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Wynn/Encore food crawl...Okada/Wing Lei/Sinatra


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Wynn/Encore food crawl...Okada/Wing Lei/Sinatra

LVI | Mar 27, 2009 09:38 AM

Unconventional, yes, but decided that we would go to Okada with the expectation that if all were good we would make a meal of it there. And as you can surmise, all was not good. From all reports and reviews, one of the qualities of Okada seems to be the quality of ingredients, from ocean to land. So when I walked into the restaurant I was a little surprised by the lack of selection at the sushi bar. And to that, the appearance seemed to lack quality. By that I mean the fish certainly didn't appear to be as fresh as one would expect. But should we be judging a book by its cover? When it comes to sushi, you certainly get a very good preview.

We were seated at the robata bar as there were not 3 seats at the sushi bar together (6 empty seats. Parties of 2 at sushi bar all unwilling to move. Oh well.) We planned on dining here for the evening but left open the possibility that if quality lacked we would move on to another restaurant. As I have indicated in prior CH posts, I am pretty obsessed when it comes to food. I love discussing what our next meal is while we are eating present meal. So when our server came over we ordered 3 large beers and an order of Yellowtail Sashimi With Jalapeno. Then I explained to him that we are all pretty serious food lovers that are not your typical casino diner looking to eat. We were 3 adventurous food obsessed fanatics and asked him what he would recommend. When the 1st thing out of his mouth was a lobster roll I knew that our stay at the robata grill would be short lived. The yellowtail arrived and my suspicion when we walked in about the quality of the sushi was confirmed. The yellowtail had that old look to it. That white-ish opaque had been replaced by that faded look. And the flavor did in fact confirmed this. So we ordered a special tuna roll that was ho hum along w/4 of the 3 robata skewers, pork short rib, the filet and chicken/shishito pepper, and Chilean sea bass. All were fine, with the chicken/pepper being the best. However none were great. Huge disappointment for a sushi restaurant that prides itself on quality and diversity.

On to Wing Lei. Our intention was to order the Peking Duck and go to Sinatra for a pasta dish. I have in the past enjoyed Wing Lei. We were seated in the back room next to the bonsai trees. Service, while spotty at first was good. We ordered the duck. I am a HUGE Peking Duck fan. I mean seriously, what could be better than crispy duck skin, with a thin layer of duck fat and juicy duck meat all encased in a pancake w/scallions and hoisin sauce? This is followed by a lettuce leaf topped w/minced duck and vegetables. It was very good to excellent. Personally I was not a fan of the hoisin sauce they use as it had that sheen of corn syrup sweetener to it. That was the weak link to the dish and kept me from really loving it. (For anybody who cares, if Peking Duck is something you like, next time in NYC try the Peking Duck House. Wonderful and reasonable.) If I had the urge for Peking Duck in Las Vegas again I would certainly go back but only if I was up money because at $88 per duck, not really sure it's worth the tariff.

And on to Sinatra (actually our plan was to go to Alex for a couple of pastas but they were closed. Plus, we were not sure how receptive they would be for us to just have a couple of small dishes. In this economy my guess is that we would have been seated immediately. Next time I suppose.). From the outset I loved this place. From the manager to the ambiance to the food (the bartender is another story. Guy couldn't have been more strung out and completely lacked any personality! My guess is when I go back in September he will not be there.) We sat at the bar just because we wanted a more relaxed experience. The restaurant looks extremely comfortable. There seems to be a small outside area that could seat some parties (too cold early in March) and the main body of the restaurant is not too big. On to the food. The menu is not cluttered with and abundance of typical Italian fare but rather small concise collection of very good choices. With the assistance of the Manager, April (she could have been nicer) we decided on 3 dishes: The Anolotti (stuffed w/herbs and ricotta in butter parmesan chive sauce), Chitara (home made spaghetti w/mushrooms, butter and chives) and the Veal Milanese. The Anolotti was so light and so wonderful. Simple but magnificent. This is what pasta should be. Simple but magical. The Chitara (glorified hand made spaghetti) was just the same. Not overly sauced, perfect amount of assorted mushrooms (not button and crimini. Real variety, my guess includes, porcini, chestnut, oyster) and again, WONDERFUL flavor. And given that places in LV feel that it is alright to charge $40 for a pasta dish, these in the mid to upper $20's were fairly priced (still expensive but not silly $40 expensive). We ended w/the Veal Milanese. I am a HUGE Milanese fan. This was a good sized pounded thin chop ($50 I think) with a perfect brown crust. And instead of having the "salad already on top" it was to the side. Not sure if I like that or not. And it lacked a good amount of arugula (which is generally green of choice on the Milanese I have had) along with 4-5 pieces of endive. This to me needs tinkering. I liked it, no question but they need to offer more. I ran out of greens while still eating the meat. It was very good to excellent. Had the olive oil that the chop been fried in been of better quality (I will cut them some slack here as it was close to 10pm when we ordered on a Sunday night) it could have been excellent. Not sure if the oil was burnt or cooked in too many times but it had that very slightest of acrid after tastes. Not by any means over whelming, just in the background. Given the amount of food and alcohol consumed this evening we decided to forego dessert.

Sinatra was a joy. And after reading several positive posts here on CH I am glad that that we decided to go. This is undoubtedly one of the keepers in the Wynn restaurant stable.

*Just a quick note on SWITCH. I did not go but my brother and friend did (I happened to play in a poker tournament that went til 1am so I missed out...and gladly so! WINNA!). They had a very good dinner and they liked the "switching" thing, albeit a bit hoakie. They said they would go again. When I asked which was better, Sinatra or Switch, no hesitation whatsoever...Sinatra hands down

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