I love food and wine. The two are inextricably linked, and a good pairing is an experience to relish. Having said that, staying open to discovering new pairings with other types of beverages, namely Japanese whisky, is a discovery one should fully explore. Sushisamba (The Palazzo, sushisamba.com) recently introduced a Japanese whisky experience that made an impression on my palate. Each week a different pairing is offered, or, if you call in advance, you can request all eight tasting experiences. The Wagyu Cocktail is one of the most interesting. It’s a classic riff on an Old Fashioned that sees Japanese whisky treated to a wash of the highest-grade wagyu before being stirred with maple and salted caramel. That’s just for starters: The menu that follows features dishes such as Crispy Tempura Minter Sweet Oyster With Butter Lettuce alongside a Passion Fruit Whisky Sour; the Robata Grilled Hamachi Kama with Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt Whisky; and the A5 Wagyu Roll with Akashi Single Malt 5-Year Sherry Cask, of which only 1,000 bottles were produced. The dessert course is made for coffee lovers—the Café Bom Bom is a dark-roasted coffee custard with chocolate hazelnut crumble, ice cream and whisky foam, paired with an Iwai Japanese whisky granita made with Antica Formula Carpano vermouth, cherry bitters and maraschino cherry syrup.
Over at Wynn Las Vegas, things are heating up for those who want to master their way around the summer grill. David Walzog, executive chef of SW Steakhouse and Lakeside and author of The New American Steakhouse Cookbook, invites guests to an exclusive “Grilling With a Master” workshop, which includes an outdoor cookout class and casual lunch on the SW Steakhouse patio, overlooking the Lake of Dreams. Learn how to select the right cuts, season your steak and achieve the perfect char for your summer BBQ. Price is $150 per person, inclusive of tax and gratuities. The Master Class is a series of workshops led by master chefs, sommeliers, mixologists and artisans. I learned about it after attending the first one, which was led by Sinatra’s executive chef Theo Schoenegger and the legendary performer’s granddaughter AJ Lambert. They taught us how to craft handmade pasta and prepare it the way Ol’ Blue Eyes liked it. The chef would know, as he cooked for Sinatra at San Domenico in New York City. Apparently, Frank preferred the fusilli-shape pasta. During the workshop, Frank’s Fusilli al Filetto Di Pomodoro was demonstrated and was one of the featured items during the luncheon portion in addition to osso buco, another of Frank’s favorite dishes. (Encore, wynnlasvegas.com)
Finally, for something that many of us find irresistible: cookie dough. The sweet indulgence has proven to be a temptation even before the dough is baked. But we’ve all had our fingers swatted from the mixing bowl because of the raw egg and flour. Now, safe, edible cookie dough has made its debut at Malena’s Yogurt Plus (Treasure Island, treasureisland.com). Executive pastry chef and edible cookie dough mastermind Debra Mitchell offers up three flavors: chocolate chunk, PB&J and cinnamon roll brown sugar. And more flavors are already in the works. 7