Las Vegas Latest December Dining News

From new outposts at Durango to staples across town, the kitchens are firing all over Vegas this season.

New and delicious Las Vegas staples are hitting the scene, just in time for the holidays.

In this weekly update, food and beverage reporter Bob Barnes fills us in on noteworthy restaurant openings and closings, special December dining news and culinary events about delicious bites worth knowing about. 

Holiday Events and December Dining News

Double Helix Wine & Whiskey Lounge

December 1 to 24

image courtesy of Double Helix

Double Helix Wine & Whiskey Lounge at Town Square is inviting guests to diversify their drinking portfolio with the whiskey destination’s Whiskey Advent Calendar, available December 1 through 24. For each purchase of whiskey from the Whiskey Advent Calendar, guests will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win the grand prize: Woodford Reserve Baccarat Edition, valued at more than $3,000 and presented in a bespoke Baccarat decanter. Each day a unique whiskey will be featured at half-off during the daily happy hour from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. and half-off all day on Wednesdays. In addition, all 23 whiskeys featured in the Whiskey Advent Calendar will be half-off on December 24.

Guests receive one entry for a whiskey sold at half price and two entries for whiskey sold at regular price. The winner will be drawn and announced at 7 p.m. on Christmas Eve, and other prizes include Double Helix swag, private label whiskey bottles (Elijah Craig, Eagle Rare and Sonoma distilling Co. Cherrywood Rye) and a W.L. Weller C.Y.P.B bottle valued at approximately $1,000. Winners must be present.

Double Helix will livestream the event on their Instagram (@doublehelixnv). The whiskeys being featured will be announced daily at and on Double Helix’s Instagram (@doublehelixnv).

Rosina Cocktail Lounge

image courtesy of Rosina Cocktail Lounge

December 13 

Rosina Cocktail Lounge at The Venetian will host the Rosina’s Mixology Competition from 8 to 11 p.m. Rosina has invited six of the leading bartenders in Las Vegas to compete Iron Chef style, where each contestant will be paired with a bar assistant and be given two secret ingredients, a spirit and a fruit and have seven minutes to create the best cocktail.

Once the cocktails are created, a full-size cocktail will be given to the judges, including the celebrity judge Alex Velez from the show Drink Masters, and guests in attendance will be given a shot-sized version of the cocktail to taste. Judges will determine the winner based on speed, taste, presentation and creativity with the winner being awarded a $3,000 cash prize, a trip for two to Tales of the Cocktail and the title of Best Mixologist in the City. The event is free to attend and along with a chance to taste the cocktails, guests can enjoy the usual menu to sounds from a DJ.

Anima by EDO

December 12 and December 13

Anima by EDO will host an Italian wine dinner featuring the wines of Poderi Aldo Conterno paired with the creative cuisine of Chef Oscar Amador. The wines being poured will include Chardonnay Bussia d’or, Conco Trepile Barbera, Langhe il Favot and Barolo Bussia.

Chef’s culinary pairings will include Cold Leek Salad with Kaluga caviar, trout roe, Tokyo negi and dehydrated onions; Jidori Chicken Escabeche with pearl onion, carrot, frisée and brown butter sauce; Okinawa Sweet Potato with button mushrooms, broken aioli and mint; Ricotta Spinach Ravioli with peanut butter pesto and sesame; Kurobuta Pork Cheeks with vermouth sauce, black truffle and mushrooms; and Sake Kasu Panna Cotta with arbequina olive oil and vanilla.

The evening will begin with early seating and cocktails at 5:30 followed by dinner at 6 p.m. The cost is $180 per person plus tax and tip. To reserve seats email and to prepay click here.  

McCall’s Heartland Grill

December 22 to 25

McCall’s Heartland Grill at The STRAT will honor the holidays with a dinner and dessert pairing featuring Mustard-crusted Colorado Lamb with fig demi-glace, accompanied by roasted baby carrots and sweet potato risotto; and Eggnog Mousse with caramel filling, chocolate cake bottom, dark chocolate ganache and caramel crumble cookie. The meal will be priced at $58 and available December 22 to 25.

image courtesy of Azzurra

Azzurra Cucina Italiana

December 24

On Christmas Eve Chef Alessandra Madeira, who’s been featured on The Today Show, Throwdown with Bobby Flay, and at the James Beard House Foundation, will create a classic Feast of the Seven Fishes dinner at Azzurra Cucina Italiana in the Water Street District.

Priced at $100 per person (plus tax and tip), the feast will include choice of Tuna Tartar or Seafood Salad (the very salad that was part of the winning menu in Chef’s Throwdown with Bobby Flay: Feast of the Seven Fishes; Lobster Ravioli or Saffron Risotto with sea scallops; and Chilean Sea Bass, Monk Fish or Branzino.

There will be limited seatings at 4, 6 and 8 p.m. To make a reservation call 702-268-7867.

Locale Italian Kitchen

December 24

image courtesy of Locale

Locale Italian Kitchen will offer a festive to-go meal, complete with holiday favorites and Locale specialties.

Priced at $125 to feed four people, the menu includes Housemade Sourdough Bread with roasted garlic butter, Caesar Salad with housemade Caesar dressing and garlic croutons; choice of Calabrian Chili-glazed Ham with brown sugar and cinnamon or 32 oz. Roasted Beef Tenderloin with Locale steak seasoning; and sides of Garlic Mashed Potatoes with Calabrian chili butter, Sauteed Wild Mushrooms with white wine and fine herbs and Roasted Brussels Sprouts with garlic butter and Parmigiano; and Classic Tiramisu with coffee cream and ladyfingers. Family style additions include Rigatoni alla Vodka or Linguine Alfredo for $35 and with added grilled chicken or Italian sausage for an additional $15.

Dinners can be ordered by calling 702-330-0404 and will be available for pick up on December 24 from 1 to 5 p.m.

Eiffel Tower Restaurant

Eiffel Tower Restaurant Las Vegas Brut Reserve

December 25

Eiffel Tower Restaurant at Paris Las Vegas will serve a three-course dinner on Christmas Day featuring a menu full of classic dishes.

Priced at $155 per person (plus tax and tip), the menu includes choice of Casco Bay Sea Scallops with French green lentils and pancetta, Marbré of Pheasant with foie gras and truffle vinaigrette or Winter Greens with Bartlett pears and toasted walnuts; Mediterranean Sea Bass Filet with pearl pasta and mussel fumet, Beef Tenderloin with potato gratin and green peppercorn sauce au poivre or Rossini style (+$22), Roasted Free Range Chicken with Swiss chard and fingerling potatoes or Portobello Roulade with sweet potato and mushroom jus; and peppermint soufflé with white chocolate (+$10), Eiffel Tower Crème Brûlée or Warm Handcrafted Rustic Bread with Wholesome Farms Black Sea Salt Butter (+$8).

Durango Resort Now Open

image courtesy of David Borzokowski

After a long wait, Durango Resort opened its doors on December 6. Located in the southwest valley at Durango and the 215 Beltway, the $750 million 200-room 83,000-square-foot property is the first locals casino to open since the M Resort in 2009 and its parent company Red Rock Resorts’ first since Red Rock Casino opened in 2006.

Described by VP/GM Dave Horn as “affordable luxury,” the casino offers plenty of open space and is awash in natural light due to floor-to-ceiling windows on both the east and west side entrances. Unlike its other properties, this latest venture has no movie theater or bowling alley and instead emphasizes gaming and food and beverage.

As for the dining options, they are plentiful, with four standalone restaurants and a dining hall with 11 more.

The sit-restaurants include Nicco’s, a modern American steakhouse featuring prime meats, market-fresh seafood and a vibrant dining scene curated by Executive Chef Frankie Gorriceta and Property Executive Chef Daniel Ye; Mijo Modern Mexican Restaurant showcasing the flavors of coastal Mexico highlighted by sizzling fajitas, prime meats, grilled whole fish and ceviche; California-inspired Summer House serving seasonal, market-driven dishes and entrées from a live-fire wood grill and The Market at the front of the restaurant, offering a food to-go menu of light breakfast items.

The George Sportsmen’s Lounge is also offering 24-hour chef-driven American fare, two full service bars and an outdoor patio with a 75 foot wrap-around LED screen creating an immersive atmosphere for sports, live entertainment and private events.

The Eat Your Heart Out food hall features a communal dining experience spanning 25,000 square feet. New-to-market concepts include Irv’s Burgers (a Los Angeles institution for over 50 years), New York’s Prince Street Pizza with a variety of New York and Sicilian-style pizzas, Philadelphia’s Fiorella by James Beard award-winning chef Marc Vetri, the Hawaii-centric Ai Pono Café by Top Chef alum Chef Gene Villiatora with authentic Hawaii street food and Uncle Paulie’s Deli by Paulie James and Jon Buscemi inspired by their memories from New York neighborhood delis.

image courtesy of

There are also established local favorites including Shang Artisan Noodle elevating the Chinese culinary tradition of handmade noodles; Vesta Coffee Roasters, which sources, roasts and serves some of the world’s finest specialty coffees from around the world (there’s also a Vesta Coffee Bar in the hotel lobby); Yu Or Mi Sushi serving fresh sushi, noodles, small plates and rice; Nielsen’s Frozen Custard made with real dairy cream, rich eggs and other natural ingredients; Oyster Bar, offering counter seating and freshly shucked oysters, homemade chowders, gumbo, pan roasts, seafood pastas; and DRNK, a bar known for colorful frozen drinks and a place to grab a drink or two while enjoying bartop gaming.

In the coming weeks I’ll be providing more in-depth reporting on some of the individual venues mentioned above as well as the six lounges and bars. In the meantime, click here for more details.  

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