When you get John C. Dupont talking about the art of cocktail mixing — not something hard to do — he becomes a proselytizer, a teacher, a raconteur and a pal all at once. He’ll explain to you the finer points of bourbon making, what makes a good vermouth, and how he developed his “New World” cocktail recipe (he wanted to force every bar in America to buy a second bottle of Galliano) at the drop of a hat. But he also wants you to leave his bar a smarter drinker than when you walked in. From the arcane to the practical (e.g. what type of ice to shake or stir into what type of drink), he is there to help…and an education never felt so good.
Dupont’s bar features boutique bourbons, an extremely rare Hirsch Rye, and enough anecdotes to last through several rounds. The idea behind all this fancy booze (and even fancier libations) is to drink better, tastier stuff, but not as much of it. As with food, good cocktails are about harmony; top and bass notes if you will, accented sparingly. When that balance is achieved, a state of cocktail-zen bliss occurs, in which the drinker knows he/she is at one with the cocktail universe. And if such meditations don’t wash away your troubles, you can always just get hammered with top shelf booze at bargain prices.
ELV is spending so much time singing the praises of Dupont and his mixology skills because they/he are clearly the star of Twin Creeks. As a steakhouse it is plenty satisfying, but it doesn’t (and isn’t intended to) compete with the big boys around town. After a remodel last year, the comfortable/with-it look of the place creates a design disconnect with the rest of the hotel akin to fishin’ in your Ferragamos.
Regardless of style points, the porterhouse is large, tastier than some, and (at $68 for two) priced way below what you’ll pay for a similar cut farther north on the Strip, or elsewhere — e.g. T-Bones’ double-cut goes for $30 more (in the Red Rock Resort). Three big ‘n tasty scallops are also quite a bargain for $13, and the salads and sides are more than adequate. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for the desserts. Both the Key lime tart and the sticky toffee cheesecake tasted old, cold and store bought.
Service here won’t win any awards, but it’s plenty friendly; going so far as to encourage you to order one of the designated half-price bottles on the list. We found the Quixote “Panza” Stag’s Leap Sirah to be a perfect match with the steak, and for $45 (regularly $90), a downright steal — as are every one of John C. Dupont’s $10 cocktails.
TWIN CREEKS STEAKHOUSE
In the Silverton Lodge Hotel and Casino
3333 Blue Diamond Rd.
Las Vegas, NV 89139