Review: CUT

April 3, 2008
We decided to try CUT, Wolfgang Puck's newest restaurant at Palazzo for our anniversary. Our first attempt (Tuesday) failed, because Frank got stuck at work and nothing was available to change our reservation time. We made reservations for Wednesday at 6 o'clock (everything else until 9 was booked).

When we arrived, the bar was packed and noisy, but the restaurant was quiet and it had a nice modern atmosphere. We had a table in the very back, we were tucked away all by ourselves. After we were seated, we were presented with the menu and a Kobe-style and Wagyu presentation to showcase the marbling of the high-end cuts. However, we opted for the prime cuts.

After our order was taken, hot gougeres were delivered compliments of the chef. They were delicious, and only had a hint of saltiness (from the cheese) unlike the salt laced puffs at Carnevino (last week). A gentleman came by with a selection of breads: pretzel, pumpernickel, wheat and onion foccacia. We sampled each, all were great, but the pumpernickel and foccacia were our favorites. We also had cheese breadsticks to snack on while we waited on our appetizer. Those were tasty, too.

We started the meal by sharing warm asparagus piled on toast, topped with a poached egg and a champagne vinaigrette. Frank would've like the dish better without egg, but I liked it. For the main course, Frank chose the Nebraska Rib Eye (dry aged 35 days) and I selected the Illinois (aged 21 days) Filet Mignon. Sides are served family style; we had potato tarte tatin and broccolini with garlic and sun dried tomatoes. A selection of mustards were delivered to complement the steak: violet, dijon and brown mustard. All were good, especially the violet, but we felt the steaks were better on their own.

The rib eye had superb flavor, had it been bone-in it could have been the best of those we've tried. However, Nobhill continues to hold that title. The filet was great, too. Both steaks had a nice sear to hold in the juices and were hinted with Fleur de sel. The potatoes and broccolini were delicious, as well.

We skipped dessert, although, a sampling of a lemon bar and toffee were brought along with the check ($181). Those were scrumptious bites. All in all, we felt the meal was a cut above the rest (har). Service was excellent. Additionally, the nice atmosphere remained after dining room filled. It was enjoyable meal, we felt it rounded out the top five restaurants of those we've dined thus far.

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