Friday evening, October 8th, was the setting for slightly surreal, meat filled Bacchanalia at the M Resort and Casino. Earlier that afternoon, it had been announced that Penn Gaming had acquired the resort for the sum of $230 mil. Such a deal! I can’t get a car loan under ten percent.
We also learned that Franck Savoy (see photo) has resigned his commission as GM of his father’s acclaimed restaurant, Guy Savoy, to assume the position of Food and Beverage Manager at Caesars Palace. This is quite a step forward, and we congratulate this charming fellow.
The party was held to benefit the Epicurean Charitable Foundation, an organ that provides scholarships to culinary professionals. The turnout was both enthusiastic and extensive. I didn’t stay to hear the live band Train, or for that matter, the sit-down dinner; I had too many sliders.
Everyone, it seemed, was doing their version of one. I didn’t see that much meat on my last visit to South Beach. Uber-chef Kerry Simon did short rib Sloppy Joe sliders. Other participants proffered bison sliders, tenderloin sliders, even actual hamburger meat sliders. Yikes!
But the food was outstanding at this event, and I overdid it. Right at the start, I was overcome by Sirio’s lobster ragu gnocchi and bresaola, an Italian dried beef. Then I ambled over to the booth representing the Light Group’s Aria steakhouse Union, where Chef Brian Massie made a gyro for the ages out of an entire rack of lamb. (Er, several, actually.)
At Benihana of Tokyo, representing the Las Vegas Hilton, there were a trio of teppan chefs tossing fried rice, and teppan shrimp and teriyaki beef. Rao’s at Caesars Palace did a sweet Italian sausage with Savoy cabbage, and an exotic creation called fiochetti, beggar’s purses with ricotta cheese and Bartlett pear filling.
As always, there were tremendous drinks by local mixologists. I was drawn to the Gran Torino, made with Bacardi Dragon Berry Rum, M & R Prosecco, and a touch of lemon juice, because it reminded me of a grown-up Bellini. I also enjoyed some tequila sorbet made with fresh strawberries, with the somewhat derivative name Strawberry Fields. Perhaps you’ll accept my excuse that after several of them, I couldn’t remember where it was served, or by whom.
Patisserie Jean-Phillippe made little mojito shooters and strawberry panna cotta topped with beignet donuts for dessert. And there was a terrific coffee display by Luiz Oliveira of Sambalatte, a new lounge and espresso bar at 750 Rampart Blvd. You’ll read more about that later in the week.
More than 30 restaurants participated, and a good time was had by all. Strawberry Fields Forever, as someone once said. And Happy 70th John Lennon.
editor’s note: My bet for the best drink of the evening was a Scotch-based beverage over at Casa Fuente, who was also giving out 8-5-8s. They should have been taken to task for mixing a 12-year Glenfiddich, however. more people should be taking advantage of these benefits- they are for a good cause- with veritable open bar and great food.
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