WELCOME TO LAS VEGAS: If you've ever flown into a certain Nevada city, you know, by baggage claim, you'll see dozens of mega posters and large-screen spots for various stage shows, magic extravaganzas, and circus acts. Food, however, gets a lot of play on the splashy overhead screens. You might see a dozen sushi dishes or steaks before your suitcase finally rolls up. The upshot? Sin City is definitely about supping. Nope, this isn't a new development -- people have been lining up for buffets and discount shrimp cocktails since the Rat Pack ruled the Strip -- but getting involved in the making of one's food continues to be a smaller but growing-ever-robust side item on the larger Las Vegas restaurant menu. You can, in short, go to Las Vegas and learn from top chefs at the big resorts, meaning that you could leave with new culinary knowledge (in addition to the requisite poker chip or two clanking about in your wallet).
THREE TO TRY?
BELLAGIO: Edmund Wong, the destination's executive chef, will oversee four classes that'll cover everything from "A Tuscany Kitchen" -- fitting for the location -- to "Fall Into Autumn." The classes, which are called An Executive Chef Classroom, run on Aug. 28, Sept. 4, Oct. 2, and Nov. 6. You'll eat what you make -- hooray! Best part, right? -- and drink some wine after class.
MANDALAY BAY: The golden citadel has a cicerone on staff. A cicerone is a beer expert, and we do mean expert -- they know their hops from their wheats and can explain in detail what sip is suited to what palate. Mandalay Bay's own cicerone Sarah Johnson will visit with guests during a five-course meal at Fleur or one of the other restaurants around the resort and talk beer pairings and tastes.
MONTE CARLO: If beer is indeed your beverage of choice, Gus' Beer & Bites Dinner Series is a fine 'n foamy night out. We like it because there's no one set brewery that's getting the love; each dinner matches the eats the hotel's The Pub with the libations from a different brewery. Up next, on Aug. 28? Sam Adams.