Great summer wines and a couple of Old Vegas classics

July is a good month to cool down with summer wines, and one of the best local places to buy them is Khoury’s Fine Wine and Spirits (in two locations: 9915 S. Eastern Ave. in Henderson, and 7150 S. Durango Dr.). Young entrepreneur Issa Khoury is a native of Elko who grew up in retail, and his stores have a big inventory of both New and Old World wines, plus vintage cognacs and Scotches.

Here are three great summer wines available in his stores. One is a riesling from the brilliant German producer Leitz, a 2008 Dragonstone for $19. If you aren’t a fan of this grape, you will be after you taste this. Terra Andina ’07 chardonnay from Chile, $7, great with fish or fresh pasta, is a textbook example of value from the Southern Hemisphere. Finally, Fleuraison Rose de Rosee Brut from France, at $20, puts a capstone on any romantic dinner. Cool down, pilgrim.

Seeing a dollar-off coupon for walleye at The Flame, the steak house at the El Cortez in downtown Vegas, put me in the mood to try Old Vegas restaurants. So I did, dining there and at Sahara’s House of Lords. The two are similar, but there are important differences.

Both restaurants offer professional service from waiters who have been around for a long time. Luis, our waiter at the Sahara, knew the menu like the back of his hand, and he timed our courses perfectly. Our waiter at The Flame was a personable steak-house veteran from New York, offering no pretense and no glitches.

But I preferred my dinner at House of Lords. At The Flame, we watched a fascinating non sequitur—a video of Italian tourist spots—on wall-mounted televisions. My walleye, albeit a huge hunk of fish for $16.95, didn’t have much flavor, although I couldn’t see any problems with the huge baked potato or spinach side dish, while a steak Diane my friend ordered came sliced—and tough—in a generic brown sauce.

Almost everything at the House of Lords, though, lived up to our expectations. My Caesar salad, with a dressing on the creamy side, had a nice punch, and my wife’s bone-in rib-eye with scampi hit most of the right notes. I had a huge half roasted duck, with the sauce on the side, thankfully.

For dessert, there was red velvet cake. You will not get too much more retro than that.

Hungry, yet? Follow Max Jacobson’s latest epicurean observations, reviews and tips at