Grand tasting

Bradley and Burke, Schenk and Simon, Robuchon and Rao’s—and the list goes on. As far as the eye can see around the Caesars Palace pool, there were booths overflowing with food, hungry mouths ready to be fed and lots of smiles.

Guests of the Uncork’d Grand Tasting on Friday night were treated to culinary visions that would have even made some-what hostile food critic Jeffrey Steingarten himself let out a little smirk (only out of one corner of his mouth, however).

I was delighted to see showings from some of my favorite restaurants, Rao’s, Strip House, Simon, Bradley Ogden, Mesa Grill among others.

Highlights of the event included the Country Club’s amazing steak tartare, filled with duxelles, egg, chive and more and served on a parmesan crisp. Chef John Schenk’s Strip House favorite, goose fat potatoes, were adapted into potato chips, with heavenly fatty flavor and a cool French onion dipping sauce, they were not to be missed.

Though lots of restaurants offered sliders, this BLT slider was the best I had. Ground beef served medium on top of a brioche sesame seed bun and topped with a spicy housemade chili sauce, lettuce, tomato, onion and served with curried potato chips, a trip to BLT Burger will be in the works for me in the (very) near future.

Notable people in attendance included Chefs Paul Bartolotta, Tom Colicchio, Bobby Flay, and Daniel Boulud. Two French culinary heavyweights, Joël Robuchon and Alain Ducasse, chatted it up at the Joël Robuchon booth and were soon interupted by the flash of my camera.

While munching on a lamb chop from Wazuzu, two gentlemen asked to share our table: Kyle Maclachlan of “Sex and the City” and “Desperate Housewives” fame, and Hugh Garvey, Bon Appétit’s features editor. A nice chat about Maclachlan’s new winery, Pursued by Bear, great lamb and burgers and a little taste of Maclachlan’s Cabernet (poured by Maclachlan himself) rounded out the event for this foodie.