The Rum Around

The Volcano, as served at Dragon Noodle Co. & Sushi Bar in the Monte Carlo, $24

It doesn’t get much more Tiki than this. Like the pan-Asian menu at Dragon Noodle Co., which features many family-style offerings, the Volcano is designed to be shared with friends. The volcano bowl in which it’s served is similar to its cousin, the scorpion bowl, and like that most communal of drinking troughs, it brings together many people to knock heads as they suck down the super-sweet, fruity Polynesian goodness within.

The major differentiating point is the addition of one essential element: fire. This bowl sports a volcano in the center, a hollow which, when filled with overproof rum, can be successfully lit on fire. Just remember as you lean in, straw extended in anticipation, that your hair is flammable, too.

In a 15-ounce ceramic volcano bowl, combine 2 ounces of Hennessy cognac, 2½ ounces Cruzan Gold rum, 1½ ounces rock candy syrup, 2 ounces lemon juice, 3 ounces pineapple juice, 3 ounces orange juice and ice to fill. Pour ½ ounce Bacardi 151 rum into the reservoir in the center of the bowl and carefully light on fire. Garnish with a traditional tropical “flag” of fresh pineapple wedges and maraschino cherries.

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The Restaurant Awards

The Restaurant Awards

By Max Jacobson, Xania Woodman and Grace Bascos

After four years of hard times, everyone is ready to sound the death knell for fine dining in Las Vegas. But rumors of its demise have been greatly exaggerated. In fact, we had so many excellent dining experiences to consider this year that it was quite a challenge to decide which ones to single out. After more than a few passionate discussions among Vegas Seven’s food-and-beverage team, we’ve come up with a “best” list that shows that our restaurant scene is not only very much alive, but still evolving. True, losing Alex, a two-Michelin-star restaurant at the Wynn, was a blow. But that is more emblematic of a shifting management philosophy at Wynn than reflective of overall trends around here. Look at Caesars Palace. It has overhauled its restaurant options impressively. Washington, D.C., star chef Michel Richard’s 24/7 bistro, Central, is already turning heads with its multimillion-dollar build-out, a menu of French and American classics, and spectacular desserts. The resort plans to replace Bradley Ogden in the first quarter next year with a gastropub concept from England’s Gordon Ramsay. The 180-room Centurion Tower will be totally redone as Nobu’s own hotel, complete with a 9,500-square-foot Japanese restaurant. And although we’ve lost many neighborhood favorites, we continue to improve as an ethnic dining destination. Two amazing fusion concepts, Forte and DW Bistro, are solidly entrenched in the local scene. The Chinatown scene keeps improving, too, thanks to newcomers such as Big Wong, our first Brooklyn Chinese restaurant, and Café de Japon, a Japanese-style restaurant/coffee shop. Will we ever get tired of burgers? It seems not, since I Love Burgers at the Palazzo is already planning a second location at Town Square, Smashburger continues to expand, and Five Guys, yet another national chain, has debuted successfully on South Eastern Avenue. And the aforementioned gastropub concept is also adding new wrinkles to the local scene. English’s is already open in the Town Square location that once was home to Louis’, and plans are afoot to open Public House, another gastropub, in the Venetian. We are already salivating just thinking about what 2012 will bring.