Sweet and Savory Brunch, Carmine’s Turns Two, and Chicken Meets Sushi


The newest brunch on the Strip also happens to be at one of the sweetest spots in town. Hexx Kitchen (in Paris Las Vegas, 702-331-5100) launched its a la carte weekend midday menu with dishes that include cinnamon roll waffles with cream cheese frosting, but to be fair, they’re not all sugarcoated. There are also savory options, such as carnitas hash topped with eggs and pico de gallo, and those that combine the two, including the chicken-and-apple-cheddar-waffles, served with apple butter and maple bourbon syrup. Add in a zesty brunch cocktail that goes by the name of El Diablo—made with citrus tequila, chili-spiced rum, hot sauce and beer, garnished with tamarind—and we’re pretty sure they’ve covered all the major weekend food groups.

Summer in any other city means street festivals. Here, we just move them inside. Carmine’s in the Forum Shops at Caesars turns 2 this month and invites everyone to mangia with them in celebration July 16. Head over for the street fair setting of the Southern Italian Festival (5:30 p.m., $45 plus tax and gratuity, 702-802-6566, Events@CarminesNYC.com) that includes bites of such signatures as the meatballs, penne alla vodka, country-style rigatoni and porterhouses for which this family-style restaurant is known, as well as unlimited pours of select wines. Live entertainment keeps the party going. If you’ve eaten here before, you know there’s no such thing as leaving hungry.

Two Venetian restaurants go head to head July 10 for the first installation of the Midnight Guest Chef Series (midnight, $100, Yardbird, 702-224-2062). Yardbird’s Todd Harrington and Bobby Silva of Sushi Samba (702-607-0700) have created an eight-course menu that includes wine and sake pairings for an East-Meets-West collaboration that unites the best of both worlds not only in the kitchen, but on the plate, too. There are a few courses I’m curious about, such as the Belly+Belly (yellowtail, bacon, Asian pear gastrique and Serrano essence) and the fourth course, which features three of my favorite words: fried chicken teriyaki.

In the event you can’t make it on the 10th (or can’t stay up that late), Yardbird has an offer running through the rest of the summer that you can’t refuse: Mention the Blue Plate Special to your server, and you’ll be treated to two pieces of Llewlyn’s 27-hour fried chicken, citrus pepper watermelon and a flaky buttermilk biscuit for only $15. How’s that for the perfect summer meal.


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