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VegasEats: Alex at Wynn Las Vegas

By MikeE on Thursday, 8th July 2010 3:52pm
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 8

   

After 16 courses of Robuchon decadence, it's hard to follow up with pretty much any restaurant. Alex at Wynn Las Vegas made a formidable attempt...

Last week, myself, reader JohnD, Steve Friess, and another friend decided to make our last night in town extra special with a dinner at Wynn's flagship restaurant. It would be almost two and a half years since I last dined at Alex and like then, I was simply wowed by the décor - the dark, rich woods, high ceilings, heavy drapery, and that staircase – OMG that staircase! - makes Alex far and away the single most elegant restaurant space I've ever had the pleasure of dining in.

We were promptly seated for our 8pm dinner reservations chuckling as we descended the stairs. The idea of women in their flowing Oscar de la Renta gowns and Manolo Blahnik shoes faceplanting down those very steps was too funny to ignore; you know its had to have happened at least a couple of times. The dining room was bustling as much as a high-end Mediterranean restaurant bustles - a subdued calm to an otherwise packed space; great to see on a Wednesday night.

Drunk off each other's company and deep in conversation for the entire two and a half hours, our team of waiters were timid to step in and encourage culinary proceedings. That being said, a quiet, romantic dinner will likely receive more attentive service than will a group of four friends like us with hours upon hours worth of Vegas conversation at the tip of our tongues.

Three of us ordered the three-course tasting menus at the relatively bargain price of $125 (two years ago, the same menu was $155). JohnD chose to be more adventurous opting for a vegetarian tasting menu. Our waiter asked if he was vegetarian and when John responded that he was not, he discouraged him from ordering it. Apparently, Chef Stratta's virtuosity is most apparent when protein is involved. As they say, you don't work your way up the food chain to become a vegetarian. I appreciated the waiter's honesty.

I ordered the Fresh King Crab with Creamy Risotto to start, the Tenderloin of Wagyu Beef as my main entrée, and completed the meal with the Hazelnut Crispy with Frangelico Caramel and Cajeta Ice Cream. The meal began with an amuse-bouche of five tiny, bite-sized offerings. They were too French and I was too drunk to remember all their names, but each delicate selection was bursting with incredible flavors and had me excited for the rest of the meal.

My appetizer was superb. It was the perfect balance of flavors presented exquisitely. I wish the same could be said about the Wagyu beef main entrée. While incredibly tender, I found it rather dull, lacking in flavor, and far short of the hype that surrounds this much-lauded breed.

At this time, a cheese cart rolled across our table - a novelty I hadn't seen on my last dining experience here. We ordered a selection of five cheeses at a cost of $35. It was served with bread and various spreads including apricot puree, membrillo, fig and almond cake, honeycomb, and candied walnuts. My favorite cheese selection was the Shropshire Blue. Flavorful and fantastically pungent without making the non-cheese connoisseur grimace, it was the only cheese that was devoured completely.

Yet another palette-cleanser of a frothy, lemon cream concoction was served before dessert. What a shame, too, as its incredible flavor out shined the final dish. While the cajeta ice cream itself was phenomenal, I felt the hazelnut crust that it was served on was far too thick and overpowered both the flavor and texture.

Total for four three-course tasting menus, a selection of five cheeses, two glasses of wine, a cocktail, sparkling water, coffee, tax, and tip was just a hair over $800. Would I do Alex again? Certainly. While my main entrée and dessert didn't live up to quite as high as the standards I was expecting, the space of the restaurant alone is enough enticement to have me back ordering something else that's just as enticing.



Tagged: vegaseats   alex   wynn las vegas   dining   





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Comments & Discussion:

A great report. When I first descended the staircase, it reminded me of the Grand Staircase on the Titanic, not that I sailed on that ill-fated maiden voyage. But, the elegance of Alex was worth the price even before dining there. What a wonderful room.

Enough of your bourgeois posturing, let's talk about my turbot... it was amazing.

That is all.

Uh Oh, an anti-bourgeois anarchist in our midst? :)

Thats funny, I had him pegged as a Solipsistic Sex Maniac.

Alex is the only place I haven't eaten at in Wynncore. Perhaps someday, I can connivence my wife to eat there. But until then, I'll only be left to wonder.

There was anarchy in my pants after my first bite of that turbot.

I was thinking more along the lines of an Epicurean Hedonist........

Oh. Yeah. So what? :)



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