By Judy Thorburn
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Owner/Editor in Chief/writer - Las Vegas Round The Clock
Owner/Editor in Chief/writer - The Flick Chicks
Director of Communications - Nevada Film Alliance

Fran Drescher Appears at 2010 Women’s Philanthropy United Luncheon at Wynn Las Vegas

Actress and activist Fran Drescher was the featured speaker at the annual Women’s Philanthropy United Luncheon on Thursday, February 4 at Wynn Las Vegas. Wearing more than $500,000 worth of jewels by Van Cleef & Arpels, Drescher spoke about her battle to beat cancer, her Jewish upbringing and how it led to her most famous role of “The Nanny”, in the TV series of the same name.

Fran Drescher

The fundraising event, which included cocktails and silent auction prior to the noon luncheon, was attended by more than three hundred Las Vegas women in support of the Jewish Federation of Las Vegas. Attendees also were treated to a fashion show that opened with Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman sporting swim trunks and a T-shirt that read “Alpha Male” courtesy of the Wynn Esplanade shops.

Fran Drescher

Canal Street at the Orleans Offers New Menu with Fresh Twists on Familiar Recipes

On Thursday February 4, I was invited to Canal Street Restaurant, located inside The Orleans Hotel and Casino, for a Sampler Tasting of the newly revised menu, created by Rene Werner, The Orleans’ director of food and beverage and Chef Philip Bonanno, Executive Chef that combines favorite dishes of guests along with adding fresh twists on familiar recipes.

Canal Street
Photo courtesy of The Orleans

Canal Street booths
Photo courtesy of The Orleans

Once seated in the elegant restaurant, I along with an intimate group of my media colleagues was treated to some of the new palate pleasing menu dishes that were accompanied by several different champagne and wine pairings.

According to Werner, who refreshes the Canal Street menu approximately every 18 months, using fresh ingredients in a variety in entrée selections is only part of what makes up the revised menu.
“We listen to our guests, some of who have been dining at Canal Street for many years, and consider their menu recommendations seriously. Of the suggestions, some have asked for old Canal Street favorites such as Escargots Bourguignonne and Veal Osso Bucco Milanaise to be added back to the menu,” said Werner. “In addition, we are now cooking our steaks over a mesquite broiler, we have expanded our side dish selection from six to 15, and many of our desserts are finished tableside—completing the overall elegant dining experience.”

“In addition to Chef Bonanno and myself, Chef Anthony Oliva and our Sommelier John Messana have been integral in the continued development of our menu selections,” continued Werner. “Messana has carefully selected wines that complement many of the items on our new menu.”

Rene Werner, Orleans' Director of Food and Beverage
Photo credit: Judy Thorburn

Sommelier John Messana
Photo credit: Judy Thorburn

Executive Chef Philip Bonanno and Chef Anthony Oliva
Photo credit: Judy Thorburn

The Menu Tasting started with two appetizers: beef short rib ravioli (ravioli stuffed with tender shredded beef shortribs) and seared ahi tuna and lump crab meat. Other appetizer options ($10 - $35) include Antipasto Caldo – Eggplant Rollitini stuffed with Italian cheeses, Fried Calamari, New Zealand Mussels, Clams Casino and Shrimp Scampi served over Arrabbiata Sauce. The next course was soup and salad, consisting of a cup of lobster bisque and citrus harvest salad. Among the assortment of hot soups, fresh salads and delicious sides options ($5 - $10) are Four Onion Soup, Bayou Crawfish, and Blue Cheese Scalloped Potatoes.

Featured entrees (priced from $19 to $42) consist of a wide variety of steak and pork cuts, chicken dishes and seafood selections. During the menu tasting we had the pleasure of trying three beautifully prepared and equally tasty dishes. First was the Chilean Sea Bass Napoleon – Seared Sea Bass Medallions layered with Portobello Mushroom, Roasted Peppers and Fresh Spinach, then topped with Goat Cheese and drizzled with Citrus Beurre Blanc which was accompanied by Andouille Cream Corn made with bits of sausage. The second entrée was Chili, Sugar and Cilantro Crusted Lamb Lollipops over Hummus and topped with Olive Tapenade and Cucumber Yogurt Sauce. Colorado Lamb can also be served in a traditional Herb Crusted Rack. Last, but certainly not least, Filet mignon and blue cheese scallop rounded out the entrée tasting.

Citrus Salad
Photo courtesy of The Orleans

Antipasto Caldo
Photo courtesy of The Orleans

Chilean Sea Bass
Photo courtesy of The Orleans

Colorado Lamb
Photo courtesy of The Orleans

Seasonal Fruit
Photo courtesy of The Orleans

Baked Alaska
Photo courtesy of The Orleans

To top off this superb menu tasting, a tantalizing platter featuring not one but three sinfully delicious samplings from the dessert menu (priced from $7 to $12 each) that includes several Old Vegas desserts such as baked Alaska and Cherries Jubilee made its way to each of our place settings. I tried not to give in, but there was no way I could resist any of the sweet temptations: raspberry soufflé, macerated berries over ice cream in a praline cup and flourless chocolate cake which were heavenly and, oh so worth, every calorie.

Canal Street was voted "Best Hotel Steak House In Las Vegas" in Las Vegas Review-Journal Dining Editors' Poll. It is clear to see why. Everything about the restaurant is first rate. Featuring excellent, moderately priced food, impeccable service within an ambient, relaxing atmosphere, patrons are sure to have a highly memorable dining experience.

Canal Street hours are Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday from 5 to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 5 to 11 p.m. The restaurant is closed on Monday and Tuesday. Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling 702.365.7111.

Additional recent and upcoming “happenings” in and around Las Vegas include:

The Ritz-Carlton, a five diamond hotel, which opened at the Lake Las Vegas community in Henderson in 2003, has informed its 340 employees that it will close on May 2. The closing of the resort is the latest in a string of troubles for the 3,600-acre community, which is built around a 340-acre man-made lake.

TAO Nightclub at The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino has been named Nightclub of the Year by the 2010 Nightclub and Bar Awards which recognizes outstanding operators from across the country in venues large and small.

In addition, Blush Boutique Nightclub at Wynn Las Vegas has been named Ultra Lounge of the Year by The Nightclub & Bar Awards. Formerly known as the Five Star Awards, the award recognizes outstanding nightlife, bar and restaurant operations across the country. Both venues will be honored at the 2010 Nightclub and Bar Convention Trade Show which takes place next month in Las Vegas.

Wednesday, February 3, internationally renowned designer Juan Montoya was honored with one of the design industry's highest honors: World Market Center Las Vegas' Design Icon for his embodiment of excellent education, international flavor and dynamic design. He was declared Design Icon during the Winter Las Vegas Market that was held February 1 - 5, 2010.

The AMERICAN SUPERSTARS show at the Stratosphere Casino & Hotel has announced Corey Melton as the new Michael Jackson tribute artist. “We’re thrilled to have Corey join our incredible cast. He is an amazing talent with a lot of energy and his resemblance to Michael Jackson is uncanny. Together with his incredible voice and dance moves we have the perfect tribute to the King of Pop,” said Donny Moore, co-producer of AMERICAN SUPERSTARS.

As part of its ongoing effort to be one of Las Vegas’ premier sources of health and wellness information, BODIES… The Exhibition at the Luxor will show its love and appreciation to current organ donors by giving $10 off entrance to the Exhibition for one day only - Valentine’s Day, February 14. Organ donors must present their ID with proof of donation to the Luxor box office when purchasing a ticket. Regularly priced tickets are $31 for adults, $29 for seniors and $23 for children 4 – 12 years of age.

MGM Mirage, in conjunction with The Chinese Peoples’ Association for Friendship with Foreign Counties, presents “Looking Back after 30 Years” at Crystals in CityCenter through Feb. 22. On display in the retrospective photo exhibit are 30 years of photos symbolic of diplomatic relations between China and the United States. The photos will be shown chronologically in a four-part, 80-panel display that will span the second and third levels of the high-end retail mall. The exhibit will be open daily from 10 a.m. to midnight and will be free to the public.

On February 2 the demolition of the Queen of Hearts casino at Main Street and Lewis Avenue marked the start of construction of the new Las Vegas city hall. Meanwhile on the other side of Main Street, construction for Smith Center for the Performing Arts and the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health working on completion.

Revolver Saloon & Dance Hall opened inside Santa Fe Station on February 5. The 10,000-square-foot entertainment venue offers a high-octane nightlife experience that blends country with the hottest rock ‘n’ roll, great libations, dancing, including line dancing earlier in the evening and mechanical bull riding for Las Vegas locals. Revolver Saloon & Dance Hall will be open every Wednesday through Saturday from 7 p.m. until 3 a.m. Cover is $5 for women, $10 for men or $5 with military ID. Dress code is hillbilly chic or country casual and no athletic attire is permitted. A ride on the mechanical bull is $5 or all-night-long for $20.

Friday, Feb. 5 (National Wear Red Day), in support of National Heart Month, Miracle Mile Shops’ fountain turned red in between its regularly scheduled water shows. The fountain will keep its red glow until the end of the month. In addition, all money tossed into the fountain and the center’s indoor rainstorm feature during the month of February will be donated to the American Heart Association.

Kendra Wilkinson Baskett, star of the E! hit series “The Girls Next Door,” and star of her self-titled reality show “Kendra,” will host a Valentine’s Day celebration with her husband, NFL Star Hank Baskett, at Eva Longoria Parker’s nightclub, Eve, on Saturday, Feb. 13. Eve is situated above Longoria Parker’s signature steakhouse, Beso, in Crystals at CityCenter.

Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt are hosting a Valentines Day Weekend celebration, Saturday, February 13, at Pure Nightclub in Caesars Palace.

Shane Lamas from the Reality TV series Leave It To Lamas celebrates Valentines Day, January 13 at LAX Nightclub at Luxor.

Smash Magazine Presents: The Chariot with Special Guests: Greely Estates, Inhale/Exhale, Memphis May Fire, The Color Morale at Area 702 Skatepark, Sunday, February 14, 2010, 5:00 p.m. Tickets are $13 in advance, $15 day of show plus any service charges. Area 702 Indoor Skatepark is located at 3040 Simmons S #104 in North Las Vegas. Show is for all ages.

MonteLago Village Resort Lake Las Vegas celebrates Valentines Day with numerous activities. Guests can enjoy a fun-filled weekend in The Village with ice skating on the floating rink and the 2nd Annual Silver State Regional Chili Cook-off on Saturday, Feb 13 from noon to 4 p.m.

Former President of the U.S. Bill Clinton, Founder of the William J. Clinton Foundation will speak at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace on Monday, February 22 at 7:30pm. President Clinton’s lecture is titled “Embracing our Common Humanity”. The special evening event is presented by Caesars Palace and AEG Live

Tickets for the evening event are on sale at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace Box Office.

The hits of Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons comes to life in Oh What A Night! at the Suncoast Showroom, February 27 and 28. Written and directed by independent Motown producer and creative consultant George Solomon and award-winning producer and director Michael Chapman, the exciting tribute show takes audiences on a musical journey through the hits of the famed group that formed in 1960. Tickets start from $19.95, plus tax. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. on Saturday and 4 p.m. on Sunday.

Grammy-nominated and chart-topping guitarist Kenny Wayne Shepherd returns to The Orleans Showroom February 26 and 27, starting at 8 p.m. each evening. Tickets are available now and are priced from $24.95, plus tax.

Country music star Chris Cagle will perform on Saturday, February 27 at 8 p.m. inside Sam’s Town Live! at Sam’s Town Hotel and Gambling Hall. Tickets are priced from $20, plus tax.

Celebrity sightings:

Tuesday night Artist, producer and celebrity DJ Steve Aoki celebrated the launch of his new single, I’m In The House, at Blush Boutique Nightclub at Wynn Las Vegas. Aoki gave a rousing and energetic DJ performance as part of the World Shoes and Accessories Show kick-off party sponsored by Puma.

DJ Steve Akoi
Photo courtesy of Blush Boutique Nightclub

DJ Steve Akoi
Photo courtesy of Blush Boutique Nightclub

Thursday, February 4 Playboy Playmate Laura Croft, who can currently be seen with friend Holly Madison on E!’s “Holly’s World,” celebrated her birthday at TAO’s Worship Thursday. Croft, who turned 27 last week, arrived with Madison and friends for dinner at the Asian Bistro. After dinner they took over a VIP table in the nightclub and were on hand to see rap artist Maino perform his hit song “All of the Above”.

Playboy Playmate Laura Croft
Photo credit: Al Powers

Holly Madison
Photo credit: Al Powers

At LAVO, actor Jon Lovitz was spotted chatting with friends in the lounge before heading into the dining room for dinner.

Friday, February 5…

February Poker Player Vanessa Rousso, who rates among the top five women in poker history in all-time money winnings, celebrated her 27th birthday at TAO. Go Daddy and ALL IN Magazine helped host the festivities, which began with dinner at TAO Asian Bistro and ended at a VIP table in the nightclub.

Poker Player Vanessa Rousso
Photo credit: Al Powers

Poker Player Vanessa Rousso
Photo credit: Al Powers

Magician David Copperfield and a female companion were spotted dining at LAVO.

Actor Donald Gibb was spotted enjoying dinner inside Strip House at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino.

UFC President Dana White hung out with fighter Chuck Liddell inside Wasted Space at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. White also joined DJ / drummer duo 51Fifty on stage where they rocked the crowd.

UFC President Dana White (center) with 51Fifty (right)
Photo credit: Hard Rock Hotel/Cody Boor

Jayde Nicole, Playboy’s 2008 “Playmate of the Year” and star of MTV’s “The Hills,” celebrated her 24th birthday with her Playmate friends, including AJ Alexander and Kelly Carrington, kicked off Super Sunday weekend at Eva Longoria Parker’s nightclub, Eve.

Jayde Nicole, Playboy’s 2008 “Playmate of the Year”
Photo Credit: Denise Truscello/WireImage

Jayde Nicole, Playboy’s 2008 “Playmate of the Year” (center)
Photo Credit: Denise Truscello/WireImage

Saturday, Feb. 6…

Vince Neil celebrated his birthday at Feelgoods Rock Bar and Grill. The festivities included great food and drink specials, and live music by special guests Dinner Music For The Gods. At 10:30 p.m. Vince Neil rocked the house with his band. Afterwards house band Blandini kept the energy flowing into the early morning hours.

Peepshow star Holly Madison hosted Holly Bowl, a pre-game party at LAVO. She was joined by friends including Playboy Playmate Laura Croft who celebrated her birthday at TAO on Thursday.

Holly Madison
Photo Credit: Denise Truscello

Holly Madison
Photo Credit: Denise Truscello

TAO hosted the Official After-Fight party for UFC 109 Relentless presented by Aliens vs. Predator. Fighter Rashad Evans arrived with wife LaToya followed shortly by his co-host for the evening, Rachelle Leah, host of UFC All Access and former Octagon girl. Melvin Guillard, who won a UFC 109 preliminary fight, current WEC champ Urijah Faber and Mark Munoz, who is set to fight in UFC 112 taking place in Abu Dhabi all came to TAO for the post-fight party.

Rashad Evans
Photo Credit: Al Powers

Rashad Evans and Rachelle Leah
Photo Credit: Al Powers

Mark Munoz
Photo Credit: Al Powers

Rapper Flavor Flav arrived just after midnight and made his way around the club taking pictures.

Rapper Flavor Flav
Photo Credit: Al Powers

UFC legend Randy Couture, following his victorious win over Mark Coleman at UFC 109, dined with his entourage of 20 at Eva Longoria Parker’s steakhouse, Beso, before heading up to Eve nightclub.

Randy Couture
Photo Credit: Isaac Brekken/WireImage

Jon Stewart of The Daily Show was spotted dining at TAO earlier in the evening.

Actor Channing Tatum and wife, actress Jenna Dewan, celebrated the opening of Channing's new movie “Dear John” with champagne and dinner at Strip House at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino.

Andre Agassi and Stefanie Graf attended Supernatural Santana: A Trip Through the Hits at The Joint to support Carlos Santana and Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy Drum Line.

Carlos Santana (center) with Andre Agassi and Stefanie Graf
Photo credit: Erik Kabik/Retna

Paris Hilton’s parents Rick and Kathy Hilton were at Blush Boutique Nightclub.

After calling the shots at UFC 109, referee Herb Dean decided to do some shots at the newly opened Hussong’s Cantina at The Shoppes at Mandalay Place.

Playboy Playmate Jayde Nicole and galpals were at CityCenter’s Vdara Hotel & Spa to celebrate her 24th birthday. Jayde and her gal pals kicked off the soiree at Eve Nightclub, Eva Longoria Parker’s sizzling new venture at Crystals, CityCenter’s retail & entertainment district. For some rejuvenation the following day, Jayde headed to Vdara Health & Beauty, an intimate and luxurious wellness spa for some pamapering.

Playboy Playmate Jayde Nicole
Photo courtesy of MGM Mirage

Naya Rivera celebrated her Birthday at Jet with other cast members Heather Morris, Kevin McHale. Mark Salling(her off screen love), parting at Jet until 2:30 am.

Naya Rivera
Photo courtesy of The Light Group

Over at Haze One Republic performed with a full set up including a glockenspiel, 2 guitars, bongos, and a cello!

One Republic
Photo courtesy of The Light Group

Sunday, February 7…

Tito Ortiz was at LAVO watching the big game and having a belated 35th birthday celebration. Joined by Jenna Jameson, mother to their twin boys and friends, Ortiz started the day downstairs at LAVO, which had been set up for ideal game watching with TV’s everywhere and an array of Italian offerings. The party continued at with a late night dinner at TAO Asian Bistro. After dinner they returned to LAVO where Ortiz was feted in the nightclub.

Tito Ortiz and Jenna Jameson
Photo credit: Al Powers

UFC fighter Frank Mir hosted the Big Game party at Blush Boutique Nightclub at Wynn Las Vegas.

UFC fighter Frank Mir (center)
Photo courtesy of Blush Boutique Nightclub

Tuesday, Feb. 9, 6’8” model Amazon Eve spotted filming interviews with a video crew inside Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino. She recently became the world’s tallest cover girl, appearing in the November 2009 issue of Australian magazine – Zoo Weekly. Amazon Eve is in Las Vegas as part of her 2010 worldwide tour.

I will be back next week with more of what’s “happening” in and around Las Vegas.

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