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Vegas Valley Winery to release first hard cider; Firefly to expand

The Vegas Valley Winery is preparing to release Southern Nevada’s first hard cider. It’s called The Sidewinder, and in keeping with the company’s mandate to use Nevada-grown fruit, it’s a 100-percent Silver State product. Most of the apples are harvested at Las Vegas’ Gilcrease Orchard, with a few from the Smith Valley in Northern Nevada thrown into the mix.

Don’t let its light, semi-sweet taste fool you; it packs a bit of a punch at 6.9-percent alcohol by volume. You can taste for yourself when the winery taps it for the public for the first time at a party Aug. 17 at its location at 7360 Eastgate Road in Henderson’s Booze District. That’s the only place it will be available until production increases.

Back to Big Apple

On the heels of the recent vegan meal prepared by Las Vegas chefs at New York’s James Beard House, a local contingent will head back to the Big Apple culinary landmark to represent the valley next month. Titled “Beyond the Neon,” the Sept. 7 Beard dinner will showcase off-Strip talent. Chefs from Sparrow + Wolf, Partage, Locale, The Black Sheep, Other Mama and Hatsumi, Mordeo and District One, Carson Kitchen and the upcoming Main St. Provisions will be among those cooking.

Firefly to expand

Firefly Tapas Kitchen + Bar is preparing to open a second location at 7355 S. Buffalo Drive, at Warm Springs Road. The new spot will occupy the space that housed The Goodwich’s short-lived expansion into the southwest valley. Firefly owner John Simmons is a pioneer of off-Strip dining who introduced tapas to the valley at the original Firefly location on Paradise Road in 2003. After moving to a larger space just up the road, he converted the original restaurant to the simply named Tacos & Beer.

Philanthropy on a bun

Magician Mat Franco stopped in to Smoked Burgers & BBQ at The Forum Shops at Caesars this weekend to try The Spicy Mat Franco, the first of five celebrity burgers the restaurant is featuring to benefit charities. Franco’s choice is a Beyond Meat patty with vegan cheese, lettuce, tomato, onions, jalapenos and smoked sriracha ketchup on a vegan bun with mesquite or sweet potato fries. It’s $18 and available through the end of the month, with 10 percent of the proceeds going to The Animal Foundation. Other celebrity burgers will be featured each month through December.

Vicariously Vietnam

Honey Salt will host a culinary visit to Southeast Asia on Aug. 27. The latest installment in the Summerlin restaurant’s Farm Table dinner series will be “A Taste of Vietnam,” featuring guest chef Khai Vu. Known to local foodies as the man behind District One and Mordeo Wine Bar, Vu will team up with Honey Salt’s Todd Harrington for a four-course family-style feast. Tickets are $49, with beverage pairing available for $25.

Come for the views

The Open Table reservation site named four Las Vegas restaurants to its list of America’s 100 most scenic. They are Eiffel Tower Restaurant and Mon Ami Gabi at Paris Las Vegas, Giada at The Cromwell and Hell’s Kitchen at Caesars Palace.

Sightings

TV personality and DJ Brody Jenner with a group having dim sum and sushi at Tao at The Venetian. Actor/comedian/dancer Alfonso Ribeiro at Topgolf at MGM Grand.

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

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

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