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Chef works on revamp of Westgate’s Fresco Italiano

Chef Steve Young is expanding his duties at Westgate. In addition to running Edge Steakhouse, which was recently named the No. 1 steakhouse in Las Vegas by TripAdvisor, he’s taken the reins at the resort’s Fresco Italiano. Young, who worked at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas and both of Joel Robuchon’s local restaurants before moving to Westgate, says: “We’re going to get away from the mom-and-pop Olive Garden feel of it, and really put some time into the dishes we create.” Look for a full relaunch, including a new menu featuring homemade pastas and “just solid Italian food,” within three months.

Fries, fries, fries

For those who think of french fries as more than just a side dish, Frites Las Vegas is open for business at Excalibur. Billed as “the first-ever french fry concept on the Strip,” Frites starts with crispy fries cooked in rendered beef fat and dresses them up with everything from deviled egg sauce and potato rounds (Chips ‘N Dip) to breakfast sausage and black peppered gravy (sausage and gravy). Frites even offers sweet options such as churro-style sweet potato fries with whipped malted Nutella cream. Frites is in the resort’s Castle Walk food court.

Excalibur bagel shop opens

Also new at Excalibur this week is the valley’s latest Einstein Bros. Bagels. It’ll celebrate with a special sandwich called the All Knighter: a toasted hash brown bagel with cheese, eggs and bacon, drizzled with jalapeno-garlic aioli. That’s available through July 31.

Dollar deals at Eataly

La Pescheria at Eataly Las Vegas has $1 oysters on its Thursday happy hour menu. The deal is available from 4-6 p.m. every week. You can also find $1 orders of polenta fritta (fried polenta) at Eataly’s Il Fritto on Thursdays. They’re among seven happy hour deals being offered throughout Eataly during the summer months.

Chefs to do battle Friday night

Ronn Sapp, a veteran of Park on Fremont and Andiron Steak & Sea, will take on Oscar Sanchez, of Oscar Catering, in the Last-Friday, Just Add Water Street Cooking Competition in Henderson. Brett Raymer, formerly of Animal Planet’s “Tanked” and Donut Mania, will host the event. And for those looking to cool down, organizers are promising three giant water slides. Just Add Water Street runs from 6-10 p.m. Friday near the amphitheater of Henderson City Hall.

New chefs in Wynn kitchens

Wynn Las Vegas has announced two new executive chefs. Robert Bruce, a veteran of Ritz-Carlton properties in Dubai, St. Thomas and Boston, is now running the kitchen at Tableau. He’ll bring signature dishes such as seared scallops and a lobster cobb salad to the menu. Also new on the resort’s culinary roster is Son Look Ooi, who has taken the executive chef role at Red 8 and for Asian production in the resort’s other kitchens.

Sightings

Flo Rida enjoying a feast of shared plates with a large group of friends; Todd La Torre, Michael Wilson and Eddie Jackson of the band Queensryche; and a birthday celebration for retired NBA star Dirk Nowitzki thrown by Dallas Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle, all at Beauty & Essex at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas on separate occasions. Actor Mario Lopez Instagramming his Oreo Zeppole dessert at Lavo at Palazzo.

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

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

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