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Dining Worth an Award for Your Oscars Night

LAS VEGAS ( TheStreet) -- Oscars season is here and Wolfgang Puck will once again preside over the post-ceremony Governor's Ball -- a veritable institution of a party with 1,500 guests, 5 kilos of U.S. farm-raised caviar, 5,000 mini chocolate Oscars and 10 pounds of winter black truffles from Burgundy, France. To celebrate, TravelsinTaste is bringing you the scoop on where to play like a star, what nominee-inspired cocktails you should try and what Puck has on his menu.

If play is what you have in mind, in Las Vegas you can shop, dine and dance like a star at The Shops at Crystals. The mall has brands that will take over the red carpet, including Dolce & Gabbana, Roberto Cavalli, Dior and Versace, and after an afternoon of fashion there is an incredible selection of restaurants that includes Wolfgang Puck Pizzeria & Cucina, Mastro's Ocean Club and Social House. Cap the night with a visit to SHe, a new concept from Morton's and Eva Longoria that combines an inventive female-friendly steakhouse with a chic nightclub.

Or you could play at the Vanderbilt Grace, a historic mansion hotel in Newport, R.I.,that plans to celebrate the awards ceremony in its restaurant Muse by Jonathan Cartwright.The evening will feature Oscar-themed cocktails, gold popcorn, movie trivia and gold-glittered cookies in the shape of the Oscar statuette. The cocktails taking center stage include The Life of Hot Apple Pi (hot apple cider Tuaca), Les "Not So" Miserables (a combination of vodka, Chambord, pineapple juice and Champagne), Tarantino Unchained (Malibu Rum mixed with Captain Morgan's, ginger ale and cranberry juice), Honest Abe (Pama Liquor mixed with Stoli Blueberry Vodka and cranberry juice), and Zero "Dirty" Thirty Martini (Grey Goose Martini with feta-cheese-stuffed olives). The Oscars ceremony will be shown at Muse, but reservations are required, 401-846-6200.

For your dining and drinking pleasure at The Bazaar, the Golden Trio takes center stage throughout Oscars week, featuring the award-worthy Philly Cheesesteak decorated for the occasion with fine gold dust, golden chocolate bonbons from The Patisserie and a Spanish Golden Ale cocktail with sherry, gin chocolate bitters, gold dust, tonic and lemon air. Puck, at the Hotel Bel-Air, is toasting the season with award-season themed cocktails and bites that can be enjoyed while watching live from The Bar. Having been selected to serve Hollywood's finest for 19 years, master chef Puck has created a small bites menu. A perfect match for these plates, libations such as The Red Carpet with Ketel One Citroen, Cointreau, lemon juice, simple syrup and raspberry puree and the Best Dressed with Skyy Citrus, Cointreau, lime juice, passion fruit puree and cranberry juice, will also be offered.

If you've got the golden ticket, of course there's Puck's famous cuisine at the Governor's Ball, including spicy tuna tartare with sesame miso cone, pickled ginger and bonito flakes, smoked salmon Oscars with dill creme fraiche and caviar, a smoked salmon pizza cone and modern salads such as the Japanese baby peach salad and hot plates such as chestnut tortellini with white truffles topped off by bonbons and snowballs.

Located in the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter, the newly restyled sleek W San Diego is celebrating award-season by hosting an Oscar-themed Ignite Thursday: Oscar Edition on Thursday before the Academy Awards and another special Oscar Edition Liquid Sunday on February 24th. While a DJ spins some of the year's top singles from Academy Award-nominated movies in the Living Room, special Oscar-themed cocktails will also be served, including The Essence of Pi, a delightful concoction of TY KU premium sake, Veev Acai, apple and pineapple liquors and the Lincoln, a smart mix of Jeremiah and lemon juice.

In New York, Sotto 13 debuts its Hollywood-themed cocktail, the Red Carpet Cosmo -- a little sweet, a little tart and with a punch of red pom juice adding a healthy boost. Meanwhile, mixologist Keith Nelson's Coupe DeVille at the Arlington Club in New York invokes the olden days of champagne cocktails, when the academy awards began, with pear liqueur, vodka and a dash of bitters. Beverage director William Ward's Edelweiss at Marble Lane in New York's Dream Downtown combines Vietti Moscato D'Asti with St. Germain and lemon juice, a light and bubbly cocktail perfect for celebration and fitting into that dress.

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