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Chef serves couple night of intimacy

Trish Kinard wants you to know “there are some people here that just want to do something for nothing.”

She and her husband, David, celebrated their 25th anniversary Tuesday with a table for two at chef Don Espaniola‘s Intimate Fine Dining restaurant in Henderson.

It was the ultimate in intimate: The Kinards were the only patrons in Espaniola’s eight-table restaurant.

She called last month to book their anniversary dinner after a first-time visit with a friend.

She told the man who answered the telephone that she wanted to come in Aug. 4. The man on the telephone apologized and said the restaurant was open only Thursday through Saturday.

Oh no, she said. She had just canceled an expensive trip to Sedona, Ariz.

“He asked why? I told him (the reason), then he said he would open his restaurant just for us for that night.” It was Espaniola.

“I was floored,” Kinard said.

“I think I said, ‘Are you sure?’ That kind of service has been long lost in Vegas for a long time.”

The Kinards, who live in Henderson, had their son “chauffeur us to the restaurant,” where Espaniola set up a table in the kitchen so they could watch him prepare a dinner that included lobster, osso bucco, fois gras, and lamb chops.

For the final touch, he made a black and blueberry cheesecake cobbler with lemon verbena on the spot.

“It was,” said Trish, “the nicest, most wonderful gesture in the world.”

When Espaniola opened the restaurant a year ago on Aug. 13 at 1770 W. Horizon Ridge Parkway, he said he wanted “intimate” in the name “because you’re not coming into my restaurant. You’re coming into my home.”

Espaniola, 33, said it was such an enjoyable experience for all involved that he’s planning to offer it on a semiregular basis.

SOBERING START

Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore‘s Las Vegas-to-New York flight got off to a scary start Thursday.

Their plane was forced to turn around and make an emergency landing after engine trouble. They were in a private, propeller-driven plane, said a spokesman at McCarran International Airport.

Kutcher and Moore were seen leaving the Playboy Club at the Palms about 4 a.m. after taking part in the Las Vegas premiere of his new movie, “Spread.”

Both jumped on their Twitter sites about 1 p.m. to report the adventure.

Kutcher tweeted: “My plane just had to do an emergency landing. Engine over heated. Fire engines everywhere good times.”

Moore wrote: “Yep it is always an adventure in Vegas emergency landing and all.”

Kutcher added that he was “happy to be alive” and invited his Twitter followers to join him at the Turtle Bay bar in New York City.

“Say ‘Spread’ at the door for 1/2 off drinks! on me!” he tweeted.

MAY I RECOMMEND …

Best pork chop ever? Chef Sam DeMarco‘s Kentucky-fried pork chop at First Food and Bar at the Palazzo is A-No. 1, top of the heap, in my book. It is served with broiled Georgia peaches, a dollop of cream and honeycomb. It’s on the daily menu for $14.44 and is available with the DJ Sunday brunch, which runs from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. and features the Bottomless Champagne Fountain for $7.

SIGHTINGS

Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale, checking into the new Paradise Tower suites at the Hard Rock Hotel on Thursday, with their sons Kingston and Zuma. … Film legend Tony Curtis, stopping in the Rusty Spur Saloon, 8025 Dean Martin Drive on Thursday. On the saloon wall, he drew a picture of a cowboy sitting on a saddle, then signed his name with the phrase, “Go Get em” … Kutcher and Moore, leading a “Happy Birthday” serenade to actress and friend Soleil Moon Frye at midnight Wednesday on the observation deck at ghostbar (Palms). Kutcher and Moore were hosting an afterparty for “Spread.” Frye was among a group that dined at N9NE Steakhouse with Kutcher and Moore. Also in the group: Pussycat Dolls founder Robin Antin and singer Matt Goss. The party continued at the Playboy Club. … Mary “Mama” Scinta, walking into a surprise 80th birthday party at the Bootlegger Bistro on Thursday with members of her entertainment family.

THE PUNCH LINE

“Former President Clinton, under cover of darkness, parachuted into North Korea with a knife in his teeth and rescued journalist Laura Ling and Euna Lee. It was a 13-hour flight home, during which, according to standard rescue protocol, Clinton gave both of them mouth-to-mouth.” — late-night TV host Jimmy Kimmel

Norm Clarke can be reached at (702) 383-0244 or norm@reviewjournal.com. Find additional sightings and more online at www.normclarke.com.

A phone number for the Nevada Foreclosure Mediation Program published in Thursday’s Las Vegas Review-Journal was incorrect. Program manager Verise Campbell can be reached at 702-486-9380.

The Review-Journal corrects mistakes. Bring errors to our attention by calling 383-0264.

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