Photo credit: Blake Myers

In 1991, Las Vegas’ most upscale restaurants were located in, and operated by, the hotels on the Strip, just as they had been since the early days of the mega resorts. But that was soon to change after a conversation that Sheldon Gordon had with Wolfgang Puck, who had established his enormously successful restaurant, Spago, in 1982 on the Sunset Strip in Hollywood, California. 

Puck already had won the prestigious James Beard Foundation “Chef of the Year” award in 1991 (and would go on to receive future James Beard honors as “Outstanding Restaurant of the Year” in 1994 and “Chef of the Year” again
in 1998).

Gordon, who built the luxurious Forum Shops at Caesars Palace with Simon and Associates, approached Puck about opening Spago within their center, but the superstar chef initially was reluctant to consider it. However, he was persuaded eventually to take the gamble, and Spago opened in December, 1992.

Wolfgang’s arrival here, as the first “celebrity chef” to open his own independent restaurant, is widely credited with being the catalyst for the avalanche of many more “superstar” restaurateurs. The procession has continued to this day, as most of the resorts now make concerted efforts to attract the restaurants of world-class chefs to their own properties.

Spago became a huge success, and in subsequent years Chef Puck opened Postrio at The Venetian in 1999, Trattoria del Lupo at Mandalay Bay in 1999 and Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill at MGM Grand in 2004.

In 2006 he introduced CUT in the prestigious Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Hollywood, and received “Restaurant of the Year” recognition the same year from Esquire magazine. Michelin awarded him One Star in 2008.

So it was a natural progression for him to expand his growing reputation here by establishing CUT at The Palazzo in June, 2008. To insure the restaurant’s success, Puck selected two members of his Spago team: Gianni Toffanello as General Manager and Roberto Garcia as Assistant General Manager. Impressively, they are still overseeing the restaurant more than eleven years later. Accomplished Executive Chef Matt Hurley has been with the Puck organization since 1995 and also came to CUT from Spago.

Many decades of Puck’s success are embodied in the restaurant’s interior. It presents a sleekly-modern appearance and makes extensive use of mirrored surfaces and impressive lighting. An elegant raw bar was added to the front part of the restaurant in November, 2018 and the remainder of the restaurant also received a make-over.

The extensive wine list, overseen by Wine Director Tim Wilson, has selections for virtually all tastes. Sommelier and Assistant Beverage Manager Damian Jordan estimated their holdings at 5,000-7,000 bottles worth an estimated one million dollars. Categories include: Wines by the Glass, Champagne & Sparkling, Half Bottles, Large Format Bottles, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Esoteric Whites, Chardonnay-USA, Chardonnay-France, Pinot Noir-USA, Pinot Noir-France, Esoteric Reds, Sangiovese, Super Tuscan, Nebbiolo, Grenache-France & Spain, Syrah-France & USA, Shiraz-Australia, Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon-USA, Cabernet Sauvignon-France, Merlot-France, Merlot-USA, Zinfandel, Malbec, Sweet Wines and Port and Madeira. Their corkage fee is $50.

Though this is the quintessential steakhouse, the menu offers many impressive seafood selections, as well. For appetizers you’ll be tempted by big eye tuna “cones” with nori, micro chives and kaluga caviar; Alaskan king crab & Carolina shrimp “Louis” cocktail with spicy tomato horseradish; and Japanese Hamachi sashimi with yuzu ponzu, sliced radish, jalapeno and micro cilantro.

Entrees include sautéed Dover sole “meuniere” with preserved lemon, shallots and parsley; pan roasted Stonington Maine lobster with black truffle emulsion; and crispy fried whole New Zealand tai snapper with jasmine rice, toasted garlic, chili soy and cilantro scallion salad.

At some point in your meal you may wish to indulge in CUT’s distinctive selection of twelve imported and domestic artisanal cheeses as you choose from cow, goat and sheep milk varieties. 

The beef selections include a dazzling array of foreign and domestic sources and cuts, beginning with the Japanese pure-bred Wagyu from four distinct prefectures (regions) in Japan: Hyogo, Miyazaki, Hokkaido and Kagawa. Each has its own individuality, and as a special off-menu decadence, can be combined as an entrée. Other prime beef origins are Illinois corn-fed, aged 21 days; Nebraska dry aged 35 days; American Wagyu from Snake River Farms, Idaho and grass-fed from California. 

All categories provide choices of rib eyes, NY sirloins and filet mignons. Of particular note are the Larger Cuts: a 34-oz porterhouse, a 34-oz American Wagyu porterhouse and the spectacular 50-day dry aged Tomahawk rib chop at 40 oz.

And you must save room for Pastry Chef Nicole Erle’s decadent desserts, such as the ingenious banana cream pie, pumpkin spice roll cake or Valrhona chocolate soufflé.

Make CUT your destination and see if it isn’t a “cut” above your recent restaurant experiences.