March 27, 2017

A Return to CUT

Ages ago, Frank and I celebrated our anniversary at CUT inside Palazzo. We thought it was great, but failed to repeat it because there are just too many places to try and it's anything, but cheap. It is a tough one to make a habit.

Over the weekend, I celebrated my 37th birthday. When it came to choosing the celebratory meal I was torn between the new Libertine Social or a return visit to CUT. I opted for the latter, no parking fees! And what really sealed the deal was I caught wind that they have a cheese cart. I love cheese, far too few places showcase it like the star it is.

We dined Saturday evening. It was mighty busy, I don't think a table was free. We had a short wait before we were seated in the room to the left of the main dining room. It was a little more quiet, and definitely less chaotic. I didn't mind being tucked away one bit. This isn't the place for romantic evenings, the surroundings are rather cold. Ahem, sleek and modern. Photos of Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett and other celebs line one wall, mirrors on the other.

Service is attentive, but also pretentious. Furthermore, I appreciate when staff anticipates your every need; however, I like it when it is less intrusive and staff simply fade into the background. This visit, you could feel them lurking and it often seemed they were tripping over themselves. Fortunately, my complaints end there. The rest of the experience was pretty flawless.

The imported butter and pretzel bread were enough to woo me and right any wrongs. Straight from the heavens, if you ask me. I showed some restraint and only had two helpings. The onion foccacia would be fantastic anywhere else, but here? Definitely the runner up.

None of the appetizers really struck my fancy, but I was certain I wanted to see the cheese cart. So, that's where we began. You can choose three selections for $17 or five for $22. I couldn't narrow it down to only a few so five it was. I'm not big on soft cheeses, and I have an aversion to goat cheese. Needless to say, we mostly stuck to cow offerings. Though, a sampling the Goat Gouda was a must. I adore Gouda, if anything could win me over on a goat cheese that would be it. But, nope! While mildly palatable, it was clear I really dislike goat cheese no matter how you slice it, har.

On to the main course, I had the Steamed Red Snapper ($38) and Frank was torn between the pork chop and the New York Strip ($51). The steak won. How could we dine in one of the top steakhouses in town and not order steak!? He didn't regret his choice. The steak was a perfect medium rare, great sear and lightly seasoned so the natural flavors weren't lost. A variety of mustards are presented on the side, but I felt none really enhanced the steak. The snapper was delicate and served in a garlic and cilantro broth, with a hint of Asian flavor. For our sides, we chose the Creamy Polenta ($13) and Asparagus ($13). The polenta was very comforting like a heaping helping of mashed potatoes, but more refined. The asparagus was simply prepared with a sprinkling of panko and parmesan. I certainly didn't miss the fuss.

Lastly, the peanut butter dessert with peanut butter ice cream was positively sinful. One cannot go wrong with silky peanut butter, cookie crunchies and layer of rich chocolate.

We fared on the cheaper side of things (yes, really), but the sky is the limit. In any case, CUT is no doubt a splurge. But it's easy to see why it has been pleasing diners for nearly a decade. In Vegas years' that's practically a century. That sort of longevity speaks volumes.

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