Quatro forni for Taylor, Wynn’s Switching it up, and we’re gonna need a bigger duck

There’s a mixed bag to report this week, so let’s start with a few announcements. On July 1, foie gras from force-fed animals will officially be banned in California, per legislation signed by Gov. Jerry Brown. Will this lead to a run on the fatty duck or goose liver in the Silver State? I’m guessing the answer will be yes. Stand by for a report from Picasso, Robuchon and Guy Savoy, three bastions of the controversial substance.

Due Forni is on the move, too, according to Alex Taylor and Carlos Buscaglia, who run the successful pizzeria in south Summerlin (586-6500). They are about to expand their brand in Austin, Texas, where Taylor went to the University of Texas. He insists that Austin is the hottest foodie city in the country, with an out-of-control dining scene. Chef Carlos will shuttle between here and the new location, which is slated to open late this year at 106 Sixth St. Hook ’em, Horns.

Rounding out the notices, Wynn Resorts has announced that July 22 will be the final day for its concept restaurant Switch in Encore (248-3463), an oddball place where the walls shift to create different atmospheres. It never really caught on, and Viennese chef René Lenger has wasted his talent there, in my opinion. Mum’s the word as to what it’ll become.

This Father’s Day, I experienced a special-occasions-only dinner called the Royal Treatment at Bouchon (414-6200). Chef Bryan Podgorski and his team prepared a menu composed of Petrossian Sterling caviar, truffle risotto, a bone-in rib eye from Pennsylvania and vanilla-orange soufflé for dessert. Bouchon can do fancy as well as rustic, anytime it wishes.

And finally there is Judit’s Bistro (5625 S. Rainbow Blvd., 227-0777), an as-yet-unfinished pizza joint with a real twist. Owner Judit Cseke is from a small town in Hungary, so the menu has a few Hungarian dishes on it, the only place in Las Vegas for this interesting, appealing cuisine.

Cseke, who is helped out by her husband, serves yeasty, high-crusted pizzas that rate high in my book. In addition to one of those and a huge Mediterranean salad, we had langos, like Native American fry bread rubbed with garlic; she makes a dessert version as well, coated with cinnamon and sugar.

There is also beef goulash with homemade pasta, and chicken paprikas, rich stewed chicken in a light sauce with sour cream and paprika, though if you ask she’ll be quick to tell you it’s not a Hungarian restaurant. She’s still decorating, so be patient with the unfinished look the place currently sports. This lady can cook.

Hungry, yet?

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It Takes Balls

It Takes Balls

By Xania Woodman

Some say it takes balls to drink absinthe. Cosmopolitan property mixologist and Vesper bar general manager Chris Hopkins can work with that. He uses water, simple syrup and Vieux Carré Absinthe Supérieure by Philadelphia Distilling to make large absinthe ice spheres for his bar. Sound like a risk? Hopkins has few guiding principles for his cocktail-creation process, but the best rule of all: “Don’t be afraid to try something new. For every great drink I’ve made, there were five failures.” Points for honesty.



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