Restaurant and chef semifinalists have been announced for the 2014 James Beard Foundation Awards, and once again Las Vegas managed only a few mentions. Picasso at Bellagio gets the biggest nomination as Julian Serrano is up for Outstanding Chef and the restaurant is nominated for Outstanding Wine Program. Mitsuo Endo of Raku is nominated for Best Chef: West. Other nominees have Vegas ties: Jaleo’s Washington, D.C., location is up for Outstanding Restaurant, and Bonanno Concepts of Denver (Bonanno’s New York Pizzeria) and Fox Restaurant Concepts of Phoenix (Culinary Dropout) are nominated for the Outstanding Restaurateur award. Somehow, Las Vegas gets no love in the service or pastry chef categories … weird. The winners will be announced May 2 and 5.
You can cheer on Angelo Sosa when his Iron Chef America battle against Bobby Flay airs on the Food Network at 8 p.m. March 2 at a viewing party at Poppy Den at Tivoli Village. Guests will be able to mingle with Sosa, and after the show, a different dish from the battle will be featured as a special at the restaurant from March 3 through March 8. A “Last Supper” tasting menu of Sosa’s Iron Chef dishes is also planned for March 7 and 8 for $85.
Next door at Cantina Laredo, Asombroso Tequila is coming on March 5 for the Mexican restaurant’s first tequila dinner of the year, a four-course meal prepared by chef Damon Workman for $50. For reservations, call 202-4511.
Block 16 Hospitality is staying busy. The local restaurant group just opened Haute Doggery at the Linq and then the Blind Pig Provisions & Lounge at the Panorama Towers on Valentine’s Day, and now the Public House gastropub at Venetian is hosting Left Coast Brewing Co. for a beer pairing dinner on March 25 for $75. The menu includes Caesar salad with fried oysters and Una Mas Amber Lager and a cider-brined pork chop with red grapes and Brussels sprout leaves plus Red Tide Belgian Ale. For reservations, call 407-5310.