Las Vegas chef to take over Starboard Tack kitchen

Chef Michael LaPlaca is leaving Las Vegas for Cleveland, and his friends at Starboard Tack, 2601 Atlantic St., are throwing him a going-away party. But they’ve asked him to cook. The chef, who most recently opened Osteria Costa at The Mirage, is best known as the man who breathed new life into The Mirage’s Portofino before its eventual closing. On Sept. 28, he’ll take over the kitchen of the popular eastside bar to prepare a multi-course menu showcasing favorite dishes from his 12 years in Las Vegas. More details are expected this week.

Another chef leaving

RM Seafood chef de cuisine Sean Collins is also leaving town, heading to Napa Valley. Collins has taken a position at Chris Cosentino’s Acacia House at the Las Alcobas hotel in St. Helena. Michael Fraunheim, who has worked at RM for over four years, will take over his duties.

Downtown opening delayed

Branden Powers tells us the goal of a Halloween opening for his new Heavy Metal Pizza Party in the Arts District is looking less achievable, and he may end up pushing it to early next year. He’s exploring the possibility adding video poker machines, trying to secure a second space next door to the original site at 1212 Main St., and developing a pair of animatronic characters who will entertain diners from a balcony area. We’re told one of those characters is loosely based on Ozzy Osbourne, while his cohort will bear a resemblance to the late Lemmy of Motorhead.

And their banter will reportedly get raunchier as the evening progresses.

A big outdoor table

This month’s Project Dinner Table location has been changed to the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Orchard on Farm Road in the northern valley. Tickets are $220 for the event, which begins at 6 p.m. Sept. 29.

Retro lounge opens

The Thunderbird Boutique Hotel, 1215 Las Vegas Blvd. South, has a cool new bar — Thunderbird Lounge. The lounge (and other food and beverages on the property) is from Kelley Jones Hospitality. Jones is a Las Vegas hospitality veteran formerly with the Light Group. Todd Parmelee, his partner in this venture, formerly was with Golden Entertainment and the Hard Rock Hotel. The retro-style bar serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and has a pool table, beer pong and a patio with fire pit.


Rapper De La Ghetto at Tao at The Venetian. Former professional boxers Freddie Roach and Miguel Cotto and trainer/commentator Teddy Atlas at MB Steak at the Hard Rock Hotel.

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

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