Our December round-ups are back, with everything from seasonal winter coffee flights to Christmas feasts.
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 holiday dining news and culinary events about delicious bites worth knowing about.
Winter Events and December Holiday Dining News
Guy Savoy at Caesars Palace will serve a Christmas Prestige dinner on December 24 and 25. Priced at $545 per person, it includes amuse bouche of Foie Gras Terrine and Mandarin Quat; Sole Rack with Vegetables and Jus Barigoule or Seared Lobster with Pierogi and Sweet Potato ($45 additional); Artichoke and Black Truffle Soup with Toasted Mushroom Brioche and Black Truffle Butter; Seared Duck Breast and Confit Leg with Onion and Apple or Japanese A5 Wagyu Beef with Pumpkin, Chestnut and Truffle ($65 additional); and Brie Black Truffle, Pear and Cranberry, Chocolate and Chai and Mignardises.
Alder & Birch at The Orleans will offer a three-course holiday meal for $89 per person served from 4 to 9 p.m. It includes a choice of Crab Cakes or Winter Salad; Beef Wellington topped with mushroom duxelles, prosciutto and red wine sauce served with potato puree and glazed vegetables; and Christmas Yule Log with caramel and raspberry sauces. A special Gingerbread Martini topped with ginger cookie crumble will be available for $16.
Wakuda at The Palazzo will offer a Christmas prix fixe dinner served family style. Priced at $175 per person with a minimum of four guests, it includes Chu Toro Butter Miso with kizami wasabi and crispy yuba, Canadian Lobster Wakuda Style Ceviche—duo of oysters with ponzu and black bean vinaigrette, Grilled Branzino with green tea salt, Seafood Harumaki with spicy shiso ponzu, 32 oz Bone-in Short Rib American Wagyu with shiso chimichurri and mustard miso, Chef’s Selection of Sushi and Green Tea Miso Sundae.
New Restaurant Openings
Brian Howard (chef/owner of Sparrow + Wolf) opened his Half Bird Chicken & Beer in Chinatown in the summer of 2022, and has now closed that location, but the concept has hatched in a new location in Henderson, at 725 S Green Valley Pkwy at Horizon Ridge.
The menu remains the same, with free range rotisserie chicken and seven addictive sauces (such as green curry ranch and chili garlic crunch); rotisserie chicken ramen with mushrooms, pickled cucumber, scallion, chili oil and osan tamago; chicken sandwiches and a smash burger; and side dishes like smashed rotisserie potatoes, spicy cheese fries and Japanese milk bread with togarashi honey butter.
This new location is quite family-friendly with an outdoor terrace with artificial turf, large screen TVs, heaters and games such as cornhole and beer pong and video games inside.
Entertainment for the adults inside includes a self-serve beer wall with eight taps all pouring local beer including the HUDL Half Bird Cockfight Pils and a cooler with several regional craft beers. The beer wall is infused with modern tech, as when the screen is touched details of the beer are provided and when dispensing you are given the exact amount your credit card is being charged. Furthermore, the drafts are priced by the ounce and if you so desire you can have a sip of each one before investing in a full pour.
Partner John Anthony shared that the concept is a better fit for a residential area and so far, based on brisk sales in the initial month of being open, the neighborhood is embracing it.
This restaurant, along with Sparrow + Wolf, are part of the Spaghetti on the Wall hospitality group.
Winnie & Ethel’s Diner, winner of The Great Las Vegas Coffee Shop Giveaway, is now open in the historic Huntridge Center at 1130 E Charleston.
Dapper Companies was the main sponsor of the competition along with Yesco Sign and Sysco Foods, which attracted nearly 90 applicants pitching their concepts. The sponsors provided most of the nearly $1 million buildout for the 3,000-square-foot custom-designed restaurant. When Co-owners husband-and-wife Chef Aaron Lee and CEO Mallory Gott found out about the competition, they decided to throw their hat into the ring.
Gott says, “All the stars aligned. We live five blocks away and are fans of our community and both felt strongly about our marketing, branding and business plan.”
The design embraces the spirit of the 1940s, which is fitting, as the Huntridge Theater across the street opened in 1944. Gott also shared that the décor is inspired by the Nighthawks painting by Edward Hopper depicting a welcoming and comfortable 24-hour diner you might find in an old hotel. Winnie and Ethel’s is laid out with tile and hardwood floor, long counter with stools, padded booths, vintage pendant lights, curtains and hues of white, brown and avocado. As for the restaurant’s name, it’s in honor of Aaron Lee’s grandmother and Mallory Gott’s great-grandmother.
The menu fits the theme as well, with classic diner items like scratch Biscuits and Gravy ($13), Homemade Soup of the Day and a Scratch Biscuit ($9), Pot Roast French Dip sandwich ($16), Pancakes ($8-13), Meatloaf Sandwich ($15) and bottomless 25 cent coffee (when ordered with an entrée). Hours were recently expanded to include dinnertime, and new menu items were added, such as Chicken Cordon Bleu ($18), Salisbury Steak ($18) and Breaded Pork Chop ($19).
As for beverages, there’s a full bar offering classic cocktails (like Manhattan, Old Fashioned and Grasshopper), a craft beer list featuring local Able Baker Brewing and malted milkshakes in variations of chocolate, vanilla, strawberry and peanut butter with the option to be spiked with the spirit of your choice.
The new hours are Wednesday to Saturday 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday and Monday 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and closed on Tuesday. Plans are to eventually be open 24 hours a day.
More Holiday Dining News and Delicious Bites Around Las Vegas
Gaetano’s Truffle Dinner
Truffles are one of the most prized culinary gems and we have to enjoy them when we can when they are in season. Time is running out to experience the four-course Truffle Menu with an optional wine pairing at Gaetano’s Ristorante, which runs through December 23.
It includes Cream of Mushroom Soup with white truffle drizzle paired with Piodilei Chardonnay, Pio Cesare; Tagliatelle with Shaved Black Truffles and black truffle compound butter matched with Reyna Barbaresco, Michele Chirlo; 8 oz Petite Filet Mignon with red wine reduction and porcini mushroom risotto with shaved truffle paired with Ceretto Barolo; and Truffle Crème Brulee matched with Moscato, Marchesi Incisa. The cost is $140 per person for the dinner and an additional $80 for the wine pairing. Everyone at the table must participate and there are no substitutions. To reserve, click here.
Green Valley Ranch Hosting Winter at the Terrace
Green Valley Ranch Resort Spa & Casino is again hosting its “Winter at the Terrace” holiday-themed pop-up lounge through the end of February. Located at the resort’s Lobby Terrace, the winter experience features cozy igloos and fire pits, twinkling lights, cheerful music and merry photo opportunities.
A variety of winter-themed libations are being served, such as the Fireside Dram with Maker’s Mark bourbon, butter pecan and cherry bark vanilla bitters; Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label, Moët & Chandon Ice Imperial, Perrier Jouët Blason Rosé, Perrier Jouët Blanc De Blancs and Dom Pérignon; and hot chocolate cart experience with options to add an assortment of Bailey’s Irish Cream flavors.
Seasonal bites include Spinach Artichoke Bread Bowl, Caviar Blini, Winter Nights Charcuterie, Tis The Season Cheese Board, Whipped Burrata Dip, Camp Fire S’mores and Profiterole Wreath.
For hours, the full menus, more info and to make a reservation, visit www.greenvalleyranch.com/eat-and-drink/winter-at-the-terrace.
Founders Coffee Offering Sweater Weather Coffee Flight
Founders Coffee is now offering its Sweater Weather Coffee Flight, a tray of four signature flavors, carefully crafted with the season in mind. Priced at $14.50 and available at the Durango and St. Rose locations, the flight includes:
· Peppermint Mocha with Whipped Cream
· Fruit Cake Matcha with White Chocolate Cold Foam
· Eggnog Latte
· Sugar Cookie Latte served with a sugar cookie