ML - Vegas Magazine

2013 - Issue 5 - September

Vegas Magazine - Niche Media - There is a place beyond the crowds, beyond the ropes, where dreams are realized and success is celebrated. You are invited.

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Page 89 of 163

TASTE TOP: The décor at Mundo blends old-world Mexico and Vegas glam. BELOW: Mundo's shrimp tamale. continued from page 84 Maestro Dobel, the first clear aged tequila, and George Clooney's Casamigos. 86 VEGASMAGAZINE.COM 084-086_V_SC_Taste_Tequila/DiningDecor_Sept13.indd 86 Dining Décor HIP HISTORIAN PACO ALVAREZ TAKES US TO THREE VEGAS SPOTS WHERE MEXICAN FLAIR IMBUES THE DESIGN AND THE DISHES. BY EMMA TROTTER C urator and urban historian Paco Alvarez is a self-admitted food snob when it comes to one of his favorite cuisines: Mexican. He often sticks close to his Downtown Las Vegas neighborhood, where he favors the mole at La Comida, but occasionally he ventures out. (He loves the fish tacos at El Segundo Sol.) Alvarez also has a sharp eye for design. "There is so much culture in Mexico," he says, "so you need to set that mood." Doña Maria Tamales Alvarez stops in here up to five times a month for dishes like enchiladas con mole. "They have been a mainstay of Las Vegas for almost 40 years," he says. "The Downtown location has murals on the walls and a shrine to the great Mexican boxing champs." Two locations; Lindo Michoacán Alvarez has been going to Lindo since he was a kid, long before the 2002 fire at the original East Desert Inn location. "They rebuilt it in the Mexican mission style," he says. Spanish tile roofs and archways like the ones seen here have been common in Vegas architecture for more than 100 years. "The guacamole, which they produce right there in front of you, is stellar, plus they have great margaritas and a nice tequila selection." Three locations; Mundo PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF MUNDO (DINING ROOM, TAMALE), BY ANDREW MACPHERSON (CASAMIGOS), BILL HUGHES (ALVAREZ) Some distilleries are aging the spirit longer, with results that have garnered the level of respect among spirits connoisseurs that they once reserved for single-malt scotch and cognac. Aged for at least two and a half years, Don Julio 1942 can be found among more than a hundred tequilas on offer downtown at La Comida, as well as fancying up margaritas at Border Grill in Mandalay Bay. At Wynn and Mandarin Oriental, one can try limitededition DeLeón Leóna, aged in Sauternes wine barrels for 34 months, yielding an elixir reminiscent of an XO cognac with hints of orange peel, cherry, and rose petals. Newcomer Maestro Dobel Diamond, served throughout Cosmopolitan, including in the high roller–only Talon Club, is the world's first crystal-clear aged tequila. A blend of añejo, extra-añejo, and reposado tequilas is filtered to produce a clear liquid with the complexity of a cognac and the crispness of luxury vodka. For a special occasion, seek out Jose Cuervo 250 Aniversario tequila. The brand uses a double-cask aging method to annually produce only 495 bottles of a blend of its best extra-añejo barrels, which is then aged an additional 10 months in sherry casks. A bottle of this rare and complex tequila, teeming with notes of honey, butterscotch, dried fruit, chocolate, oak, and cognac, retails for $2,250 (if you can find one). Or you can order a flute of it at Javier's in Aria. With tequila this sublime, who needs salt and lime? —CATHERINE DE ORIO Alvarez likes to spice things up at World Market Center's Mundo, his go-to for "Latin chic" (as the restaurant describes itself), before taking in a show at the Smith Center. "It's not so Mexican-in-your-face," he says. He counts its Alien tequila, fluffy tamales, and "to live and die for" corn dish among his musthaves. "If you want a really nice romantic evening, Mundo is the place to go." 495 S. Grand Central Pkwy., 702-270-4400; Las Vegas–born Paco Alvarez has Argentinean roots. "But I know my Mexican food!" 8/5/13 7:44 PM

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