Spanish Pizza, German Comfort Food and Two Culinary Institutions Turn 20

Jose Pizza[1]
800 Degrees, the new Neapolitan-style pizza joint in SLS Las Vegas (702-761-7616) where you can build your own pizza, lured the hotel’s culinary mastermind, Spanish chef José Andrés, into its kitchens to create a specialty pie for the property’s grand opening. Andres’ $45 white pizza, with a base of mozzarella, Parmesan, garlic, oregano and olive oil, is topped with creamy burrata cheese, fresh basil and caviar. Lo Spagnolo—Italian for “the Spaniard”—is only available for a limited time, presumably till the caviar runs out.

If your idea of fall includes beer and sausage, but not necessarily football, never fear, Oktoberfest is almost here! Traditionally, the 16-day Bavarian festival begins the last week of September and runs through the first week of October (because Germans are that efficient); in Munich it officially kicks off September 19. But this is Las Vegas, and we like to get the party started early. Therefore, our very own German beer hall, Hofbräuhaus (4510 Paradise Rd., 702-853-2337) will tap its first keg of the season with Siegfried and Roy on September 13, with more celebrity keg tappers releasing Hofbräuhaus’ imported Oktoberfest brew on Fridays and Saturdays till Halloween. This is your time to fully appreciate true European cuisine, including great wurst, schnitzel und schweinshaxe (that’s roasted ham hock to you), and even krautwickerl, the German version of stuffed cabbage rolls. It’s home-style comfort food, under the guise of drinking beer. Prost!

Trade in your beer stein for chopsticks with a special omakase dinner September 17 at Nobu ($120, Hard Rock Hotel and Caesars Palace). That night, each of the Japanese pioneer’s modern restaurants in the U.S. will serve identical menus to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the very first Nobu in New York’s Tribeca neighborhood. The “20 Years in 20 Bites” menu features five courses with four bites each—two existing dishes and two new ones. Signature items, such as black miso cod in butter lettuce and hamachi jalapeño, are joined by 20th anniversary cocktails created especially for this menu.

Also turning 20, the Culinary Academy of Las Vegas has its own celebration September 18 with the inaugural Taste of Hospitality around The Mirage pool ($125 VIP, $75). The Culinary Academy has trained more than 40,000 workers, many of which have gone on to successful hospitality gigs on the Strip (and beyond). And even though the academy isn’t old enough to drink, there will be an open craft-cocktail and beer bar to pair with bites from restaurants that likely employ some academy alums, such as Gilley’s Saloon, Giada, Heritage Steak, all three Gordon Ramsay restaurants and Portofino.


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