Diner's Notebook

Swedish oddities, healthful choices, wine reading and Super Bowl eats

Having returned from Portugal, I’m recovering from jet lag and still thinking about the final dinner I ate at the International Gourmet Festival, done by enfant terrible Magnus Nilsson of Faviken, Sweden.

René Redzepi of Noma in Copenhagen, Restaurant Magazine’s No. 1 Restaurant in the World, calls Nilsson “the new guy.” He foraged most of what we ate for dinner.

A first course called “Blood, Roe and Lichens” tells you how far avant-garde Scandinavian cooking is from what is done in the mainstream. Was it good? Let’s just say I wouldn’t cross a street to eat it again.

The antidote for that sort of indulgent eating is found at Greens & Proteins, a new concept restaurant at 8975 S. Eastern Ave. (541-7800, GreensAndProteins.com). The idea is to build a custom meal, selecting one item each from four categories: proteins, greens, grains and sauces.

That means you could have, say, a bison patty, spirulina and wakame salad, quinoa and pine nut and cilantro pesto. Considering that there are a multitude of items in each category, you’ll never exhaust the options. I had a Margherita pizza on gluten-free crust made from rice and tapioca flour. It was strange, but nothing compared to what the Swede served.

Meanwhile, longtime local sommelier Patty Beck, who has served me at Caesars Palace restaurants such as Neros and Bradley Ogden, has written a new book, Selling Wine in Las Vegas ($20, Blurb.com). In it, Beck describes service, stemware, varietals of wine and innovative California wineries.

It’s a fascinating read for the consumer as well as the professional, and it answers most of the questions we have about wine when we are ordering it in an upscale restaurant. A 15-page preview is available at Blurb.com; the book is available in paperback at Amazon.com as well.

Finally, Super Bowl XLVI (that’s 46, people) is only a few days away, and local venues are putting on the dog for the event. The Rampart Casino (507-5900) is featuring a property-wide Big Game Super Party. A $30 all-you-can-eat wristband entitles you to items such as barbecue beef and chicken skewers, meatballs, Italian sausages, hoagies, nachos, hot dogs and other extras. The game will be broadcast on huge screens strategically placed throughout the casino.

Another Super Sunday option is being offered at Due Forni Pizza & Wine, which is celebrating its first Foodie Bowl, a viewing party with turkey-meatball sliders, oven-roasted lamb lollipops and lots of pizza. The festivities start at 2:30 p.m. Guarantee a spot by calling 586-6500.

Hungry, yet?

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