it on the menu. Look for it at his CUT restaurant in the Palazzo.

    The world renowned meat is famous for its abundance of flavor, tenderness and juiciness. CUT exec chef Matthew Hurley says, “It’s that exclusive, high-end, high-quality meat . . . ultra-rich and lush and intensely marbled and melts like butter in your mouth.”

    Next in its continuing Discover Italy series, Onda at the Mirage puts the spotlight on Abruzzi on Italy’s central coast where ”the sweet, smooth taste of the regionally found extra virgin olive oil influences the traditional Italian taste of the cuisine.” Hot chili peppers and saffron are also popular in this region, reflected on the menu featuring braised rabbit with orange and saffron, swordfish baked “en papillote” (folded in a pouch and baked) with baby peppers, caperberries and eggplant and shredded veal breast with mozzarella and tomato ragù.
    Offered Oct 11-24, $59, optional unlimited wine pairing $18. Resv 866.339.4566.

    Superstar chef Carla Pellegrino is now offering a 3-course dinner prixfixe-d at $29.95 at her Bratalian restaurant at 10740 S. Eastern in Henderson. And unlike many such offers, it features lots of choices, seven appetizers, nine entrees, four desserts. Here would be just one way to put it together: P.E.I mussels and Manila clams in white wine and garlic broth, then penne noodles in tomatoes, Italian cooked ham, vodka and a touch of cream, followed by “Classics Fresh Apples pie with caramel gelato.” Mmmmmm.

    New Stratosphere show to have a Lacey look.
    BY: John Katsliomentes/Las Vegas Sun.

    The new production at the Stratosphere starring Claire Sinclair, powered by a live band and replete with live dancers, owns some star power offstage, too. The show’s choreographer is “Dancing With the Stars” pro Lacey Schwimmer.

    A cast member of “Dancing With the Stars: Live in Las Vegas” at the Tropicana, Schwimmer might also design the costumes in the production. On Tuesday, she is to appear with Frankie Moreno on “Dancing With the Stars” on ABC in a number she designed to Moreno’s “Tangerine Honey” and his cover of Jerry Lee Lewis’ “Rockin’ My Life Away.”

    The idea for the 1940s calendar girl fashioned show (backed by the hotel financially, artistically and in every other manner) was initially Moreno’s. The as-yet-unnamed production is soon auditioning vocalists, as one female vocalist is needed to sing through the performance.


    Filming in Las Vegas: ‘Hangover Part III’
    BY: Robin Leach/Las Vegas Sun.

    It is going to be a Hollywood-style traffic jam of monumental proportions at center Strip for three weeks starting in the middle of this month and stretching into November. Vegas DeLuxe has learned exclusively that the cast and crew of “The Hangover Part III” will move to Caesars Palace after completing scenes in our nearby desert.

    At the same time, Robert De Niro and Michael Douglas will be headquartered at Caesars to shoot their movie “Last Vegas.” “It’s going to be like ‘The Hangover’ but with guys who are older than Bradley Cooper’s buddies,” laughed Robert. “Michael plays a bachelor who’s finally getting married in his retirement years. We take him to Vegas for a little celebration before he walks down the aisle. It’s senior citizens in Sin City.”

    Mary Steenburgen, Morgan Freeman, Kevin Kline and Jerry Ferrara also star in the film, a “Grumpy Old Men’s” “Hangover,” which also is shooting scenes in Georgia. It is scheduled to be released next year.

    More here:

    Original American Coney Island dog stand coming to Las Vegas.
    BY: Ron Sylvester/Las Vegas Sun.

    The family that lays claim to inventing the Coney dog will open its first stand outside of Detroit in downtown Las Vegas.

    American Coney Island, whose founder Constantine “Gust” Keros first ladled chili on a hot dog in 1917, will open its new restaurant Oct. 10 at the D Las Vegas casino.

    The oldest family owned business in Detroit, American Coney Island has been featured on the Today Show, Iron Chef Michael Symon’s “Food Feuds” on the Food Network and the Travel Channel’s “Food Wars.” Grace Keros is the third-generation owner.

    American Coney Island is part of the property renovation of the D, formerly Fitzgeralds. New room makeovers are set to be unveiled next week.


    Secrets from inside Gordon Ramsay’s new gastropub at Caesars Palace.
    BY: Robin Leach/Las Vegas Sun.

    If you thought chef Gordon Ramsay delivered the ultimate knockout punch with his first Strip venue -- Gordon Ramsay Steak at the Paris -- think again. We’re revealing that his Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill at Caesars Palace is set to soft open Dec. 10 as the ultimate haymaker.

    Bold, brave, unique, extraordinarily sassy and sexy, the gastropub dazzles even during construction. With only nine weeks until the first diners, Vegas DeLuxe has learned some of its incredible secrets.

    We’re speculating -- but on knowledgeable grounds -- that it won’t just be the amazing restaurant designs of its different dining areas or the two new expanded and unexpected London pub street scene patios that delight. One will be onto the casino floor behind historic columns, metal fences and bollards, all with an Underground feel. It’s a sight to dazzle the senses and will become the hottest holiday venue on the Strip.

    More here:

    ‘America’s Got Talent’ at the Palazzo has gone to the Olate Dogs.
    BY: Robin Leach/Las Vegas Sun.

    Photo Credit: Denise Truscello

    Two weeks ago, they were the fiercest of competitors, each one trying to outshine the other for the $1 million grand prize. Today, they are new best friends, each supporting the other in “America’s Got Talent Live” at the Palazzo, and it’s winning them standing ovations and grand applause for proving that an old-fashioned Las Vegas variety show is alive and well on the Strip.

    Ed Sullivan would be jumping for joy in his grave that a show without singers and acrobats would get such a winning reception. Maybe he’d be amazed that a troupe of dogs (the $1 million champion Olate Dogs), a sand artist, an illuminated dance group and a man who plays the largest, suspended, 1,000-foot steel harp could hold enthusiastic audiences in such disbelief.

    After its debut last Thursday, I talked with Executive Producer Matt Gaven, who had the task of building a show from scratch in just 14 days. Instead of cringing over what could have been failure, Matt was smiling, beaming like the sun with delight at its success:

    More here:

    Mandalay Bay plans to announce changes, Delano work Oct. 15.
    BY: Robin Leach/Las Vegas Sun.

    Cirque du Soleil and MGM Resorts officials have set a tentative date of Oct. 15 to unveil the staggering changes envisioned for the Mandalay Bay makeover.

    “It will be a top-to-bottom makeover of The Hotel, and the total new look Delano hotel will open in time for Spring 2014,” I was reliably told. “The new Delano will get its own new swimming pool complex in one of the property’s existing parking lots.”

    I’ve also learned that Cirque founder Guy Laliberte, who is partnering with the expanding Light Group in Las Vegas, will announce the name of his new interactive nightclub taking over the former Rum Jungle.

    More here:

    Survey says: Las Vegas is the best place for cheating spouses.
    BY: Richard N. Velotta/Las Vegas Sun.

    When it comes to cheating on your spouse, there's no place like Las Vegas.

    Many of those surveyed by the controversial AshleyMadison.com dating website for married people seeking extramarital affairs say Las Vegas is the place to stay for love in the fast lane.

    In a survey of 7,680 AshleyMadison users in the United States, 53 percent admitted to cheating in a Las Vegas hotel. Those surveyed even named their resorts of choice with 24 percent favoring Wynn Las Vegas, 18 percent liking the Palms, 13 percent, MGM Grand, 12 percent, Caesars Palace and 9 percent, Bellagio.

    More here:

    BRAND STEAKHOUSE AND LOUNGE debuts new BLUE MAN GROUP dinner menu at Monte Carlo.

    With the Blue Man Group opening up at its new home inside Las Vegas’ Monte Carlo Hotel on October 10th, I wanted to let you know about the new Blue Man Group Menu debuting at BRAND STEAKHOUSE AND LOUNGE.

    This exciting new menu - featuring BRAND favorites including The Big Wedge Salad, Jumbo White Shrimp Cocktail, Wood Grilled Filet Mignon and delectable Crème Brulee with Warm Pecan Chocolate Cookies will be available as part of the Tier 3 Blue Man Group package. This special package includes the Prix Fixe dinner at BRAND, Premium View tickets for a performance of Blue Man Group and 2-for-1 cocktails at Ignite bar, for an all-inclusive price of $179 per person.

    Plan an unforgettable night, starting with a delicious dinner at BRAND, before checking out BLUE MAN GROUP - the world-renowned show that has been captivating audiences since first opening in NYC over 20 years ago!

    For additional information about the BRAND STREAKHOUSE & LOUNGE’s new Blue Man Group menu, please visit: http://www.montecarlo.com/entertainm...emangroup.aspx


    British singing sensation Matt Goss celebrated his birthday with his 300th show on the Las Vegas Strip and a special cake presentation after his performance at Caesars Palace on Saturday night. Presented by Robin Antin, creator of The Pussycat Dolls, Goss’ show offers a dynamic blend of musical talent; backed by a nine-piece band and sexy female dancers knows as “The Dirty Virgins,” Goss entertains guests with a production featuring a mix of his career hits, original new songs and popular covers.

    Matt Goss has been a huge success, selling out The Gossy Room each weekend and attracting celebrities from all over the world. He reached international fame as a singer, enjoying more than a decade of success and over 17 million records sold worldwide. His debut album “Push” went seven-times platinum, spawned 13 top-five hits and remained on the U.K. charts for an astonishing 84 weeks. Goss has collaborated with DJ Paul Oakenfold, with one of their songs reaching number one on the World Trance Chart. Mel B, Natasha Bedingfield, Nicole Scherzinger and Kenny Ortega have all sung onstage with Goss. He frequently travels back to the U.K., returning this Nov. to perform at a benefit for the Amy Winehouse Foundation.

    Goss is currently recording a monumental album with legendary music producer and 14 time Grammy winner, Ron Fair. Fair has 30 years of experience working at major record labels mentoring artists like Christina Aguilera, The Black Eyed Peas, Fergie, U2 and Mary J. Blige. Goss has debuted songs from the new album in Royal Albert Hall, the Savoy Hotel and The Gossy Room at Caesars Palace. The Las Vegas-inspired album will be released in 2013.

    The People Have Spoken: The Buffet at Wynn Voted Best Buffet in Las Vegas in USA Today Online Readers Poll

    The Buffet at Wynn Las Vegas has been named the Best Buffet in Vegas by USA Today readers. More than 2,700 buffet connoisseurs cast their votes online to determine the winner. The Buffet beat out six other Vegas all-you-can eat establishments to take the title.

    “We are thrilled that guests enjoy the world-class experience, variety and service found at The Buffet at Wynn,” said Marilyn Spiegel, president of Wynn Las Vegas. “We are proud to deliver the same freshness and highest quality ingredients in our buffet that our guests have come to expect in our finest dining venues”

    The Buffet at Wynn features 16 live action cooking stations and a sumptuous array of hot and cold dishes that redefine the notion of all-you-can-eat dining. Additionally, The Buffet presents a variety of vegan selections unmatched by any other buffet in Las Vegas and offers cooked-to-order entrees. The Buffet is open daily for breakfast and lunch 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., dinner 3:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., and presents a decadent Champagne brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

    TV Review: "Vegas" by Rick Garman.

    I was at a party many years ago, chatting with a group of people, one of whom was a doctor. The conversation turned to television and we began discussing various programs on the air. This was during the time when shows like "ER" and "Chicago Hope" were big ratings-getters but the doctor in the group said he couldn't watch them. Instead of allowing himself to be immersed in the human drama on display he couldn't help but think things like, "That's not how that would happen," "A real doctor wouldn't do that," and "If they had really done the procedure that way the patient would be dead." The doctor simply knew too much about doctoring that he couldn't be entertained by a show about doctors.

    I relate this story as context for my reaction to "Vegas," the new CBS show starring Dennis Quaid as Ralph Lamb, the real-life cattle rancher turned Sin City Sheriff who faced off against the mob back in the day. Although it's a decent enough crime-of-the-week procedural, with solid performances by the lead actors, some cool old cars, and period costumes, I fear that I know too much about Vegas to ever allow myself to be entertained by it.

    The show is set in 1960 and as we all know the Las Vegas of 1960 is long gone, so of course "Vegas" relies on sets and CGI to recreate the sights and sounds of the city. The pilot was shot in New Mexico and the rest of the series is being shot in Santa Clarita, just north of Los Angeles, with a block-long "recreation" of Fremont Street serving as the back drop. The centerpiece is the fictional Savoy casino hotel run by a mobster played with sociopathic glee by Michael Chiklis.

    But here's where my problems with the show begin. They seemed to have gone out of their way to bring back the 1960 era in terms of dress, vehicles, and props (love the big rotary phones) but when it comes to how Vegas actually was in 1960 they seemed to have not paid attention at all.

    In an establishing shot, The Savoy is pictured with signs for The Stardust and The Sahara in the background on the same side of the street, implying that those classic Vegas hotels are its neighbors. The problem is that The Stardust and The Sahara were on opposite sides of the street almost a mile from each other.

    To compound matters, in the following scene, characters exit the Savoy and are on Fremont Street across from The Golden Nugget. So either the Savoy magically teleported from The Strip to Downtown Vegas while they were inside or it's a really big casino.

    Other less-than-accurate portrayals of 1960s Las Vegas include placing City Hall on Fremont Street, mixing fictional casinos with real ones (the Tumbleweed and Ruby Dice alongside The Golden Nugget and Boulder Club), and casting McCarran Airport as a rusty, glorified Quonset hut when it was already a modern (for the times) facility. I'm not going to even get into the use of the Westward Ho years before the Westward Ho existed and not the Westward Ho that eventually did exist anyway. That was just weird.

    I totally understand the need to take historical license, but as mentioned the Las Vegas they created was done on a set and computers. There would've been no extra effort or cost involved in not putting the Sahara and the Stardust on the same side of the street - it just would've made it correct. To a Vegas history buff like myself, this just comes across as if the creators were either lazy or simply didn't care.

    Now, granted, most people are not Vegas history buffs like myself and won't care that a hotel can't be both beside The Stardust on The Strip and across from The Golden Nugget on Fremont Street at the same time, but it points to a larger issue for me.

    When done right, the location of a series or a movie almost becomes a character itself; an integral part of the action. In "Vegas" there are casinos and mobsters and showgirls but it didn't feel like the Las Vegas of the era. 1960 was a high point for the city, coming off of a decade of expansion that wouldn't be seen again until the 1990s. The Dunes, the Desert Inn, the Sahara, the Stardust (not next to each other), The Tropicana, The Sands, and more were drawing hordes of people to the city; it was an entertainment mecca, with the eary formations of a Rat Pack era taking control of the showrooms; and the mafia ruled the city with impunity. I didn't get any of that in "Vegas" - a missed opportunity if ever there was one.

    Strip all that out and what you have left is a fairly routine police procedural (dead body, clues, murderer is caught) with a better than routine cast including the stalwart Dennis Quaid as Sheriff Ralph Lamb, the gleefully maniacal Michael Chiklis as mobster Vincent Savino, the proper Carrie-Anne Moss as ADA Katherine O'Connell, and the deserves-to-be-in-a-hit-TV-show Jason O'Mara as Ralph's brother Jack. It's basically "CSI: 1960" only they replaced all that confusing science with good old-fashioned horse sense.

    Ill give "Vegas" a chance to see if they can find their sense of place and use the Sin City of 1960 to its fullest advantage. I just don't know if I'm going to be able to allow myself to be entertained by it.

    Caesars plans $180 million renovation of Bill's Gamblin' Hall & Saloon.
    BY: Howard Stutz/Las Vegas Review Journal.

    Caesars Entertainment Corp. plans a $180 million renovation of Bill's Gamblin' Hall & Saloon, which includes adding a rooftop pool deck and nightclub attraction overlooking the Strip.

    The casino operator is working to raise the money required for remodeling of the casino, formerly known as the Barbary Coast. The company also reached an agreement recently with nightclub operator Victor Drai to develop a concept for the Strip casino.

    Caesars Entertainment Chairman Gary Loveman spelled out the casino giant's remodeling plans and its general financial picture during an hourlong presentation late Tuesday in the Empress Court restaurant at Caesars Palace.

    More from the LVRJ here:

    Caesars plans ‘next great nightclub experience’ atop Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall.
    BY: Steve Green/www.vegasinc.com

    Caesars Entertainment Corp. is working on plans to refurbish its small Las Vegas Strip property Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall & Saloon, which an executive says will be the site of a high-profile nightclub.

    Caesars CEO Gary Loveman told analysts during a company-sponsored investors' presentation on Tuesday that the company is talking to lenders about financing for a project to rehabilitate the property's approximately 175 hotel rooms and to develop a new club.

    More here:

    Strip visitors can see uncommon attractions.
    BY: Laura Carroll/Las Vegas Review Journal.

    This is not a dream. This is Las Vegas.

    Here, in an afternoon, you can sign a professional sports contract, see a Babe Ruth game-worn jersey and watch as your short-lived career (it'll last about an hour) dries up from too much partying. Then, you can move on to sniper training.

    This fall, the Strip and its immediate cousin, Industrial Road, are welcoming new blood to the family in the form of permanent tourist attractions not commonly found on the Strip. Soon to open are: Score! Be the Legend at the Luxor, the Strip Gun Club at 2233 Las Vegas Blvd. South and Battlefield Las Vegas at 2771 Industrial Road. Also worth mentioning is Eli Roth's Goretorium inside Harmon Corner that unveiled its horrors to the public Thursday.

    More from the LVRJ here:

    Dining Pick of the Week: Well Being in the Box.

    Dining Pick of the Week: Harvest Cafe.

    Dining Pick of the Week: Carluccio's.

    Two Excalibur restaurants to remain closed.
    BY: Tim O'Reiley/Las Vegas Review Journal.

    Both the American Burger Works and Lynyrd Skynyrd BBQ & Beer will remain closed after their Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings, but landlord Excalibur could face damages for shutting them down.

    At a Thursday hearing, U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Linda Riegle ruled they would stay closed, but allowed owners of the side-by-side restaurants to enter the premises to recover personal items and perishable food. In addition, she prohibited Excalibur, the MGM Resorts International Strip property, from leasing the property to someone else until the legal issues are sorted out.

    Both restaurants, separately incorporated but commonly owned, filed Chapter 11 on Wednesday.

    More from the LVRJ here:

    Cirque's sexy, memorable 'Zumanity' aging gracefully.
    BY: Mike Weatherford/Las Vegas Review Journal.

    "Zumanity" tells us near the end of the show that it celebrates both sensuality and sexuality. One could argue the second is mere biology, but the first is about taking time to savor the details.

    The sexy Cirque du Soleil had nine years to get those details right, as celebrated at a recent anniversary performance. Nine isn't a nice round number like 10, but a victory nonetheless. And the years do go by.

    More from the LVRJ here:


    Dust off your Santa hat and get ready to trim the tree, because Legends in Concert will once again be bringing the holly jolly spirit to the Las Vegas Strip with its annual holiday performances Nov. 23 – Dec. 25.

    This year’s traditional celebration of the 90-minute holiday spectacular will showcase superstar tribute artists Barry White, Adele, Justin Timberlake, the Blues Brothers, Whitney Houston and Elvis, singing the chart-topping hits that launched their celebrity characters into superstardom, as well as a few heart-warming holiday favorites including “White Christmas,” “Oh Holy Night,” “The Grinch” and more. The holiday spectacular concludes nightly with a grand cast finale and a stunning tribute to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s “Christmas Eve in Sarajevo” (“Carol of the Bells”) that will fill audiences with the spirit of the season.

    JC Brando will continue to astonish audiences with her spellbinding tribute to Grammy-winning songstress, Adele. After wowing crowds all summer long in Atlantic City, JC arrives in Las Vegas to sing Adele’s chart-topping singles such as “Rolling in the Deep” and “Someone Like You.” Jourdan Carol’s tribute to Barry White will have everyone humming “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love,” while Justin Timberlake tribute, Scott Jordan, will bring “Sexy Back” to all the ladies. Elvis tribute, Grahame Patrick, will lend his velvet voice to favorites such as “Blue Christmas,” and Cynthia Minx’s angelic vocals will pay loving memory to the late Whitney Houston’s incredible catalogue of music. Legends will round out the holiday show with the return of everyone’s favorite duo, the Blues Brothers.

    “Legends is thrilled to offer our guests one of the only holiday shows on the Las Vegas Strip, while combining hits of the past and present along with memorable music of the season,” said Brian Brigner, COO for Legends in Concert. “We are truly honored to perform this very special production and celebrate the most wonderful time of the year with our audiences.”

    Featuring live re-creations of superstars of yesterday and today, with performers singing with their own natural voices and backed by a live rockin’ band and the Legends singers and dancers, Legends in Concert is a one-of-a-kind concert experience. With an ever-changing line-up of tribute artists, elaborate theatrical sets and costumes, and a full array of incredible special effects, including three dimensional multimedia and state-of-the-art lighting and sound systems, Legends in Concert is truly a must-see show in Las Vegas for both visitors and locals.

    Legends in Concert performs at 7 and 9:30 p.m. nightly except Saturdays. For reservations, call (702) 369-5111 or visit www.harrahslasvegas.com.

    By Popular Demand, “Da Vinci – The Genius” Extends Las Vegas Engagement Through January 2013.

    September 27, 2012 – By popular demand, Da Vinci – The Genius, presented by Imagine Exhibitions at The Venetian, will extend its limited engagement through January 2013. From its world debut of a new Leonardo da Vinci work to revealing the “Secrets of Mona Lisa,” the exhibition has breathed new life into Vegas’ emerging arts scene.

    Since opening this summer, Da Vinci – The Genius has brought the mind of da Vinci to life with in-depth explorations of his work as an inventor, artist, anatomist, sculptor, engineer, musician and architect. Now, guests can enjoy more than 200 unique pieces demonstrating the full scope of Leonardo da Vinci’s remarkable genius through January, including interactive examinations of his iconic art and studies in flight, music, military engineering, aquatics, anatomy, time and more.

    Tom Zaller, CEO and President of Imagine Exhibitions, said, “Da Vinci – The Genius has thrived at Imagine Exhibitions Gallery and been well-received by the Las Vegas community. We are thrilled to extend the engagement, as to offer even more locals and visitors the amazing chance to understand da Vinci in a whole new light.”

    Some of the inspiring features guests will experience upon visiting Da Vinci – The Genius include:

    An extraordinary, brand new da Vinci discovery: the mold and original bronze cast of the only known Leonardo da Vinci sculpture surviving today, “Horse and Rider.” Created more than 500 years ago from a block of solid beeswax, “Horse and Rider” was authenticated by the foremost authority on the life and works of da Vinci, Dr. Carlo Pedretti.

    More than 75 life-size machine inventions crafted by Italian Artisans, many using techniques and materials from the Renaissance period. Scouring over 6,000 pages from da Vinci’s personal codices (notebooks), the Artisans deciphered hidden clues, intentional mistakes and mirror-image writing that da Vinci employed to keep his works top secret.

    The illustrious Secrets of Mona Lisa exhibit, featuring the findings of French scientific engineer and examiner of fine art, Pascal Cotte. Granted unprecedented access, Cotte took “Mona Lisa” out of its frame at The Louvre to conduct an in-depth analysis of history’s most elusive work of art. Cotte’s study revealed dozens of secrets, and is showcased by 40 super-magnified, high-resolution sectional images exploring every aspect of the work.

    Explorations of da Vinci’s most famous artwork, including three dimensional renderings and analyses of “The Last Supper,” the “Vitruvian Man and the “Sforza Horse.” Guests can gain new perspectives on incredible reproductions of “Virgin of the Rocks,” “The Annunciation,” the controversial new Leonardo discovery “Bella Principessa,” da Vinci’s anatomical sketches, and preparatory drawings of the “Anghiari Battle.”

    Interactive touch-screen tablets which offer in-depth explanations about da Vinci’s theories and ideas while connecting them to modern inventions.

    An elaborate gift shop full of unique da Vinci souvenirs and memorabilia, such as mini replicas of his inventions, art kits and logoed merchandise. Serious art collectors can also purchase a limited edition of “Horse and Rider” in one of four different finishes: Leonardo Classic, Classic Bronze, Verde and Silver. A $1 million dollar donation from the sales of “Horse and Rider” will go to The Salvation Army Rehabilitation Program of Southern Nevada.

    Da Vinci – The Genius was developed by Grande Exhibitions, Australia, the Anthropos Association, Italy, under the kind auspices of the Commune di Roma, Commune di Firenze and Citta Di Venezia and with the assistance of Pascal Cotte of Lumière Technologies, France.

    Da Vinci – The Genius is open daily to the public from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and tickets are available to purchase at the Imagine Exhibitions Gallery box office and venetian.com. Prices are as follows: adult ($25), senior/military ($23), Nevada residents ($20), students ages 13 and over with a valid school ID ($17), children 12 and under ($18). Learn more about Imagine Exhibitions on Facebook page.


    Golden Gate Hotel & Casino’s flair bartender Eric Parker will leave his usual post at the hotel’s popular Flair Bar on the Fremont Street Experience October 4 – 10 to represent the United States at the International Bar Association (IBA) Flairtending Challenge in Beijing.

    Parker will compete against the world’s best flair bartenders from 52 countries around world. The competition requires top-notch skills in mixology and flair with both categories weighted equally. Parker will have five minutes to shake, throw and flip three identical cocktails in front of a panel of judges and only a flawless routine will give him hopes of advancing to the final round.

    For the competition, Parker has created the “Pearfect Sunset” cocktail. Patrons can stop by Flair Bar just outside the Golden Gate, Las Vegas’ original hotel and casino, to watch him fit in some last minute prep and enjoy this tasty libation made with Grey Goose Poire (pear), Cointreau Orange Liqueur, Monin Strawberry, fresh lemon juice, mint leaves and a lot of enthusiasm.

    Parker became interested in flair seven years ago while bartending at Chili’s where he was taught a couple of basic moves. With no formal training, he learned from online videos and spent several hours a day practicing in his garage. He has competed in nearly 50 competitions mostly organized but the Flair Bartenders Association (FBA). In 2009, he was named tour champion in the FBA's advanced division and in 2011 was named Pro Tour Champion. He has also qualified for the finals at several world flair competitions. Parker said that the upcoming competition will be the hardest one yet.

    Restaurant Revisited: The Maple Tree Cafe.
    BY: Maria Russo/www.foodnetwork.com

    Rookie restaurant owner Ashley Robertson needed Robert Irvine’s help to successfully run her Las Vegas restaurant, The Maple Tree Cafe. In just two days, Robert tackled poor food quality and disorganized management in order to give The Maple Tree Cafe the transformation it deserved. We checked in with Ashley a few months after the Restaurant: Impossible renovation to see how her restaurant is doing today.

    Ashley reports that since Robert left, sales at The Maple Tree Cafe have more than doubled.

    The restaurant’s food, she says, “is coming out great,” and she credits a recipe book in the kitchen with ensuring that all dishes are made the same way every time. She says that she has “completely delegated the prep duties to everyone in the kitchen,” and makes sure to “spend time watching plates go out.”

    More here:

    Comprehensive list for the entertainment options at each of the Caesars Entertainment resorts.


    FREE LAS VEGAS COUPONS from www.vegas4locals.com.

    Las Vegas Top Ten Values.

    Since 1983 the Las Vegas Advisor has provided hundreds of thousands of Las Vegas visitors with a monthly list of the best bargains in town.

    1. Bacchanal Buffet - Caesars Palace - Daily - $16.99-$39.99

    he new Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace is a step up in buffets that we haven’t seen in a long time, and one we didn’t even think was possible in terms of the high quality that’s maintained over so many selections.

    2. Room Rates - Imperial Palace et. al. - - $33 and up

    Room rate deals continue to be offered at all levels. Remember to check our discount codes for rooms and shows at LasVegasAdvisor.com.

    3. Steak Dinner - - - $7.99

    The Ellis Island steak dinner is served in the Café, and consists of a filet-cut sirloin, soup or salad, potato, vegetable, and a beer. This special is available around the clock.

    4. Station Buffets - Station Casinos - All locations - Daily - $4.99-$13.99

    Station buffets are priced at $4.99 for breakfast, $7.99 for lunch, and $9.99 for dinner and Sunday brunch at Palace, Boulder, Texas, Sunset, Santa Fe, and Aliante Stations, while at Green Valley Ranch and Red Rock, dinner is $13.99. You must show a Boarding Pass card.

    5. All Stage Pass - Caesars Palace - Daily - $104

    Caesars Entertainment’s All Stage Pass entitles you to see as many shows as you can in 48 hours for $104 complete; there are 20 to choose from and if you manage to attend two in the afternoons and two in the evenings, you’ll pay less than $13 apiece per ticket.

    6. Oysters - Forum Shops PJ Clarkes - 2:45-6 pm - $1

    The oyster happy hour at P.J. Clarke’s in the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace runs from 2:45-6 pm.

    7. Shrimp Cocktail - Skyline - 24 hours - $1.49

    The shrimp cocktail at Skyline is served at the main bar

    8. Beer - Casino Royale - Daily - $1

    Michelobs and frozen margaritas are $1 and a Coors Light draft is 75¢ at Casino Royale.

    9. Mac King - Harrah's - Tues.-Sat. - $9.95

    The rack rate for The Mac King Comedy Magic Show at Harrah’s has risen steadily over the years and now stands at $42.95. But the reality is, you should almost always be able get tickets for $9.95 on a special offer that also includes one drink. At that price, this show should be penciled into everyone’s itinerary.

    10. Football Contests - Coast Casinos - Weekly - Free

    It’s football season and the big “Pick the Pros” contest at Coast Casinos is back. Play at Orleans, Gold Coast, Suncoast, Sam’s Town, California, or Fremont. Swipe your BConnected card in a kiosk and get at least three entries. Must submit picks before the kick-off of the first Sunday game.


    N9NE Steakhouse gives pumpkin some thrills with the Jack O’Lantern.
    BY: Sabrina Chapman/Las Vegas Weekly.

    October is here, and so are the pumpkins. They’re in your lattes, on sale at roadside patches and about to show up on your neighbors’ stoops. Forty-six percent of American adults like to carve them for Halloween, others eat them as pie or smash them to orangey bits. And now, you can have your pumpkin and drink it, too.

    Premiering this month, N9NE Steakhouse master cocktail alchemist Jack “Sugar” O’Brien presents Jack O’Lantern ($12). Tuaca’s fragrant notes of vanilla, caramel and orange blend naturally with the pumpkin puree’s rich texture and the cinnamon and ginger in pumpkin pie spice. This recipe calls for the cocktail to be made in batches you can savor with family and friends. Just like the fall holidays themselves.

    More here:

    Turning Back The Clock: The Boardwalk.
    From: www.vegaschatter.com

    Before the closure of O'Sheas, the end of another Vegas "dive" casino caused many eyes to almost well up with emotion as well. Either in relief or in a bit of fond reminiscing. You can tell us which you subscribed to down below.

    The Boardwalk Hotel and Casino closed on January 9, 2006 and was imploded on May 9 of that year as plans for CityCenter moved forward.

    More here:

    Wet ‘n Wild water park returning to Las Vegas.
    BY: Richard N. Velotta/Las Vegas Sun

    When he was a teenager, Las Vegas tennis star Andre Agassi used to cool off at the Wet ‘n Wild water park on the Strip.

    And, when he was older, he took the Davis Cup tennis team there for an evening celebration after a big victory.

    The park, a family attraction for locals as well as tourists, was closed in 2004 when landowners where the attraction was located made plans for a casino resort that was never built.

    Now, Agassi’s children and Las Vegans young and old will get to experience a new Wet ‘n Wild in Summerlin.

    More here:

    Amazing Johnathan's comedy-magic stands test of time.
    BY: Mike Weatherford/Las Vegas Review Journal.

    The Amazing Johnathan and I have this standing arrangement. "I'll do the same show and you can write the same review," he says.

    Fair enough. That's sort of how it's been since he first came to the Golden Nugget in 2000, not realizing then that I would still be in this cubicle and he would still be in town, working his sixth venue.

    Now it's a former buffet at Bally's. "This is ... nice," he says with comic eye-rolling, then pretending to write on a notepad: "Call Comedy Central. Get another special."

    More from the LVRJ here:

    Vegas gets a terrorizing, tantalizing visit with a life-size chocolate skeleton this Halloween.
    BY: Jeannie Garcia/www.blogvegas.com

    If you love chocolate and the spirit of Halloween, you’re in for a ghoulish treat.

    At Bellagio’s Jean Philippe Pâtisserie, you’ll find that sweets and spooky characters make a hauntingly perfect combination. While trick-or-treating can never get old, how many of you have seen a life-size skeleton made entirely of chocolate? In the spirit of the holiday, the Jean Philippe Pâtisserie’s pastry team spent more than 70 hours creating it. The chocolate and fondant skeleton stands at 5’5″ (taller than me) and comes complete with glistening gold teeth. For an even eerier touch, the skeleton sits on a chocolate electric chair. That’s sure to shock the sweet tooth.

    Fun fact: More than 130 pounds of white and dark chocolate were used to mold this scary and delicious creation. That’s a whole lot of goodness.

    Although the skeleton isn’t for sale, you can still take home Halloween-themed miniature chocolates and sugar cookies in fun shapes like black cats, ghosts and witches. These mouth-watering bites taste as good as they look: Staying true to Jean Philippe’s delectable quality, each creation is made with the finest European chocolate.

    Don’t forget to bring your camera as well as your appetite. Jean Philippe Pâtisserie is located just behind the world-famous, autumn-themed Bellagio Conservatory. These treats are also available at the Aria location.


    Bellagio Honored with 12th Consecutive AAA Five Diamond Award.

    AAA awarded Bellagio Resort & Casino the prestigious Five Diamond Award for the 12th consecutive year while Picasso and Le Cirque also received the celebrated designation for 2013. With unsurpassed service, world-class dining and luxurious amenities, Bellagio was the first resort in Las Vegas to achieve this milestone in 2001.

    “The AAA Five Diamond Award serves as a symbol for the highest level of excellence within North America’s hospitality industry and to preserve this pinnacle of distinction year after year is an important achievement for all of us at Bellagio,” said Randy Morton, president and COO of Bellagio. “The Five Diamonds are a testament to the dedication and impeccable service our entire team provides on a daily basis to ensure every guest has a first-class experience at our beautiful resort.”

    Julian Serrano’s renowned restaurant, Picasso, garnered its 12th AAA Five Diamond Award this year while Le Cirque, by the acclaimed Maccioni family, earned the award for the 10th consecutive year. Bellagio remains the only hotel in the U.S. with two AAA Five Diamond restaurants under one roof.

    Cynthia Harris, AAA Nevada spokesperson, said, “Bellagio is a consistent leader in the hospitality industry, representing the ultimate in luxury and sophistication. By earning the AAA Five Diamond rating once again, Bellagio continues to demonstrate its impeccable standards of excellence while offering an unmatched commitment to guest service.”

    Inspired by the beautiful villages of Europe, Bellagio overlooks a Mediterranean-blue lake in which The Fountains of Bellagio perform a magnificent aquatic ballet. Award-winning dining, a world-class art gallery, the exquisite Conservatory & Botanical Gardens, Cirque du Soleil’s stunning production of “O,” a luxurious spa and salon and premier shopping all work together to compose the symphony that is Bellagio.

    To be considered for AAA rating and approval, lodgings and restaurants undergo a thorough evaluation by AAA/CAA’s full-time tourism inspectors. Five Diamond establishments go through a much more extensive review. AAA experts judge lodgings on the exterior of the facility, public areas, guest rooms, amenities and bathrooms. Restaurants are evaluated on criteria including food, service, décor and ambiance. Less than one-half percent of more than 31,000 hotels and less than one-quarter percent of 26,000 restaurants achieve this distinction.
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    Steve Yesterday, 04:08 PM Go to last post

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    Hey Dorene. Amazing how these bands from the early 1970's are still around. Little River Band? I thought they only had one hit song, " Reminiscing".

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    July 4 at the Linq Pool

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