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Michael Morton Shoots and Pours at LA CAVE

If someone had told ELV a month ago he would be crazy about a wine bar carved out of the Wynn coffee shop space, he would’ve told them to stop smoking whatever pipe they preferred.

Of all the Wynn restaurants, the Terrace Point Cafe has always been the one that had us asking: “What’s the point?” Calling it under-performing from a quality-eats standpoint is akin to calling Amy Winehouse sobriety-challenged from a reprobate-musician perspective.

But something magical has happened to about a third of the formerly sprawling, three-mediocre-meals-a-day space….courtesy of restaurant impresario Michael Morton. He struck a deal to rent this nook from Wynn, and, as the only restaurant in the joint not owned by the hotel, has injected a cool, young, urban, gastro-pub vibe into a hotel that has always been more comfortable feeding fat cats and the over fifties.

But don’t despair, aging boomers! As one of your own, ELV and his staff can attest to the comfortable coziness of the three rooms that make up La Cave. You enter through a revolving door into a front room with a communal table and a small, open kitchen (really, the only kitchen there is), where you can sit and watch Chef Bill DeMarco and his troops prepare a variety of solid, tasty, small plates. Step past the uber-cool In Vino Veritas (“in wine there is truth”) hanging sign directly above your head towards the back, and you are in a more traditional bar/restaurant space, albeit one with a dark, winy emphasis. To your right, you will find an indoor/outdoor patio of “statement” chairs and soothing couches.

Hunker down, peruse the list, and you might find yourself staying for a lot longer than you planned.

Serious oenophiles might wish for a greater selection (at softer prices), but what is offered is interesting enough to nibble your way through many of DeMarco’s tasty bites.

We were especially taken with his brandade, bacon-wrapped dates (not pictured), cheesy potatoes with mushrooms, spicy baked clams with pepperocini, and filet topped with toasted blue cheese. The sunny side up, droopy duck egg atop pencil asparagus dotted with bits of jamon Serrano, was also a salty-rich appetitie/thirst stimulater. Less successful were too-salty scallops (redeemed by the crispy polenta rounds upon which they sat), and some so-so marinated shrimp. “Spice ‘em up,” we told DeMarco when he asked, and we think you’ll soon find them that way. Amazingly, we also found ourselves eating his salt-roasted beets with whipped goat cheese.

That’s right, we actually almost liked beets.

Almost.

All of these are made to order in that small, open kitchen, and all of them go splendidly with whatever wines director Rober Wright is pouring.

In some ways, it’s a bit unfair to “review” La Cave just yet. Both the food and the wines are works in progress (the place is only two weeks old as we write this) and being fine tuned to the tastes of the guests, so we’re hoping for a bit more refinement in the plates and a little less dent in the wallet for the wines.

Of course, if you don’t mind paying $32/glass for some Remoinesset white Burgundy, you’ll feel right at home. Even if you do, you’ll find plenty to like about this place.

And how can you go wrong with any place that ends its menu with these words: For a Good Time, call our Director of Special Events Rachel McCord at 702.770.7380?

Alright Rachel! ELV knows who he’s callin’ the next time he needs a good time date!

LA CAVE

In the Wynn Hotel and Casino

3131 Las Vegas Blvd. South

Las Vegas, NV 89109

702.770.7377

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3 Responses to Michael Morton Shoots and Pours at LA CAVE

  • Yo, John. What did you think of that quail egg plate?

  • I tried La Cave about 2 weeks ago, and I was mostly very impressed by what was turned out. When I first checked the menu online, I feared this would be yet another generic-ized, Americanized tapas joint with dull small plates. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the bleu cheese plate, flatbread, and chocolate orgy plates I ordered. I DEFINITELY want to go back soon to dive into that wine list!

  • Obviously the Chef is trying some interesting gastro-pubby ideas, something which I’ve long thought the Strip sorely needed… but for a WINE bar I really think the by-the-glass list needs to be much more extensive. After all, there are already several venues in the Wynn offering wines by the glass, and there are certainly other venues on the Strip with much bigger offerings (from Morel’s and Double Helix across the street in Palazzo down to Aureole and Fleur at Mandalay Bay).

    Still, I did manage to find exactly five interesting pours on the current list, and enjoyed them all.

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