The first wet, dreary days of the season are our only real indicator that it’s winter in the desert. This coincides with the start of comfort food season, where food and beverages that make us feel warm and fuzzy to hold us over in hibernation.
To keep things fresh, Andrea’s (in Encore, 702-770-3463, WynnLasVegas.com) offers rotating menus for the its Winter Wine-derland (it’s a stretch, but we’ll take it) that combines the talents of both chef Joe Elevado and sommelier Samuel Roe. Everyone’s favorite food-sharing vehicle, small plates, are specially priced and paired with wines and cocktails. The first week’s noshes from December 1-7 include hamachi sashimi with crispy garlic, pickled cherry pepper and sudachi soy ($11), and you can slip into something more comfortable with an accompanying glass of Sonoma Coma pinot noir ($9). Through December 21 (keeping in mind the restaurant is closed December 14-18), you’ll get into interesting bites, such as crispy pork korokke (or croquettes), served with radish and aioli ($11) and eggplant miso with shrimp, scallops and mayo ($9), while you can sip on a barrel-aged Negroni ($17). The final week of the year, the specials turn to fusion with short rib poutine with wasabi demi-glace ($10) and duck confit lo mein ($10), both of which can equally be served by a fantastic glass of Justin cabernet ($9).
Feeling more casual? Industry nights are usually reserved for Sundays and Mondays, but now Thursdays at Five50 Pizza Bar (in Aria, 877-230-2742) show hospitality folks some love as well with the joint’s perfectly blistered pies. Your employee ID or business card scores half-off all pizza and draft selections from 9 p.m. to midnight, turning industry professionals into #PizzaPros.
This may not be the right time of the year to think of cold treats, but we’ll categorize a milkshake bar in the “comfort food” genre. At any rate, Sticks & Shakes is bringing all the boys to the yard at both the Galleria at Sunset and Fashion Show on the Strip. As the name suggests, frozen treats come in popsicle or concrete-form, but are completely customizable. Sticks can start with gelato, sorbet or cakes as a base that are coated and topped with such bits as crushed Oreos and hazelnuts. Also, if you miss your alcohol being frozen, sorbet sticks can be booze infused—don’t say we didn’t warn you about the mixed berry Long Island Iced Tea (or Long Island Iced Teas in general). The shakes take on more than 500 different combinations, all starting with a neutral gelato base upon which you can build your own flavors thanks to tons of candy. There are also U.K.-signatures such as the Shock Shake, made with Red Bull, Pop-Rocks and Sour Skittles for that with extra pick-me-up.
Is it better than yours?