The awards and acclamations keep piling up for Executive Chef Alessandro Stratta. At his namesake restaurant, Alex, (located at Wynn) Chef Alessandro’s modern take on Provençal style cooking has earned him the Five Diamond award every year since 2007. He was also named Best American Chef in the Southwest by the James Beard Foundation and, to top things off, the restaurant was awarded two stars by the prestigious Michelin Guide. It’s safe to say that life for Chef Alessandro does not suck.
Upon entering Alex, one is struck by the rich and warm tones of the wood paneling that envelop the entire space. Designer Roger Thomas infuses the restaurant with a sense of theater with a grand staircase and sparkling candelabras. And for a behind-the-scenes look at all the crazy kitchen activities, reserve the chef’s table for a real show. Although you’ll be drawn into the restaurant because of its sheer grandness, you’ll stay for hours because of Chef Alex’s culinary talents.
Once you’ve decided to have dinner at Alex, you are already mentally and financially prepared to shell out the big bucks. But it’s all totally worth it. Take the five-course tasting menu, for example ($185 per person, $295 with wine pairings). Crispy prawns are served with cauliflower and savory custard and drizzled with a carrot ginger sauce. The foie gras is paired with sweet potato, caramelized onions and black truffles. And if you’ve never tried squab before, now would be the time. Chef Alex delicately roasts it and contrasts its rich flavors with an herb vinegar sauce.
Chef Alex’s focus on seasonal ingredients comes through with his prix-fixe menu. For appetizers, think roasted veal sweetbreads with Savoy cabbage, wild mushrooms and spiced apples or sautéed scallops with Brussels sprouts, confit of pear and hazelnuts. For the ultimate in late autumn flavors order the poussin (young chicken) served with spiced pumpkin puree, red kabocha squash and topped with chestnuts and pomegranates.
But keep in mind that delicious flavors don’t end with your main course. Alex’s Executive Pastry Chef Jenifer Fournier, a Washington native, creates simple yet elegant desserts. Some of her sweet creations to try… The milk chocolate cream Napoleon with peanut butter gelato or the warm chocolate tart with vanilla mint marshmallow and mint ice cream.
Alex is located at the Wynn Las Vegas, 3131 Las Vegas Boulevard S. Las Vegas, NV (702) 770-3300 www.wynnlasvegas.com
Alina Tarkhanian is the First Course editor.