Everyone loves a carnival – the bright lights, the clang of laughter and shrill music, the smell of gummy sweetness rising from roasting nuts, frying mounds of dough and Hudson Valley foie gras mousse on duck confit with a cardamom apple glaze. Um, what?
This Wednesday A Late Summer A-Fair at CatHouse is taking the carnival out from under the big top and bringing it into the pyramid. In place of the usual bordello-inspired loungerie, CatHouse will morph into a full-blown vintage-style carnival with staff clearing out the furniture to make space for games and booths. The classics are all here, like the bottle ring toss and Frogger, as well as festivities of the 21+ variety like a live and silent auctions (just how much is that backstage tour with Criss Angel worth to ya?).
Keeping the revelers well-nourished will be Chef Kerry Simon, who’s concocted a menu that features carnival faves like sno cones, cotton candy (one of regular desserts at his namesake restaurant, Simon), caramel apples and inverted s’mores (marshmallows wrapped in chocolate cake and served with a graham cracker sauce). While Simon s’mores alone might be worth the cover charge, - just $150 a pop; step right up! - there will also be an ample spread of very adult hors d’ouerves like carved dry-aged beef rib-eye steak, smoked salmon tartare in sesame cones and a raw bar with high falutin’ finger food like Alaskan king crab legs, oysters and lobster tails.
Sure, the entrance fee may seem steep, but this party isn’t paying to send our showmen on the road; all of the proceeds go to the Nevada Cancer Institute.
“I’ve been in this business for years and we don’t get many opportunities to contribute to something,” said CatHouse managing partner Nick Landazuri, “so it's something special to be able to have fun but also to give to something that’s such a great cause. In this business we tend to get so wrapped up with the day-to-day and the stresses of the industry and getting “that crowd” in. We wanted to take a step back and get the nightlife community involved in something bigger than all of us.”
A carnival with a cause, you say? That’s good enough for us. Now, pass the cotton candy.