We had such a great time last year during Vegas Uncorked, hosted by Bon Appetite, that we planned a do over as soon as we returned home. We knew the approximate dates are usually around Mother’s Day weekend, per a kind tip from a celebrity chef, so we blocked off the time on the calendar for 2019. We already have friends planning to join us for 2020 and at this point we have made a few friends along the way that we hope to see again. May is my second favorite month, as all the spring growth is beginning, vacation vibes hum, post tax season calls for my soul to rest and it’s my anniversary month. Being that my husband and I met Memorial Day weekend, we celebrated each anniversary of the day we met, it was only appropriate to keep the date from escaping my mind by getting married five years later. Since we met around dancing and fun, Las Vegas is a good fit sixteen years later.
This year’s event schedule released in February and I immediately scanned it for event options, narrowed by times and prior experience, then discussed with my best half in order to optimize the plans. Our hotel was booked for a while so that was not of any concern. My husband has little amusement in the Beverly Hills Housewives franchise, but was aware of how much I admired and respected the work Lisa Vanderpump is doing for dogs in need with The Vanderpump Dog Foundation. I enjoyed the Vanderpump Rose during the Wine Bloggers Conference the year it was in Santa Rosa and was ready for my wine-soaked food love to pair with philanthropy and beauty I could stand behind. I pounced on the event for Lisa Vanderpump’s Roses and Rose because I like pink wine and I cannot lie (especially the sparkly kind, but I digress).
Life seemed quite busy for the Vanderpump brand as Lisa was on Vanderpump Rules and the Beverly Hills Housewives as well as opening two restaurants, with the most recent being the Vanderpump Cocktail Garden in Caesars Palace. The space required the move of some slot machines and is located between the casino floor and the entry to the glamorous Forum Shops. I was so impressed with the beautiful garden appeal that had an English charm with mesmerizing industrial fixtures. A little secret about me is that I am a wee bit in love with lighting and various options, this place did not disappoint. As we were close to the front of the line, we enjoyed watching the finishing touches of event set up as well as the arrival of the guests of honor. Ken Todd arrived with Puffy in tow, while Pandora & husband Jason Sabo arrived seeming to dot I’s and cross T’s before Lisa Vanderpump appeared.
As people began to arrive it became difficult to truly capture the scene in photo, but that’s why marketers have professional photos online to view if you decide to visit. After a long drive that began in what I love to call, oh shit o’clock in the morning, we had stopped by Gordon Ramsay Fish & Chips when we arrived in Las Vegas for a snack a few hours before this event and I was definitely a little thirsty for a glass of sparkling or still wine. Ladies greeted the guests with the option of Vanderpump rose, Ferrari rose sparkling or The Vanderpink Margarita (which I did have later in the evening). So, glass of rose in hand for me and into a small line for photos with Lisa we went. She asked if my hair had red pink hue for the occasion or always and we made small talk regarding dogs and congratulations on the restaurants opening success. The glory of being the first in is that while everyone looks for their seat of choice, I look for opportunity to take in the space and mingle.
As Vegas Uncorked is a food event, we enjoyed the dishes being passed around throughout the evening. From manchego stuffed bacon wrapped dates with citrus micro greens to the famous goat cheese balls with Belgian endive salad and poppy seed dressing heard about on Vanderpump Rules being served at SUR restaurant. There was plenty to take in with visually fun and palate enticing flavors. Most dishes where nice and light without the heft to make one sleepy after a travel day. One of my favorite bites was the goat cheese beet towers, though my husband says beets taste like dirt, I choose to say they have flavors of terroir. The best bite to pair with the rose for me was a coin toss between the ahi tuna tartare crispy plantain tacos with chili ginger citrus glaze, avocado and crispy capers or the spicy salmon tartare cones with caviar and micro chives. For flavor I vote ahi tacos with the crispy plantain crunch touched with citrus brightness yet, for more glamour I lean towards spicy salmon cone that had the beauty only fresh salmon can with the salinity caviar dances upon the tongue.
Note to self, do not write about delicious food when you have not had lunch. Drooling!
The hours flew as we mingled with other guest, finding out what brought them to the event, how they heard about it and details of their joie de vivre for Vegas. We were surprised to learn, as Lisa was addressing everybody, that Pandora’s birthday was the day before and she was presented with a lovely cake that brought delight upon seeing her pups’ photo was on it. I cannot say enough about how gracious, kind and charming the whole family was and I didn’t realize until I was talking to him later that Jason was the kind gentleman that asked if I would like to take a picture with Ken earlier. As the event concluded we lingered for a few more cocktails before being surprised by a late rain shower on our way back to the room.
Should you decide to check the place out I highly recommend the following cocktail, not previously mentioned, A Sidecar Named Desire with the divine texture of egg white (no mustache please), Remy Martin 1738 and Asian pear. If you desire something with a spiced note to keep you peppy, than the Checkmate Bitch was fun with the party on your palate flavors of grapefruit liqueur, jalapeno vodka and pink peppercorns tempered in hushed tones by fresh pineapple and vanilla. Whether you chose a cocktail and a small bite in the garden area or want to keep the libations flowing by the bar this is a great spot to enjoy, sip and savor. Take a peek for yourself HERE
Cheers! Next up will be Vegas Uncork’d 2019 Day 2 – Sushi Perfection with Chef Nobu