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Dining News & Notes: Holiday splurging or New Year’s resolution healthiness?

This blackened ahi tuna sandwich with fruit is just 510 calories at Mandalay Bay’s Raffles Café.

Most Strip casino restaurants are offering special holiday menus, many of which skew to the decadent side. But Nobu at Caesars Palace is seriously blowing it out this month. Executive chef Nicolas Mazier’s eight-course, $400 truffle menu is available until the end of the year, featuring dishes like bluefin chu toro carpaccio in truffle tamari soy, grilled Maine lobster with quinoa fried rice and white truffle foam, or braised Wagyu short rib with beet chips and white truffle puree. Break open the piggy bank and make a reservation by calling 785-6628.

A different approach: MGM Resorts has created a healthy eating program called Smart Plate focused on a variety of menu items at 700 calories or less. The program stretches through cafés and in-room dining at various hotel and casino properties, so you might try grilled Atlantic salmon with broccolini at Café Bellagio, or a primavera pizza with lots of veggies and crumbled feta cheese at Vdara’s Market Café. And the Hard Rock Hotel has launched healthy menus with gluten-free, low-calorie, vegetarian and vegan items at the 24-hour Mr. Lucky’s and the Mexican cantina Pink Taco. New dishes include a Mediterranean kale salad with grilled chicken, gluten-free pasta carbonara and vegan avocado tacos.

If you’re looking for a special event dinner to warm you up for the holiday eating season, look no further than Forte Tapas. Forte’s regular pop-up, Takeover Tuesday, features Comme Ça chef Daniel “Boston” Laferriere cooking a New England-style Christmas dinner on December 17 at 7 p.m. Comme Ça head bartender Alex Penalosa will provide cocktail pairings with dishes including clam chowder, tourtiere pork pie and Maine lobster rolls. Tickets are $60 and can be purchased at

Grab a holiday gift basket at Chocolate & Spice while your kid decorates cookies.

Chocolate & Spice presents a hands-on holiday cooking class for kids—think hardcore cookie decorating—on December 19 at 4 p.m. The cost is $20 per kid and includes treats, and it’s a good reason to stock up on holiday pies. For info, email

Have yourself a sushi little Christmas? No problem. Chef Joseph Elevado leads an “Art of Sushi Rolling” class at Andrea’s on December 21 at noon for $59. For reservations, call 770-3463. Be warned: You may be tempted to return for Andrea’s holiday dinner menu ($85), featuring chili mint duck confit salad, diver sea scallops with pork belly and sliced New York Strip in wasabi demi-glace.

Tags: Dining
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Brock Radke is Las Vegas Weekly's food editor and author of the Strip-focused column The Incidental Tourist. He has written ...

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