Faster than a trip to Palm Springs, a short plane ride drops you off in the center of a theme park for adults, namely Las Vegas. We spent our 20th anniversary together at the Wynn Las Vegas and never left the hotel. There’s no reason to do so, and here’s why:


The mother of all restaurants, this one is not to be missed for any reason. Take a mortgage on your home, sell the kids, take an add in the back of Frontiers for your lover, but get there any way you can. One enters the voluptuous room from an elevated landing so that the view is down and into one of the most elegantly appointed rooms we’ve ever seen. From the Moreno glass chandeliers dripping from the ceiling to the diamond-shaped wood paneling and matching cut crystal glass doors, your first impression makes you forget to breathe. As you waltz down the grand staircase like Vivien Lee in Gone with the Wind, you get to see and be seen by the who’s who of Vegas who clamor for a much needed reservation. The elegance of the environment is only outdone by the meal.

We enjoyed the tasting menu, which was beyond sublime, created by the magical talents of Alessandro Stratta. In our lives, we have never spent so much money for food at $375 per person (exclusive of tax and tip), but we report here and now that it was worth every penny. Complimented by superlative service from Fabrice Bais (who we remembered very fondly from his days at L’Orangerie), who coordinated every course with perfectly presented and timed delivery, we sampled such delectable items as Sauted Foie Gras with Cider Honey and Plum, Maine Lobster with black truffles, a combined favorite of Michael’s but not Scott’s, and Medallion of Venison which has never been prepared better.

The magic of the tasting menu, however, is the extraordinary experience of pairing magnificent and hard to come-by wines with each course. The Master Sommelier, Paolo Barbieri, one of less than 80 in this country and 125 worldwide (although of note, 12 are located in Las Vegas) has acquired wines from around the world that are so small they can pick and choose to whom they will deliver. Normally these wines are out of reach in price, but the chef’s menu allows the possibility of sampling a glass of each, such as a Muscato from Greece, which can only be compared to one of our favorite, orgasmic like wines, Chateau d’yquem. If you ask, Paolo, will show you his private reserve in the heavily guarded wine cellar where we were fortunate enough to hold a $32,000 bottle of wine from the 1800’s.

After all this wine and food, stumble upstairs to a magnificent room overlooking the strip and get a good night’s sleep because the next night will be another food fest at Wing Lei.

Wing Lei
Phone number

Don’t expect fortune cookies at this Chinese restaurant. The exterior is framed in cut stone topped with giant symmetrical golden pots, and the interior space holding 152 seats glimmers with walls of abalone pieces, volumes of rich maroon and gold colored fabrics, and gorgeous red velvet chairs fit for royalty. The dining rooms view out towards four 100 year-old pomegranate trees imported from China, all of which are bent with age and lit like a masters painting. A rare, handcrafted black onyx bar fills one corner, while small sculptures on tiny shelves accent the design, setting the tone for a serious meal.

We ordered off the menu, requesting that we be served “authentic” Chinese food, and our request was honored with perfection. The level of service and respect also mirrored the majesty of the various dining rooms. Starting with a host of appetizers created by the chef, Richard Chen incorporates a western flair into traditional Chinese cooking. We quickly worked our way into the Shark fin soup, a true delicacy commanding an enthusiastic price of $125, which is available only by special request, and the last time we tasted this dish with such quality was in Hong Kong. Signature dishes include Peking duck, which can be tasted in several different forms, all beyond compare and Szechwan chili prawns with garlic-spiked spinach. For those of you that are courageous, ask your waiter to prepare a sampling of delicacies, which are usually only available in the far east.

Unlike most places in Vegas, people dress up for this venue, as well as for Alex. Both restaurants command that respect and its fun to break out the nice wardrobe. Once again, be prepared because dinner will run $200 at the low end, and our check was north of $900.

From: Wynn, Elaine
Date: Wednesday, April 19, 2006 3:36 PM
To: ses@scottschwimer.com
Subject: Your review

Dear Scott and Michael,

What a fabulous piece you did on our restaurants. As I read through it I kept saying. "They got it, they got it!"

All of the details you observed were meticulously created to evoke your kind of response. It is so gratifying to have it played back to us.

I shared your article with our designers and the Food and Beverage Department.

You are obviously gentlemen of discriminating taste!!!

Thank you very much.


Elaine Wynn

Phone number

Chef Mark LoRusso’s attractive French country restaurant, pool side, indoors and out, is the place to sober up on Sunday afternoon with a perfect Bloody Mary or a glass of champagne. Light and airy, it overlooks one of the private pools and feels like its miles away from the madding crowd. Scott found the pineapple French toast was delicious, and the bacon was the right degree of thick and crunchy. Michael really enjoyed the Poached Eggs and Duck hash. We were told that the Virginia Ham Fritatta with melted onions is also a winner, but were too stuffed to try it out. Our server, Carol, had overheard that it was our 20th anniversary and bought us a round of drinks, then presenting us with a special anniversary chocolate dessert with our names inscribed. The atmosphere is casual chic and a glorious way to end our stay creating a Win-Wynn weekend.


No doubt you will have just enough room left to run by this little chocolaterrie for a sugar rush before leaving for the airport. A host of different selections, they all are displayed beautifully and beckon to be eaten. You won’t go wrong with any of them, and they make the unfortunate plane ride home all that much more worthwhile.

All in all, you never have to leave this glorious hotel in order to experience a Wynn-win situation!

Posted by The Dining Duo | 3:27 PM | , , , , , , , , , , , | 0 comments »

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