ELV note: Word reached us today of the passing of Jean Banchet – Chicago’s first celebrity chef and one-time operator of the best restaurant in America — on Sunday. Below is a too-brief but heartfelt reminiscence (published last year) of our sole meal at his Le Français temple of haute cuisine, when it was widely considered the ne plus ultra of fine dining in America. (more…)
Archive for the ‘Wake’
“I think the problem (with your book) can be boiled down to one, four-letter word,” said Huntington Press Publisher Anthony Curtis.
“MaxandAlareidiots?” queried ELV.
Bad taste and Vegas really go hand in hand don’t they?
Looking for anything or anyone with good taste in Vegas is generally a fool’s errand, but this press release from the Wicked Spoon Buffet at The Cosmopolitan Hotel and Casino really takes the cake:
Tomorrow (Thursday, Nov. 7) only, Wicked Spoon at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas will be serving several dishes in tribute to Chef Charlie Trotter and his contributions to the food business in the United States. (more…)
Now you will not swell the rout
Of lads that wore their honours out,
Runners whom renown outran
And the name died before the man.
To An Athlete Dying Young – A. E. Housman
When I heard last week that Mario Maccioni was leaving Las Vegas, all I could do was sigh, shake my head, and sink into my chair. The news felt inevitable, but nevertheless filled me with a sense of nostalgia and melancholy that can only be compared to the feeling you get when you know you are closing an important chapter in life. We’ll get to that inevitability in a minute, but first a little history.
On July 14th, one of Las Vegas’s best restaurants will close, and slowly fade into another footnoted memory of gastronomic wonders gone by. Piero Selvaggio’s Valentino is not only one of our best, but it has also been one of our most influential eateries over the past thirteen years – a top shelf operation helmed by a passionate chef who considered it his duty to be at the stoves, not in front of the cameras.
I believe that if, at the end of the day, and according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a littler happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do. To make others less happy is a crime, To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts. We must try to contribute joy to the world. That is true no matter what our problems, our health, our circumstances. We must try. I didn’t always know this, and am happy I lived long enough to find it out. – Roger Ebert
I met Roger Ebert once, in 1982, when he and Gene Siskel were just starting to hit it big with their “Sneak Previews” show on PBS. (more…)
As the first quarter careens towards its close, our staff thought it was time to take stock of Las Vegas’s dining scene and share a summary of our recent experiences.
And by “recent experiences” we mean the scenes of the crimes at some recent restaurants….along with the usual gossip, gall and gallivanting for which we are known.
Let’s start with the bad news first, shall we? (more…)