El Cortez’s Flame Keeps The Flavor of ‘Old Las Vegas’

Old Las Vegas may be a thing of the past for tourist visiting here, but The El Cortez Hotel and Casino, built in 1941, has kept the flavor of “Old Las Vegas,” with its history and The Flame Restaurant.

From the standpoint of the revitalization of downtown, beginning with the vision of former Mayor Oscar Goodman and now with Tony Heisch [Zappos], the El Cortez has beautified there property, and upgraded practically everything to lend its appeal, reminiscent to that of “Old Vegas.”

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The hotel, which has an interesting history, was bought by Bugsy Siegel, Myer Lanskey, Gus Greenbaum and Moe Sedway in 1945 for $600,000. Jackie Gaughan, the oldest living former casino owner at 94, who lives in the hotel, had bought it in 1963. Today the new renovation, by its owner Kenny Epstein who Jackie sold it and its other properties to in 2009, has kept the ranch style architecture of this historic landmark. Now let’s take a culinary journey, “Old Vegas” style.

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On this particular evening, Tony Wilson, my guest and I were greeted by our waiter Brain Hawks and the Executive Chef, Jermain Kelly. Both gentlemen know their craft. Our culinary journey begun with Onion soup for Tony and a Wedge salad for me. Truly a delicious star for the evening, especially with the beautiful music from pianist Ray Horvhth. As with any dinner, one should embrace the cuisine and savor the moment. In other words, relax, have a glass of red wine and don’t overload with the bread and butter. Our main course consisted of a Rib eye for Tony and Steak Diane for me, with side dishes of Garlic potatoes, Cream of Corn, and Mushrooms. The quality of beef, Omaha Prime, and the way it was prepared was very good.

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Our side dishes were also prepared well. According to Chef Kelly, everything is prepared fresh, including the corn, which is taken from the husk of the Cobb and blended in the chef’s sauce. “During my 20 years of creating sumptuous cuisine I’ve always enjoyed creating the right sauces to enhance the flavor of the entrees served at The Flame,” stated Chef Kelly.

Normally I enjoy indulging my sweet tooth; however on this evening my guest and I were totally pleased. With one cup of freshly brewed coffee, there was no room for those sweet sensations. Celebrity Scene News [celebrityscene.com] awards 4 Stars to The Flame for a bit of Old Vegas, excellent service and great tasting cuisine.

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Pete Allman, “The Man on the Scene,” is based in Marina del Rey, California, concentrating on producing feature films, television projects, and commercials. Pete also has an office in Las Vegas, which he visits occasionally.

Pete is also a restaurant critic, broadcast personality and celebrity interviewer. He produces inspirational messages for television and other media.

Of all the investigations he makes, we suspect he likes critiquing restaurants the most, because he can taste the food, savor the atmosphere, interact with people, and photograph all the goodies.

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