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Passport Concierge: Robert Walther, Wynn Las Vegas

by Our Editors

Robert Walther from the Wynn Las Vegas is our insider guide to the best things to do, see, eat, and explore in Las Vegas.

by Chris Roney

One of our favorite hotels in the world is the Wynn Las Vegas (3131 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Tel: 702-770-7000. www.wynnlasvegas.com), and for good reason. Guests stroll the Wynn Esplanade for world-famous shops like Alexander McQueen, marvel at the full-on Broadway production Showstoppers, swim in one of the pools like the European adults-only pool, or find their groove at some of the best nightlife and daylife in Vegas. Most importantly, though, Wynn holds a dizzying array of five-star honors and accolades, not to mention a lengthy (and growing) roster of distinct, award- winning restaurants that entice guests from all over the world to visit Las Vegas.

From fine dining in a private cabana at Chef Mark LoRusso’s famed Costa Di Mare, where over 40 varieties of fresh fish and shellfish are flown in every day from coastal Italy, to relaxed dining at the laid-back Jardin, this casino-resort brings a delectable array of flavors and culinary variety to the Strip.

“Wynn Las Vegas is seen by many as the employer of choice due to its high standards and the caliber of clientele that it attracts,” says Concierge Robert Walther who began working at the hotel in 2006. After four exciting years he was promoted to concierge at the Forbes 5 Star-rated Wynn Tower Suites in 2010. When guests arrive with a hunger for the city’s best food, Walther is more than happy to step up to the plate with excellent recommendations.

What culinary options are available to guests and visitors to Wynn Las Vegas?
We have more than a dozen delicious dining choices on property. Breakfast is always a delight at Wynn and Encore. Reservations are suggested at the highly acclaimed Tableau, located in the Wynn Tower Suites lobby, where guests can enjoy a leisurely and luxurious experience in an airy conservatory, or on the charming patio overlooking our V.I.P. pool. Don’t miss out on Chef David Middleton’s bananas foster french toast or filet Oscar Benedict.

We also offer breakfast at Terrace Pointe Café, a handsome room overlooking the gorgeous Wynn pools, and at Jardin, our newest restaurant located poolside at Encore. Guests on the go may grab a quick, light breakfast item or pastry at Lobby Bar and Café at Encore or Drugstore Café, near the Wynn.

Costa di Mare, Cabana Table

Costa di Mare, Cabana Table

Lunch choices abound at Wynn, from the modern-American fare at Tableau to Chef Rene Lenger’s ode to Americana at Country Club, overlooking the fairway greens. An imaginative menu of Asian bistro fare can be found at Red 8, while delicatessen mavens will find heaven at our popular New York–style deli, Zoozacrackers. For a more adventurous lunch, consider the menu of creative tapas and small plates at La Cave, our wine and food hideaway. Lastly, both Terrace Pointe Café at Wynn and Jardin at Encore feature a full selection of all-American favorites, which can also be enjoyed alfresco on spacious pool decks. Casual or quick, we offer some of the best lunch options on the Strip.

At dinner, Wynn/Encore’s signature restaurant options include Costa di Mare, a stunning Forbes 4 Star-rated room featuring fresh whole fish, shellfish, and live langoustines flown in daily from Mediterranean waters, and Sinatra, a culinary tribute to Ol’ Blue Eyes, boasting some of his favorite Italian dishes, many prepared using authentic Sinatra family recipes. Mizumi offers sushi and authentic Japanese specialties in a breathtaking lagoon setting, while Wing Lei features haute Chinese cuisine in elegant surroundings. Lobsters from around the world, Hawaiian dayboat fish, and expertly charred steaks anchor the menu at Lakeside, perched at the Lake of Dreams, while Allegro is a popular spot for classic Italian-American cooking in a lively, bustling room. Andrea’s is a stylish, luminous space, featuring shareable Asian cuisine and an innovative cocktail program. It’s a great celebrity-watching spot and serves as the launching point for great nightlife at any of our three renowned clubs. And of course, for steak aficionados, there is Country Club, a chic retreat from the bustle of the casino, and Wynn’s Forbes 4 Starated SW Steakhouse, considered by many to be the hardest place in town to get a reservation.

When it comes to vegetarian and vegan eating, which restaurants provide the best options in the city?
Finding menus dedicated to vegans and vegetarians on the Strip is actually more challenging than one might imagine. Fortunately for us, Steve Wynn is very passionate about vegan offerings, which inspires (and challenges) our chefs to create a full roster of delectable vegetarian and vegan dishes for each of our restaurants.

Mizumi offers one of the more extensive menus in town for vegans and vegetarians, all in a gorgeous dining room that opens up into a private lagoon and 50-foot waterfall, as does our fine dining Chinese spot, Wing Lei. Even our signature steakhouse SW offers a number of memorable vegan and vegetarian options. An insider tip: Mention your interest in vegetarian and vegan options when visiting the Wynn Buffet and our executive chef will personally escort you on a tour of the entire buffet, explaining all of the highlights and dishes that you won’t want to miss!

If a guest wants to experience some of the other culinary delights to be found in Vegas, what do you recommend?
For fine French dining, we regularly assist with reservations to Joël Robuchon and L’Atalier (3799 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Tel: 702-891-7925. www.mgmgrand.com), as well as Le Cirque and Picasso (3600 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Tel: 702-693-8100. www.lecirque.com), Twist (3752 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Tel: 702-590-8888. www.mandarinoriental.com), and Restaurant Guy Savoy (3570 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Tel: 702-731-7286. www.caesars.com). Shawn McClain’s Sage (3730 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Tel: 702-590-8690. www.aria.com) is a great choice for those seeking an organic, farm-to-table fine dining experience.

Who serves the greatest weekend brunch in town?
Country Club’s Sunday Jazz Brunch is, by far, my favorite brunch recommendation. The food is outstanding, and the golf course view? Breathtaking. And, as the name would imply, a live Dixieland trio provides great entertainment. Tableau and Jardin are also terrific choices for à-la-carte brunch on both Saturday and Sunday.

SW Steakhouse Patio

SW Steakhouse Patio

Elsewhere on the Strip, great brunches are served at Bouchon (3355 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Tel: 702-414-6200. www.venetian.com) and Border Grill (3950 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Tel: 702-632- 7403. www.bordergrill.com). Let’s not forget the ever-popular “All You Can Eat” buffet for brunch. Most hotels offer a buffet option, the best being at Wynn, Caesars Palace, and The Cosmopolitan (3708 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Tel: 702-698- 7000. www.cosmopolitanlasvegas.com).

Where are the most exciting places to go for clever cocktails?
Wynn/Encore is known for the best of every- thing, and cocktails are no exception. I would suggest that you describe your crav- ing or desired taste to any one of our highly trained bartenders. They are sure to create something absolutely unforgettable for you. Hint: Try the signature Sinatra Smash at his namesake restaurant, or any of our bars and lounges, and don’t miss the aptly named “Showstopper” cocktail, available on the cocktail list at Andrea’s or by request at any of our bars.

The signature Moscow Mule cart at Jardin offers theatrical tableside mixology and several variations on the popular drink in both personal and sharing-size copper mugs. The newest spot to enjoy a cocktail at the resort is the SW Veranda, offering an elevated cocktail experience from high atop the dazzling Lake of Dreams.

Andrea’s is the perfect place to “see and be seen” over a special craft cocktail, and also offers unique punch-bowl drinks for sharing, while Encore’s posh Eastside Lounge offers classic and artisan cocktails together with live entertainment by vocalist Michael Monge and his band. Off the Strip, The Laundry Room (525 Fremont St., Tel: 702-701-1466. www.commonwealthlv.com) on downtown’s Fremont Street is a cozy throwback to the glory days of the speakeasy, complete with a secret code to gain entrance. Want to get in? Text 702-701-1466 or look for the red light above the door that when lit, indicates there’s room for you.

Sinatra Patio Bar

Sinatra Patio Bar

Las Vegas boasts restaurants with some of the best views in the world. Which are some of your favorite places?
Mr. Wynn has taken great care in creating unique settings in which to dine and entertain. At Country Club, the classic steak- house fare handily competes with spectacular views of our championship golf course, while SW Steakhouse and Lakeside offer prime views of our dazzling Lake of Dreams and its nightly multimedia shows. Costa Di Mare offers alfresco dining around a shimmering lagoon, while Mizumi is a Far East fantasy of waterfalls and gardens. Indoor and outdoor settings also merge at the poolside restaurants Jardin and Tableau.

But for many, a “view” still translates to a rooftop or skyline view. For this, I would recommend Alizé (4321 W. Flamingo Rd., Tel: 702-951-7000. www.alizelv.com), Skyfall Lounge (3087 Mandalay Bay Rd., Tel: 877-632-5400. www.delanolasvegas.com), or Twist (3752 Las Vegas Blvd. South, Tel: 702-590-8888. www.mandarinoriental.com/lasvegas). Also, Tea Lounge at the Mandarin Oriental offers an enormously popular afternoon tea service from its 23rd-floor perch.

What annual culinary events should we add to our Las Vegas calendar?
Each year during Restaurant Week (www.helpoutdineoutlv), participating restaurants offer prix fixe menus with a portion of the proceeds benefiting Three Square (www.threesquare.org), our local non-profit food bank dedicated to ending hunger in Southern Nevada. UNLVino (www.unlvino.com) is also quite fun. This annual outdoor wine-tasting event draws many industry types and benefits the University of Nevada. The granddaddy of culinary events is Bon Appetit’s Vegas Uncork’d (www.vegasuncorked.com), a weekend festival that showcases many of the town’s star chefs and acclaimed restaurants.

Where can someone go at 3 A.M. for a good meal?
Allegro at Wynn offers one of the best all-night menus and is the absolutely best spot for an Italian meal after midnight. The Peppermill (2985 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Tel: 702-735-7635. www.peppermilllasvegas.com) is a vintage all-hours diner located just two blocks north of Encore and is a popular spot after a night of clubbing. While at Peppermill, don’t miss stopping into Fireside Lounge for a 1970s-style cocktail lounge experience. And if you’re in the vicinity of The Cosmopolitan Hotel, search out Secret Pizza, their tribute to the classic New York pizza joint, which is open until 4 A.M.

Costa di Mare, Cabana Table

Costa di Mare, Cabana Table

Please finish this sentence: Don’t leave Las Vegas without…
If you’re in town to party, don’t miss Intrigue at Wynn, the newest nightclub in town where some of Hollywood’s hottest celebrities such as Kate Hudson, Chris Evans, Vanessa Hudgens, and Rihanna have celebrated the club’s debut.

Be sure to check out popular free attractions, including the erupting volcano at The Mirage (3400 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Tel: 702- 791-7111. www.mirage.com), the nightly “Lake of Dreams” shows at Wynn, and the famed fountains at Bellagio Hotel and Casino (3600 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Tel: 888- 987-6667. www.bellagio.com).

Some of the best things to do in and around Vegas are off the Strip in nature! It’s a short ten-mile drive to Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area (1000 Scenic Loop Dr., Tel: 702-515-5350. www.redrockcanyonlv.org) for hiking on some of the best trails in the West. Hoover Dam is really quite interesting too, and a short drive. For an uplifting splurge, consider a night tour of the Strip by Maverick Helicopters (6075 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Tel: 702- 261-0007. www.maverickhelicopter.com).

And don’t leave without seeing the best show in town. Le Rêve–The Dream has been named “Best Production Show” in Las Vegas for an unprecedented sixth consecutive year by our local concierge association, and for good reason!

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