High buffet standards, a worthy cause and a new pasta idea

There are two good reasons to partake of the Sunday lunch and early dinner buffet dubbed “High Society” at Nove Italiano in the Palms: the incredible cuisine of executive chef Geno Bernardo, and the wine kegs from Bob Cranston of Sigma Wine Co., poured for $10 to $12 a glass.

The room is decorated with balloons and streamers, and by 3 p.m., the chef has rolled out his wonderful Sunday gravy, stocked with sausage, meatballs and pork shoulder, to complement his panini, summer salad, thin-crust pizzas, raw seafood bar, fruits and endless dessert table.

The wines come in reusable 19.5-liter Franke kegs from Germany, and Nove is the first to use this innovative, essentially green approach to wine service.

Current wines poured are a 2009 Sigma Collection “Long Gamma” White Table Wine from Reynoso Vineyards in Sonoma, 60 percent Sauvignon Blanc and 25 percent Viognier, a light bodied, refreshing wine at $10, and a 2006 Sigma Collection “Nove Rosso” Red Table Wine from Napa Valley, $12 per glass. Both are also available in 750-milliliter Riedel decanters.

The buffet, which is a modest $30 and open 1-7 p.m., gets its name from Nove’s 52nd-floor perch at the top of the Palms Fantasy Tower. Music is provided by a DJ, and things get wilder as the afternoon wears on. It’s some party.

On June 2 the Rain nightclub at the Palms will host what is indeed a worthwhile event, Taste of the Nation. It’s a charity dedicated to end childhood hunger in the United States, and more than 30 of the city’s best chefs are participating. A few of the big names include Carlos Guia of the Country Club at Wynn, Michael Jordan of Rosemary’s and Rick Moonen of RM Seafood at Mandalay Bay.

Tickets are $75 for general admission, and $100 for a VIP admission, which includes 5:30 p.m. cocktails. Call 1-877-26-TASTE, or go tasteofthenation.org for tickets and details.

Finally, Marcello Mauro, of the family that owns Nora’s Cuisine on Flamingo Road and Nora’s Wine Bar in Summerlin, has rolled out a new family pasta place that I feel is sure to be a success. It’s called MacShack (8680 W. Warm Springs Road, 463-2433), and as long as McDonald’s doesn’t object, look for it to become a franchise.

The idea is simple and clever. You choose from a list of 16 noodles, nine sauces and about two dozen ingredients. The chefs do it your way. I also like the fact that the paper plates here are biodegradable. Every local restaurant, it seems, is going green, inch by inch.

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