Obama gets big order of pizza during Las Vegas visit

President Barack Obama’s personal chef gave it a thumb’s up, but that doesn’t mean the first lady is going to approve.

A dozen pizzas were delivered to the floor where the president was staying Wednesday in Summerlin, including two to his suite at the Westin’s Element hotel.

When the president’s chef later gave some slices to a White House staffer, he gave it a thumb’s up, according to Jeff LaPour, co-owner of Dom DeMarco’s Pizzeria & Bar in Summerlin.

First lady Michelle Obama has been crusading for healthier food options to fight the nation’s childhood obesity epidemic. Pizza would be a no-no to some nutritionists.

The delivery order included 12 cannolis. One round sausage pie and a square one topped with pepperoni were delivered to the presidential suite.

The pizzaria, which opened Dec. 1, is a spinoff from DeMarco’s Di Fara Pizza, an institution in Brooklyn, N.Y. Because of the three-hour time change, LaPour called DeMarco with the news on Thursday.

"He’s ecstatic," LaPour said.

REMEMBERING TONY CURTIS

The decision not to have local dignitaries, other than Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman, on the tarmac greeting President Obama must have been an eleventh-hour scratch.

Henderson Mayor Andy Hafen had been informed he would either meet Obama or get "limo time" during the ride to Element.

He had earlier informed officials at Health South of Henderson that he might miss a dedication ceremony for a gym named after the late Tony Curtis. Hafen made it to the rehabilitation center in time.

Curtis had twice rehabbed at Heath South after health struggles. He died at his Henderson home on Sept. 19, 2010. He was 85.

His widow, Jill, was unable to attend because of 5½-hour back surgery on Wednesday. She was represented by her father, Dr. Dave Vandenberg of San Diego.

Vandenberg delivered the line of the night. He recalled ruining his mother’s trash can tops as a kid when he used them as a shield while emulating Curtis’ sword fights in "Spartacus" and "The Vikings."

After his daughter married the film icon, Vandenberg said it was a little weird when Curtis "called me ‘dad.’ "

P.S.: If Health South got $20 for every time at the event I heard a woman reminisce about Curtis kissing her hand during their introduction, the rehab center could build a new wing.

THE SCENE AND HEARD

Beth Lano, who plays the principal French horn in "Phantom: The Las Vegas Spectacular," allotted herself an hour and 10 minutes to drive from Henderson to her job at The Venetian on Wednesday. It wasn’t enough. She got caught in the airport tunnel for an hour when roads were closed for the 30-plus vehicle presidential motorcade. Lano, the 6 p.m. to midnight deejay at KNPR-FM 88.9, missed the first three scenes, about 25 minutes. …

Carlos Guia, executive chef at The County Club restaurant at Wynn Las Vegas, was a member of the Class of 1986 at State College Area High School with Joe Paterno’s son Jay. A campus memorial service honoring the longtime Penn State football coach was Thursday. Paterno died Sunday at the age of 85.

SIGHTINGS

NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, at separate tables at The Country Club at Wynn on Monday.

THE PUNCH LINE

"Auditions (for ‘American Idol’) were held in Aspen. Where else better to find talent than a snowbound town that’s 400 miles by icy road to the nearest city?" — 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. Follow Norm on Twitter @Norm_Clarke.

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