More and more visitors to Las Vegas are learning what the locals have known for a long time: that you can have “Strip”-like experiences without having to deal with the hustle, bustle and frustration of navigating the city’s famous but often-gridlocked resort corridor.
A great example is the Red Rock Resort, which is located about as far from the Strip as one can get while still being in the Las Vegas valley. Red Rock is known as a “locals” casino, but offers an array of resort amenities, including upscale dining.
My favorite Red Rock restaurant is Hearthstone Kitchen & Cellar, and the reason for my admiration can be found in the last word of its name. This is a place that takes wine seriously.
Hearthstone was created by a man with a great deal of experience in establishing memorable dining destinations: Brian Massie. Among the eateries on his resumé are Fix Restaurant & Bar at the Bellagio, as well as Stack Restaurant & Bar, Diablo’s Cantina, Red Square, Citizens Kitchen & Bar and Bianca in Miami Beach.
At Hearthstone, two rustic wood-burning stoves are used to roast savory, authentic dishes using fresh ingredients — fare that not only tastes great, but pairs beautifully with wine.
Two wines — presently a Simi Sauvignon Blanc and a Mark West Pinot Noir — are offered straight from barrels. About two dozen others are available by the glass. The bottle list also is impressive, and I love the categories they’ve come up with.
For the whites:
- Crisp, Clean & Lean
- Robust, Yet Feisty
- For the Curious Ones
For the reds:
- Featherweights With Big Character
- Voluptuous But Light on the Feet
- Big Red… Enough Said
- For Cork-Dorks, Wine-Geeks & the Rest of Us
And for the three most expensive bottles on the list — 2000 Chateau Haut Brion Grand Cru Classe from Bordeaux ($2,000); 2005 Domaine de la Romanee-Conti from Burgundy ($2,500); and 2011 Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley ($2,800) — the category is titled simply, “Proper.”
The good news is you don’t have to spend $2,800 for a memorable wine experience at Hearthstone. In fact, on Thursday evenings, you don’t have to spend a dime. From 6 to 8 p.m., chef-selected appetizers are served with complimentary (and complementary) wine. Be aware, however, that space is extremely limited, and RSVPs are required. You can learn more about “Private Cellar Thursdays” here: http://hearthstonelv.com/event-cellar/
It’s one very good reason to beat the weekend crowd to Las Vegas… and to stay away from the Strip.