Hearthstone Kitchen & Cellar at Red Rock Resort—Chef Brian Massie’s First Vegas Venture Off the Strip
Acclaimed Chef Brian Massie has enough accolades to fill a three-ring binder, including hosting a dinner at the distinguished James Beard House in NYC last year, a rare privilege very few chefs are granted. Chef rose to the apex of the culinary world and as Corporate Chef of the Light Group in Las Vegas, oversees restaurants across the Strip, including BRAND Steakhouse and Diablo’s Cantina at Monte Carlo, Citizens and Red Square at Mandalay Bay, Fix at Bellagio and Stack at The Mirage. After proving his acumen, he has now ventured off the Strip with his latest accomplishment, Hearthstone Kitchen & Cellar at Red Rock Resort.
Upon entering you’ll find a classy décor composed of a mixture of reclaimed wood, brick and raw materials; and an open feel and bright ambience enhanced by a high ceiling, open kitchen and large windows looking out onto the restaurant’s patio next to the water features at the main entrance of the Resort. The expansive space includes a charcuterie station, oyster bar, pizza making station more on that later and a long mixology bar. While the décor is touted as urban-rustic, there’s a good deal of comfortable touches, such as cushioned booths, couches and shuffleboard tables.
Chef Massie wisely appointed Chef Jordan Hoffman as Executive Chef. Jordan’s resume includes positions at several respected fine dining establishments such as L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon at MGM Grand, The Ritz-Carlton in Dearborn, MI, the Delano in Miami and he has worked with Massie at Union, BRAND and Stack. Chef masterfully executes a menu filled with house-made charcuterie, spreads, pates and rillettes; several cheeses; and hearthfired delights, like the extremely tender Charred Octopus that is blanched, braised and wood roasted and served with smoked potatoes and chorizo aioli. A wonderful seasonal dish is the Heirloom Watermelon Salad, composed of Greek feta, avocado, red onion, mint vinaigrette and compressed watermelon that explodes with intense flavor of the summery melon. Most menu items come with several items that contribute to the goodness of the dish. Case in point is the Poached King Salmon, a wonderful succulent entrée that is worth ordering just for the pea puree that accompanies it. Equally moist is the juicy and savory Rotisserie Chicken, complemented with arugula salad and hearth-roasted tomatoes. A not-to-be-missed side is the Grilled Broccoli, which doesn’t sound particularly enticing until you experience its topping of toasted bread crumbs and scrumptious white anchovy dressing.
The restaurant’s name is apropos, as the name represents a hearth being the center of a home and a focus on flame. Here, two large hearth ovens burn pecan wood, with one fired for the various appetizers and the other for the flatbread pizzas. Speaking of which, next to the sizeable raw bar you’ll find Pizza Chef Enrico Sautto demonstrating mastery of his trade as he rolls the dough by hand. We are blessed to have Chef Enrico with us and there’s no one more charming than this native Italian. His family owns the oldest pizzeria in Napoli or Naples to those who don’t speak Italian, Antica Pizzeria Da Michele, dating back to 1870, where he learned his trade. You can experience a piece of Italy through Chef’s family recipe D.O.C. with buffalo mozzarella, basil and chili, which uses the same tomato sauce as those he made back home. The wood burning oven fired at 950° bakes the pies in 90 seconds resulting in true Napolitan-style pizza with a crust that’s charred and covered with more sauce than cheese. I also highly recommend the Meatball Flatbread with ricotta and mozzarella and topped with the same short rib meatball offered on the appetizer menu.
In the unlikely event you have any room left for dessert, or even if you don’t, you’ll owe it to yourself to celebrate your birthday or non-birthday with the Dark Chocolate Birthday Cake with sweet and salty frosting that arrives with four lit candles and is large enough to feed 3 or 4. Other worthy desserts are the Hearthstone Secret Dessert made with sourdough pancake yeast and cooked in a cast iron pan with huckleberries, Meyer lemon curd, sweet ricotta and amoretti crumbs; and the house-made brown butter banana ice cream.
From the packed house on a recent Thursday evening when I visited, it would appear locals and tourists alike have caught on to the great deals, superlative creations of Chefs Jordan and Enrico and Hearthstone’s relaxed and fun ambience. Next, opening in September just steps away will be Salute, offering Italian specialties, helmed by Chef Luciano Sautto Chef Enrico’s brother.
WuHu Noodle at Silverton Debuts Serving Authentic Asian Cuisine
WuHu Noodle opened on July 3 at the Silverton Casino Hotel. The name means 5 Lakes, a reference to a Northern China region, and the small 44-seat restaurant features a menu of Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese and Thai cuisine. Silverton Executive Chef Chris Fearnow said, “We didn’t have any Asian restaurants and WuHu will be marketed more to Asians. Although there are a few dishes that are Americanized, like Honey Walnut Shrimp, most are authentic dishes made fresh and cut by hand, like the handmade dumpling; and there are several vegetarian-friendly and healthy options.”
Dishes are truly authentic, thanks to Executive Room Chef Chung Ping Yu, who began his culinary career in Hong Kong when he was 18 years old and has spent more than 20 years at various hotels and casinos in Las Vegas. He is joined by native Las Vegan Jason Ymson, who gained experience working at a variety of quick service and fine dining venues at numerous hotels and casinos on the Strip and is doing double duty as GM and Room Chef.
Signature dishes include Singapore Noodles with shrimp, shredded pork, egg, bell peppers, bean sprouts, onions and an essence of curry; Shu Mai made with shrimp, pork and black mushrooms; Roasted Duck Cantonese Style; Japanese Ramen choice of shoyu, miso or tontaktsu with BBQ pork, tea-braised soft boiled egg, bamboo shoots, red ginger and mushrooms in a rich broth; and daily dim sum specials. An interactive kitchen viewing area allows guests to individualize their orders and watch chefs prepare their creations. WuHu Noodle is open daily for lunch, dinner and expedited service for diners on the go.