The Full Monti by Monti Rock III | Last week I enjoyed a wonderful evening at the Palazzo, capped by dinner at Woo’s Restaurant, which delivered an extraordinary experience of fine dining. The recently-opened restaurant features Chinese fusion cuisine prepared by master chef Peter Woo, formerly of the famous Nobu restaurant.
The delicacies that Peter and his staff prepared were a 12-course feast that left you dreaming about a return trip. Two of the highlights were the Macadamia encrusted lamb chops and the spicy shrimp lettuce wrap. The feast also included an array of delightful desserts, not something you usually find in an Asian restaurant, but I’m told the Woo’s recently hired a top pastry chef for the task.
Tony Woo, the general manager, told me his family has been in business here in Las Vegas for years; many locals know the Woos from their very popular Mayflower Cuisiner at Sahara and Decatur, which they closed earlier this year. They’ve obviously created another winner, and if you want modern Asian cuisine with unique contemporary accents, check out Woo’s at the Palazzo.
Overall, the Palazzo is quite beautiful with fine shops and boutiques throughout. I’d say it’s opulent but not gaudy, and definitely a beautiful addition to the famous Las Vegas Strip.
My marvelous week continued at the South Point Hotel & Casino for the 19th annual Joe Williams scholarship fundraising concert. Joe Williams’ velvet voice was silenced some two years ago but his family and friends continue his efforts toward education.
This year the concert was titled "For the Love of Joe." The guest stars included Marlena Shaw, Pete Barbutti and The Cunninghams with Bob Anderson as the standout star of the day. Conducting for Bob was Vincent Falcone who, by the way, has a new book out. Master of Ceremonies for the afternoon was Cork Proctor. Artie Butler, an old friend from Hollywood, wrote a wonderful tribute to Joe. The audience included Clint Holmes, Bill Acosta, and many more local entertainers.
Incidentally, it was great seeing Bob Anderson. What can I possibly say about Bob that I haven’t said before? He’s a truly great talent and one of the most gracious performers in this town.
Hugh Hefner had a big birthday party at the Palms Playboy Club last week. No, I was not invited but my sources said Pamela Anderson did her version of the famous Marilyn Monroe "Happy Birthday" song she sang to President Kennedy. By the way, how old is Hef now?
The Show Biz Society will be paying tribute to Clint Holmes for his contribution to the Las Vegas scene on Saturday, April 12.
My friend Tim Molyneaux, who has been successful with the show "Bite" at the Stratosphere, is giving a private concert for his latest show, "All In, The Poker Musical."
"Idol Gives Back," a spin off of sorts to televisions’ hit show "American Idol," set a goal this year of $100 million. A lot of performers from different genres made their appearances on behalf of children both in the United States and in Africa. The standout performance of the evening had to be Carrie Underwood. It’s my opinion, but it seems more money should be spent in the U.S. like "Oprah’s Big Give."
Speaking of Oprah, she’s giving a big party for Maya Angelou at Donald Trump’s Del Lago in Palm Beach, Florida. Maya and Oprah have been close friends for sometime. Maybe there will be some swaying during the party and I don’t mean dancing. Who knows?
I had an incredible phone call from my old friend Frankie Valli. He validated what some of my readers may have forgotten, which is that Disco Tex and the Sex-O-Lettes’ recordings of "Get Dancing" and "I Want to Dance With You" sold millions of records. Frankie said how lucky I am and that no one can take that legacy from this columnist. To my readers, I never liked being on the road, I always wanted a home, my friends, fine dining and, I must admit, I’ve always been a black-belt shopper. Things haven’t changed that much for Mr. Rock.
Toni Braxton is taking a break from her show at the Flamingo in order to undergo tests in Los Angeles for a possible heart problem. We wish her well.
The Flamingo said goodbye to the Society of Seven this week. They’re on tour until August. They have such a great show with so much talent I’m sure they’ll pop up at another location when they return.
The Fiore Club will be doing a benefit being planned by Nelson Sardelli in honor of Norman Kaye. For more info go to www.EnormousNorm-A-Thon.com.
Wes Winters and Rob Russell are signing a new contract at the Liberace Museum. Wes is the absolute best of tribute artists when it comes to Liberace. He’s a wonderful, wonderful performer. Be sure to catch the show at the Liberace Museum.
It’s called the "Monti Minute" and it’s going to be on radio very soon. You do remember radio, don’t you? The show will be about entertainment, gossip, value for the Las Vegas dollar and Monti Rock’s take on the dark side of Vegas. My guests will include the many Happy Has-Beens of Las Vegas – those who didn’t quite make it except in the eyes of this columnist. I promise a fabulous time for one and all.
CORRECTION: I hate it when I make a mistake but I’m always willing to make the correction. I’ve been writing about prices for shows in town and earlier stated Dick Feeney’s "Viva Las Vegas" and buffet downtown at the Plaza was $12. Okay, so I was off a couple of dollars. It’s really $9.95 for the show and $14.95 for the show and buffet. It’s still a good value. As is "Rat Pack" at $49.95 for the show and $59.95 for the show and dinner. (Watch for future corrections next week!)