22 Dec 2011 05:44 am

Before you hit the town on New Year’s Eve, start the night off right with margaritas and a fantastic multi-course dinner at Border Grill Las Vegas at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino.  And the night just gets better when you sign up for the Border Grill VIP Club and get a FREE glass of sparkling wine with purchase of a multi-course dinner or a la carte entrée. In addition, guests can enjoy tasty Border Grill bites all night on the Mandalay Bay Casino floor. 


Border Grill Las Vegas:

$49 per person 3-Course Dinner

$8 Border Grill Bites on the Mandalay Bay Casino floor

A la carte and regular menus also available

Special Offer:  Sign up for the Border Grill VIP Club and get a FREE glass of sparkling wine with purchase of a multi-course dinner or a la carte entrée


East Meets West Coast Oyster Platter

oysters on the half shell • tabasco sorbet

Negra Modelo Kobe Beef Short Ribs

habanero molasses short ribs • garlic manchego polenta • baby heirloom tomato salad

Blood Orange Chipotle Glazed Quail

grilled quail • chipotle peanut sauce • tempura squash blossom salad • epazote aioli

Pan Seared Diver Scallops

peruvian purple potatoes • seared pea tendrils • tequila habanero beurre blanc

Tower of Churros

cinnamon • lime crema • chocolate sauce • coffee caramel sauce


9 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Carne Asada Tacos

two grilled steak tacos • caramelized onion • salsa fresca • guacamole • handmade corn tortillas   8.00

Citrus Chicken Burrito

grilled chicken • black beans • red rice • manchego, panela, cotija cheeses

salsa fresca • guacamole • handmade flour tortilla   8.00

26 May 2011 06:41 pm


Chef Luciano cooking demo - home made gnocchi which was out of this world.  Visit him at Valentino for more of his impressive specialties.

12 Oct 2010 08:05 am

Join Charlie Palmer Steak (Las Vegas) each night and discover their
Prix fixe menu

Each week Chef Steve Blandino hand selects a unique cut of beef paired with seasonal ingredients and presents it with a
Menu and Wine Pairings

October 12th to October 16th

Truffled Egg Salad
Baby Spinach * Tear Drop Tomatoes
Bacon Vinaigrette
Dr. H Thanisch Riesling Kabinett Mosel
Germany 2009

10 oz. Grilled Rib Eye Medallions
Butter Poached Maryland Crab * Bernaise
Jose Maria de Fonseca Castelao Periquita Reserva Duro
Portugal 2007

Served family style
Garlicky Pommes Puree
Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta

Milk Chocolate Haazelnut Bombe
Salted Caramel Hazelnuts

$48 per person

01 Mar 2010 08:26 am

You heard it here first ladies and gentlemen – fresh back from our whirlwind trip to Vegas we heard from a very reliable source that the Chefs from Encore will be preparing their specialties at the James Beard House this September.  We’ve heard that each one will be preparing a different course, so you’ll get a taste of every flavor!   There are whisperings that possibly Frédéric Robert might be preparing the dessert.  So no matter who your favorite chef is  - be it Kim Canteenwalla (Society Café Encore), Rene Lenger (Switch Steakhouse), Mark LoRusso (Botero), Theo Schoenegger (Sinatra), or Jet Tila (Wazuzu) - be prepared to be amazed this September.  If you can’t make it to the dinner you can still vote for your favorite Encore Chef in our poll below – we’re posting the results in real time!  As always, we’ll keep you posted with more details as they become available and we look forward to bringing you more fresh scoops in the future.







Neither Wynn nor James Beard House have yet confirmed this information, but we’ll keep trying.

07 Oct 2009 05:05 am

One of the wonderful things about living in America is the great number of cuisines available to those of us living in ‘The Great Melting Pot.’  Occasionally, though, traditional flavors have been watered down to suit the mainstream palate but if you can manage to get your teeth into some authentic  international dishes, you’re in for quite a treat. Whether dining out or ordering in, these are the Top Five International Cuisines favored by American diners.


#5 Italian

An old staple for any occasion, whether it be a romantic night on the town, an evening at home with pasta, wine, and a good movie, or a small gathering of friends with a nice, hot pizza, Italian food has been popular with American diners for decades.  For an authentic experience, avoid the chain restaurants, head straight to Little Italy and try to find a place that serves Tagliatelle al cinghiale, a dish made with broad noodles and wild boar.  You just may find a new favorite in this classic category.

#4 Chinese

The best foods from this country are not necessarily the ‘Americanized’ Chinese dishes that consist of chicken fingers and pork fried rice, but the truly authentic cuisine you can get from restaurants in Chinatown.  You know the sort of place, a once brightly colored sign written in a language that resembles graffiti, whole, roasted animals hanging in the front window, and perhaps a feeling of intimidation as you walk by.  If you can manage to conquer the fear of the unknown, go in with an adventurous friend and order some liver stir fried with bean sprouts and greens, roasted pig heart, or, if those aren’t your speed, some Peking duck soup.

#3 Indian

For the people who have avoided this cuisine because they don’t like spicy food, I advise them to go to an Indian restaurant and try the Tandoori Chicken.  Flavorful, juicy, pleasing to all the senses, this may be some of the best chicken you’ve ever tasted.  If you live near a large city and can take the heat, do a little research on the local Indian restaurants; many offer very affordable lunch buffets with a large sampling of the establishment’s most popular dishes.

#2 Thai

Diners that suffer from peanut allergies should be incredibly wary of Thai cuisine as this seemingly harmless legume is found crushed and sprinkled on many Thai dishes.  The most well known dish, of course, is Pad Thai, an incredibly complex melange of rice noodles, fish sauce, garlic, egg, shrimp and crushed peanuts.  There are, of course, a number of other ingredients but these are the headlining flavors on this eclectic stage and they put on an amazing show your taste buds won’t soon forget.

#1 Japanese

Though sushi is typically the first thing that springs to most minds when thinking about Japanese food, but there’s so much more to the Japanese culinary experience than wads of rice and fish wrapped in seaweed.  Rice is, indeed, the staple of the Japanese diet and is eaten with every meal but sushi is not as common as you might think.  Higher in popularity are the rice bowl dishes which are, as the name suggests, a large bowl of rice with some sort of topping ranging from simmered beef, mild curry, or a mixture of chicken and egg.  The latter is called O-yakodon, ‘Parent-Child bowl.”

The American palate is entering an age of enlightenment as the once-popular homogenized international cuisines are being passed up for more authentic fare.  Join the movement and try something new!

Jarrett Melendez

06 Oct 2009 06:37 am

Vegas isn’t just for gamblers. It’s for foodies, too. In fact, Sin City is home to some of the country’s finest fine dining options, as well as a host of more casual but no less fabulous feasting alternatives. From indulgent scenery to cutting-edge cuisine, TravelsinTaste.com has tasted it so that you can experience it. While Part 1 in our two-part series focused on “fine,” Part 2 focuses on “fun.” Here are just a few of the most enjoyable Vegas dining options, all of which promise a truly special Vegas experience. To discover some of the Strip’s more elegant options, please read Part 1. For more information on any of these restaurants, or on other domestic culinary hotspots, visit TravelsinTaste.com.


Grand Prix

If you and your dining companion can’t decide where to eat — maybe he wants to grab a burger at the nearest sports book and you’d rather dine leisurely over some delectable Italian fare — then Dal Toro is the place for you. Part of a one-of-a-kind, $30 million complex that includes the nation’s 110th — and Las Vegas’ first — Lamborghini dealership, as well as a state-of-the-art car gallery, espresso cafe and retail boutique, Dal Toro offers you the opportunity to dine among modern-day masterpieces crafted by Lamborghini, Bugatti, Ferrari, McLaren and more.



Can’t figure out what kind of meal you’d like tonight? Italian? Asian? Seafood? Or perhaps something grilled? At Sensi, you can have all of the above. A global culinary journey, Sensi serves the world on a plate. It’s no wonder, either, as Executive Chef Martin Heierling has had a world of experience, and the Bellagio has given him a kitchen that’s truly worthy of his international flair.


Local Flair

The Woo family has been a staple of Las Vegas’ local dining scene for decades. In fact, matriarch Ming See Woo is credited with bringing California-style fusion cooking to Las Vegas some 30 years ago. She’s been running family-owned restaurants in Las Vegas ever since. Woo is a collaboration with her son, Peter, who was previously executive chef at Nobu Las Vegas. Take one look at the menu and you’ll see this is no ordinary Asian restaurant. Forget about fried rice and wontons; try the Peking duck profiteroles and panko crusted truffle cake!


Power Breakfast

Casual dining? Yes. But with a twist! That’s Society Cafe Encore (just named one of Esquires Top New Restaurants in America), located inside Steve Wynn’s Encore, which is home to some of the most talked-about restaurants in recent culinary history. Creative with a flair, the menu — full of Executive Chef Kim Canteenwalla’s new twists on old favorites — even includes a section called “Sticks, Picks & Finger Food” that’s designed exclusively for sharing. The restaurant, which was aesthetically inspired by the days of Oscar Wilde, is a fanciful confluence of hot pink, lime, white and black. Sporting a perfect view of the casino and offering guests the chance to enjoy a power breakfast — or lunch or dinner — Society Café provides something for everyone, including vacationers and locals alike!



Lastly, If it’s simply a pizza you crave, no trip to Vegas would be complete without a taste of one of Wolfgang Puck’s. Eat it for breakfast (Puck’s Famous House Smoked Salmon and Soft Scrambled Egg Pizza), for lunch by the pool at the Palazzo’s Solaro, or for dinner while watching the passersby in St Mark’s Square at The Venetian’s Postrio. If you’re late for your flight, you can also grab one on the run at Wolfgang Puck To Go at the Jet Blue Terminal in McCarren airport. Whenever and wherever, it’s sure to satisfy your craving.

04 Sep 2009 06:30 am

A trip to Santa Barbara is the epitome of the weekend getaway. While enjoying the ocean breezes and sandy beaches, keep an eye out for truly celebration-worthy small food stops.


In downtown Santa Barbara, State Street is a mecca of taste, offering every style of food from Cajun to Indian to Thai to Mexican and American BBQ. Go to the end of State Street, and take a hop, skip and a jump to Stearn’s Wharf. This wharf is one of the most, if not the most, popular tourist spots in all of Santa Barbara. Stearns Wharf is more than 130 years old, having first been constructed around 1872, according to the Stearns Wharf Merchants Association. This landmark has survived fires, earthquakes and neglect and is consistently abuzz during the week. When admiring the pier, stop by the Great Pacific Ice Cream Company at 219 Stearns Wharf for a cool and delicious snack, with 32 options to choose from. The ice cream and sherbet is advertised as homemade; the flavors are fresh and memorable. Highly recommended is the divine strawberry cheesecake. While strolling by, notice the detailed stained glass window above the palm-reader and the delightful knick-knacks of Coastal Treasures (pirate flags galore) and stop by Mother Stearns Candy Company, where a wide selection of candy is available for the picking (including candy not found in other locations).

Freebirds World Burrito is in the heart of Isla Vista, California, a subsection of Goleta, in Santa Barbara County, is another spot to visit. If you are visiting Santa Barbara, this small yet mighty restaurant is only about 20 minutes north of downtown, and as it is only a block away from the ocean, it is well worth the drive.

Freebirds (or Freeb!rds, as it is commonly referred to), is open 24 hours a day and for good reason: it is the only place in town which is more likely to have a line out the door at 1 a.m. than at 1 p.m. The portions are huge, and the flavor is just right. One can order burritos, monster burritos (they are huge), quesadillas, nachos, tacos and variations thereon, in addition to some new sides, such as tri-tip and brownies.

Situated atop a conveyor belt-like system, the patron walks up to the server behind the desk, selects their wrap of choice, and proceeds to point out which items along the food bar they’d like included. The choices include beans (black, pinto and refried), rice, meat (chicken, beef and pork), sour cream, lettuce, onions (both raw and fried), cilantro, pico de gallo (chopped up tomato, green pepper and onions), cheese, guacamole, hot sauces, and even bbq sauce. This is a privately-owned restaurant, though Freebirds has quite an interesting history. Freebirds was started over 20 years ago in Isla Vista. Upon its clear success, a successor was built in Texas, where there are now quite a few locations. Mark Orfalea (related to the Orfalea behind Kinko’s and namesake of the Cal Poly business school) was one of the original owners of the Isla Vista Freebirds.

Freebirds World Burrito is located to 879 Embarcadero Del Norte, in Isla Vista (a part of the city of Goleta) in California.

-Susie Kopecky

03 Sep 2009 06:31 am

The Winemaker’s Dinner Series: Opus One 

Please join us Monday, October 5th for an evening of sumptuous cuisine perfectly paired with the wines of Opus One featuring the New York City 2006 vintage debut. The menu will include:



(subject to change)


Robert Mondavi Fume Blanc 2007


Foie Gras Terrine

spiked with black truffles, smoked duck leg, frisée, blackberry compote

Opus One 2006


Char-Grilled Grass-Fed Beef Tenderloin

Bloomsdale spinach, organic wheat berries,

roasted root vegetables, crispy sweet onions, red wine-marrow sauce

Opus One 2005


Cheese Course

Roncal, Mondegueiro, Willow Hill with appropriate condiments

Opus One 2003


Pumpkin and Ginger Torte

with white chocolate and spiced pecans

Château Coutet 2004


Selection of Mignardises

Coffee Service

$250 per person

(includes dinner, wine, tax & gratuity)

Please call 212.582.7200 for reservations.

If your guests are looking for exceptional value this fall, ‘21′ has extended our sumptuous Restaurant Week menus through October 31st. View menu >>


‘21′ Club

21 West 52nd Street New York, NY 10019

Restaurant Reservations: (212) 582-7200

Private Dining: (212) 582-1400

02 Sep 2009 05:40 am

If you were to stop in at your local diner, it is very unlikely that you would find snails, horse, fermented soy beans, or camel on the menu.  You may find snails in restaurants that are a touch more upscale but you would be incredibly hard pressed to find the other three foods on any menu in the United States.  Some Americans may never have the chance to sample such foods because they would have to travel great distances just to be in a position to find them.  However, even if they did manage to make the trip to, say, Japan or Egypt, they would also have to be adventurous enough to actually have a taste of these strange, but delicious, delicacies.  So, for those of you that are thinking of traveling and have a brave palate, here are some peculiar, but definitely delectable, foods that are absolutely worth a try.


Horse Sashimi

Horse meat is actually something that many countries embrace as being edible without feeling morally put out but unless you happen to be in Japan, odds are it won’t be served to you raw. Basashi, as it is called in restaurants in Japan, is a wonderfully surprising treat.  It is typically served with either freshly ground ginger or freshly ground garlic and soy sauce.  Typically, it is taken with just a dab of either flavoring with a few paper thin slices of cucumber and dipped in soy sauce.  The second the meat touches your tongue, it immediately starts to melt and all of the flavors wash over your taste buds in a sweet, salty and spicy mix of eye-widening delight.


Camel Steaks

If you happen to make your way to Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Libya, or other parts of Africa and the Middle East, you might consider giving camel a try.  It is prepared, essentially, in the same way that beef is and tastes very similar, as well.  The only major difference between the two is texture.  Camel is coarser and has an almost sponge-like texture.  If you’re brave enough to order some, be sure to ask for the hump; it happens to be the best, most-favored part of this delicacy.

Fermented Soybeans

Nattou may not seem all that strange on paper, especially to fans of other soy products like tofu, soymilk, and miso soup, but if you’ve ever seen someone eat it or been close enough to smell it, you might be a bit intimidated by it.  It is characterized by a very distinct and, to some, unpleasant odor and a very sticky texture caused by a glue-like liquid that forms naturally during the fermenting process.  It is typically eaten during breakfast and can be mixed with any number of condiments including soy sauce, mustard and raw egg.  At less than a dollar per serving, you won’t have to be guilty about not liking this little treat.


You don’t necessarily have to fly all the way to Paris just to eat a snail as this delicacy has wriggled its way into America and can be found in most French restaurants.  Typically, the snail is removed from the shell, cooked in garlic butter and a bit of parsley, placed back in the shell, and served on a plate made to hold the shells upright.  Snails aren’t necessarily flavorless but they almost always seem to be the complementary flavor in their own dish.  They are still, like all of the foods detailed here, worth trying, even if only for the experience of trying something new and satisfying your curiousity.


Jarrett Melendez

01 Sep 2009 05:18 am

Throughout history, food has played an important role in the art of seduction, arousal and love-making.    Ancient cultures throughout the world believed that certain foods were vital to fertility and even in aiding one’s sexual prowess.  Many of these beliefs were backed by the simple reasoning that eating foods that resembled, in shape, human reproductive organs could actually be beneficial to one’s sexual performance.  Modern science, in the fields of health and nutrition, has proven that many of these cultures’ beliefs were actually justified, though their reasoning was based purely on coincidence.  This  Top Five List of Aphrodisiacs takes a look at some of the most well known, and some lesser known, culinary aphrodisiacs and the science behind them.


#5 - Lavender and Pumpkin Pie

While both of these things are aphrodisiacs on their own, it is actually the combined scent of these two aromas that have been proven to stir the passions.  A mid-1990’s study by Dr. Alan Hirsch of The Smell & Taste Treatment & Research Foundation proved that this odor combination elicited arousal in men, aged 18-64, more than any other smell.

#4 - Asparagus

More than just a phallic shape, asparagus contains many vitamins and minerals said to be beneficial to sexual health and performance:  potassium, vitamin A and folic acid.  Potassium and vitamin A are essential to testosterone production, the hormone known for increasing the male libido but is also believed to increase that of the female as well.  Tradition states that asparagus should be eaten for three days in a row in order to experience the full benefits.

#3 - Blowfish

Long believed by the Japanese to be an aphrodisiac, blowfish is the most dangerous food on this list.  It is actually that danger, more than nutritional content, that is believed to be the reason behind this ugly little fish’s aphrodisiacal properties.  Although licensed chefs take great pains to remove the mortally toxic parts of the fish, they are only human and even the tiniest slip-up during preparation can have deadly results.  It is the adrenaline released during this culinary dance with death that is the true aphrodisiac.

#2 - Honey

What would a list of aphrodisiacs be without the nectar of the Goddess of Love, herself, Aphrodite?  For thousands of years, honey has been touted as a potent aphrodisiac and with good reason.  Honey is a great source of boron, a mineral known to assist in metabolizing estrogen and believed to increase testosterone levels in the blood.  A natural, easily metabolized form of sugar, honey can provide a boost of energy that is beneficial for participating in any number of activities.

#1 - Oysters

Probably the most well-known aphrodisiac, oysters are also one of the most nutritious foods thought to enhance the libido.  Just four or five medium oysters contain the daily recommended allowance of calcium, copper, iron, iodine, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous and zinc.  While all of these promote good health, which in and of itself is conducive to a good, healthy sex life, the most important two are magnesium and zinc.  Magnesium can help to relax nerves and muscles, is vital to increasing blood circulation and helps produce the some of the neurotransmitters that modulate sex drive, dopamine and norepinephrine.  Zinc is essential for producing testosterone, maintaining healthy levels of testosterone.  It also helps maintain sex drive and may help increase and maintain sperm count.

If you want to compound the effects of these ‘foods of love,’ take your date to a Japanese restaurant, order the blowfish, some oysters, a side of asparagus, and a cup of lavender tea mixed with honey.

Just beware, there is no evidence, empirical or otherwise, as to the safety or efficacy of this potency of the combinations noted.



Jarrett Melendez

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Travels In Taste is a website devoted to gourmet food. We want to provide you, the diner, with the most comprehensive and objective information on the Web about the world's most talked-about dining experiences so that you can make your informed decisions.
Rob Lubin
Matt Alderton

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TravelsinTaste Staff
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