Downtown Summerlin’s dining options continue to increase, even if it is at a painfully slow pace. The big news this week is that Wolfgang Puck opened Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill on November 5. I dropped in that day to take a quick look around but, sadly, didn’t have time to eat. (Damn you ‘Britney Spears Day’!) It’s a large, casual space with long communal tables in the center of the main dining room, counter service in front of the open kitchen, two outdoor patios and a private dining room. The menu includes favorites from Puck’s MGM Grand location, including his famous truffled potato chips. But there are also some new pizzas, a DTS chopped salad and a handful of other dishes created just for this spot. Chef Puck will visit the restaurant personally, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. November 18, to sign copies of his book, Wolfgang Puck Makes It Healthy: Light, Delicious Recipes and Easy Exercises for a Better Life.
Yusho executive chef Brian Lhee hosted Sushisamba’s Bobby Silva at a special late-night party on November 4. Yusho After Dark ran from 11 p.m. until 2 a.m., and in addition to food from both chefs, it featured a DJ, artist Tommy Vinci doing a live painting and Yusho’s signature draught cocktails. While I was enjoying the food, drinks and music at Yusho After Dark, I bumped into Jolene Mannina. The culinary consultant and promoter could barely contain her excitement about the upcoming premiere of Late Night Chef Fight on FYI Network. She tells me the first episode is now set to air November 29. The show, based on Mannina’s Back of the House Brawl series of chef battles, recently filmed eight episodes in the Palms parking lot. Hosted by retired boxer Laila Ali and chef Vic Vegas, each episode features two prominent Las Vegas chefs cooking on food trucks. Contestants include Sean Griffin of Prime, Nicole Brisson of Carnevino, Steve Benjamin of L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon and Gina Marinelli of D.O.C.G.
Finally, I recently spoke with chef Christian Dolias about the surprise closing of his local spot Desnudo Tacos. As previously reported, owner Chris Palmeri shuttered the award-wining restaurant on October 20, and later announced he would be offering Desnudo’s cuisine on a food truck until he can find a new brick-and-mortar space. Dolias—who is currently in Prague helping to open a Mexican restaurant—however, wants no part of it. He tells me that while he wishes Palmeri and Desnudo well, he has separated himself from the project. Christian and I are scheduled to grab a few drinks together as soon as he’s back in the country, so he can fill me in on what happened with Desnudo, his experiences in the Czech Republic, the status of his cooking collective CutThroat Culinary and his future plans. Once the inevitable hangover subsides, I promise to pass that information on.