Palms gets a speakeasy, and bourbon lovers can rejoice

Scarlet sweeps in, and we get into the holiday spirit(s)

• 9Group this week announced the December arrival of Scarlet, a speakeasy in the dainty 200-square-foot former Stuff Store next to N9NE Steakhouse in the Palms. Southern Wine & Spirits mixologist Francesco LaFranconi has a hold of the menu, so your next drink is in capable hands.

• If you’re looking for a gift for a bourbon lover, turn to another bourbon lover for guidance. Gaetano’s Ristorante heir Nick Palmeri is throwing a four-course Wild Turkey Bourbon Tasting Dinner on Dec. 11 at the Henderson restaurant, hosted by associate master distiller Eddie Russell. After Rare Breed with braised veal cheeks you should be primed to hit the liquor store for that gift-buying frenzy. $75, 7 p.m., call 361-1661 for reservations.

• Wine aficionados can’t deny the appeal of receiving the best wine of 2012. Now that Wine Spectator has named Shafer Vineyards’ 2008 Relentless Napa Valley syrah blend Wine of the Year, the bottles have started to fly. If you are unable to track one down, take a chance on the 2009 for $70 at And if you do find the 2008, buy two bottles and call me!

• Treat the cocktailian in your life to a two-hour mixology session with the Monte Carlo’s beverage director, Michael MacDonnell. The experience is $78 per person and is available to all members of MGM Resorts International’s rewards club, M Life, regardless of tier. All participants receive a 33-page book about mixology history and technique.

• It’s not hard to get into the holiday spirit with a cold glass of Ellis Island Egg Nog. The secret family recipe “with a kick” lives on—they expect to make as much as 600 gallons of the creamy, addictive stuff this year!—at Ellis Island Casino or any of the Village Pubs located in Las Vegas, Henderson and now McCarran International Airport Terminal 3. $6 glass, $30 bottle,

For more scene stirrings and shake-ups, visit

Suggested Next Read

The Future of Food Competition, Vegas-Style

A Small Bite

The Future of Food Competition, Vegas-Style

By Grace Bascos

Nearly 300 culinary contenders competed in various categories ranging from barbecue to burgers to chili, but the World Food Championships determined that the humble sandwich that reigns supreme. Paris Las Vegas chef Robert Butler took first place (and $50,000) with his barbecue pulled-pork sandwich. Food-marketing mastermind Mike McCloud and his agency, with nearly a decade of working with sanctioning bodies for chili and barbecue cook-offs, organized the event Nov. 1-4 at Caesars Palace and other resorts.