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Border Grill introduces private brunch; Vegans, Baby dinner

Border Grill’s Mike Minor is preparing to launch an up-close-and-personal version of the restaurant’s weekend Border Brunch. The chef has converted the Mandalay Bay restaurant’s downstairs bar to accommodate a private dining experience for up to 10 people, where he and a team of four other chefs, with the assistance of a server/bartender, will prepare an entire feast.

“You get to just eat and drink and let me explain every course to you,” Minor says. “We just party and have a good time.”

With a tentative price of $89 per person, plus tax and tip, it will include brunch favorites such as shrimp and grits and steak and eggs, as well as off-menu items including freshly shucked oysters and caviar. Champagne and cocktails will be included. The experience is ready to launch as early as this weekend. To make a reservation, call 702-632-7200 and ask to speak to Jonelle, Mike or Destiny.

Chefs going big on vegan

Vegans, Baby founder Diana Edelman and the five local chefs who prepared a vegan dinner at the James Beard House in New York this month will re-create the experience Aug. 21 at Catch at Aria. The evening will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a reception with passed hors d’oeuvres and Champagne, followed by five courses with wine pairings. It’s $140 inclusive and a portion of proceeds will benefit Hearts Alive Las Vegas, a nonprofit dedicated to homeless dogs and cats. eventbrite.com

Branching out

Marc Marrone clearly isn’t satisfied only being able to serve his food when T-Mobile Arena is open. The former Tao Group chef, who operates Graffiti Bao and Pina by Graffiti Bao at the arena, will open a catering service along with the first of his upcoming brick-and-mortar restaurants. A permanent version of Graffiti Bao is expected to open around Sept. 1 on Buffalo Drive near Warm Springs Road. Marrone will begin a catering service at that time, offering bao buns, noodles, fried rice, sesame chicken, tacos, nachos, churros and salads for private events.

And the winners are …

Two people opted to split the first- and second-place prizes at PT’s Scorpion Sauce Wing Eating Challenge at PT’s Ranch on Sunday, rather than consume a third round of ridiculously spicy wings. One hundred entrants competed 10 at a time in the first round, devouring as many wings as they could in two minutes in an effort to score a piece of the $4,000 prize pool. Four contestants each managed to consume 14 of the wings, which were doused in a sauce that reportedly registered over 2 million on the Scoville scale. (Compare that with jalapenos, about 5,000, with habaneros starting around 150,000). In the tie-breaker, Thomas Gilbert and Raymond Bryan each consumed 13 more, and decided to share a combined $3,500 evenly.

Openings

Chosun Hwaro & Nara Teppan, billed as the largest Korean barbecue and teppan restaurant on the Strip, opens Wednesday at the Miracle Mile Shops. With 30 Korean barbecue tables and 12 teppan tables, it also will serve sushi. Hours are 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily. Visit chosunnara.com or call 702-369-9637.

Caked Las Vegas has opened at 7175 W. Lake Mead Blvd., in the Rock Springs plaza. It serves cupcakes, cakes, Rice Krispies treats, cookies, tarts, cannolis, eclairs and fudge. The August cake flavors of the month are Pina Colada, Key Lime Pie and Banana Split. Hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays. Visit cakedlv.com or call 702-835-0061.

Sightings

Singer Gashi at Lavo at Palazzo. NBA star Chris Paul at Tao at The Venetian.

The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Las Vegas Sands Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson. Las Vegas Sands operates The Venetian and Palazzo.

Have an item for Kitchen Confidante? Email hrinella@reviewjournal.com or amancini@reviewjournal.com.

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