Friday, November 30, 2012

The Weekend Gourmet Dines Out for November...Featuring SW Steakhouse at The Wynn Las Vegas

Once in a great while, you have a dining experience you know you’ll never forget! You know the kind of experience I’m talking about: delicious food is perfectly prepared, the service is impeccable, and the restaurant’s décor is gorgeous too. Michael and I experienced a meal like this at SW Steakhouse at The Wynn in Las Vegas earlier this month. This dinner was originally going to be featured as part of my A Food Lover’s Weekend in Las Vegas article, but the experience was so above and beyond that we decided they earned a special spotlight as this month’s The Weekend Gourmet Dines Out featured restaurant. They invited us to a hosted pre-show dinner before we went to see Cirque du Soleil’s The Beatles LOVE show on a Sunday evening. We arrived and introduced ourselves to the General Manager. He warmly welcomed us and escorted us to our table, which was located on a gorgeous covered outdoor patio directly on the Lake of Dreams. The Lake of Dreams features a short music and light show every 30 minutes after dark, so we had a front-row seat of the show to go along with our meal!

We were quickly brought a basket of house-made bread and an amuse bouche of seared Kobe beef for us to enjoy while we looked over the cocktail menu. We decided to try a Berry Sexy Martini and a Pomegranate Martini. Just as we were about to start looking over the dinner menu, the manager came to our table and asked if he could personally select our dinner menu and have the sommelier select wine pairings for us. We gladly accepted his gracious offer and put ourselves in his very capable hands. What happened over the next couple of hours is a food lover’s dream come true! We had the opportunity to try a selection of appetizers, two different steaks, seared scallops with risotto, a tasting of their signature side dishes, and a trio of desserts. Let’s just say I was very glad that I wore a loose-fitting dress that evening, because my stomach was completely full by the time the meal was over!
First up were several appetizers to enjoy with our fruity and delicious cocktails. We tried the Maryland Blue Crabcake with Herb Remoulade, Kobe Beef Carpaccio, Bigeye Tuna Ceviche, and a Roasted Beet Salad. They were all fabulous! The crabcake was crispy on the outside and full of sweet crab, and the remoulade was a nice tangy accompaniment. We had never had carpaccio, but it was was sliced razor-thin, and the texture reminded me a bit of very good prosciutto. The ceviche was flavored with mango and creamy avocado, and all three flavors combined very nicely with the crisp sesame crackers. The beet salad featured red and gold beets, parmesan, hazelnuts, arugula, and a tart dressing. It was a perfect Fall salad!
This Maryland Blue Crabcake was our favorite appetizer: crunchy
on the outside, and full of sweet crab inside!
Beef carpaccio: razor-thin slices of raw Kobe beef, served with a
flavorful sauce and toasty bread.
Tuna ceviche, flavored with mango and served with creamy avocado
and sesame crackers.
A delicious Fall salad with two kinds of roasted beets, hazelnuts,
parmesan, and arugula.
By the time we sampled all of these delicious appetizers, our sommelier brought two bottles of red wine to the table for us to enjoy with the rest of the meal: a full-bodied Cabernet Franc and a delicious and complex Syrah. Just about that time, the first show on The Lake of Dreams began, so we sipped on some wine and enjoyed music and a colorful light show! The weather was perfect for dining outside that evening -- cool, with a light breeze.
We had two bottles of fabulous red wine with our meal: a full-bodied cabernet franc and a complex and fruity syrah.
The Lake of Dreams offers a sound and light show every 30 minutes
each evening. The colors were gorgeous!
Before we knew it, out came the entrees and side dishes. Our entrees included a Kobe Beef Steak, a 100% USDA Prime Nebraska New York Strip, and Pan-Roasted Sea Scallops with English Pea Risotto and Black Truffle Sauce. This was our first time to try Kobe, and now I know why people rave about it. It was so rich and flavorful that it’s hard to find adjectives to adequately describe how amazing it was! The New York Strip was juicy and flavorful as well, and we enjoyed comparing the flavor and texture of the two steaks. Both steaks were cooked perfectly medium-rare and sliced on a platter for easy serving. The scallops were also cooked perfectly: seared on the inside and moist and sweet on the inside. The risotto was decadent, and the truffle flavor was perfect -- it complimented the scallops and risotto perfectly without overwhelming their delicate flavors.
Luscious Kobe beef perfectly seared and served with fried asparagus.

SW Steakhouse offers seafood too...these pan-seared scallops were
served with creamy risotto and a lush black truffle sauce.
Our sampling of side dishes included: potatoes au gratin, creamed spinach, roasted broccoli, mashed potatoes, sauteed mushrooms, and macaroni and cheese. They were all absolutely delicious, but the standouts for us were the rich and cheesy potatoes au gratin and the decadent creamed spinach. These dishes are steakhouse classics, but can be very lackluster in the wrong hands. However, these versions were rich and full of flavor. We were getting pretty full by then, but we still had dessert left to eat!
A trio of SW Steakhouse signature side dishes: creamed spinach, sauteed
mushrooms, and roasted broccoli.
Rich and decadent potatoes au gratin...the perfect ratio of cheese, creamy
sauce, and perfectly cooked potatoes.
To cap off this amazing meal, they brought out three desserts for us to try: their signature Funnel Cake Tree With a Trio of Sauces, Butterscotch Cream Brulee, and a slice of Pecan Tart. All of the desserts were well-made and featured lovely presentations. The funnel cake display was fun and whimsical, the creme brulee was garnished with house-made caramel corn, and the pecan tart was topped with a very creative French toast ice cream. We enjoyed all of these desserts, but the standouts were the French toast ice cream – it tasted just like the real thing! – and the funnel cakes. They were crispy and light…and paired very nicely with the trio of caramel, chocolate, and crème anglaise dipping sauces. By then, we were so stuffed that we couldn’t take another bite. 

Trio of desserts, featuring the signature Funnel Cake Tree. Served with a
trio of sauces for dipping: caramel, cream anglaise, and chocolate.
Pecan tart with poached pears, vanilla sauce, and French toast ice cream.
Butterscotch creme brulee...perfectly paired with crunchy
house-made caramel corn. 
The lobby of The Wynn is decorated with
thousands of twinkly lights...gorgeous!

We agreed that meal is one of the very best dining experiences that we’ve ever had…and that’s really saying something for two die-hard food lovers like Michael and I! We took our time walking through The Wynn, which is a lovely property. Near the entrance, there was a gorgeous indoor garden full of twinkle we had to stop and take a picture! The next time you’re planning a trip to Las Vegas, I highly recommend that you make a reservation to dine at SW Steakhouse. Paired with a fabulous show before or after, it’s guaranteed to be one of the best high-end date nights you’ll ever have! Sometimes, it’s fun to dress up a little and enjoy a special-occasion meal and a fabulous show. Make sure to ask for a table by The Lake of Dreams as well – the lights and special effects are amazing, and the experiences really adds to the fun of the meal.

SW on Urbanspoon
Disclosure: The Wynn graciously provided us with a complimentary meal at SW Steakhouse to facilitate this article. All opinions expressed are those of The Weekend Gourmet. All photographs except the interior restaurant shot are copyright by Michael K. Garcia. 


  1. I have eaten there! except when we had dinner there, it was Daniel Boulud! We sat in that very corner where the picture is located.

    The lake of dreams show is very strange but cool!

    1. This was a meal of a lifetime...they were such excellent hosts! It was all perfectly cooked, and the service was amazing!


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