Today’s featured dealertainer at The Quad is Scott as Garth Brooks.
Find out more about the dealertainers at The Quad.
Today’s featured dealertainer at The Quad is Scott as Garth Brooks.
Find out more about the dealertainers at The Quad.
This year’s Vegas Uncork’d food and wine festival by Bon Appétit (May 9-12, 2013), was a non-stop series of high-profile events highlighting Sin City’s best chefs, sommeliers and restaurants.
Among the more popular events of Vegas Uncork’d were a “Master Series” of hosted dinners at Caesars Palace, where guests had the opportunity to rub elbows with celebrity chefs and sample the cuisine at the hotel’s world-class restaurants.
Eight “Master Series” dinners happened simultaneously on May 10. We know because this blog visited every single one.
The restaurants featured were Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill, Mesa Grill, Nobu Restaurant, Restaurant Guy Savoy, Rao’s, Central, Payard Patisserie & Bistro and Old Homestead Steakhouse.
Yes, these restaurants are all at one Las Vegas hotel. We marvel at this daily, especially because that’s not even a complete list of Caesars Palace restaurants.
At each “Master Series” event, chefs made presentations before each course, sharing thoughts about the dishes as their top-secret cooking techniques. Oh, all right, they aren’t too secret. Several of the chefs have books and TV shows.
Perhaps the biggest draw of Vegas Uncork’d was the Grand Tasting on May 10. About 50 award-winning chefs and 2,500 foodies join together for an orgy of food and libations. Virtual orgy. We probably should have made that part clear up-front.
The gathering began with a lively red carpet.
After the arrivals, the chefs and their teams manned their stations and provided guests a rare culinary experience, with bites from their restaurants and a chance to schmooze with those who have helped make Las Vegas the premier restaurant destination in the world.
The Grand Tasting was held in the Garden of the Gods Pool Oasis at Caesars Palace, which looks like something out of a Hollywood movie, except Hollywood movies don’t typically have their own Ramsays or Flays.
We did mention there was food at this event, right? The new Nobu Restaurant at Caesars Palace won some extra points for artistic merit.
A special area at the Grand Tasting was reserved for a sneak preview of restaurants coming to The Linq, the new restaurant and entertainment promenade from Caesars Entertainment. And we are not just mentioning this because there were cast members from “Jubilee!” at Bally’s on-hand, although that certainly didn’t hurt. See below.
Restaurants from The Linq giving guests a taste of what’s to come were Brooklyn Bowl, F.A.M.E., Off the Strip Bistro & Bar, Flour & Barley Pizzeria and others. See some of the other tenants coming to The Linq.
The final day of Vegas Uncork’d included a backyard-style BBQ, with an Italian twist, at Rao’s, and a traditional English Sunday Roast at Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill at Caesars Palace.
Here are a slew of Vegas Uncork’d photos this blog somehow found time to share in between visits to the treadmill. What’s not to love about Vegas Uncork’d, we asked rhetorically?
Comedy-magician Mac King recently celebrated the lucky 13th anniversary of his show, the Mac King Comedy Magic Show, at Harrah’s Las Vegas.
In honor of the occasion, the supremely likeable King got a proclamation from Mayor Carolyn Goodman naming May 11 “Mac King 13th Anniversary Day” in Las Vegas. Sadly, no cash value, but money isn’t everything.
Said King in a news release we just cut and paste this quote from, “A big thank you to all my pals and fans who have come out to support comedy and magic in the afternoon. I look forward to making more memories here at Harrah’s Las Vegas and I really am the luckiest boy on Earth.”
Also in attendance at the event were cast members from Million Dollar Quartet, also at Harrah’s.
Thanks to our buddy, Gabe Ginsberg, for the great pics.
Some Mac King stats: He’s performed more than 6,760 shows at Harrah’s, used 20,280 feet of rope in his timeless rope trick, and he’s magically appeared more than 20,280 Fig Newtons. Or whatever they’re calling Fig Newtons now, possibly just Newtons.
As for some of our favorite Mac King moments from the past 13 years?
Don’t miss Mac King’s very funny, family-friendly show at Harrah’s, consistently named the best afternoon show in Vegas, as well as one of the best bargains in the known universe. Although we may have embellished that last part a little bit.
The Last Frontier hotel-casino opened in 1942, and was one of the first casinos on The Strip. Believe it or not, at one time, the hotel transported guests to and from the airport in a horse-drawn stagecoach.
In 1955, the Last Frontier became the New Frontier. In 1967, it was re-named just Frontier. In 2007, the hotel became vertically challenged. Specifically, it was imploded.
Here’s another little tidbit that might help win you a bar bet, someday: The New Frontier was the site of Elvis Presley’s first appearance in Las Vegas, in 1956.
Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino has just unveiled 380 redesigned suites, called Samba Suites, in its Masquerade Tower.
Teal and orange hues are used throughout these 600-square-foot suites, which also feature patterned carpets, dark wood furnishings, brushed chrome fixtures and a 32-inch flat screen TV. The rooms also have upgraded bathrooms.
Click here to view a larger image.
Today’s useless trivia: Samba is a Brazilian style of music and dance, using a 2/4 tempo and a sung chorus to a batucada rhythm, with various stanzas of declaratory verses. Which this blog totally knew off the top of its head, by the way. The musical instrument most closely identified with samba is the tamborim, which this blog would not be able to recognize in a line-up, even under duress.
Here’s something we do know. Samba Suites at Rio Las Vegas start at $69 a night. The new-room smell is included at no additional charge. Go check some rates, already.
Just a quick update to our post the other day about the dramatic changes at the former Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall & Saloon, soon to be Gansevoort Las Vegas.
As we were driving by today, we noted the beginning of the end for the hotel’s much-photographed front-facing decorative protrusion thingy.
Read more about Gansevoort Las Vegas, coming soon to the Las Vegas Strip.
The recently-closed Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall & Saloon is smack dab in the middle of a massive renovation, as it transforms into the new Gansevoort Las Vegas. How “smack dab”? Behold.
The entire north wall of the former Bill’s (the side facing Flamingo Las Vegas) has come down, evidence the changes at the iconic corner of Las Vegas Blvd. and Flamingo Blvd. are anything but merely cosmetic.
For a slightly more immersive view of the new “ventilation system,” you might say, click here for a panorama pic.
The new Gansevoort Las Vegas will open in early 2014 and will feature 188 “Parisian apartment-style” guest rooms and 19 suites. The renovations will cost about $185 million.
The hotel will also boast a redesigned lobby bar, ultra-lounge, retail outlets and 40,000 square-foot casino.
Here’s a rendering of what the Gansevoort Las Vegas will look like, featuring infinitely less debris.
Although the new Nobu Hotel Caesars Palace has been welcoming guests for some time now, the hotel celebrated its official grand opening with a star-studded bash on Apr. 28, 2013.
The glitzy gathering included a traditional sake ceremony, an appearance by illusionist David Blaine and a poolside performance by singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran.
Nobu Hotel Caesars Palace is a first-of-its-kind boutique hotel-within-a-hotel, the result of a collaboration between Nobu Hospitality and Caesars Palace.
Nobu Hospitality partners include renowned Chef Nobu Matsuhisa, actor Robert De Niro, Meir Teper, Trevor Horwell and Struan McKenzie.
The grand opening celebration featured floating Japanese lanterns at the Garden of the Gods pool at Caesars, Nobu-inspired fashion, taiko drummers and Nobu cocktails.
A poolside concert by Grammy-nominated Ed Sheeran (his song “The A-Team” has been a top 10 hit around the world) was attended by Vegas performers like Holly Madison (formerly of “Peepshow” at Planet Hollywood), Coco Austin (currently of Peepshow at Planet Hollywood), dapper Caesars Palace headliner Matt Goss and Paris Las Vegas resident headliner, Taylor Hicks.
Nobu Hotel Caesars Palace has 181 rooms including 18 luxury suites, and opened at the same time as the world’s largest Nobu Restaurant, downstairs.
A unique aspect of the new Nobu Hotel is guests can, for the first time, order from Nobu Restaurant, around-the-clock, for dining in their room. Blueberry and yuzu soba pancakes, eggs Matsuhisa, obu sashimi tacos and Nobu bento boxes just a few of the highlights.
Just weeks into the hotel’s debut, CNN Travel named Nobu Hotel Caesars Palace one of the Hottest New Hotels of 2013.
Learn more about Nobu Hotel Restaurant and Lounge Caesars Palace.
Enjoy more photos from the grand opening celebration at Caesars Palace.
For many, Burger Palace at The Quad has been a mainstay of their Hangover Mitigation Ritual for ages. Now, you’ll have to head over to Hash House a Go Go, also at The Quad, because Burger Palace has closed.
No official announcement of what will end up in the Burger Palace space has been made, but with all the new things happening at The Quad, we’re confident something tasty is on the way.
Speaking of newness at The Quad, we roamed the grounds and snapped some pics of the newness, so hold onto your Spanx! Yes, reading this Las Vegas blog with Spanx is recommended, mainly because we like saying Spanx.
The vortex thingy atop the space formerly occupied by O’Sheas is nearing completion. Down below is The Quad’s newly-opened casino area.
The front facade of The Quad is continuing its transformation to something newer and fancier.
On the Flamingo-facing side of The Quad, there’s a lot of work still going on. This textured wall has wires peeking out, so we anticipate it will have undulating lights, much like the ever-changing, new porte-cochère lights.
A few feet away, some tweaks are being made to the north wall of Flamingo Las Vegas. Our extensive research into exactly what’s being built revealed “this blog does not do extensive research, sorry.” We’re thinking it could be a new entrance to the Flamingo from The Linq, the in-progress entertainment district from Caesars Entertainment.
On the Carnaval Court side of The Quad, the building is in the process of getting a sleek new facade.
Speaking of Carnaval Court, between The Quad and Harrah’s Las Vegas, the popular party spot has a new construction wall. A new VIP area is being built out, including the removal of a couple of go-go dancing platforms, but don’t panic, there are more on the other side of Carnaval Court. Disaster averted.
Coming soon to Carnaval Court is the Carnaval Grill. Here’s a sign for it. Details to come.
The changes at The Quad pretty much happen daily, so keep on your toes when looking for your favorite places to hang out. The sports book has changed its days and hours of operation, as evidenced by the sign below, saving us the need to take notes, which we appreciated.
The good news is there’s a new self-betting race and sports kiosk on the casino floor for times when the Race & Sports Book at The Quad is closed. It’s located across from The Quad Wine & Spirits, in the hotel’s new casino area.
The Emperor’s Buffet has some interesting hours, too, so print out the photo below and bring it with you to Las Vegas. Or use the Internet or whatever.
We’ll do our best to breach security and keep you up-to-date on all the latest news from center-Strip, the world’s most exciting destination, other than your mom’s house, if she’s making that dessert you like.
There are a lot of Las Vegas shows, and many are over the top. But not many are literally over the top!
Those are dudes. Playing drums. And, no, the photo wasn’t taken from overhead. Disorienting, right?
The guys in the new show at The Quad, “Recycled Percussion,” are seated on a floating platform perpendicular to the stage, high above the audience, playing their hearts out as their show begins. In this blog’s humble opinion, this sense-awakening entrance makes it the most dramatic in Sin City.
Behold our poorly-videographed snippet of the very thing about which we seem to be talking, herewith.
All in a day’s work for the rhythmically-gifted rabble-rousers of “Recycled Percussion.” See more videos.
We were not kidding.
Not only does “Recycled Percussion” have the most dramatic opening of any Vegas show, it’s also the most interactive. Members of the audience are given drumsticks, as well as pots and pans, as they enter the theater, and are prompted to play along during the show. It’s sort of a competition, but mostly it’s just a blast to just bang on something.
No, the drumsticks aren’t keepsakes, as evidenced by the sign below.
Each pot and/or pan is color-coded so audience members know when to do their thing. Each color represents a corresponding “Team Captain” in the show’s cast: Matt Bowman (Mr. Black), Todd Griffin (Mr. Green), Ryan Vezina (Mr. Blue) and Justin Spencer (Mr. Red). Yes, we take notes sometimes.
When “Recycled Percussion” opened, recently, a veritable slew of their Vegas entertainment brethren (not to mention sistren, should that actually be a word) turned out to show their support for these masters of the membranophone. Yes, we know how to look things up in Wikipedia, thanks.
Among those on the red carpet were Anthony Cools (comedy-hypnotist at Paris Las Vegas), Frank Marino (of “Divas Las Vegas” at The Quad) and comedy-juggler Jeff Civillico, recently featured on Travel Channel’s “Vegas Strip Search,” pictured below.
We enjoyed several spokespersons wearing recycled dresses, too.
“Recycled Percussion” is actually good, clean fun for the whole family.
Check out Recycled Percussion inside The Quad resort, and take a gander at some additional poorly-focused photos in our exclusive gallery, below.
The wildlife habitat at Flamingo Las Vegas is truly an oasis within the oasis that is the Las Vegas Strip, and this blog visits as often as possible to take in the surprising diversity of animals on display, including a pair of rescued pelicans.
Bugsy and Virginia are alive and well at Flamingo Las Vegas! The pelicans are named after the colorful mob figure who helped make the Flamingo a reality back in 1946, Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel, and his girlfriend, Virginia Hill.
While the habitat’s Chilean flamingos get a lot of the limelight, we think the comical Bugsy and Virginia steal the show.
You can tell Bugsy and Virginia apart because she’s gray (and her head’s a little yellow), while Bugsy’s darker in color. Virginia is three, and Bugsy’s between one and two years old.
Now, guests can enjoy feedings of the charming birds, along with a presentation by the dedicated staff at the wildlife habitat, including Jackie Liptak, pictured below.
We grabbed some video of Jackie doing her feeding presentation, whether she wanted us to or not. Feedings take place at 8:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. each day. We’re thinking you’ll probably make the 2:00 p.m. if you’re doing Vegas as it was intended to be done.
Neither of the pelicans are able to fly due to injuries before they were rescued, so they’re not able to be released back into the wild. They were in pretty rough shape when they arrived, but the team at Flamingo is slowly nursing them back to health.
The habitat is teeming with wildlife. That’s probably why they call it the “wildlife habitat.” Just a guess.
Hannah, below, is a black-necked swan and is almost 20 years old, or nearly old enough to play the slot machines nearby. Hey, it’s Vegas. Hannah’s been at the Flamingo since she was three.
Oh, that reminds us, don’t throw coins in the ponds at the wildlife habitat for luck. If the birds eat the coins, it can be dangerous. If you need some luck, you can throw your spare change into the nearby fountains outside Carlos’n Charlie’s restaurant.
The pond at the habitat is a “living pond,” meaning it’s stocked with things its inhabitants can eat, such as minnows and crayfish. So, no coins or litter, please.
If you hang out and observe, stories begin to unfold around you at the wildlife habitat. Even love stories.
For example, the birds below are truly an odd couple. The female Mallard (left) flew into the habitat one day, and caught the eye of a Cinnamon Teal. The Cinnamon Teal got an immediate crush, in spite of the difference in their cultural and religious backgrounds, and he’s been following her around ever since.
The staff at the habitat are happy to share their wealth of knowledge about all the animals under their capable care. Below is Robin Matos, the Wildlife Manager.
Of the odd couple, Matos says, “The Mallard looks a lot like a Cinnamon Teal hen, just four times larger. So, I think he just likes big girls.”
Below is the male Hooded Merganser, complete with “breeding plumage,” which sounds a little like what you wear when you visit a Vegas nightclub, if you ask us.
And we can’t forget about the whistling ducks. They’re called whistling ducks because they don’t quack, they, you know, whistle. This isn’t rocket science.
The ponds at the wildlife habitat have more than 300 fish, and about 15 fresh-water turtles.
During our visit, one of the turtles made a break for the hotel’s GO pool. Hey, we experience that urge often throughout our day, too. Jackie to the rescue, assisted by the pool’s turtle-wrangling lifeguards.
A face only a mother, and this blog, could love.
The wildlife habitat at Flamingo is one of our favorite free, family-friendly things to do in Las Vegas.
More pics, and see you at Flamingo.
Each day at The Quad seems to bring with it some new thing, and blog loves it some new!
See that decorative opening with plastic around it which we didn’t quite know what they were going to do with? Well, come to find out, that space was being reserved for some bling!
The decorative touch is a series of LED lights that span the opening (you can see through to the sky in between the lights). It’s pretty slick during the day, but we hear it’s even more eye-catching at night.
Here’s a day time view, complete with this blog’s caffeine-fueled videography skilz. Yes, with a “z.”
Sorry. We are a Las Vegas blog, not a film school graduate.
There’s more newness to come at The Quad, folks. And that’s about the only sure bet you’re going to find in Vegas.
We’ve decided we don’t visit Harrah’s Las Vegas enough. Why? Because there’s so much to love! Here are 15 things this blog is loving about Harrah’s right this very minute.
1. This Shirt
Who wouldn’t want to stroll down The Strip with a little Hugh Hefner vibe going on? Get this long-sleeve tee in the gift shop at Harrah’s.
2. Pool Season
It can never arrive too soon, or stay too long.
3. Poolside Mimosas
Speaking of the pool, don’t miss the eye-opening mimosas at the pool’s bar. There’s a deal going on at the moment, but we can’t remember what it is, for obvious reasons.
4. Cheap Keno
Looking for a great value in the casino? Check out the keno “Stimulus” deal below. You get to play 100 keno games for a nickel each, for a total of $5. “Catch-all” means you have to hit 100% of the numbers you select. Tough, but not impossible. And did we mention your total investment is $5?
Insider tip: You can buy-in for 1,000 keno games at once at Harrah’s. Do it as you’re heading back home, and check to see if you’ve won online at KenoUSA.com. Yay, technology.
What we meant to say is we’re loving Numb, where Brandi works as a bartender. Unlike many of its slushy drink bar competitors, Numb is a full bar, with a number of delicious signature cocktails.
6. 500-Degree Plates
After trying Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, it’s going to be weird going back to a regular steakhouse. That’s because Ruth’s Chris serves its amazing meat on plates baked to 500 degrees. That means your steak is sizzling when it arrives, and that makes a great steak incredible.
7. The Purple Strap-On
Hey, that’s not our name for it! The Purple Strap-On is sold at everyone’s favorite place to party mid-Strip, Carnaval Court. You get the equivalent of 8-10 cocktails (see below for scale), which would normally cost $100 or more, for $40.
Bonus: You get to hang out with a Vegas legend, Brian Thomas. He formerly did a stint as Lucky the leprechaun at the now-closed O’Sheas casino, and was recently featured on “Counting Cars,” the reality show on the History channel.
8. French Kiss Oysters
Oyster Bar at Harrah’s has some die-hard fans! Here’s a little tip: Before you visit, download the Oysterpedia app. You’ll need it to keep up with all the varieties of oysters at this popular Harrah’s hot spot. We used the free app to learn French Kiss oysters come from Neguac, New Brunswick, Canada and have a flavor profile that’s “high in salinity, with a sweet finish.”
9. Jerry Lee Lewis
So, in an ensemble show like Million Dollar Quartet, you’re not supposed to play favorites. Everyone is equally awesome and contributes to the overall blah, blah, blah. Seriously, though, Martin Kaye, who plays Jerry Lee Lewis in the hotel’s new musical, steals the show and will blow you away with his unbelievable talent, musical and otherwise. We promise.
10. The Dessert Station at Flavors Buffet
Flavors Buffet doesn’t get a lot of glory, but it’s dependably good, especially the desserts. When you think you’re done tasting everything, there’s another dozen or so offerings beyond that, and the temptations never seem to end. Our tip: Start your Flavors Buffet visit with dessert. Rules, schmules. It’s Vegas.
11. This Bank of Slots
We love to play slots, but the machines below hold a special place in this blog’s heart.
Why do we love them, despite the fact we’ve never played them? Because they’re aspirational! See, on these machines, you have a choice to make your “coins” worth $100 or $500. And it’s two coins a spin. That means if you see someone playing them, they could be betting $1,000 per spin. Hey, in Vegas, it’s go big or go home!
12. Craps With Fresh Air and Sunlight
Hey, we love a casino with a little smoke for atmosphere as much as the next blog, but at Harrah’s Las Vegas, the craps table is close to a wide open door (facing Carnaval Court and The Quad), so you get fresh air and real sunlight.
This one’s never leaving our list of things we love at Harrah’s, ever. Made from scratch, this low-cal, no-additives ice cream can alter your state of being and magically transport you to your happy place.
14. KGB Burgers
It seems like KGB: Kerry’s Gourmet Burgers adds new menu items almost hourly, which makes it worthy of frequent visits. Below, some kind of heavenly concoction of sauteed mushrooms and Swiss cheese and a fabulous set of buns.
Stop by the Higuchi Gallery shop at Harrah’s for this monster. Hey, we did say “go big or go home,” right?
We feel like we’re just getting started! Now, stop daydreaming and get back to work. Or, alternatively, “Come to Las Vegas. The official opposite of work.” TM
How sweet would it be to win a cool million clams? Not actual clams, of course, because that would be disgusting. The money kind of clams. A million dollars. Well, now’s your shot.
“Wheel of Fortune,” the most popular TV game show in the history of ever, has teamed up with Caesars Entertainment for the “Wheel of Fortune Millionaire Maker Sweepstakes.” More than $2 million in prizes will be awarded, and somebody’s getting a million bucks.
Twenty people will win $50,000 in cash and a trip to Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Perhaps you’ve heard of it. From that group of winners, a $1 million winner will be chosen at random. No, this blog is not eligible, so you actually have a chance at winning because you will not be competing with our extraordinary mojo.
You can get in on the fun by visiting the Total Rewards Center or promotions area at any Caesars Entertainment destination across the country, through May 19, for game pieces containing a special puzzle. (Total Rewards is the player loyalty program of Caesars Entertainment.)
Then, watch “Wheel of Fortune” from May 13 to May 24, 2013. Two game piece puzzles will be revealed during each show. If your game piece matches the puzzle on the show, you win.
At which point you will immediately send this blog a thank-you note, and possibly some glazed donuts.
Here’s a slick video about the whole extravaganza.
Caesars Entertainment has made 706 millionaires since it started keeping track of such things. Find out more on the official Millionaire Maker site.
Go here to find out all the details about the Wheel of Fortune Millionaire Maker Sweepstakes. And good luck. Because we love glazed donuts.
The beauty of the new Catalyst Bar at The Quad hotel isn’t just skin deep. There’s some specialty cocktail chops to back it up.
This blog forced itself to try some of these new signature cocktails on your behalf, because we’re self-sacrificing like that.
First up is the Jal-E-Berri, with muddled strawberries and jalapenos (don’t say we didn’t warn you), Skyy vodka, fresh lime and grapefruit juices.
Next, try the Diablo El.
Yes, after you have this one, you may be transposing your Spanish. It’s got Patron tequila, creme de cassis, fresh lime juice, ginger beer and a splash of ginger ale. Say “hola” to “Senor Buzz.”
A fine member of Catalyst Bar’s family of tempting signature cocktails is the Strawberry Cucumber Collins, a refreshing combination of Hendrick’s gin, strawberry puree and Collins mix.
The cocktail menu has an entire section devoted to “skinny” offerings, cocktails that skimp on the calories, but not on the flavor. The Skinny Margarita has Sauza tequila, fresh lime juice and Cointreau, whatever that might be.
Hope you’ve been pacing yourself, because our next cocktail is the Cable Car. It’s a mouthwatering confluence of Captain Morgan spiced rum, Cointreau and fresh sour.
Ever hear of a “Q-ini”? Of course not. Until Catalyst Bar invented them, they didn’t exist.
Q-inis are Champagne-based, and you can choose to add one of a variety of freshly-made purees: strawberry, blueberry, pineapple, mango or raspberry. This be the mango version.
So many delicious new cocktails to help kick-start your Las Vegas adventure! Drop by the new Catalyst Bar and try some of these lusty libations for yourself.
Oh, and not for nothing, but The Lusty Libations would make a great band name.