Putting the Red, White and Blue on a Plate

LAS VEGAS ( MainStreet) -- Grab your sparklers and get ready to celebrate your independence -- restaurants across the country are getting a jump-start in celebrating the holiday weekend with red, white and blue cocktails and cuisine to match the festivities! TravelsinTaste shares them with you here.

In Las Vegas, Diablo's at the Monte Carlo is celebrating its Fourth Fest, five days of DJs and live music, for a rocking Fourth of July. Quench your thirst with $20 all-you-can-drink draft beer on the patio. Or unwind from the day and kick off the evening in impeccable style at Happy Hour at Brand, also in The Monte Carlo, with appetizers including Hot Rocks, Lollipop Wings and more. Meanwhile, Lily, in the Bellagio, presents The Fashionista Social Club. It's the perfect place for the ladies and gentleman of fashion, beauty and Vegas chic to get together and mingle over great cocktails and tunes.
Azure at the Palazzo in Las Vegas is to host a Fourth of July weekend that includes poolside barbecue.

At Azure in the Palazzo, the luxury pool will heat up the weekend with the hottest DJs. Guests will be able to relax, cool off and enjoy an al fresco dining experience at the poolside barbecue including seasonal fruit salad, macaroni salad, balsamic and honey-glazed St. Louis ribs, classic beef sliders, seared-chicken skewers, a sliced watermelon platter and more.

Cool down at creator and executive chef Rick Moonen's rm seafood in The Shoppes at Mandalay Place, where award-winning lead bartender J.R. Starkus has created the Liberty & Justice cocktail -- a delicious combination of Jim Beam Red Stag, fresh watermelon, lemon juice and raspberry syrup topped with a fresh bing cherry. Or try the Blueberry Pie Bam-Boozled Shake at Holsteins Shakes and Buns, made with Stoli blueberry vodka, blueberry compote, brown butter crumble and freeze-dried blueberries.

In New York, Five Points & Hundred Acres is throwing a down and dirty low country picnic on the patio. Beverages include kegs of beer such as Narragansett Lager from Rhode Island, Carton B.D.G. Ale from New Jersey and seasonal cocktails such as spiked watermelon lemonade and bourbon iced tea. Chef R.L. King will be serving up his low country boil in addition to Wagyu beef burgers, hot dogs, coleslaw and more. Pastry chef Amanda Cook will be scooping up homemade ice cream alongside bacon chocolate chip cookies.

At B&B Winepub, executive chef Josh Capon is offering "BBQ kits" for weekend outings. All items come with cooking instructions and serving recommendations and are packed frozen for easy travel. Highlights include New Zealand rack of lamb with fresh rosemary, garlic marinade and homemade Dijon barbecue sauce and green dragon skewers marinated in jalapeno, cilantro, scallions and ginger.

A Voce is serving red, white and blue-inspired cuisines and cocktails: the red Boscaiolo cocktail (fresh raspberries, honey-rosemary syrup, cranberry juice and club soda) in addition to the stracciatella (creamy pugliese mozzarella with fava beans and parsley pesto, a perfect white dish). Alternately, P.J. Clarke's On the Hudson has created the Signature Iceberg Wedge with bacon, blue cheese and red cherry tomatoes.

Bobby Flay is all about the blue at Mesa Grill. His dishes include blue corn pancake with barbecued duck and habanero chile-star anise sauce. Flay explains the appeal in his Mesa Grill cookbook: "This Mesa classic has been on the menu since the beginning. The sweet and spicy duck is the perfect filling for the nutty, crepelike blue corn pancakes. It's one of my favorite combinations, especially when drizzled with smoked red pepper sauce, as we do at Mesa Grill." Additionally, the goat cheese "Queso Fundido" with blue corn tortilla chips and blue and yellow corn muffins "is probably the most consumed item in Mesa's long history, as these muffins grace every breadbasket that leaves the kitchen. They have a surprising spiciness to them," Flay says.

On the West Coast, at Delicias in Rancho Santa Fe, chef Paul McCabe created a classic strawberry shortcake with Crows Pass strawberries, sour cream ice cream and pecan shortbread. At the Grant Grill, inside San Diego's US Grant Hotel, chef Chris Kurth is putting his own spin on strawberry shortcake with strawberry basil ice cream, shortcake cookies, vanilla curd and powdered almonds. Pastry chef Margaret Nolan at the Rancho Bernardo Inn serves a mixed berry pie with raspberries, blueberries and strawberries with a crumble crust.

At Miami's waterfront dining destination the Rusty Pelican, guests can enjoy exceptional views of the fireworks while indulging in innovative entrees including potato salad, all-beef hot dogs, Jack Daniels barbecue chicken, guava barbecue ribs, mac and cheese, corn on the cob, Georgia peach cobbler and much more. They are even including a red, white and blue side dish of cauliflower escabeche!

The fireworks will have to compete for attention.