Dining News & Notes: Uncork’d sellouts, Blue Bell Ice Cream and ‘Top Chef’ shoes?

Diners, grab your spoons. Texas’ Blue Bell Ice Cream is coming to Las Vegas.
Michael Voltaggio.

Michael Voltaggio.

Usually our dining coverage doesn’t deal much with feet (the occasional dim sum chicken’s foot excepted), but this week, culinary royalty meets Downtown Vegas royalty with the debut of two Michael Voltaggio-designed shoes for sale on Zappos.com. Voltaggio, you’ll recall, is the LA-based chef who took the grand prize on the Vegas season of Top Chef (some say the show’s last great season). His shoes, a collaboration with OTZshoes, use the company’s signature cork foot bed and a Vibram sole for anti-slip comfort that’s made to “work overtime” without looking like your average kitchen clog. The lace-up MadlibMV retails for $165, and the lace-free MocMV go for $175. Both look good enough to wear out for drinks after work, which, if they really stand up to a day on the line, is saying a lot.

Voltaggio isn’t the only Top Chef alum putting himself out there. Angelo Sosa—a Season 7 and All-Stars vet who now lives in Vegas and owns Poppy Den at Tivoli Village—is scheduled to appear on Iron Chef America next month. On March 8, Sosa will take on Iron (and Vegas) Chef Bobby Flay in an episode titled “Vegas High Rollers,” to be judged by Hal Rubenstein, Judy Joo and Billy Harris.

Fans of mashed potato-stuffed burgers and giant pancakes now have a new place to chow down on Hash House A Go Go’s super-sized country fare. The popular restaurant with three Valley locations added a fourth on Monday at the Rio in the former home of São Paulo Café. Hash House Rio will be open daily from 6 a.m.-3 p.m. and will serve brunch seven days a week. Chicken and waffles for everyone!

And next month, Texas-made Blue Bell Ice Cream will begin distribution in Las Vegas at Albertsons, Food 4 Less, Walgreens and Walmart, among other locations. Blue Bell, which has been making ice cream since 1911, produces year-round and rotational flavors, like Chocolate Covered Cherries, Mint Cookies ‘n Cream and I Heart Chocolate (milk chocolate ice cream with dark chocolate-filled hearts, chocolate-coated cake piece and a chocolate icing swirl), all of which are in rotation this month. The company also sells its stuff by the half-gallon and claims that many of its competitors have downsized their cartons without cutting prices. “If you still aren’t convinced, put it on a scale,” the Blue Bell website suggests. Although I’m not sure seeing how much your ice cream weighs necessarily makes you want to buy more.

2013 Vegas Uncork'd: Grand Tasting at Caesars

Finally, If you’re planning to attend Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appétit this year, you probably want to start thinking about tickets—yesterday. Seven events at the annual Strip food festival have already sold out, including Joël Robuchon’s Cooking and Wine Demo, which was totally booked in just 90 minutes. (Love the image of foodies frantically hitting refresh on their browsers to get a seat.) Of course, there are still plenty of events available over the May 8-11 weekend, including Master Series Dinners at Guy Savoy, Rao’s and Francois Payard; Michael Mina’s Pig Roast and Beer Garden; and Chefs’ Counter, which will have Aria chefs like Jean-Georges Vongerichten taking over the property buffet for a self-service celebrity chef experiment. And for those who want to experience the granddaddy of dine-arounds, both GA and early access tickets—$225 and $300, respectively—are still up for grabs for the annual Grand Tasting at Caesars Palace. I can feel the glorious food coma setting in already.

Tags: Dining
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