Gordon Ramsay fans the flames
Fiery Scot Gordon Ramsay has transfixed TV viewers for over a decade with his award-winning competitive cooking show Hell’s Kitchen. And now, the celebrity chef brings the glamour of his reality series to the Vegas Strip with the opening of Hell’s Kitchen on the Roman Plaza at Caesars Palace.
As you enter the towering space, a lifelike Ramsay animation welcomes you to the restaurant directly inspired by the show set. The high-ceiling dining room offers both full-height views of the adjacent Strip and sightlines into the showcase kitchen where chefs and cooks, adorned in red and blue bandanas, immerse themselves in a flurry, drawing diners into the show. Savory beef Wellingtons, made famous from the show and already a favorite, amass on the expediting line alongside other Ramsay classics such as creamy lobster risotto and smoky pan-seared scallops. And Hell’s Kitchen doesn’t disappoint fans on those fronts.
But the venue further showcases the breadth of Ramsay’s culinary talents, unsurprising considering the chef has already established a burgeoning empire elsewhere on the Strip. With offerings ranging from high-end steakhouse fare and innovative pub food to more casual offerings such as fish and chips and burgers, the celebrity chef has demonstrated a history of diversity which continues with Hell’s Kitchen. Start your meal with a cocktail, such as the light refreshing Notes From Gordon. Each comes with a slip of paper with a saying Ramsay has been known to utter, such as “My grandma can do better than that and she's dead.”
Ramsay’s tuna tartare is a crisp starter, adorned with pickled Fresno chilies delivering a hint of heat amid the sharpness of soy chili vinaigrette. Wagyu meatballs and polenta croutons lie beneath layers of tangy, slow-roasted tomato sauce and melted Parmesan cheese. The meatballs are juicy while the croutons offer a welcome surprise with a contrast in firmness. Equally as irresistible is the scampi prawn flambé whose fiery, tableside presentation is apropos for a dining room decorated in flames and pitchforks. It’s an instant Instagram star.
A study in contrast to the prawns, the smoked golden beets waft with subtle smokiness, which can’t be adequately captured on video. Arriving under a dome, the root vegetables balance a tart Greek yogurt and sweet white balsamic vinaigrette. A heartier offering is the roasted rack of lamb, delivering exotic African and Indian flavors from across the globe in a sharp harissa lamb jus and vadouvan carrots.
More familiar is the toothsome braised short rib, whose crisp exterior gives way to a fork-tender center. Served atop a buttery polenta, it’s a homey dish reminiscent of something Grandma may make if she was a Michelin-starred chef. Pair this with a truly American side of baked macaroni and cheese. It’s a destination dish, with smoked gouda and cheddar laced with crisped prosciutto.
For dessert, Ramsay’s sticky toffee pudding awaits. Each of his Vegas venues has its own twist on the English classic, and at Hell’s Kitchen the decadent dessert is paired with speculoos ice cream (specula's is a cinnamon-tinged shortbread cookie made famous stateside by Trader’s Joe’s cookie butter). Among a menu sprinkled with new dishes, it’s a comfort to end with a classic.
Caesars Palace, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sun.-Thurs., 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Fri.-Sat. 702.731.7373