Dining

Dining notebook: Eat’s menu preview, mac and cheese mecca and more

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Chef Natalie Young poses at the site of her restaurant “Eat,” under construction at Carson Avenue and 7th Street, in downtown Las Vegas Monday, July 23, 2012. The new breakfast and lunch spot is expected to open in September, she said.
Photo: Steve Marcus

Let’s Eat

I know not everyone is waiting with quite as much anticipation for the opening of chef Natalie Young’s Downtown Project-funded breakfast and lunch spot Eat (707 Carson St.), but I’m so excited I can practically taste it. And now that the menu has been posted on Eat’s website, along with daily hours (7 a.m.-3 p.m.), I know exactly what I’ll be dining on as soon as Young opens her doors to the public. For now, chew on these items off the menu of updated classics:

Golden-brown pancakes with maple syrup, Grand Marnier mascarpone and chicken-apple sausage

Made-to-order beignets with seasonal jam and mascarpone

Truffled egg sandwich with wild mushrooms, chives, Fontina, bacon and potatoes

Prime rib hash with poached eggs, green chile and onion

Green chile chicken posole

Free range chicken sandwich with buffalo mozzarella, tomato and pesto mayo

Mac attack!

Is there a more perfect food than mac and cheese? The creamy carb-fest can be dinner or side dish, spicy or simple, packed with ingredients or deliciously minimalist. Mac and cheese is drunken craving and hungover breakfast. It’s evidence that someone out there loves us and wants us to be happy, and it’s staking its claim on Henderson. Let your mac flag fly!

On September 1, new mac and cheese restaurant Mix N Mac (605 Mall Ring Circle) opened its doors in Henderson next to the Galleria Mall. The locally owned pasta joint serves customizable creations topped with Doritos, bread crumbs or corn tortillas and bolstered by additions like jalapeños, roasted peppers, chorizo and BBQ chicken. The menu also includes salads and sandwiches, including grilled cheese with bacon and tomato and a deep fried PB&J, but this place is about the mac. Make your own, or select from the special combos like pizza mac, Mex mac or chili mac. That last one comes highly recommended—it’s the owner’s favorite.

Cosmo cook-off

To say that the Cosmopolitan has embraced its role as Top Chef Masters host would be an understatement. Along with hosting a big ol' season-premiere bash and weekly poolside viewing parties, behind-the-scenes, Cosmo staffers have taken the whole competitive cooking thing really, really to heart.

Starting in late July, the casino held its own Top Chef Masters CoStar Challenge, pitting teams of five Cosmo employees (only one Food & Beverage staffer allowed per squad) against one another to cook the best dishes from mystery basket ingredients in 30 minutes. (Yes, that’s more Chopped than Top Chef, but both involve people making food with kooky ingredients under lots of pressure while a clock ticks ominously in the background.)

After all the teams had done their thing, the top two finishers, Bring Home the Bacon and Shakers & Bakers, went head to head before a crowd of coworkers last week in a fairly epic battle for company cash and bragging rights. While the NBC Olympic theme played, recruiters and revenue managers cooked up dishes using salmon, Korean barbecue sauce, eggplant and taro chips to be tasted by a panel of judges that included Cosmo CEO John Unwin, VP of Food & Beverage, Retail Greg Waldron and John Fogal, the director of development for Las Vegas Rescue Mission (which received a $2,500 donation from the casino). When all was said and done, the judges had selected Team Shakers & Bakers for Top Chef Masters victory. And Bring Home the Bacon? Please pack your knives and go back to work.

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