While we’ve all heard that Las Vegas was once known for their .99 buffets.
Times have now changed, tables are now turned and it has become a food lovers paradise! Culinary artists from around the globe have all landed in this desert oasis.
Now, once upon a time ago being a vegan wasn’t an easy gig (that’s not why we do it), and being a vegan in Vegas was quite a headache (as well as a starving belly ache), especially for someone like me who doesn’t like to drive in this town. I say park your cars and get out there on foot (just make sure you’re not wearing ankle breaker heels!) Anyhow, eating on the strip was never an option for me and if I wanted to eat something more than iceberg lettuce and not go hungry – I had to go off strip. Which as I previously explained wasn’t my preference.
So a few years ago I had come to find out that Steve Wynn became a Vegetarian, (yay – one less meat eater in this world – ooops did I actually type that) and when he couldn’t even find dining options in his own hotels… WELL things had to change!
So a hungry Mr. Wynn had decided that at each and every eatery in both the Wynn & Encore Resorts you will find a vegan/vegetarian menu! He called in Vegan Chef to the Stars Tal Ronnen, and the menus were developed, since then Tal has remained a consultant to the vegan culinary arts at the Wynn & Encore.
And this last weekend when we were on a birthday getaway road trip we had reservations at SW Steakhouse – a “Steakhouse” you say?!?! Well, this ain’t no ordinary steakhouse, it’s Mr Wynn’s steakhouse (hence the name SW Steakhouse) and he doesn’t eat steak! It’s a place where both the vegan/vegetarians/and meat eaters of this world can come together for a beautiful fine dining experience! Date night all y’all guys who think it’s too difficult to date a vegan and take her out to dinner, because there’s no common ground… well “BOOYA!” Here it is – you’ll impress her, you might get lucky (wink wink), and you can always come back and thank me for it later!
This was actually our third time dining at SW and it certainly won’t be our last.
We arrived for the last seating and were showed to our table, a beautiful location on the terrace overlooking the “lake”. I started with my drink order of a vegan virgin Bloody Mary (that kinda just sounds wrong, but it was sooo good), next all three of us (Dave, Dominic, and myself) had opted for the Porcini Mushroom soup, which was velvety, smooth and rich, topped with a drizzle of pesto, and some crisp garlic micro sprouts. Let me tell you – jsyk (just so you know) I am a mushroom lover, and I scooped up every last possible morsel of this soup – this could’ve been a bottomless bowl and I still would’ve enjoyed every last bite! Next both Dave and Dominic had ordered the Asparagus and Oyster Mushroom Risotto, which in my opinion was a wonderful choice (I should know, I’ve ordered it before!) It has an almost sweet and delicate flavor. The arborio rice cooked to perfection reduced in a cashew cream base, along with tender bites of fresh asparagus and oyster mushroom this risotto will have you fooled, you’ll never believe that you’re eating something non-dairy and it will definitely impress any naysayer with the wonders of vegan cooking!
This evening, I decided to try the Gardein “Vegan Meatballs” in an Italian tomato sauce, served over creamy polenta. I’ve had Gardein “Vegan Meatballs” before and I do my own share of cooking – I even make a dish similar to this – so why the heck did I order something I make at home? – Simply because I’m a sucker for some menu items & polenta happens to be one of them!
My dinner was served, and boy does it look and smell yummy! Just as I imagined – now how does it taste… dun dun dun.
Because if it’s not good… it might just blow my whole night! What can I say, I’m Italian and very passionate about food!
So as I lift the fork to my already watering mouth this is the moment of truth… Mmm Mmm this IS good! The “vegan meatballs” that seemed to have been marinated in the tomato sauce are firm (not mushy) and filled with savory goodness, the polenta is just so creamed that it’s actually almost light and fluffy! Wow! This was hitting the spot! We all exchange bites like we normally do and Dominic immediately makes the decision that he’s ordering this entree the next time we come! Winner Winner (vegan) Chicken Dinner!
So… did we save room for dessert? I certainly did!!
Dominic passed up on the offer – he’s much more of a savory type of kid. Dave and I decided to share something – my choice, and the only thing that I want is the Apple Pie vegan Cheesecake – ohhhh yeaaa!
I’ve had it before and I had my heart set on this one! Let me tell you OMG! This is a scrumptious and decadent dessert that is beautifully presented! Why did I agree to share??? When I made our reservations I had let the restaurant know that we were coming on the occasion of a birthday, so when this little peace of heaven arrived, the plate had Happy Birthday inscribed in chocolate. We were informed that this cheesecake is a favorite of our waiter (who is not vegan) and he actually said that it’s one of the best cheesecakes that he’s ever had! It was smooth and creamy, with a tiny diced apple topping, there were candied pecans served to the side and it was decorated with shards of golden glass candy. It was a masterpiece and it was going into ma belly! Definite veganfoodgasim here!
And so we have it, we thoroughly enjoyed yet another meal here at SW, we were amongst a few of the last patrons by the time we had finished.
Closing time, and time for us to go. Party on Vegas!
Eating and living with passion,