Vegas Uncork’d 2015: Grand Tasting (Las Vegas, NV)

Vegas Uncork’d Grand Tasting
Caesar’s Palace: Garden of the Gods
3570 S Las Vegas Blvd
Las Vegas, NV 89109
Dining date: 4/24/15

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This past weekend was Bon Appetit’s ninth annual Vegas Uncork’d. 23 separate events made up Uncork’d this year with chefs, mixologists and sommeliers coming from around the nation to Las Vegas to take part. There was plenty of variety spanning the festivities including fancy lunches and dinners, cooking demonstrations and seminars. The event I’ve gone to the past four years is the Grand Tasting, where dozens of chefs/restaurants serve up tastes of their food along with plenty more wine and other alcoholic options.

Each chef/restaurant had their own booth at Caesar’s Garden of the Gods pool area. All food and drink were included, unlimited, for the $225 price of admission.

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I was able to capture about 25 examples of the food, which by no means was exhaustive. There were dozens more restaurants on hand, many of which served multiple dishes throughout the night (for example, a savory dish early in the evening and dessert later in the evening). It was impossible to eat (and especially drink) everything.

Tom Colicchio’s Craftsteak 24 hour braised short ribs with yukon gold mashed potatoes

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Crush tuna 2 ways – tartare with ponzu and cajun seared with avocado

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Shibuya scallop nasu – hokkaido scallop, japanese eggplant, jalapeno ponzu

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Hakkasan crispy pumpkin puff with peking duck

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Searsucker stout braised beef cheek with crispy beef tongue, white cheddar grits and pickled watermelon radish

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Nobu miso black cod with butter lettuce

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Mesa Grill shrimp and grouper ceviche, mango habanero sauce

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Giada seared tenderloin crostini; rigatoni with vegetable bolognese

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Rao’s traditional meatballs

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Old Homestead Steakhouse wagyu beef pastrami sliders

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Guy Savoy artichoke and black truffle soup with toasted mushroom brioche and truffle butter

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Francois Payard assorted macarons

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Beijing Noodle No. 9 chongxin-style hand pulled noodles

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Gordon Ramsay Steak american wagyu carpaccio, caper berries, yuzu aioli, radish greens

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Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill lamb merguez with apricot mustard chutney; potted chocolate trifle, chantilly

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Gordon Ramsay BurGR hog burger – mangalitsa pork, english sharp cheddar, apple butter, arugula; sticky toffee pudding pops

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Fleur tiradito de dorado, sweet potato, toasted corn

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Bardot Brasserie wood grilled duck wings, sauce maltaise; foie gras parfait, port wine gelee

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Aureole garganelli with sausage, wild mushrooms, english peas

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Stripsteak ‘colonel’ style fried sweetbreads, morels, pickled ramps, english peas

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Emeril’s creole seared redfish and tomato okra confit with sweet corn relish

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Trevi grilled rosemary lamb chops, herb polenta

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Portofino butter poached lobster with burrata-filled agnolotti and black truffles

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Michael Mina’s Pub 1842 bbq sampler – brisket, st. louis ribs, jalapeno cornbread, kale slaw

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Ribs & Burgers lamb ribs slow cooked for 8 hours; kale salad

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While plenty of wineries were well-represented, I appreciated the bar area highlighting an assortment of hand-crafted cocktails.

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Flight of the Jungle Bird avion reposado, campari, mango puree, lime juice, simple syrup

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Swedish Paradise absolute elyx, lemon grass infused ginger beer, watermelon juice, lime juice

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Imperial Punch plymouth navy gin, white pepper simple syrup, lime juice, pernod absinthe

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This year’s event was another fun one. There was truly no shortage of food, drink and chef sightings. Food-wise, highlights for me included the lamb ribs from Ribs & Burgers and the agnolotti with lobster and truffle from Portofino. The ribs were plenty tender with great lamb flavor and not too gamey (thanks to Dylan for pointing these out and hooking us up!), while the agnolotti dish had everything I was looking for – creamy cheese-filled pasta, sweet lobster and a touch of earthy truffle. I really liked Hakkasan’s dish as well, a take on the fried pork dumpling on dim sum menus. Shaped just like a pumpkin, it had a great crispiness with plenty of duck flavor on the inside. I look forward to what Uncork’d and the Grand Tasting have in store for 2016.

Note: Two tickets were hosted to this event, but our party also purchased four.


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