Alex is Located in the spectacular Wynn Las Vegas Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada. For more information or to make reservations, call (702) 248-DINE (3463) or (888) 352-DINE (3463) or visit http://www.wynnlasvegas.com.
One of my favorite Woody Allen movies is The Purple Rose of Cairo. The basic plot involves a movie character stepping out of the silver screen and into the real world. At Alex, I felt that roles were reversed and that I had stepped into a movie of that elegant Old Hollywood era. Specifically, I walked into ‘that scene’ at the glamorous dinner and dance club, with the sunken dance floor spreading out before you, allowing you to survey the who’s who and who was with who. The dining room is elegantly lit and richly adorned oozing, with romantic glamour. You descend the stairs and sink into luxury.
Immediately apparent was the striking difference in feel between Alex and Robuchon, another fine restaurant we had the pleasure of visiting during this same trip. The overall ambience at Robuchon, even upon entering, is one of supreme sophistication requiring hushed tones and the quiet that comes with the introspective contemplation of each bite. The menu there was truly out of this world, with almost esoteric presentation. Alex is sophisticated but in a more accessible way – a “rat pack, loosen the collar slightly, and give a casual swirl to your martini glass” sort of experience. This impression upon entering Alex is carried through to the menu and service. Though, as at Robuchon, the menu items employ only the finest ingredients and are exquisitely prepared, overall the dishes are more down to earth and recognizable in their presentation at Alex.
And the menu and service at Alex are truly spectacular. My dining partner and I had the Tasting Menu with wine pairings and were transported to successive levels of culinary heaven. Decadent ingredients of the highest quality are the hallmark of Alex, impeccably presented and flawlessly paired with the finest wines.
The first course was a Marinated Yellowtail Crisp with Osetra Caviar and Carrot-Ginger Pearls, a bright, rich dish complimented by a crisp glass of fine champagne. Next were Nantucket Bay Scallops with Sea Urchin, Herb Linguini, and Celery Root paired with Turley, “The White Coat”, San Luis Obispo, California 2004. The scallops were plump and tender, marrying perfectly with the crispness of the wine.
What followed was probably our favorite course – Saute of Foie Gras with Oven-Dried Grapes, Hakurei Turnips, and Blood Orange. The combination of the autumnal flavors of grape and turnip with the foie gras was, not surprisingly, fantastic – and the addition of citrus tones gave the whole dish an unexpectedly bright twist. To further the autumn-harvest theme, the wine from the Loire Valley (Domaine des Baumard, Quarts de Chaume, 1990) had a distinct reference to apples picked at the height of their goodness.
Wild Turbot with Salsifis, Black Truffles, Almonds and Red Wine Sauce brought us back “to earth”, with no complaints on our part! This was in no way hurt by a glass of wine fit for an Emperor – Domaine Vincent Girardin, Gevrey Chambertin, “Les Champeaux”, Burgundy 2002.
Unbelievably…there was more. A morsel of prized Japanese Wagyu Beef (cooked to perfection with the most gorgeous color in the center!) with Potato Gnocchi and Porcini Mushrooms was served near to last. A beautiful Italian wine (Valdicava, Brunello di Montalcino, Tuscany, 2001) was paired with this decadent treat.
There is always room for dessert somehow. (You begin to feel that you as may as well not stop!) Passion Cheesecake with Graham Crumble and Vanilla Nougat and Praline Ice Cream with Caramel Hazelnuts was offered, the latter paired with a lovely Spanish sherry. A perfect end to a glamorous evening fit for the silver screen.
Our first visit to Alex was filled with the charm of a by-gone era of glamour, with surroundings, service, food and wine of the highest class. We will be quick to return on our next visit.
We give Alex 5 Stars- Outstanding!