FIRST TOPIC: When planning a trip to Nevada with a group of gourmand-y pals, the very first conversation tends to involve the following words, or some variation on them: "Where should we eat?" It's not exactly a straightforward, easy-to-pin-down question, at least not where Sin City is concerned. Vegas dining runs the gamut more than most eat-out scenes, from that amazing $2.99 shrimp cocktails at the Golden Gate Casino on Fremont Street to elaborate seven-course, vino-laden fine dining experiences with once-a-year (or once-in-a-lifetime) price tags to match. Love the idea of pairing up inexpensive, funky foods with tonier dishes over a single weekend, and getting to learn from some big-name toques, too? Yep, many a foodie does, which is why the FOOD & WINE All-Star Weekend, an autumntime staple in Las Vegas, is a perennial must-do.
WHO, WHEN, AND WHAT'S TO EAT: The three-day affair, which is set for Friday, Oct. 4 through Sunday, Oct. 6, is set to spread out over a few locations. The Burger Bash at MGM will be helmed by chefs Joël Robuchon and Michael Mina -- yep, we weren't messing around when we said "big-name toques" earlier -- and will go down poolside. A pool, a burger, fellow foodies to socialize with, and Vegas sunshine? Yeah, we could probably handle that. And Chef Mina will again perform hosting duties seasonal harvest dinner at Bellagio. Local and fresh will be the buzzwords for this memorable meal.
EIGHT EVENTS: There's an octet of to-dos to choose from, so you and your group of gourmand-y pals will have to do the back-and-forth emailing thing before hitting the 15. But that's the fun part, right? The anticipation? Check out all eight -- multiple courses, Champagne, and brunch are some of the pop-out words -- and get your room lined up, too. Foodie weekends in a foodie-forward city don't get more marquee.