Wynn Las Vegas (last visit: September 2005).
Not much mystery about what this restaurant serves, eh? Now, as to the name...Steve Wynn has a healthy ego. This restaurant bears his initials (another restaurant - Wing Lei - is the Chinese version of his name). As I've said in the past, I'm not really a steak person. The only steak house in Las Vegas that I'd eaten at was Delmonico's. However, I had heard good things about SW, and in any case was trying to eat my way though Wynn.
In some ways, the atmosphere is typical steakhouse: busy and noisy. There are lots of browns and tans. Each table has a single orchid (genus Paphiopedilum) in a vase of water. The restaurant has a view of the Wynn water show. However, my table was too far away to see anything except for colors reflected off the trees.
Service was generally efficient, and courses were well paced. Minor issues: my server was slow to take my order; my server and various assistants came across as a bit impersonal.
· The bread basket was excellent. My favorite was the bacon and cheese bread. Both the flavor and texture were top notch. Not far behind was some Italian style white bread, with a hard crust and good flavor.
· Foie Gras Duo. The first was pate de foie gras with specs of truffle, some fruit puree for sweetness, and toasted brioche. It was buttery, creamy, smooth, with pretty good flavor. Rating: good to very good. The second was sautéed foie gras on a bed of nectarines and onions. It was a very large hunk of foie gras - rich and flavorful. It lost a few points because it was so thick that there was too much soft insides as compared to the seared outside. Still, very good to excellent.
· Filet Mignon with Three Sauces. The filet was about 2-1/2 inches thick, crusty, maybe with butter on it. It cut easily, was tender as could be, but also had excellent flavor - the best steak I've ever had. The sauces: Bernaise (thick, rich, tangy, wonderful in every way; my favorite); some sort of Dijon mustard sauce (very good); Bordelaise (good). Overall rating: excellent.
· Jardiniere. Baby vegetables (string beans, yellow squash, carrots, pea pods). They were pretty good, but too crisp even for me, a crisp vegetable lover. Rating: good.
· "Not Just a Hot Ding Dong - Molten dark chocolate lava cake, marshmallow center." A circle of chocolate cake with dark molten chocolate and molten marshmallow, plus 2 small marshmallow squares. The very dark chocolate was excellent, but the marshmallow only helped a little. Rating: very good+.
SW Steakhouse served the best steak I've ever eaten. That's from an admittedly small group of restaurants (two in Vegas, a handful in D.C, and a few elsewhere), but I was impressed.
The meal was $85, plus drinks, tax and tip.
Index of Restaurants