The folks at Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare in the Wynn Las Vegas can tell you a thing or two about the power of the press.
Business has been booming since the January-February issue of Departures magazine ran a feature on "how the greatest langoustines on the planet traveled from a mysterious island in a faraway sea" to Bartolotta.
"Some nights 50 percent of our customers are here because of that article," said general manager Pascal Abi Nader.
The restaurant sells about 80 of the prized crustaceans per night, with a single-night high of 120. A Russian trio recently split 25 jumbos between them, or almost $1,000 just for the langoustines. Jumbos go for $35 each.
Other notes from Vegas Uncork'd by Bon Appetit:
■ Caesars Palace president Gary Selesner told me the recession deep-sixed CP's efforts to land Spanish star chef José Andrés. Former Caesars general manager John Unwin was in hot pursuit of Andrés before the recession hit. Then Unwin jumped to The Cosmopolitan and talked Andrés into joining him. Andrés' hidden gem at Jaleo -- a home to a 15- to 20-course dining experience known as 'e' by José Andrés -- is landing some big fish. Champagne producer Moët & Chandon held a media tasting in the eight-seat space earlier this week. The 'e' concept is open Wednesdays through Saturdays, 5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. at $250 each, all inclusive. Or $3,000, all inclusive, gets you all eight seats for the night. Information: firstname.lastname@example.org.
■ Los Angeles chef David Myers, who has a spinoff of the French Brasserie Comme Ca at The Cosmopolitan, grew up in Cincinnati and turned down an opportunity to be a batboy for the hometown Reds. A Charlie Trotter disciple, Myers chose to focus on a different plate.
Claire Sinclair was officially crowned Playboy's Playmate of the Year on Friday at the Palms, the youngest winner since 1960.
Sinclair, who turned 19 in February, will appear in a June issue pictorial that celebrates the pinup era. Playboy founder Hugh Hefner compared Sinclair's "classic and iconic" look to Bettie Page and Barbie Benton, his former girlfriend.
Sinclair and Hefner's son, Marston, have been dating for less than a year. A full interview with Hefner and Sinclair will appear here on Sunday.
Larry King's CNN special, "Unthinkable: The Alzheimer's Epidemic," will air tonight at 5 p.m., 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. after being pre-empted in this time zone by Sunday's Osama bin Laden coverage. Much of the special was filmed at the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. It is being shown in 212 countries. ...
Las Vegas journalist Steve Friess has been accepted for a Knight-Wallace Fellowship at the University of Michigan and is leaving in September. He started covering Las Vegas in the mid-1990s. His VegasHappensHere.com blog and TheStrippodcast.com blog, the latter with life partner Miles Smith, will end in August, per terms of the fellowship.
Crooner Luis Miguel and Daisy Fuentes, cuddling in a bungalow on Cinco de Mayo at Encore Beach Club (Encore). ...
THE PUNCH LINE
"Jacob and Isabella are the most popular baby names in the U.S. The least popular baby name: Donald Sheen bin Laden." -- Jimmy Fallon