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Chinese New Year: Dining and events guide

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2012 Chinese New Year at the Palazzo.
Photo: Audrey Dempsey

2012 Chinese New Year at Palazzo

Bellagio Conservatory: Chinese New Year 2012

Monday, January 23:

Chinese New Year display at Palazzo and Venetian: The Venetian and The Palazzo celebrate Chinese New Year with an authentic dragon dance and festive feng shui decor, including a 128-foot fire-breathing dragon in The Waterfall & Atrium Gardens of The Palazzo, along with resort-wide décor, specialty cocktails and tasting menus starting at 1 p.m. Jan. 23. The display will be up until Feb. 28. The dragon will breathe fire at 1 and 5 p.m. daily until Feb. 5. The ceremonial dragon dance, complete with firecrackers and an eye-painting ceremony, will begin at the Venetian porte cochere, making its way through The Palazzo, starting at 1 p.m. on the 23rd.

Chinese New Year display and concert: Through March 4, Bellagio’s Conservatory & Botanical Gardens invites guests to celebrate the Year of the Dragon during Chinese New Year with an elaborate display honoring the dragon, a feng shui-inspired sanctuary and live entertainment. The Las Vegas-based Beijing Trio performs traditional folk and pop music with authentic Chinese instruments, including the erhu, ruan and pipa. Complimentary performances take place from 5 to 6 p.m. daily.

Lion and dragon dance at M Resort: The M Resort hosts a traditional Chinese lion and dragon dance performed by the Lohan School of Shaolin. The dance will include a 30-person assembly with a 63-foot dragon, adult and baby lion dancers, Buddhas, musicians and festive flags. The dance will begin in the lobby at 6 p.m. The M will also celebrate with festive décor including tangerine trees, welcome banners, lanterns and selections of Asian favorites like Satsuma, spring rolls, beef lo mein and more at its Studio B Buffet beginning Jan. 23. For those looking for a souvenir, a Year of the Dragon collectible chip is available for purchase at the casino cage for $8 while supplies last.

Chinese New Year celebration: Palace Station will kick off year 4709 on the Chinese calendar with a lion dance around the casino area. Guests are invited to watch the dance, which begins about 8:30 p.m. The Food Express restaurant is located near “Pit 8,” a special section of the casino dedicated to Asian gaming, and offers tableside gaming food service.

Tuesday, January 24:

Chinese New Year celebration: Mayor Carolyn Goodman will participate in the opening ceremonies of the downtown Chinese New Year celebration at the Fremont Street Experience. Guests can enjoy a live authentic dragon dance performed by the Las Vegas Lohan School of Shaolin, complete with virtual firecrackers on Viva Vision, an eye-painting ceremony and a parade. Additionally, a ribbon-cutting to start the opening ceremonies will consist of 888 people for extra luck. Other local dignitaries scheduled to take part in the event include Councilwoman Gerri Schroder, Mayor Pro-Tem Stavros Anthony, Deputy Superintendent Pedro Martinez, Former Lt. Gov. Lorraine Hunt-Bono, Duncan Lee of the State Economic Development Commission, president of the Fremont Street Experience, Jeff Victor, and president of CHD, David Huang. The downtown festivities will continue through Jan. 28 with nightly dragon and lion dance performances, a vendor village and a virtual dragon dance on the Viva Vision screen, beginning at 6 p.m.

Dragon and fan dances: In addition to festivities beginning on Jan. 23, The Grand Canal Shoppes and The Shoppes at The Palazzo will feature additional dragon and fan dances, along with a chance to receive complimentary center gift cards, chocolates and more. The dragon dance will start in the great hall of The Grand Canal Shoppes and will conclude near Table 10 at The Shoppes at The Palazzo at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 24. The fan dance will take place near the canal turnaround where The Shoppes at The Palazzo and The Grand Canal Shoppes meet at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 25.

MGM Resorts International lion dances: MGM Resorts International celebrates Chinese New Year with lion dances at its various properties. Each lion dance will be held in the respective resort’s main valet and porte cochere:

• ARIA – Tuesday, Jan. 24 at 1 p.m.

• Crystals – Tuesday, Jan. 24 at 1:30 p.m.

• The Mirage – Tuesday, Jan. 24 at 4 p.m.

• MGM Grand – Wednesday, Jan. 25 at 1 p.m.

• Bellagio – Wednesday, Jan. 25 at 6:30 p.m.

Friday, January 27:

Dragon and lion dance ceremony at Wynn: This Chinese New Year, Wynn Las Vegas celebrates The Year of The Dragon with a traditional dragon and lion dance ceremony at 6:30 p.m. on January 27 on Jan. 27 starting in the south valet area. Guests can participate in the ceremony and follow the 18-foot dragon and performers as they parade through Wynn and Encore to live music. Wynn's atrium will feature Chinese-inspired floral and sculpture displays, including more than 8,000 red and yellow chrysanthemums, silk dragons, and 8-foot-tall golden dragon sculptures through Feb. 6. Wynn and Encore also feature Chinese New Year specials in their spas. Call 702-770-3900 (Wynn) or 702-770-4772 (Encore) to schedule an appointment.

Saturday, January 28:

Wakin Chau in concert: Caesars Palace welcomes the Year of the Dragon with lion dances and a concert by Chinese Mandopop star Wakin Chau at The Colosseum. His platinum albums such as You Make Me Happy and Sad, Flower's Heart, Music Brings Us Together and Friends have won awards in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Singapore. Other Caesars Entertainment events include lion dances at the following venues:

On Jan. 27 at 5 p.m. at Harrah’s, 6:15 p.m. at Imperial Palace, 7 p.m. at the Flamingo and 10 p.m. at the Rio.

On Jan. 28: at noon at Planet Hollywood , 1 p.m. at Paris, 2 p.m. at Bally’s and 5 p.m. at Caesars Palace.

Wednesday, Feb. 1:

Lion dance parade: The Gold Coast welcomes the Year of the Dragon with a variety of Chinese New Year events and promotions. The Lohan School of Shaolin will perform a traditional lion dance parade through the casino at 7:30 and 10 p.m. on Feb. 1. Chinese New Year decorations and lucky citrus trees will adorn the casino floor and popular restaurants Ping Pang Pong and Noodle Exchange will serve authentic and delicious dishes.

Dining options:

The dining room at Wing Lei.

Enjoy dim sum brunch at Wynn’s award-winning Chinese restaurant, Wing Lei where guests enjoy a variety of options including pork spareribs, steam barbeque pork bun, lotus leaf sticky rice, Malaysia cake and shrimp dumpling. The dim sum brunch is offered from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Jan. 23-28 and is priced at $58.88 per person. For reservations, call 702-248-3463.

Dragon Noodle Co. & Sushi Bar celebrates with a special pre-fixe menu focusing on traditional Chinese cuisine and ingredients. The menu features gong hei fat choy, ha ha smile, Buddha delight. The menu is $29 per guest.

Beijing Noodle No. 9 at Caesars Palace celebrates the Lunar New Year with an à la carte menu that features many customary Chinese dishes, including an assorted braised seafood platter and dishes like Wealth and Fortune, a dish with fried fish and shrimp; and Auspicious Beginning, with Napa cabbage and dried baby shrimp. For reservations, call 702-731-7267.

Empress Court at Caesars Palace offers two separate prix fixe menus, each for a party of 10. Priced at $1,280 or $1,080 for the group, the feast includes 10 dishes traditionally served in Chinese New Year celebrations such as lobster salad with walnuts, roasted baby squab as well as head chef Kin Sun Sui’s signature sweet and sour scallops and squid. For reservations, call 702-731-7267.

Ming’s Table at Harrah’s offers a special à la carte menu, available from Jan. 23-29. Items on the menu are specially designed and named for the New Year including sautéed bamboo skin with asparagus and deep fried tofu topped with sautéed seafood. For reservations, call 702-862-3530.

Yam Nuea Yang from Lemongrass at Aria.

At Aria, Blossom and Lemongrass will each feature authentic Chinese and Thai cuisine through Wednesday, Feb. 1. Blossom will be open for a dim sum lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and dinner from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. Lemongrass will be open daily with a full menu from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. For reservations, call 702-590-7111.

At Bellagio, Jasmine and Noodles will offer guests a dim sum lunch buffet at each restaurant through Sunday, Jan. 29. Jasmine will serve lunch daily from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and its regular dinner menu from 5:30 to 10 p.m. Noodles will offer its lunch specialties and regular menu items from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. For reservations, call 702-693-7223.

At MGM Grand, Pearl will offer a traditional Chinese menu in addition to a dim sum lunch through Monday, Jan. 30. Grand Wok will feature a special menu with a variety of select delicacies through Saturday, Feb. 4. Shibuya will offer special dishes through Friday, Jan. 27. For reservations, call 702-891-1111.

At Mandalay Bay, Noodle Shop and the buffet will feature authentic Chinese cuisine for lunch and dinner through Thursday, Feb. 9 from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. For reservations, call 702-632-7200.

At The Mirage, Fin will be open for dinner and present special Chinese dishes through Monday, Jan. 30, from 5 to 11 p.m. For reservations, call 702-791-7111.

At Luxor, Rice & Co. will offer a $65, three-course pre-fixe dinner menu to celebrate Chinese New Year through Thursday, Feb. 9. Open nightly from 5 to 11 p.m., reservations can be made by calling 702-262-4000.

At Palazzo, Zine food specials include live lobster with golden garlic and spicy salt, firecracker Manila clams and the Buddha feast creation with sauteed vegetables and ginger juice. Drink specials include the dragon cocktail, chamomile and lychee iced tea and green tea with rosemary, chili and lemon. These specials continue through the month of February.

At Cosmopolitan, José Andrés and his team at China Poblano offer holiday specials through February 6. The restaurant will feature new cocktails and a la carte menu items showcasing special Chinese New Year dishes. Menu highlights include the Happy Family Jiao Zi – pork, shrimp, mushroom and garlic chive; Tea Eggs and Caviar – tea marinated quail egg and Rio Frio caviar; Gem of China – whole abalone, superior congee; Golden Dragon – live Maine lobster, house made cure eggs and scallions; Fire Phoenix – crispy young chicken, Sichuan pepper corn salt and seasoned pork rinds; and Giggling Buddha Taking a Bath – strawberry gelée, lychee foam, guanabana sorbet. The special menu items will range in price from $10.88 to $53.88, a la carte. Drink specials include the Green Tea Sour, made from a combination of green tea, Chivas and St. Germain for $13.

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