Local bakery Gimme Some Sugar (19 S. Stephanie St., Suite 160, Henderson, 702-882-2537, GimmeSomeSugarLV.com) pairs up with Santa Claus on December 16 for one of his many appearances before Christmas, and this stop is in support of Three Square. Donate some non-expired canned goods and your kids not only get a complimentary chocolate chip cookie, but also some one-on-one time with Santa to discuss gift options. For another $10 monetary donation, you’ll get a keepsake photo with the big guy. Also, we’re pretty sure helping others eat during the holidays gets your foot in the door on the Nice List.
If your idea of the holiday is more island-themed, Kahunaville (in TI, 702-894-7350, Kahunaville.com) wants to transport you to its own idea of paradise with its Island Heat LuWow. The new dinner and show ($59, $39 show only) combines South Pacific flavors with that of its home on the Strip, complete with Vegas-influenced Polynesian dance, a tribute to Elvis Presley’s Blue Hawaii and a traditional Tahitian drum performance to the Black Eyed Peas. And even though there’s no roasted pig dug up from the beach, the entrées give a definite nod to tropical ingredients, such as macadamia-nut crusted Mahi Mahi served with tamarind beurre blanc, pan-seared yellowfin tuna with wasabi mashed potatoes and teriyaki flank steak. It’s a little kitschy, sure, but it pays to think warm these days.
Also new to the Strip is Off the Strip, the name of which might be the source of minor confusion when it debuts at the Linq in December. But it’s great to see another homegrown name make the big time. The original from Southern Highlands hopes to translate locals’ favorites from its no-nonsense comfort food menu, which includes steaks, chops and hearty pasta dishes into visitors’ favorites in the two-story, 11,000 square-foot, 24/7 restaurant on the Strip. And to be fair, the name will likely sell tourists on the fact that they’re eating what real Vegas people eat.
We’re deep into comfort-food season now, and I’d almost forgotten how homey the pastas are at B&B Ristorante (in the Venetian, 702-266-9977, Venetian.com). It’s impossible to forget that the Bs in question—Batali and Bastianich—are Italian, but a recent trip back to the cozy restaurant reminded me that this spot is still home to some of the most honest Italian in the city. If you need something soulful, but simple, order the orecchiette, ear-shaped pasta that’s cooked to the platonic ideal of al dente, served with spicy lamb sausage and pleasantly bitter rapini. Dishes such as these were made for the cold weather, not that you really need a reason.