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Dining Under the Radar in Vegas

Dining Under the Radar in Vegas



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It's no secret that Las Vegas is home to some of the world's best dining venues with several Michelin award-winning restaurants on the Strip. One of these nice finds is D.Vino Italian Food and Wine located in the Monte Carlo Resort and Casino.

Walking into D.Vino, you are first struck by a Vespa and Enomatic machines that start you on the right foot. The bar is casual and bright giving the feel of an Italian diner with the Enomtica offering a touch of sophistication. A quick look at the menu showed a nice selection of meat, fish, vegetables, pasta, and breads. There is even an authentic formaggio and salami bar, and a wood-fired pizza oven where you can enjoy custom pizzas.

Executive chef Jose Navarro turns seasonal and classic Italian dishes into palate-pleasing delights. Chef Navarro wants guests to be involved in the creation of the meal if they want to be, or they can just sit back and let his attentive staff take care of the details. That is exactly what we did as we headed to the fine dining area in the quite rear of the restaurant.

After being greeted by Chef Navarro, we were introduced to General Manager Iginio Pignatelli. Iginio is a true Italian, and his knowledge of the country and its rich culinary background would bring us many insights for the evening. Sipping on a nice Prosecco, Chef Navarro and Iginio explained the composition of each course.

The golden and chioggia beet salad with frisée, candied pecans, and Gorgonzola was served with a tangy sherry vinaigrette. This salad was sweet and savory with assertive gorgonzola mixed with crunchy bites of beets, and candied pecans, all nicely topped with delicately-dressed frisée.

The roasted diver scallops with soft polenta, and braised mushrooms was perfectly cooked — they melted in our mouths, combining with lovely, earthy flavors of the braised mushrooms. This dish was paired with De Forville Chardonnay Piemonte that was well balanced and brought out the layers of salads flavor components.

The pasta trio tasting was an excellent way to sample D.Vino's signature pastas without indulging in big bowls of pasta. The gnocchi pomodori was baked with a ratio of 50% pasta to potato filling. They were plump, and soft and yet they had a semi-firm texture layered with tomato sauce. The ravioli were our favorites — filled with mushrooms and topped with a lovely Bolognese. The rigatoni with sausage was also tasty, with roasted green pepper to enhance the flavor

Branzino with grilled lemon on a bed of sautéed spinach was our favorite dish. This was a work of art with layers of contrasting flavors. Sautéed spinach brought heartiness to the delicate fish that helped this dish stand up to the bold flavors of the Parcell 41 Merlot Napa Valley, 2007. This was the best wine pairing of the night and it left us impressed and yearning for more.

The lemon polenta cake is a rustic lemony corn cake. This was a nice, simple, and satisfying way to end dinner. This cake was rich, but not overly sweet after such a wonderful meal. But Iginio was not yet finished with his wine pairing. He brought a luscious Ben Rye Passito di Pantelleria Donna Fugata 2007 for the grand finish of this very nicely paired dining experience.

Dining at D.Vino was much more than we expected and we were pleasantly surprised with all aspects of the restaurant from the time we entered until we departed hours later very satisfied. We will be back to D.Vino to experience more of what this very special venue has to offer and know we will not be disappointed.


20 Vegas Spots Tourists Are Trying To Keep On The DL

Vegas has plenty of smaller, less flashy (but often more fun) spots visitors should discover.

It's hard to believe Sin City still holds some secrets, but it definitely does. With all the big shiny attractions we've all heard of and are anxious to check out, there are also plenty of smaller, less flashy (but often more fun) spots visitors should discover. When my guy surprised me with a trip to Vegas for my 50th birthday, I knew playing cards held no real allure for us and I tried to find out about some under-the-radar attractions. We found a few real gems, which are on the list here. Both are auto-related, since my guy is a true gear-head, just like most my family. Finding our way over to the Shelby Factory was sort of an adventure in itself, since we chose not to rent a car after our flight. We never regretted that decision, with the excellent public transportation available for a reasonable price. Seeing some nearly priceless cars and learning more history made us feel like we were in an exclusive club, and a lot of our trip seemed that way. We were diving in and uncovering gems around every corner by paying attention and doing some research. We found a quiet watering hole out of the way, and were drinking for a fraction of what most bars were charging along the main spots on the Strip. Felt like we were insiders, and it felt sort of fun. Isn't that what Vegas is all about?


Las Vegas Strip to fully reopen for vaccinated diners, dancers, shoppers, club-goers

The Las Vegas Strip and surroundings will fully reopen to vaccinated diners, dancers, shoppers and club-goers beginning June 1.

Clark County lawmakers on Tuesday followed CDC guidelines and dropped plans to tie business occupancy to coronavirus vaccination rates.

The unanimous vote came after public speakers expressed anger and frustration with pandemic restrictions — especially their effects on schoolchildren.

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak on Friday aligned state requirements with CDC recommendations issued a day earlier. The CDC says fully vaccinated people can stop social distancing and mask-wearing outdoors in crowds and in most indoor settings.

Most Las Vegas casinos have already returned to 100% occupancy and no social distancing under oversight of the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.


Under-the-radar shows?

Can any locals suggest a show that is NOT a headliner (i.e., that I wouldn't find in a Vegas guide or wouldn't recognize the name(s) if it was?) We enjoy the "name" productions but our budget doesn't always stretch. We will have a car so outside of Las Vegas proper is fine we have never hit the outside-Vegas casinos. We are up for little theater and college productions as well, We will be there the first week of April. Thanks.

I just discovered Marc Savard - Comedy Hypnosis. You can go to YouTube to find some of his clips from his show. Had me laughing hysterically at 2 o'clock in the morning.

We saw Mike Hammer (downtown) last fall. Comedy magic. He picks on the audience, but not too mean. We liked it.

We have a great summer theater program out in Red Rock, but April is too early for the shows. Season starts May 17.

You might want to check out the "Star of the Desert Arena" in Primm for concerts that are NOT unknowns, but which don't get a lot of publicity due to location. For example, CCR is playing there in May.

I'd suggest you check out the second-tier shows, such as Legends In Concert, the Rat Pack, etc. I enjoy these shows more than many of the headliners. And there are a lot of tribute bands playing concerts. There was a great Led Zep tribute this past Friday night.

Shades of Sinatra at the Clarion. You will have a car so you will be ok. Check Goldstar for half price tickets, sometimes they even have free tickets.

We really enjoyed Purple Reighn (Price review) at Hooters. They are great musicians, not just lip sinc'ers. Great show!!

Look into Big Elvis at Harrah's. Best free show out there IMO!

Michael Grimm plays (most) Saturday nights at the Red Rock. Check the website. He was an America's Got Talent winner. Love his soulful voice! $10 cover charge. We're hoping to go on our next trip. :)

I am not a local, and some of these shows are in various tourist magazines. However, I highly recommend them, and they are a great value.

Frankie Moreno http://www.frankiemoreno.com/ (Stratosphere), Gordy Brown (Golden Nugget downtown), Mike Hammer (4 Queens), Lon Bronson's All Star Band http://lonbronsonband.com/ (Fridays at Boulder Station), Clint Holmes http://www.clintholmes.com/ (Smith Center)

I agree with Marc Savard! My brother happened to be the "star of the show" a couple yrs ago so I know it's legit but even without that I would have still laughed so hard! Ticket prices are good at Tix4tonite booths!

Depending on your date, you can get free tickets to Marc Savard at Goldstar. We did this last year, and I think there was $5-7 convenience fee, but that was it. The show was definitely worth that price!


Under-the-radar changes in the DeMun neighborhood

One of the quaintest areas in Clayton, DeMun has experienced some noteworthy—but under-the-radar—changes recently.

Most noticeably, Barrio, the successor to DeMun Oyster Bar, has ceased day-to-day operations, effective last week. Spanish for "neighborhood," Barrio served sharable Mexican food and was open for 16 months. Owner Alan Richman says the venue is currently available for private events while he decides on the best use of the prime corner real estate.

Richman, who also owns nearby Sasha’s Wine Bar, says he’s focused on getting the wine bar's 50-seat rooftop deck and adjacent event space ready for the fall patio season. Accessible via an exterior stairway (still under construction), the space will have a separate rooftop kitchen and menu.

Last year, the City of Clayton installed its roving “parklet” in front of Sasha’s, with hopes that Richman would build his own if it was successful. It was, and he did, adding an additional 20 public seats to the popular sidewalk patio. (Meanwhile, the parklet is now parked in front of Seedz Café, a vegan restaurant located just off of DeMun).

How Sweet Is This, the tiny candy shop (named one of “America’s 50 Best Candy Stores” by Food Network Magazine) plans to serve is 30-flavor selection of shaved ice cups for at least another month, but hedges its prediction: “Let’s be real: This is St. Louis, so if it’s crazy hot, we will keep it going.”

There’s never not something new at Clementine’s Naughty & Nice Creamery. Strawberry with Lemon Curd Swirl ice cream was introduced a month ago, and Soursop Sorbet (a vegan sorbet containing soursop, the South American fruit that tastes somewhere between a pear and an apple) is on the rail now.

Kaldi's has been the DeMun neighborhood's gathering place for the past 25 years. To celebrate its milestone anniversary, the company created a special 25th anniversary coffee blend. And just in time for summer, it released Kaldi's Cold Brew in cans. Both have been popular sellers at the flagship location, which is open until 10 p.m. every night but Sunday.

Louie, occupying part of the former Jimmy's Cafe space, no longer serves lunch, according to owner Matt McGuire, but not for lack of business. “My intention was to work both shifts,” says McGuire, “and I could have easily done that 15 years ago. Today, my body is telling me otherwise.”


Restaurants and Hangouts Within Walking Distance of Campus

Even if you don't have a car, you can visit some of the city's best under-the-radar gems.

PHOTOGRAPHY BY KEVIN A. ROBERTS

At Pappo's Pizza, normal and freaky beers meet normal and freaky pizzas.

SAINT LOUIS UNIVERSITY

Must-Try: Unagidon ($14). 3674 Forest Park.

Must-Try: Strawberry Basil Lemonade ($5 small). 3906 Laclede.

Must-Try: The Sicilian ($9.75 small). 3690 Forest Park.

Washington University

Must-Try: Shish Taouk Sandwich ($6.50). 602 Westgate.

Must-Try: Khao Soi ($9.95). 549 Rosedale.

Must-Try: Doro Wot ($9.95). 567A Melville.

WEBSTER UNIVERSITY

Must-Try: Webster Skillet ($6.75). 600 E. Lockwood, 314-963-0013.

Must-Try: Ukrainian Goulash ($7.95). 8143 Big Bend, 314-968-4000.

Must-Try: Tom Kha Chicken Soup ($7). 8158 Big Bend.

UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI–ST. LOUIS

Must-Try: Cajun Shrimp Cavatelli ($13.25). 8418 Natural Bridge.

Must-Try: Faraci Special ($16.35 small, $17.90 large). 520 S. Florissant, 314-524-2675.

Must-Try: Rib Tips ($8.99). 8642 Natural Bridge.

Special Screenings

Hi-Pointe Theatre: On select Saturday mornings, the Hi-Pointe screens classic films for $5. 1005 McCausland.

Moolah Theatre: One weekend a month, the Moolah screens late-night grindhouse films, typically beginning at midnight. 3821 Lindell.

Tivoli Theatre: Look for special film series, such as Classics in the Loop, screening iconic films every Wednesday. 6350 Delmar.


Feel like an insider at these under-the-radar dining spots in and around St. Louis

Don't let the unassuming facades of these 10 restaurants fool you.

This debajo-del-radar Latin grocery in Ballwin serves reasonably priced street tacos, astonishingly hefty tortas, Mexican sodas, and house-made paletas for dessert. 14234 Manchester

It’s halal-you-can eat at this Overland strip mall gem, which offers tandoori specialties, kebabs, and biryani. The lunch buffet is a glorious taste excursion. 10276 Page

The Afghani atmosphere’s fun at this family-run St. Louis Hills spot, and the food—lamb shanks, aromatic rice dishes—is even better. 6417 Hampton

Locals treasure this diminutive St. Peters diner serving breakfast (cinnamon-swirl pancakes) and lunch (Philly cheesesteaks). 3640 Harvester

A loyal clientele scoots over for newcomers at this convivial Chesterfield spot serving biscuits and gravy, steak and eggs. 45 Forum Shopping Center

Sharing space with a grocery and serving up Mexican specialties with an incendiary hot sauce, this East St. Louis taqueria’s small, informal, and exquisitely authentic. 3203 Collinsville

St. Louis–style pies with a crunchy cornmeal crust are served on pans in a South County basement. The house-made toasted ravioli are legendary. 3662 Weber

This low-key St. Ann joint offers a varied menu, including Mediterranean fare (kebabs, gyros, hummus), Italian dishes, and the Omar Burger, featuring gyro meat. 10111 St. Charles Rock Road

Extravagant Lebanese cuisine—manakish, tabbouleh, stuffed kibbeh—is served ina relaxed, informal Ellisville setting. 15344 Manchester

A throwback to the Eisenhower era, this classic St. Charles spot in a residential neighborhood offers affordable steaks, fabulous appetizers, and an un-ironic retro bar. 1102 Perry

Follow us on Instagram @stlouismag and tag a photo of your favorite secret spot in St. Louis with #SecretSTL.


Las Vegas gunman: Under the radar

FILE- This Oct. 2017 file photo released by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Force Investigation Team Report showing the interior of room 32-134 of Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock’s 32nd floor room of the Mandalay Bay hotel, an evidence imaged released as part of a preliminary report by Clark County Sheriff. Las Vegas police planned to make public Friday, Aug. 3, 2018, their final report on the shooting that killed 58 people and injured hundreds last year at a country music festival.

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department via AP, File

LAS VEGAS (AP) — In the months before unleashing a hail of bullets into a Las Vegas concert crowd, Stephen Paddock burned through more than $1.5 million, became obsessed with guns and increasingly unstable, and distanced himself from his girlfriend and family, according to an investigative report released Friday.

With those revelations, police announced they were closing their 10-month investigation without a definitive answer for why Paddock, a high-stakes gambler, amassed an arsenal of weapons and carried out the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

“By all accounts, Stephen Paddock was an unremarkable man whose movements leading up to Oct. 1 didn’t raise any suspicion,” Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo said. “An interview with his doctor indicated signs of a troubled mind, but no troubling behavior that would trigger a call to law enforcement.”

Paddock left no manifesto or “even a note to answer questions” about his motive for a rampage that killed 58 people and injured more than 800 others, Lombardo told reporters.

The FBI is expected to release its final investigative report, including a psychological profile of the gunman, later this year, Lombardo said, noting that authorities want to leave “no stone unturned.”

“The FBI’s assessment may shed a better light on Paddock’s personality and what motivated him, but I don’t know if they can provide a motive,” said police Sgt. Jerry MacDonald, a key investigator in the case.

One of Paddock’s brothers told investigators that he believed the gunman had a “mental illness and was paranoid and delusional.” A doctor believed he may have had bipolar disorder, the report said.

Paddock’s girlfriend said he had suddenly stopped being affectionate and constantly complained of being ill. Marilou Danley told investigators that he said doctors could not cure him but told him he had a “chemical imbalance.”

In its final report released Friday, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department found Paddock acted alone and no one else will be charged, said Lombardo, the elected head of the police department.

Earlier this year, U.S. prosecutors charged an Arizona man accused of selling illegal armor-piercing bullets found in Paddock’s room at the Mandalay Bay hotel-casino. Douglas Haig has pleaded not guilty and maintains he sold tracer ammunition, which illuminate a bullet’s path.

The report included a summary of 14 of Paddock’s bank accounts, which contained a total of $2.1 million in September 2015. Two years later, the amount had dropped to $530,000. He “wasn’t as successful in the gambling as he was in the previous years,” Lombardo said.

Investigators said Paddock paid more than $600,000 to casinos and over $170,000 to credit card companies. The analysis said he also made nearly $95,000 in firearms-related purchases.

The report gave no other information about the casino purchases. High-rollers like Paddock are often given credit lines at casinos.

Paddock bought more than three dozen guns between 2016 and 2017. Danley told investigators that she noticed he was buying large amounts of ammunition, but he dismissed her concerns by saying it was cheaper to buy in bulk, according to the report.

She told police that she accompanied Paddock to gun stores and gun shows and helped him set up a gun range in Nevada. Danley told authorities he tended to be obsessive when he dove into a new hobby, and she considered the behavior part of that same pattern, said Detective Trever Alsup, the lead investigator in the case.

Paddock’s mother, Irene Hudson, told investigators she did not understand why her son would carry out an attack and believed he “must have developed some type of ‘brain tumor,’” the report said.

An autopsy did not find anything unusual with Paddock’s physical condition, even after a microscopic brain examination by experts at Stanford University.

A brother, Eric Paddock, described his sibling as a “narcissist” who only cared about people he could benefit from.

Survivor Megan O’Donnell Clements, who attended the music festival with three friends, said she had come to accept that a motive would likely never be found but “to see it written out and finalized” in the police report was gut-wrenching.

“It’s worse. It’s not closure,” the resident of Wilmington, Delaware, told The Associated Press. “To know for real that we’ll never really know, it’s kind of horrifying. I just don’t understand what would have driven someone to that, and to have absolutely no answers, even if I had in my brain accepted that, it’s just really hard to swallow.”

The final details of the investigation came after police released 13 batches of investigative documents, 911 calls, police reports, witness statements and video over the last three months. They have illustrated chaos, heartbreak and heroism from first responders, concertgoers and family members.

Police body camera recordings earlier made public showed officers using explosives to blast through the door of a 32nd-floor hotel suite to find Paddock dead on the floor from a self-inflicted gunshot. There were 23 assault-style weapons, including 14 fitted with rapid-fire “bump stock” devices, strewn about the room and a revolver near Paddock’s body.

Authorities concluded that Paddock fired for 11 minutes, using multiple weapons outfitted with target scopes and bump stocks. Eight incendiary rounds were directed at an aviation fuel tank at the nearby airport. Two hit the tank, but it did not explode.

Officers found several laptops, including at least one that was missing a hard drive, the report said.

Eric Paddock told investigators that he believed his brother had cheated on the family’s tax preparation. Eric was worried he might be implicated for tax evasion if evidence was collected from his brother’s hard drives, the report said.

When police told Eric Paddock about the missing hard drive, he repeated several times: “Maybe he did care for us.”

Friday’s report further detailed Paddock’s meticulously planning, including researching SWAT tactics, renting other hotel rooms overlooking outdoor concerts and investigating potential targets in at least four cities.

The police department is conducting internal reviews into individual officers’ actions, including one veteran officer who froze in a hallway a floor below where Paddock was firing onto the crowd of 22,000 country music fans.

Another officer accidentally fired a rifle during a blast to breach a locked door in Paddock’s room. Police said no one was injured and the shot did not hit Paddock.

Balsamo reported from Washington. Associated Press writer Regina Garcia Cano in Las Vegas contributed to this report.

FILE- This Oct. 2017 file photo released by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Force Investigation Team Report showing the interior of room 32-134 of Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock’s 32nd floor room of the Mandalay Bay hotel, an evidence imaged released as part of a preliminary report by Clark County Sheriff. Las Vegas police planned to make public Friday, Aug. 3, 2018, their final report on the shooting that killed 58 people and injured hundreds last year at a country music festival.


13 Things To Do This Week In Las Vegas For March 19-25, 2021

The following is a list of 13 Things To Do This Week In Las Vegas.

1. Tailgate Social at Palace Station will be showing all March Madness games on their 30 high-definition TVs. Enjoy a value-friendly menu, signature cocktails and beer inside the sports bar.

2. Spring is in bloom at the Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens. This spring’s display is named “Springtime Celebrations Around the World.” Admission is always free, masks and social distancing required.

3. Vinny Grosso’s “Totally Mental” is a lighthearted approach to mentalism. There’s plenty of audience participation too, with innovative methods allowing audience members to be a part of the show while safely adhering to social distancing protocols. Shows are at 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 5 p.m. Sundays at Notoriety in downtown Las Vegas.

4. Terry Fator and his pals are back on stage at New York-New York. Fator can impersonate more than 200 unique celebrity voices. “Terry Fator: Who’s the Dummy Now?” Is presented Thursdays through Saturdays in the former Zumanity Theater.

5. Springs Preserve is opening its outdoor areas on March 19. There’s an outdoor animal habitat, playground, trails and botanical garden to enjoy. Spaces will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fridays through Mondays. Nevada State Museum open on the weekends.

6. Eataly Las Vegas is hosting an all-you-can-eat tour in March. For $35, guests can enjoy all the authentic Neapolitan-style pizza by Rossopomodoro that they can eat. There are no restrictions on the pizza menu. Drinks are extra.

7. Bucky Heard of The Righteous Brothers and John Wedemeyer are performing from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. March 19 and 20 during "After Hours" at Bootlegger Italian Bistro. Before they take the stage, don’t miss George Bugatti on pion from 6 to 9 p.m. while you enjoy dinner featuring the recipes of Chef “Mama” Mari Perry and family.

8. A Night Under The Stars is happening March 20 in Boulder City. Enjoy the movie “Abominable” from the comfort of your car with your family, Only 75 cars allowed. Presented by Boulder City Hospital and Guardian Elite EMS.

9. Las Vegas’ newest band, Original Chaos, is performing March 20 at The Space LV. They will perform the Guns N’ Roses “Appetite for Destruction” in its entirety. Limited in-person tickets or livestream.

10. A drive-thru Easter egg hunt is happening March 21 at Faith Community Lutheran Church on Town Center Drive. The egg hunt will take place from 3 to 5 p.m. Cars will drive through a route lined with Easter eggs and kids will learn the story of Easter at 3 drive-thru stations. Children will receive a bag of Easter goodies at the end.

11. Golden Rainbow is hosting a drag brunch show March 21 at The Stirling Club. Edie, known for her leading role in Cirque du Soleil’s “Zumanity,” will host and perform live, alongside Vita Summers and Dusty Muffin from the Notoriety show “Faaabulous!” Radio personality Nudia Hernandez will DJ throughout the show. Cost is $85 per person (plus tax and gratuity) which includes bottomless bubbles and brunch by Chef Dan Rossi. A generous percentage of sales will benefit Golden Rainbow.

12. The Writer’s Block is hosting author Jeff Kinney for a spook-tabular drive-thru book event from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. March 23. “The Diary of a Wimpy Kid” author brings frights and delights in a socially distanced tour in support of Rowley Jefferson’s Awesome Friendly Spooky Stories, the latest book in his Awesome Friendly series. Tickets for this event are available on a first come, first served basis and can be purchased by visiting The Writer’s Block website at www.thewritersblock.org.

13. UNLV is offering Dark Web 101: How to Protect Your Identity on the Internet on March 24. Workshop topics include how the hackers can get your data, how it can impact you and how to stay safe and protect your identity. Make reservation to receive Zoom link.


Sweets Raku for Dessert

If you lose some cash at a casino table and you’re feeling salty, grab something sweet at Sweets Raku just a few blocks west of The Strip. This Japanese restaurant serves up elaborate, gourmet desserts including cream puffs and ichigo. The restaurant is casual but still makes for a great date night or just an evening escape from the bustle of South Las Vegas Boulevard.

If you’re going to Las Vegas, you don’t have to stand in line for the newest restaurant to be well fed. Stop by one of these under-the-radar spots to get a great meal with less hassle.

Sky is an upscale condo community right on the Vegas Strip. We offer gorgeous units with top-notch amenities for a grand experience close to all Vegas has to offer — including these delicious restaurants. Get in touch with our team today to learn more about living at Sky.


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