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NAPA AT THE RIO

Jan 23, 2001 10:21 AM

This upscale dining room features a retractable central skylight, wrought-iron sculpture and light-wood accents. Walls are lined with an ever-changing art collection from the Nevada Institute for Contemporary Arts, and the room is centerpieced by a bronze sculpture that appears to climb from the floor to the ceiling. The menu follows chef Jean-Louis Palladin’s philosophy that "first perfect the taste; from that point all else will follow." Palladin’s trademarks include such delicacies as foie gras, truffles, exotic wild mushrooms and caviar. Among the popular specialties are roasted pear and pecan with fried blue cheese, corn soup with Manila clams and scallop quenelles and wood-grilled veal chops with truffled gnocchi. Napa has also become known for its extensive wine cellar, which houses, among others, a 1950 bottle of Chateau Lafite Rothschild.

Olio! at MGM Grand is unlike any dining experience

Olio! at the MGM Grand – where Neo-Italian cuisine plays a starring role on a kaleidoscope stage. Where the celebrated culinary talents of executive chef John Cahill mix with the eclectic, colorful imagination of creator and co-owner John Tunney III. Where dessert is off the wall (literally) and the antipasto table is nearly off the charts.

Like a true adventure, Olio! both asks the questions and provides the answers.

From the 100-foot-long tiger wood entrance that transforms guests from spectators to participants, Olio! provides an experience for everyone. Pull on a chair at the 40-foot-long antipasto table-the world’s longest. Relax at the lounge with a signature cocktail while surfing the menu or plug your laptop into the wall and surf the Internet.

Make it a quiet dinner for two under the massive, two-part, red and ivory flowing ribbon or invite 35 of your friends to the private screening room for the most high-tech audio/visual/culinary experience found anywhere. Or book passage at "Table 99," the signature chef’s tasting table, for a multi-course ride your taste buds will remember in their memoirs.

New seafood/oyster bar opens at Stratosphere

Montana’s Steakhouse in the Stratosphere Casino Hotel has added Chef Karl’s Seafood and Oyster Bar to the original Western steakhouse fare. The seafood and oyster bar is served Thursday through Sunday from 5 to 10 p.m.

Chef Karl’s Oyster and Seafood Bar features ocean favorites such as marinated swordfish, oysters on the half shell, steamed clams, smoked salmon and bay scallop salad. The bar also includes black mussels Prince Edward; and cevice red, an assortment of seafood marinated in lemon juice, garlic, onion, fresh herbs, seasonings, white wine, tomatoes and diced bell peppers.

Entrees are priced from $7.99 to $10.99. The house special, Louisiana clam chowder, is served in a bread bowl for $4.29.

Blue Iguana at Circus Circus

The Mexican cantina-style restaurant on the hotel’s Promenade level is a festive affair with colorful wall accents, fieldstone walls, tile floors and wrought iron furnishings. Among the traditional favorites are flavorful renditions of tamales, chile relleno, burritos, chimichangas, enchiladas, tacos, carne asada and chile verde For a change of pace, sample one of the chef specialties, which include fish tacos, skewers of seafood (shrimp, halibut and scallops) and fajitas — steak, chicken vegetable or shrimp. Another innovative dish is the "Drunken" shrimp, which is made with a tangy tequila lime sauce.

The Range at Harrah’s

In addition to a sweeping view of the famed Las Vegas Strip, this upscale dining room has a rustic aura with its Western decor, dark woods and brass and copper accents. Specialties of the house include an 8-ounce bone-in filet mignon, and a halibut T-bone with tangy salsa. Other favorites are the 24-ounce porterhouse and slow-roasted prime rib, with natural au jus, in a 12- or 16-ounce size. The adjoining Range Lounge is a popular spot for live entertainment, cocktails, premium wines, specialty coffees, tasty appetizers, desserts and fine cigars – all accompanied by a spectacular view of the Strip.