We Ate at Hell’s Kitchen!
When Hell’s Kitchen Las Vegas had its Grand Opening in early January, if you weren’t one of the cognoscenti, chances are that you did not get in. Count me as one of the latter. Reservations to the hottest new restaurant in Vegas has been as rare as dentition in Gallus gallus domesticus (hen’s teeth).
Interview with Gordon Ramsay at Grand Opening
While I am not one of the cognoscenti (The Day Job™ keeps me swamped), I do know a few people who know a few people.
It was my friend Debbie’s birthday and she told me that she had managed to score reservations to Hell’s Kitchen. Would I be interested?
If you’re like most of us, you’ve been following the series Hell’s Kitchen. The premise is pretty simple – experienced chefs (sometimes “just” cooks) have the opportunity to showcase their cooking and leadership skills in the hopes of winning the opportunity to run one of Chef Ramsay’s famed restaurants. Naturally, you will have to run the gauntlet of Chef Ramsay’s swear words when you screw up. One of the past season’s winners is Christina Wilson, who has become Chef Ramsay’s right-hand woman for his Vegas operations. She is absolutely delightful and throws herself into her enviable career. Plus she’s from Philly, like yours truly. Thereyago.
This season’s winner, Michelle, was a part of the Season 17 “All Stars,” past contestants who returned to battle for the opportunity to be Executive Chef of Ramsay’s newest restaurant, Hell’s Kitchen, the first “real” restaurant to bear the name.
One of our intrepid little group volunteered to drive as she lives in Henderson and the rest of us live in the city. We had all met at Debbie’s house and eagerly crowded into the small car. We winded our way into the bowels of the overpriced parking garage, parked, and then headed towards the restaurant.
It’s located near the front of Caesar’s Palace, although we didn’t realize that at first because we entered from self-parking directly into the casino. However, walking through the casino is always a treat! When we went outdoors and saw the restaurant in the distance, we all began (screaming, skipping, hugging, hopping, etc.) acting like schoolgirls. Would Gordon be there? What are the chances?
Well, as it turns out, Gordon was not there. Truth be told, we pretty much had figured that out since it was late on a Sunday night, and it had already been a long weekend with events in and around Caesars.
B-Roll and Outtakes
Before we finished looking at the menu, we were served an amuse-bouche, a tasty little pastry stuffed with truffles and foie gras and served on a bed of crisped quinoa. Yes, it was as good as it sounds.
Everybody ordered different items from the menu, including Seared Scallops, Lobster Risotto, Tuna Tartare, Beef Wellington (but of course!), Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb (glorious!), along with various vegetables and potatoes as side courses. I had ordered a Sticky Toffee Pudding for dessert, but we had another surprise that happened.
When one of the managers came to the table and asked how everything was, we pointed out the problems. I have never seen such speed in making things right!
The Rack of Lamb was delivered somewhat cold, and the potato puree was not as warm as it should have been. When one of the managers came to the table and asked how everything was, we pointed out the problems. I have never seen such speed in making things right! The cold Lamb Chops whisked away, and fresh ones were delivered hot and perfectly cooked, the potatoes were delivered in a small pan, and we were offered a special dessert, an amazing creation called Pineapple Carpaccio, with super-thin rounds of pineapple, along with coconut, citrus, passion fruit, and coriander. And all of this is blessed by a cloud of something steamy.
We walked out of there full and happy, and before we left, Debbie, the birthday girl, had her photo taken with Michelle when she had a quick minute to spare.
The food was good, the service impeccable, and our view was glorious. And, for the record, this was not a comp. We spent our own hard-earned, you know what I mean? And, yes, I’d do it again. Even if the food wasn’t good, the fun factor of it being Hell’s Kitchen is worth it.