I do a lot of things solo with absolutely no problem; go to the movies by myself, eating out alone at fancy restaurants, take tours of attractions, etc. But, there was something about attending the super swanky Vegas Uncork’d preview event in San Francisco that made me nervous. Not only would I be going to this foodie bash solo, but also would be hobnobbing with chef heavy hitters like Michael Mina, Charlie Palmer and Mary Sue Milliken. Oh boy.
The Vegas Uncork’d preview party, put on by bon appetit, was a small introduction to the main Las Vegas show which features celebrity chefs, master sommeliers and cutting-edge mixologists.
Of course, even a mini event like this could only be held at a trendy, sexy restaurant and Hakkasan in San Francisco unequivocally fit the bill.
Butterflies were fluttering as I approached the host stand, because fear number 48 was that my name would not be on the guest list. It was. Phew.
I entered the dimly lit Hakkasan dining room and it was flooded with guests. Wall to wall. I wasn’t alone at all. Besides, everyone was too involved in their conversations and cocktails to notice my solo self arriving. A sense of relaxation quickly set in and the solo foodie fest began.
I started my cocktail and food indulgences on one side of the room with Gordon Ramsay’s sticky toffee pudding cake and a beer. Who says you can’t eat dessert first?
A sticky toffee pudding push pop was the alternative choice to the plate and spoon version, apparently for eaters on the run.
But, I had plenty of time to use utensils. May as well savor this experience.
As some classic Run-D.M.C. was mixing in the background, I bopped my head over to the cocktail section of the bar. Beer can only get me so far.
They were serving up a show, a Smoky Negroni cocktail. And I ordered one, just as much for the presentation spectacle as for the libation itself.
This smoking drink was made with Rusty Blade Barrel-Aged Gin, Antica Formula Vermouth, Campari with a Grand Marnier Smoke Infusion. It was an event in itself.
By this time I had completely forgotten about being alone.
This preview party could have ended at this point and my stomach would have been content, but there was still more food and cocktails to be had.
Somebody had to eat pistachio cake pops and braised pork belly. Might as well be me.
And nobody was going to make me leave this joint without trying the tasty Broken Promise cocktail made with black grapes, rosemary, bourbon and egg whites. Just too pretty to leave behind.
Though, prior to arriving, I had bargained with myself to stay at this event for at least an hour, by now it had already been over two. Time to go.
Upon exiting, the staff handed me my very own overly, stuffed swag bag. Woot! I got swag.
It was filled with sweet goodies from Las Vegas and the latest issue of bon appetit to boot. Looks like my sugar high will continue the entire way home.
In one evening, not only had “attend a swanky party alone” been checked off my bucket list, but so did “get swag”. A twofer. Good night.
If this tiny preview is any indication of what the Vegas Uncork’d event is going to be like, you won’t want to miss any of it.
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Disclosure: I was an invited media guest to this event by Vegas Uncork’d and bon appetit, but all the words I write come straight from my, sometimes distorted, mind. Just as it should be.