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Posts from May 2011

Vegas Wrapup

Before I get to the highlights of the MCC (which I'll be summarizing here and elsewhere), I wanted to give a little rundown of my time in Vegas.  I was there for the Equal Justice Conference, which brings together pro bono and public interest law types from across the country. Included in that group are Vivian and Carolyn, who both used to live in NYC and now live elsewhere, and given that the three of us were all going to be in Vegas, friends Emilia and Betsy (who are public interest lawyers as well but weren't attending the conference) timed their trips to coincide with the conference.

Per my usual travel mode, I spent a great deal of time researching food and drink options.  Arriving on Wednesday night, we started off with a drink at Vesper, and then had a tasty Chino-Latino dinner at China Poblano.  We wandered around the strip a bit afterwards, mostly Caesar's Palace, but we had trouble finding the exit and ended up in a random back alley/parking lot, still searching for the street and a cab to take us home.

Thursday after a full day of conference sessions, I had put together a large group dinner (for 28) at Firefly -- tapas and paella -- and then we were off to the Bellagio for some gambling.  I'm not much of a gambler. Over the course of the weekend I played the slots a bit as well as some roulette, but once I lost my $50 I was pretty much done. That left me to one of my favorite pastimes in Vegas: people watching. One of the things I was constantly wondering is how the women managed to walk around in their crazy killer heels. I have very low tolerance for uncomfortable shoes, and they seemed to be everywhere in Vegas (along with lots of sequins and some of the trashiest looking micro-mini dresses I've seen).  I kept surpressing the urge to stop one of the women and ask them how they did it and if they had any practical tips for me.

Friday was more conference sessions, and then a workout and a quick nap to gear up for the big event -- dinner at E by Jose Andres. E is an 8 seat restaurant inside Jaleo in the Cosmopolitan that offers two "shows" per night, with the courses plated in front of us. Viv and I went to the early seating for a 15+ course meal with beverage pairings (don't worry -- the courses were small). I'm not even going to begin to describe the meal except by saying that it was incredible, and I'll definitely be going back.  Pictures from dinner, with descriptions of the courses are here.  After a digestif at Vesper, we spent the evening at the Hard Rock, Em's favorite, and ended up spending quite a bit of time at the dueling piano bar there (and yes, they let me sing backup a bit).

We got off to a slow start Saturday morning, and had brunch at the Peppermill, an institution known more for the decor than the food, but definitely worth a visit. We then wandered through Encore and the Wynn, and relaxed for the afternoon.  Dinner was at Raku, a small Japanese robata grill off the strip.  I had heard about Raku from my friend Zach, a chef who now lives out there, and it was great -- housemade tofu and soy sauce, and probably the best Agedashi tofu I've ever had.  After dinner, we headed to B&B at the Venitian to say hi to him and have a drink and dessert.

Sunday we had to head out, but not without one more stop: my first visit to In-n-Out Burger, where we got drive-thru on the way to the airport (as a NYer, I tend to forget about the drive-thru option. Props to Viv for that one!). We had a mini picnic at the airport -- a double double animal style and extra crispy fries for each of us.

Finally getting back into the swing of things; more writing to come!!


Sorry for the quiet around here, gang, but I've been recovering from some crash cocktail writing followed by MCC followed by VEGAS.  Sloooowly getting back to the grind. Pics, recaps, and more coming soon. In the meantime, to tide you over, please enjoy this picture, taken from my window at the lovely Marriott Springhill Suites in Vegas:


MCC Time!

It's finally here -- tonight is the kickoff of the Manhattan Cocktail Classic!  Here's where I'll be this weekend:

The Gala at the New York Public Library

Stories from Behind the Bar: Painkiller
The Cocktail Club: Don Q 80's Bash

The British Invasion at Eleven Madison Park

Death's Door Pig Roast at Hearth

In between, you'll likely find me at the official MCC Bar at Astor Center, home writing or napping, and maybe even sneaking in a run or bike ride if weather and other conditions permit. I'll also probably sneak in a few more seminars/parties/whatnot.  Follow me on Twitter at @sweetblogomine for last minute updates!

Booze You Can Use: Manhattan Cocktail Classic THIS WEEK!

 Mcc If you're not giddy with anticipation about the Manhattan Cocktail Classic, you should be. Although many events are sold out, here are my picks for those with tickets still available.

Check the ticket page for more events, and I'll see you at MCC!

Drink of the Day


And for Cinco de Mayo, a classic margarita. Enjoy! I don't see any margaritas, tequila, mezcal or Mexican cuisine in my future tonight, oddly . . .


1½ oz Tequila
1 oz Cointreau
½ oz Lime Juice

Shake all of the ingredients over ice for 10-15 seconds. Strain into a chilled, salt-rimmed (optional) cocktail glass.



Eat This: Slow-Cooker Curried Chicken with Ginger and Yogurt

I'm going to let you in on a secret.  This recipe is dreadfully easy, relatively healthy (I skip the white rice and use brown basmati cooked with onions and Indian aromatics), and has received rave reviews every single time I've made it for company.  In fact, it's cooking away in my slow cooker while I'm at work today (thanks again for the slow cooker, Bill!). My gift to you: Slow-Cooker Curried Chicken with Ginger and Yogurt | Real Simple Recipes. Enjoy!