When it comes to reality TV cooking shows, there are fewer more memorable examples than Hell’s Kitchen, a hit Fox show created by and starring Gordon Ramsay. A more apt title is hard to imagine, as the show’s crop of contestants are thrown into the figurative fire from day one, divided into the Blue Kitchen and the Red Kitchen, always under the hypercritical eye of the often outspoken Ramsay.
Over the show’s 18 seasons (the 19th is slated to premiere in January), many superstar chefs have been produced, some of whom work at Ramsay’s restaurants. Now fans of the show can get the whole Ramsay experience at Hell’s Kitchen in Las Vegas, which opened only a few years ago but is already one of the Strip’s hottest properties. In addition to re-creating the Red and Blue Kitchens, Hell’s Kitchen features all of Ramsay’s signatures, plus a few true surprises that are sure to delight fans of the show.
For example, Ramsay’s cutting comments, a huge part of the show’s appeal, are used to hilarious effect in one of the restaurant’s cocktails, Notes From Gordon. It’s an extremely refreshing sip, combining Plymouth dry gin, green tea, lemongrass, peach and lemon, and each drink contains a different Gordon barb (“My grandmother can cook better than that, and she’s dead!”—ouch!) You may keep ordering these just to see the next message. Other notable libations include the Pitchfork, a delicious blend of Bulleit bourbon, Giffard Pamplemousse liqueur, Fonseca one-year tawny port, lemon and egg white, and the Smoke on the Boulevard, featuring Woodford rye, Aperol, Averna amaro and sweet vermouth, smoked with cherrywood and served in a small box for maximum smokiness.
Starters are all excellent, but we particularly recommend the pan-seared scallops, given so much more flavor through the use of beet and mandarin purée, braised bacon, pickled apples and pomegranate seeds. For the vegetarians in your group, there’s a wonderful quinoa salad, chock-full of Honeycrisp apples, dried currants and cranberries, candied pecans, and ricotta salata.
There’s no mystery at Hell’s Kitchen about the signature main course. Yes, it’s easily the restaurant’s best-seller, but once you’ve tried the beef Wellington, you’ll know why. Ramsay has all but perfected this dish—a perfect piece of steak surrounded by a pastry shell—and it’s complemented by potato purée, glazed root vegetables and a red wine demi-glace. Obviously there are many other choices here, and all are worthy of your time, including crisy-skin salmon, served with warm white beans, seabean salad, Iberico chorizo and a citrus beurre blanc, and jidori chicken scallopini, accompanied by roasted pee wee potatoes, artichokes, lacinato kale and truffle chicken.
Also a huge seller, the sticky toffee pudding stands tall as perhaps the best meal-ender on the Las Vegas Strip. Its velvety consistency practically melts in your mouth, but top it with a rich, caramel sauce and then some vanilla ice cream, and your tastebuds have no choice but to surrender.
Caesars Palace, 702.731.7373
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