Naked City Tapas, FAME-ous Dumplings and the Return of Sterling Brunch

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The Asian food court at F.A.M.E.

In Spain, I learned that the proper way to eat tapas is to drink. When you drink, the bar just gives you little nibbles to snack on. And the more you drink, the better the snacks get. Chris Palmeri of Naked City Pizza (4608 Paradise Rd., 702-722-2241) has been toying around with the idea, and he’s launched his new happy hour, True Tapas, from 3 to 6 p.m. during the week. Order a beer or wine from the menu, and you’ll be presented with a complimentary plate of something tasty, such as lemon arugula crostini or soft pretzel bites with sriracha cream. Order more drinks, and more tapas will show up. “I love the idea of what they do in Spain with a bite or two with a beverage, but don’t want to limit myself to only doing Spanish bites. I mean, I am a Sicilian who owns two Italian restaurants and a Mexican joint. I want leeway,” Palmeri says, laughing.

Speaking of doing several cuisines under one roof, I made a stop at F.A.M.E. (in the Linq, 702-463-8000, to check out the spot’s first phase. The second phase, the upstairs fine dining, is still being worked out, so I grazed my way around the Asian food court downstairs. It reminds me of the hawker stalls in Singapore, with each booth specializing in a dish, such as dumplings, roasted meats or ramen. Standouts include the pork pot stickers, crispy and golden brown on the bottom, and the half-moon shaped pan-fried dumplings filled with tiny shrimp and chives that I had watched the ladies behind the counter make right before they were ordered.

Sterling Brunch is back, baby! I was a huge fan of the exorbitantly priced brunch when it was a mainstay at the former Bally’s Steakhouse, so I am overjoyed now that it’s been resurrected on the weekends at BLT Steak in Bally’s. And while the free-flowing Perrier-Jouët, split roasted lobster tails, caviar and prime rib are as decadent as before the transformation, I still miss the white tablecloths, old-school décor and service of the original. BLT has created an entire buffet line for the brunch ($90) off the main dining room, so now it feels more, well, like a buffet, but with really high-end dishes. While items such as eggs Benedict and lobster bisque are ordered from your server, the lobster cognac omelet with Boursin cheese still comes from the omelet station—though you have to be in the know to ask for it. And now you are.