September 4, 2008

Chef’s Steak Rates No. 1 in Magazine

By Norm Clarke

We have a winner in the Las Vegas steakhouse wars.

In fact, we're No. 1 - and No. 3 in Esquire's September issue that features the 20 Best Steaks in America.

Chef Michael Mina's butter-poached bone-in top loin with truffled-macaroni and cheese at Strip Steak at Mandalay Bay gets top billing and No. 3 went to SW Steakhouse chef Dave Walzog for his barbecue-spice-rubbed skirt steak with charred onions and jalapenos.

Also honored in the top 20: the Hilton's Benihana, for its teppanyaki steak.

Chefs Hubert Keller and Wolfgang Puck also made the list; Keller for his tournedo Rossini at Fleur de Lys in San Francisco and Puck for his Steak Tartare at CUT in Beverly Hills.

Keller operates a Fleur de Lys sister restaurant at Mandalay Bay and Puck recently opened a CUT at Palazzo.

Runnerup honors went to Bill Rodgers' filet mignon au poivre. Rodgers is executive chef at Keens Chop House in New York City. Rankings were given only to the top three.

Ben Jenkins, Mina's executive chef at Strip Steak, said Mina used the butter-poached concept at his San Francisco and Bellagio restaurants before taking it on a larger scale to Strip Steak.


Britney Spears met with Siegfried & Roy and their new cubs on Sunday during her weekend stay at The Mirage.

Spears was introduced to the 4-month-old cubs, a golden tiger and a white-striped tiger, at Siegfried & Roy's Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat.

Spears swam with the dolphins during her June visit to The Mirage.

Siegfried and Roy welcomed five new tiger cubs to their exotic habitat about the same time as Spears' previous visit, when she made a visit to Bare, the Mirage's sexy pool venue.

Spears' busy Sunday schedule included a return to Bare, where she was seen in a white bikini; a trip to "Love" with friends and a late- night dinner at Japonais.

On Monday she went to the main pool at The Mirage with her hair stylist Kim Vo.


The late Robert Goulet's mustache is being immortalized. The American Mustache Institute is looking for the first-ever "Robert Goulet Memorial Mustached American of the Year. The award recognizes the most impactful Mustached American of the past year. The winner will be announced Oct. 25 at 'Stache Bash 2008 at the Lumiere Place Casino in St. Louis. The event benefits Challenger Baseball, a league for the disabled.

To submit a candidate:


Actor Vince Vaughn, dining at Yellowtail Sushi Restaurant & Bar (Bellagio) late Monday with a stunning brunette. At another table: actor James Woods ... Best-selling romance novelist Jackie Collins, filming segments with the "Jubilee!" showgirls for "The Paul O'Grady Show," a U.K. favorite, on Monday. ... At the Bob Dylan show (Hard Rock Hotel) on Monday: comedians Lewis Black, Bobby Slayton, and NBA great Bill Walton. ... Dance troupe SuperCrew, at CatHouse (Luxor) for Madame Mondays. They were in Las Vegas celebrating their recent win on MTV's hit show "America's Best Dance Crew." At another table: Sugar Hill Gang. ... At "Jersey Boys" (Palazzo) on Monday: "Pushing Daisies" star Kristin Chenoweth. ... At The Pearl (Palms) for the Judas Priest show on Monday: rocker Vinnie Paul, Avril Lavigne's hubby and Sum 41 front man Deryck Whibley, as well as members of Boogie Knights and the Spazmatics. ... Spotted at LAVO (Planet Hollywood) over the weekend: Adrien Brody, Paris Hilton and Benji Madden, Nicky Hilton and David Katzenberg, Wilmer Valderamma, Michelle Rodriguez, Katy Perry, Christina Milian, Amy Sacco, Brett Ratner, Elisha Cuthbert, Marlon Wayans, Tara Reid, Lamar Odom and Deryck Whibley. ... At the opening party of ROK Vegas (New York-New York): chart-topper Katy Perry, performing for a crowd that included her boyfriend Travis McCoy ("Gym Class Heroes"), Shar Jackson, Brittany Snow, Haylie Duff and Nick Zano. ... Holly Madison, David Spade, Paul Oakenfold, Dana White, and Ron Jeremy, at the KISS show at The Pearl (Palms) on Friday. Rumors are flying that Madison and Hugh Hefner are, take your pick, getting married soon or breaking up.


"Oprah Winfrey was among the 75,000 people in the audience (for Barack Obama's speech). Afterwards, Oprah was so moved by the experience she gave everybody in the stadium a Ford Fiesta." - Conan O'Brien

Norm Clarke can be reached at (702) 383-0244 or [email protected] Find additional sightings and more online at

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