Digging Gold Pancakes, Giada Loves Polenta and Aussies Are Coming


The Mirage loves putting gold in its food, apparently. First there was the Diamond & Gold Lasagna over the holidays at Portofino, and now, for those who want some bling with their breakfast, there are the Golden Jackpot Pancakes at the Pantry (702-696-7050). The 24-hour restaurant is already proud of its daily pancake specials, but this one is a doozy. Clocking in at $27.77, the fluffy stack of seven pancakes is served on the 7th, 17th and 27th of each month through March 27. Seven types of chocolate are available, including milk, caramelized white and 64- or 66-percent dark. Then comes the orange marmalade, a dollop of whipped cream and—oh yeah—23-karat gold flakes. Is there a competition out there for Most Vegas Dish?

Speaking of lots of gold and breakfast, I recently returned to Giada (in the Cromwell, 702-777-3777) for a morning meal. With the sun streaming in the windows during the day, this seems to be the best way to enjoy the pink-gold dining room, which is bright and peppy, like Giada on one of her shows. There’s a lot of polenta shoring up her breakfast menu, both served creamy or as waffles. Another version is dessert-sweet with strawberries, pineapple and Nutella, but I prefer the other, made savory thanks to pancetta, chives and two sunny-side up eggs, served with a side of béchamel and maple syrup. Giada’s even introduced a local’s appreciation rate, offering 20 percent off breakfast and lunch during the week.

We’re getting that much closer to the Aussies landing in Downtown Summerlin. Keep an eye out in March for the first U.S. outposts of a couple of Down-Under favorites. The boutique Gelato Messina will come in handy as temperatures rise here in the Valley, with each variety made daily in-house. Even the bits that go into the gelato—such as dulce de leche doughnuts and mini rosewater meringues—are made by Messina’s team. Fun flavors include salted caramel and white chocolate or apple pie, along with cheeky ones such as Heisenberg (blueberry yogurt gelato with crystallized violets) or  Elvis, The Fat Years (peanut butter gelato with fried brioche and banana jam). On the carnivorous side, the Australians also know how to treat a piece of meat. Ribs & Burgers is inspired by a trip to your neighborhood butcher, with well-sourced specimens from Midwestern grain-fed beef, free-range chicken and salmon making up the burgers, while ribs go slow and low for eight hours. Also, I will use this as an excuse to ask Australians to say things like, “fire up the barbie.”

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