VegasEats: Society Cafe at Encore Las Vegas
The Importance of Being Tasty
Society Cafe at Encore Las Vegas features three different menus concocted by head chef Kim Canteenwalla. The cafe - which sits on the edge of Encore's casino floor - was designed by Roger Thomas, whose inspiration was "to create a cafe Oscar Wilde would love." Knowing a little of Oscar Wilde's life story raises even more questions about Thomas' intentions than it resolves.
In design and menu, Society Cafe's main aim is to provide guests with a social dining experience. Many dishes are served "family style" and in some cases, portions are so comically large that sharing is essential. The exquisitely detailed decor featured numerous large red couches which curve and swoop on either end, enveloping multiple tables and groups of diners into miniature 'societies' within the cafe's layout.
Society Cafe offers lunch, dinner and a pared down late-night menu starting at 11pm. Wait time for our late-night table for two was approximately 10 minutes and we were seated at the massive red couch in the rear dining area. As with everything at Encore, the spaces themselves are as an important part of the 'meal experience' as are the epicurean delights. The depth of detailed visual stimulation throughout Encore is tremendous, and Society Cafe and it's low lit atmosphere is equally rich - and devoid of blinking lights, football games, keno boards or advertisements.
Shortly after being seated we were approached by a manager who handed out menus, took our water preferences and engaged in lively conversation about Encore's opening days. Upon his return with a bottle of Pellegrino, he graciously took our our order in advance of the arrival of our waiter. He was incredibly friendly, thoughtful and helpful.
This graciousness did have a downside, our meal was set on a course of 'who exactly is our waiter' for the rest of the evening. Five different people came to serve us at various points in the meal, two of whom - when asked specific questions or made requests - vanished to never come back. Specifically, a request for pre-meal bread or crackers went unanswered, coffee request to one waiter was never filled until a second reminder was logged with the man who eventually revealed himself as 'our waiter.' If there is one thing that Wynn is known for, it's punctual, friendly service wherein all of your needs are taken care of before even a finger is raised. For a restaurant whose service/crew was highly touted during my pre-opening property tour, I was a more than a little surprised.