London called, two to try, and why not to give a flying Twinkie about Hostess

I’ve just returned from a visit to one of the world’s most exciting food destinations: London, England. And if you still think English food is stodgy, think again.

There, I feasted on red-bean stew with chorizo and pork belly at Donostia, a Basque restaurant in Mayfair; choucroute garni in Brasserie Zedel, a beautifully restored Belle Époque West End restaurant with amazingly low prices and a long wait for tables; and finally, the incredible three-Michelin-starred Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester, as the guest of the generous M. Ducasse.

On that same weekend, while I was feasting on chicken quenelles with lobster and roasted breast and confit leg of Challans duck at his London restaurant, hundreds of guests from 27 different countries were assembling for Ducasse’s 25th anniversary gala at his flagship, Louis XV at the Hotel de Paris in Monaco. Many of the most famous chefs in the world also attended, luminaries such as Rene Redzepi of Noma in Copenhagen (currently the world’s top-rated restaurant) and Daniel Boulud of New York City, who operated a highly regarded brasserie at the Wynn, which today is Lakeside Grill. You can eat M. Ducasse’s cuisine here at Mix in Mandalay Bay.

What with the kerfuffle about the closing of Hostess, one almost forgets that nostalgia only goes so far. Perhaps this is apocryphal, but I recall a story about a Twinkie being bombarded with neutrons in a particle accelerator along with a few other items to see how long it would take to disintegrate. It didn’t. Does the word Frankenfood resonate with you at all? I won’t miss them.

Here are two new openings to report: Chocolat Bistro is the newest entry in the facelift currently under way at the Palms, a small place near N9NE Steakhouse. The specialty here, unsurprisingly, is desserts, such as chocolates and cookies, as well as sweet and savory crepes and many flavors of gelato.

Finally, Cantina Laredo, an upscale Mexican restaurant with more than 30 locations throughout the U.S., has opened in Tivoli Village, serving lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch. The Summerlin-adjacent outdoor mall got off to a rather slow start, but things seem to be picking up. The restaurant (430 S. Rampart Blvd., Suite 110, 202-4511, CantinaLaredo.com.) features the cooking of chef Damon Workman, and will include fare such as carnitas, something he calls his Top Shelf Guacamole and even gluten-free specialties, plus a mango tres leches cake for dessert.

This is a huge place—more than 6,000 square feet—and there is a nice outdoor patio to sit on when the weather behaves.

Hungry, yet?

Suggested Next Read

To Market, To Market

Dishing With Grace

To Market, To Market

By Grace Bascos

The newly opened Market LV at Tivoli Village is a unique concept featuring cute, local vendors, boutiques and restaurants that are off the beaten path. We ate our way through the place to track down the best items.

DTLV

RunRebs