May 16, 2005 | Ask Gael

Is there a new Las Vegas? Do I care?

        This, I’m told, is a new X-rated Las Vegas of strip joints, burlesque, topless Cirque du Soléil. I’m too busy eating at the just-hatched Wynn Resort (a guest at the launch) to investigate. As might be expected from the perfectionist who created Bellagio, luxury is in the details at Steve Wynn’s $2.7 billion comeback (second helpings of caviar at the celebration supper): 95,000 tassels; 9,500 on the payroll; 22 restaurants; 69 different breads. At Daniel Boulud’s brasserie overlooking the mountain, forest, and waterfall Wynn trucked into the desert playground, appealing French classics - textbook-perfect country terrine and headcheese, glorious onion soup, veal cheeks plus towering burgers - make a perfect late supper. At gently priced Corsa Cucina, Stephen Kalt does the rustic Mediterranean cooking I loved at Spartina in Tribeca: grilled pizzas, lamb-shank tagine, and haunting tarte tatin. For Paul Bartolotta’s seafood house, Wynn’s bucks fly in fish from Italian waters and Sicily’s supernal cherry tomatoes. Ricotta-filled ravioli with Marsala glaze is a buttery must. At the high-priced Okada, what sounds like fusion froufrou from Takashi Yagihashi is surprisingly good, especially an esoteric mingling of seared foie gras and barbecued eel. Meanwhile, the casino vibrates as dreamers pour in to gamble against a guy named Wynn.

702 770 7000; toll-free 888 320 7123


Patina Restaurant Group