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John Curtas "Best of 2005" Honors Awarded to Las Vegas Restaurants, Chefs and Executives

John Curtas, restaurant critic for News 88.9 KNPR, awarded prizes Friday (Dec. 16, 2005) to Las Vegas restaurants, chefs and owners in recognition of dining excellence. Fleur de Lys at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino received the top honor as John's Restaurant of the Year, 2005.

A reviewer for more than 10 years, Curtas is Las Vegas' longest serving restaurant critic. His weekly commentary, 'Food for Thought' is a popular feature on News 88.9 KNPR. His 2005 awards went beyond recognition of outstanding food and included all elements including service, design and even beverages that make a gastronomic experience exceptional.

Those honored are:

Restaurant of the Year 2005: Fleur de Lys
Hubert Keller, Chef/Owner; Laurent Pillard, Executive Chef; Philipe Tosques, General Manager - Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino
Review of Fleur de Lys

Chef of the Year 2005: Alex Stratta
ALEX - Wynn Las Vegas

Celebrity Chef of the Year 2005: Hubert Keller
Fleur de Lys, The Burger Bar - Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino
Review of Fleur de Lys
Hubert Keller - Chefs on the Air

Pastry Chef of the Year 2005: Gregory Gourreau
MIX - THE Hotel at Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino
Review of MIX

Rising Star of the Year 2005: Mark LoRusso
Tableau - Wynn Las Vegas

Sommelier of the Year 2005: Kevin Vogt
Delmonico - The Venetian Hotel and Casino

Hidden Treasure Restaurant of the Year 2005: Marc's Authentic Italian Steakhouse
Marcus Ritz, Chef/Owner, Marc's Authentic Italian Steakhouse

Best Entrée of the Year 2005: Miso Glazed Red Snapper with Yuzu Sauce
John LaGrone, Chef - Postrio - The Venetian Hotel and Casino
Review of Postrio

Chocolatier of the Year 2005 - Frederick Robert
Wynn Las Vegas

Best Cocktails of the Year 2005: Sensi
Drew Levinson, Beverage Manager; Sebastien Silvestri, General Manager - The Bellagio Hotel and Casino

Best Dessert in the Desert 2005: Chocolate-Nutella Beignets with Crème Anglais
Vita Shanley, Pastry Chef - SW Steakhouse, Wynn Las Vegas

Excellence in Management and Service 2005: Le Cirque/Osteria del Circo
The Maccioni Family, Owner; Dominque Bertolone, General Manager; Steve Mainini, General Manager - The Bellagio Hotel and Casino
Review of Le Cirque, Review of 'Sirio - The Story of My Life and Le Cirque' by Sirio Maccioni and Peter Elliot

Excellence in Restaurant Design 2005: Prime
Michael DeSantis, Designer - The Bellagio Hotel and Casino

Restaurant of the Year 2004: Postrio
Matt Dickerson, Chef; John LaGrone, Chef - The Venetian Hotel and Casino
Review of Postrio

In addition to his work as a commentator for KNPR, Curtas has written about Las Vegas restaurants extensively for various guide book publications including: "Time Out Las Vegas," "Fodor's Las Vegas," "Best Places Guide to Las Vegas," "Citysearch Las Vegas," and "The Best Of Las Vegas." He's also a contributor to John Mariani's "The Virtual Gourmet" website, and has been published in New York Magazine and "The Art of Eating."

When not eating out more than anyone else in Las Vegas, Curtas can be found practicing business law and trying civil lawsuits in Clark County District Court.

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