Winter Fest: The Henderson Festival of Trees
Henderson will be hosting its annual Winter Fest, December 10 -12, 2009. During the festival, the city is transformed into a Winter Wonderland to celebrate the approaching holidays. This is a great opportunity to gain exposure to various cultures by supporting the International Chorus, learning about the regions represented in the Henderson Festival of Trees, and partaking in some of Henderson’s ethnic cuisine from the region of choice.
The Henderson Festival of Trees will begin on Saturday, December 12, 2009. Admission is free. The festival will feature trees decorated to represent various cultures, such as Italy, Ireland, Korea, Hawaii, Philippines and Scotland.
Featured Ethnic Restaurants of Select Regions
Traditionally, Italy is world-renown for the amazing Italian pasta and cheese dishes that have become a part of nearly every culture. However, in Italy, the menus are much more diverse than simply pasta.
- Bologna: Lasagne Verdi and tortellini originated here
- Venice: Known for risotto, seafood, peas, and legumes
- Lombardy: Rice and polenta
- Tuscany: Legumes, vegetables, mushrooms, white truffles and fresh fruit
- Sicily: Seafood, goose, turkey, chocolate, and a sundry other influences from other countries
In Henderson, the ethnic food connoisseur can dine at a host of restaurants to experience Italian cuisine.
For a formal dining experience complete with ambiance, try Ventano’s Italian Restaurant or Gaetano’s. Both restaurants are recommended and have extensive menus featuring dishes from most of the major regions of Italy.
Ireland, the third largest island in Europe, is known for ethnic cuisine that warms the soul. Traditional Irish cuisine includes:
- Coddle, which consists of boiled sausage, potatoes, and onion
- Salmon, Cod, Oysters, Prawn, and Lobster cooked with whiskey and cream,
- Corned beef and cabbage
- Colcannon, which consists of mashed potatoes, cabbage or kale, onions, butter, salt and pepper.
Dishes are traditionally accompanied with a pint of stout or Irish tea or coffee.
Transport yourself to Ireland by visiting Fado Irish Pub and Restaurant.The menu is a mix between Americanized Irish and traditional Irish dishes. There will be live music in the evening after 9:30PM with no cover.
The Auld Dubliner Irish Pub and Restaurant offers traditional corned beef and cabbage, beef stew, rack of lamb, Shephard's Pie, and grilled salmon. The executive chef specializes in Irish cuisine from the coastal and Southern regions of Ireland. This restaurant has a great relaxed atmosphere, wonderful food, and "The Perfect Pint".
Korean dishes contain ingredients such as rice, noodles, tofu, vegetables and meat seasoned with sesame oil, soy sauce, ginger, salt, garlic and gochujang, which is red chili paste.
Korean cuisine is served as several side dishes called banchan, accompanied by short grain rice. Kimchi is a spicy vegetable dish that is traditionally served with every meal.
- Top selling Korean beers (lagers): Cass, Hite, and OB.
- Popular Rice wines: Soju, Yakju, and Takju.
- Popular Fruit wines: Acacia, Chinese Quince, and Pomegranate
Kaizen Fusion Roll and Sushi has a contemporary ambiance and good presentation. The Korean barbeque rolls and spicy tuna are recommended dishes.
Pumi Oriental is Korean owned and moderately priced in the $10 to $25 range. The restaurant has a gaming lounge and an extensive bar. Las Vegas Review Journal and Las Vegas Weekly have rated the restaurant favorably.
The multi-cultural fusion of Hawaiian cuisine is sure to suit the palates of many ethnic food lovers. The region has influences from American, Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, Polynesian and Portuguese ethnic cuisines. The popular dishes of the Hawaiian Luau, such as kalua pig, loma salmon, laulau and poi are often most associated with the region. However, the true flavors of Hawaii’s oriental influences are reflected in the dishes served in local restaurants. Popular dishes include:
- American or Japanese potato salad
- Korean Kimchee
- Chinese cold ginger chicken
- Japanese tonkatsu
- Filipino pork, pansit or lumpia
- Korean beef short rib
- Grilled Ahi
- Korean or Japanese barbeque beef or chicken.
Although less than 1 percent of the Las Vegas population is Pacific Islander or Hawaiians, they possess a significant presence in the Valley. Consequently, a few notable Hawaiian restaurants are present in the area.
At Ross J’s Aloha Grill the prices are reasonable and the portions are plentiful. There is not much ambiance, but most of the dishes are under $10.
Because of Hawaii’s Asian influences, Blue Fin Sushi and Roll also has some dishes that are reminiscent of the region’s cuisine. If ambiance and atmosphere are a concern, this is the restaurant of choice. The prices are moderate, and their dishes are remarkably refreshing.
L and L Hawaiian Barbeque is a franchise, and it possesses a casual atmosphere. While this restaurant was only given a B rating by Las Vegas Review Journal, it is kid friendly, the prices are reasonable, and the portions are large.
Big Island Boba features the traditional ethnic foods of the region, such as laulau, kalua pig, kimchee and others popular dishes for reasonable prices.
Filipino cuisine has many Hispanic, Asian, and American influences. Agahan (breakfast), Tanghalian (lunch), Hapunan (Dinner) and Merienda (snack) are the main meals of the Filipino culture.
Popular meals may include:
- Lechon (whole roasted pig)
- Pochero (beef in bananas and tomato sauce)
- Torta (omelette)
- Pancit (stir fried noodles)
- Lumpia (spring rolls)
- Adobo (chicken in garlic, soy sauce and vinegar)
Filipino cuisine, along with Hawaiian, is featured at Aloha Kitchen. The menu features Filipino dishes such as, lumpia and adobo, as well as, Hawaiian dishes, such as, katsu, kimchee, laulau, and kalua pig. If you want to combine your Filipino and Hawaiian ethnic food experience, this would be the restaurant of choice.
Scottish cuisine shares commonalities with British cuisine. Frequent ingredients include game, fish, vegetables, fruit and dairy. Scots generally have very poor diets and often are plagued with heart disease. Therefore, it is not a good idea to consume this region’s food on a daily basis.
- Pakora: Deep fried chicken, onion, potato, eggplant, tomato or spinach
- Turkey kabobs
- Fish and chips
- Kippers or whole herring
- Smoked salmon
- Scones and shortbread are well-known desserts.
Unfortunately, there are no restaurants in Henderson that specialize in Scottish food per se. To experience the tastes of Scotland, the ethnic food connoisseur may have to shop around at the pubs, bakeries or any buffet that serves fried vegetables. Fish and chips would probably be the easiest to obtain, along with smoked salmon. Fado Irish Pub and Restaurant has both items featured on the menu.
Todd's Unique Restaurant specializes in eclectic cuisine. Todd's menu changes frequently. Depending on the season, the ethnic food diner may catch his take on Scottish Salmon. He is an award winning chef, so the trip will be worth your while.