Seeing stars, a table for 150, more food fests and faster fast food

Wow, time sure flies. Food & Wine magazine’s All-Star Weekend is already upon us this year, Oct. 21-23 at Aria and the Bellagio. Last year, the food at the main event, the All-Star Tasting ($150, 877-318-2472), was incredible, featuring dishes from star chefs such as Shawn McClain of Sage, who prepared cauliflower panna cotta with a tiny Dungeness crab cake and 48-hour beef belly on smoked potato purée. Sven Mede of American Fish served ocean water-poached Ruby Red shrimp.

This year, there will be six events in all, some with limited availability. We’re guessing the Champagne and Caviar Brunch, hosted by Food & Wine contributing editor Anthony Giglio with brunch favorites from Top Chef Season 5 winner Hosea Rosenberg, will go fast. For the complete lineup visit

Get ready for a festival that may not be on your radar screen. We’re talking about the fourth annual Lebanese-American Festival, Oct. 7-9 at the St. Sharbel Maronite Catholic Mission of Las Vegas (10325 Rancho Destino Road, 5-11 p.m. Fri; 4-11 p.m. Sat; noon-8 p.m. Sun). If you’ve never experienced Lebanese cooking, you’re in for a treat. Dishes such as fried kibbee (cracked wheat croquettes with a spicy meat filling) and makanek (clove-scented sausages) are just some of the items you’ll eat.

Sweet Tomatoes has gone beyond the buffet concept with the recent opening of Sweet Tomatoes Express at 10520 S. Eastern Ave. It revolves around quick-serve salads customized by employees to the specifications of the customer. The menu will feature homemade soup, mac and cheese, garlic focaccia and goodies baked on premises, including chocolate chip cookies and wild blueberry muffins.

The penultimate Project Dinner Table ( is also upon us. This time, it will be a table set for 150 at Cashman Field at 6 p.m. Oct. 15, featuring a menu by RM Seafood’s Rick Moonen. A charitable donation from proceeds will support Huntridge Teen Clinic and Volunteers in Medicine. The event often sells out, so act quickly.

Wine lovers take note: The highly anticipated Crush wine celebration, timed to coincide with the grape harvest in most of the Northern Hemisphere, kicks off Oct. 7 at Paris Las Vegas. There will be seminars, wine tastings and special menus throughout the month, and nonprofit organizations such as Nevada Public Radio and Keep Memory Alive will receive a share of the profits. For more information, visit

Hungry, yet?

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Gyro Sandwich, Greek American Grille

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Gyro Sandwich, Greek American Grille

A good gyro is for some reason hard to come by west of the Mississippi. Since this sandwich has only a few elements, they all must be done right: The gyro meat must be seasoned well, the pita must be warmed properly, but it always comes to down to the tzatziki, or yogurt cucumber sauce. And it is Greek American Grille’s tzatziki that makes this sandwich stand out from the rest. $6.25, 4860 W. Flamingo Road, 453-3900.