Alex Stratta makes his highly anticipated return, a look at Yardbird's unique ice program, and more foodie news.
Alex Stratta Opens at Tivoli Village
The long-awaited Tapas by Alex Stratta finally opens this month at Tivoli Village, bolstering the mixed-use, European-style development’s status as a fine-dining destination. Stratta—a two-Michelin-starred chef, formerly of Alex and Stratta at Wynn—is already renowned for his regional French and rustic Italian cuisine, but he returns to the scene with a little Spanish flavor, in dishes like a luscious, vibrant seafood paella, fried Padrón peppers, and shrimp al mojo de ajo—plus special Mediterranean-style small plates, such as curry lamb kebabs with mechoui relish and mint-almond yogurt. Stay tuned for more dining concepts from the chef popping up in town later this year. 440 S. Rampart Blvd., #180, 702-483-3555
Sample Top-Notch Oils and Vinegars at Totally Olive and Vom Fass
Foodie trend alert! Two new Vegas retailers are offering guests a chance to sample a wide selection of premium, infused, and other specialty oils and vinegars: Henderson’s Totally Olive (10271 S. Eastern Ave., 702-492-9292) and Venetian’s Vom Fass (702-388-2022), which as an added bonus also offers tastings of casked whiskeys, cognacs, brandies, and liqueurs for a nominal fee. Both boutiques allow you to taste and then bottle your choice to go in a variety of sizes. Now that’s bottle service. —LYNSAY WHITNEY
The Great Vegas Festival of Beer Returns
Vegas itself is of course one giant festival, but there are times when that’s more true than others—such as now, thanks to three spectacular food and beverage events. April 11 marks the fifth annual Great Vegas Festival of Beer, bringing Downtown more than 300 brews from over 100 breweries. UNLVino spans three nights, kicking off on April 16 with a celebration of sparkling wines at Venetian and concluding on April 18 with the Grand Tasting at Paris Las Vegas. (The delicious festival benefits UNLV’s hospitality school.) And the granddaddy of them all, Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appétit, returns April 23–26 to Aria, Bellagio, Caesars Palace, and MGM Grand. Emeril Lagasse, Guy Savoy, François Payard, Julian Serrano, and dozens of other kitchen luminaries will take part, and so should you.
Yardbird's Unique Ice Program
At Yardbird (Venetian, 702-297-6541), lead mixologist Rob Ortenzio’s ice program goes far beyond its very impressive selection of hand-cut ice. Here, ice can be considered a primary ingredient, adding flavor as it melts, such as in the YBG&T, the house gin and tonic, made with a tonic syrup ice cube and your choice of a cucumber or a watermelon ice cube. Also not to miss: the Pork Chop, made with Ridgemont Reserve 1972 bourbon, apple cider, Dijon syrup, and yuzu juice—plus a bright-yellow Dijon-and-thyme-infused ice cube. Want a little less mustardy goodness? Drink faster. —CHRIS STAVE
PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF UNLVINO (UNLVINO); VOM FASS (VOM FASS); BY CHRISTOPHER DEVARGAS (CHEF); 50 EGGS, INC. (PREMIUM ICE); FRED MORLEDGE (FESTIVAL OF BEER); ISAAC BREKKEN FOR BON APPETITE (UNCORK’D)