Burgers and Banh Mis on the 595, a South Indian Bar Brunch and a Sip for Scholarship

Van-Alan Nguyen wanted to root himself in the community. The recent transplant from San Diego and former In-N-Out manager (with 10 years’ tenure) delivered something he thought his Las Vegas neighbors would like: a family-friendly smoke- and gaming-free gastropub with revolving craft beers and delicious food. The name 595 Craft & Kitchen is a nod to the strip of Rainbow Boulevard that is also part of Route 595. Inside, the space pays homage to what once was in place of…

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Greetings from Napa Valley

Award-winning duo Kirk Peterson and Marisa Finetti are an unlikely match, but they share a love of food and drink. In their column, TasteBuds, (originally published in VEGASSEVEN.com) they devour dishes and demystify drinks. Aside from knowing that having a day job would be more helpful in paying the bills, being a wine writer can be a beautiful thing. And if you visit Napa Valley, like Marisa Finetti and I recently did during the Professional Wine Writers Symposium at Meadowood…

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Rhous Winery Exemplifies Passion Behind Crete’s Indigenous Grapes

The gradual roadway to Rhous Winery above the quaint village of Houdetsi on Greece’s largest island, Crete, is perilously narrow, hugging the hill on one side, a sheer drop on the other. But once at the top, the pocket of paradise owned by winemaking couple Maria Tamiolakis and Dimitris Mansolas is a setting for relaxation and exploration into some of Greece’s most stunning indigenous varietals. Crete is home to one of the largest wine-growing regions in Greece and is among…

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Downtown’s New Jam, There’s a Baby in My Cake, J-Pop Cravings and a Unicorn

When you walk into Paid in Full (7225 S. Durango Dr., Suite 105), the eatery brought to you by chefs Michael Plourde (Suzuya Patisserie) and Jason Olson, make sure to wash your hands. Not only will you want them clean to pick up and devour the smoked salmon takoyaki and get every last ikura (salmon egg) off the plate—but you also want to visit the women’s restroom. Whimsical pink with framed photos of bubblegum-blowing celebs, a disco ball and a unicorn…

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Carnevino Italian Steakhouse turns 10

Bodacious, the bronze bovine centurion, known to have been the most dangerous bucking bull in the rodeo ring, stands guard at the entrance to Carnevino Italian Steakhouse. His sheer size indicates what you’re in for when you enter this celebrated steakhouse, whose vibes spin from the soul of Joe Bastianich: Bold and ethereal steaks, superlative wines, voluminous dining rooms (four in all) that seem to go on forever. Everything is purposeful— nothing an afterthought—and that’s how Carnevino has maintained its…

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Stardissed: Revising can-to-table

TasteBUDs and award-winning duo Kirk Peterson and Marisa Finetti are an unlikely match, but they share a love of food and drink. In their new column, TasteBuds, they devour dishes and demystify drinks. This column originally appeared in VEGAS SEVEN magazine. The honeymoon is decidedly over: American consumption of canned tuna is at an all-time low. What was once the most popular seafood—not to mention staple—of the American diet between 1950 to 2000 has all but disappeared from the collective consciousness…

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SIP TRIP: Beyond Santorini’s Blue and Whites

Striking and charming whitewashed buildings topped with azure-blue domes are perched on sheer caldera cliffs that soar out of the Aegean Sea. This is the Santorini that many people are enchanted by. But, to go beyond the postcard is to discover the true beauty and colors of this volcanic island. As the only inhabited volcano cauldron in the world, Santorini is already special. Sitting  half way between Athens and Crete, its crescent shaped island offers an astonishing array of contrasts.…

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Guess who shows up when I drink wine?

He’s 40ish, Peruvian (maybe), dressed in slouchy indigo jeans and a chambray shirt, standing in broken-in Birkenstocks. And, he is stressed from a recent marital breakup. While this sounds like a person, in actuality, it’s typical of how I describe a wine sometimes. I see people when I taste wine. Looking back, I think my earliest recollection of describing a person when tasting wine is when I wrote a short piece on Amarone and described her as a beautiful woman…

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Wolfgang Puck’s artisanal bread rises to the occasion

“Good bread is the most fundamentally satisfying of all foods; and good bread with fresh butter, the greatest of feasts.” James Beard said this, and yet bread still gets a bad rap. While the rest of the world celebrates bread daily, anti-carb diets (and voices in our heads) keep us from the ultimate comfort food, one that has been a nutritious staple for thousands of years. Enter the artisanal breads at Wolfgang Puck’s restaurants in Las Vegas, where each loaf…

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New Zealand Sips for Summer

Summer beckons us to find something that refreshes and tantalizes the palate. Vibrantly aromatic sauvignon blanc from “The Land of the Long White Cloud” assails the senses with gooseberry and citrus characters, passion and other tropical fruits, and green herbaceous notes. They are distinct and bold enough to carry big flavors of spicy food, capable of cutting into creamy dishes, and lifting seafood dishes. Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc 2014, MarlboroughThe founding winemaker at Cloudy Bay, Kevin Judd, turns out a lovely…

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