While many chefs at Sunday’s Whiskey in the Wilderness festival could often be found visiting friends’ cooking stations, observant guests were quick to notice one who wasn’t where he was expected to be at any point in the day. Shaun King’s absence at the Momofuku station, where chef de cuisine Michael Rubenstein was running the show, was the talk of Spring Mountain Ranch. When asked about it over at the Sara’s station, where he spent most of the day, King explained that he’s left the executive chef position at David Chang’s Cosmopolitan restaurant and is looking to strike out on his own, probably away from the Strip. Rubenstein confirmed the story but didn’t offer any more details.
Pasta Shop turning big 3-0
Thirty years of operating a restaurant in Southern Nevada is worthy of celebration, and Ann Alenik, owner of the Pasta Shop Ristorante & Art Gallery at 2525 W. Horizon Ridge Parkway in Henderson, is doing just that. During March, Alenik is offering a $30 four-course menu, available during lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and dinner from 4:30 to 9 p.m. daily. Expect such Pasta Shop favorites as saffron shrimp saute with squid ink pasta, and salmon fillet with lobster ravioli and lobster cream sauce; vegan options also are available. The restaurant also is hosting fresh-pasta giveaways, including free pasta for a year, via Instagram and Facebook. Call 702-451-1893.
Pop-up noodle machine
Free noodles! The Foodbeast website has teamed up with Nissin Foods USA instant noodle company for a pop-up prize-vending machine from Wednesday through April 4 at Las Vegas Premium Outlets South, 7400 Las Vegas Blvd. South (near Warm Springs Road). Follow the instructions on The Dream Machine, which include posting a photo with the gizmo on Instagram, and you can win Cup Noodles, Cup Noodles merchandise, a video game or a gift voucher.
Another Five-Star award
Wing Lei at Wynn Las Vegas has earned another Five-Star award from the Forbes Travel Guide, the only Chinese restaurant in North America to do so. Wynn/Encore’s Four-Star award winners are Andrea’s, Costa di Mare, Mizumi, Sinatra, SW Steakhouse and Lakeside.
Openings and closings
Here’s a novel — and welcome — approach to a soft opening. At veteran Strip chef Gina Marinelli’s La Strega, 3555 S. Town Center Drive, all guests will receive a 33 percent discount on their checks during a special preview period through March 13. Serving such entrees as rigatoni Bolognese with wild boar, n’duja and Grana Padano, and pasta with stewed calamari, lobster and rock shrimp, the restaurant is open for dinner Tuesdays through Saturdays. La Strega will begin daily dinner starting at 5 p.m. March 14. Call 702-722-2099 or visit lastregalv.com.
Zen Coffee Bar has opened at 10960 S. Eastern Ave., serving various coffees as well as smoothies, teas, boba, beer, wine, sake, fresh pastries and locally made chocolates. Call 702-546-0166.
Fiamma at MGM Grand will close March 24 to make way for a new Italian concept.
UFC featherweight Jeremy Stephens at a separate table from UFC fighter Nate Diaz and two-time Strikeforce Lightweight Champion Gilbert Melendez at Sake Rok at The Park at MGM. Killers bass guitarist Mark Stoermer and Smashing Pumpkins manager Tommy Lipnick at MB Steak at the Hard Rock Hotel.
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