Awards, well-paired pork and a word about balls

• The Cosmo and Aria cleaned up at the inaugural Beverage Blowout Industry Appreciation Awards, held Oct. 8 in Las Vegas: Best Cocktail Menu: Vesper in the Cosmopolitan; Best Wine List (non-casino): Marché Bacchus French Bistro & Wine Shop; Best Beer Menu: Todd English P.U.B. in Aria; Best Spirits List: The Whisky Attic; Best New Bar Design: Hyde Bellagio; Best Bar Staff (casino restaurant or bar): American Fish in Aria; Best Bar Staff (non-casino restaurant or bar): Herbs & Rye; Sommelier of the Year: Nick Hetzel of Sage in Aria; Bartender of the Year: Mariena Mercer of Chandelier in the Cosmopolitan; and Bar of the Year: Vesper in the Cosmopolitan. Congrats all around!

• In addition to all that hardware, the Cosmopolitan also recently acquired a new beverage attraction, a bottle of Balvenie Fifty, one of just 88 bottles commemorating 50 years of service by the industry’s longest-serving malt master, David Stewart. For a mere $3,400 per ounce, you can taste 50-year-old Cask 5576. I can tell you firsthand that it is sublime. More at

• Did you enjoy Felix Baumgartner’s ultimate base-jump Oct. 14? Celebrate with three new flavors of sponsor Red Bull (cranberry, blueberry, lemon-lime), available only in October and only at Haze, Marquee, XS, Surrender and Pure.

• If you missed National Bourbon Heritage Month, Elements Kitchen & Martini Bar has your do-over: a seven-course bourbon-pairing dinner, 6:30 p.m. Oct. 22, featuring seven bourbons and guest speaker Drew Levinson of Wirtz Beverage Nevada. $89, reservations required, 750-2991.

• Nove Italiano launches its new quarterly Sunday Feast with Labor Wines, Local Swine, a four-course, family-style, wine-pairing dinner featuring locally owned Labor Wines and locally raised heritage pigs from chef Geno Bernardo’s farm in Pahrump. 6 p.m., Nov. 4, $75, reservations at 942-6832.

• And, finally, a word about balls. You’ve put away your summer whites, and you’re looking forward to the big chill but your cocktail is still all heated up. This is a problem. Here is one solution: the Tilt by Soirée Home, a stainless steel chilling sphere that keeps your drink colder longer, without interfering with the flavor or watering it down. Store in the freezer (or freeze 4-6 hours) for more than 30 minutes of nonstop chillin’. Tilt is center-weighted so it will always sit upright and is easily removed by an included retrieval hook. And—natch—Tilts come in pairs. $35 for two,

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The Maple Tree Café

The Maple Tree Café

A few months ago, the breakfast nook at the original Maple Tree on Spring Mountain Road received a makeover, thanks to Food Network’s Restaurant: Impossible. Good thing they didn’t mess with the breakfast menu, a concise yet hearty listing that features all you could possibly want out of the first meal of the day. Think country-fried steak with seasoned sausage gravy made in-house. And giant red-velvet pancakes (there's a gluten-free option) with pecans and cream-cheese frosting. And brunch favorites such as a Monte Cristo with maple sauce.



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