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Andrea’s at Encore

December 26, 2013

065 Just a few months before our trip to Las Vegas, the Encore opened up a brand new restaurant called Andrea’s, named after the developer Steve Wynn’s wife.  Billed as a contemporary and hip Asian dining restaurant, Andrea’s is the new “it” restaurant on the Las Vegas Strip.  Seeing as my husband and I both love modern Asian cuisine, and the restaurant was in our hotel, we figured we had to give it a try.

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One of the signature touches of the restaurant are the dramatic eyes that create most of the interior décor for the space.  In fact, these eyes that stare at you from every seat in the restaurant belong to the person who is the namesake of this restaurant, Andrea, Steve Wynn’s wife.  The color palette of the eyes constantly changes color from blue to yellow to green to red, but the eyes themselves remain the same, a glossy stare looking out over the dining room.   These same eyes are reflected on the front cover of the menu you’re given when you sit down to dine.

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To keep with the hip and modern theme of the restaurant, once seated, each table is presented with a digital tablet which you can browse through to see the restaurant’s wide selection of drinks.  I’ve seen several restaurants now that use tablets to present their wine lists and drink selections and I love the ease of use and modern touch that these tablets add.  To keep with the modern theme of this hip dining establishment, the restaurant nightly features a live DJ that mixes music throughout the night to keep you entertained while you dine.

074 My husband and I each started off our meal at Andrea’s with a drink.  I chose to go with the boring, but oh so good, Shirley Temple.  It’s like being a kid again drinking this sweet red-ish drink filled with grenadine and sprite.  My husband went for a bit more grown up drink in the form of Bombay Sapphire which is a mixture of Bombay Sapphire which is a gin, and tonic water.  Although, if you ask me, it looks like a fancy drink glass with water in it and a lime wedge. 076 We started off our meal with an order of the wagyu beef sliders.  The sliders were made with a King’s Hawaiian roll, which you just can’t go wrong with.  My husband and I both love the sweetness of Hawaiian bread.  The wagyu beef is topped with aged cheddar cheese and shredded lettuce and served alongside shoestring potatoes and homemade ketchup sauce.  The sliders were so good.  The wagyu beef was incredibly tender and flavorful and the sweetness of the Hawaiian bread and the tanginess of the aged cheddar was a wonderful compliment and a lovely start of our meal.

083 Known for it’s Asian flair and modern Asian cuisine, I wanted to try something off of their sushi menu.  So, I decided to order the shrimp tempura cut roll.  The waitress explained to me that the shrimp tempura roll was seaweed wrapped around sushi rice with shrimp tempura, asparagus, and microgreens.  As I wasn’t too keen on asparagus, the waitress told me that I could substitute asparagus for avocado, which I did.  I found the shrimp tempura roll to be delightful.  The shrimp tempura was wonderful and the creaminess of the avocado and the crunch of the tempura batter with a little bit of bitter microgreens was a terrific combination to go with the rice vinegar sushi rice.  I’m not usually one to order sushi at restaurants, but I just couldn’t help myself this time and I’m glad I decided to try something different.

081 As a side dish to compliment our individual entrees we decided to order a bowl of the Chinese sausage and pineapple fried rice with a sunny side up egg atop it.  The idea is to break apart the egg and mix it into the fried rice so all the goodness of the runny yolk coats the fried rice and makes it nice and creamy.  The fried rice was filled with egg, peas, carrots and Chinese sausage.  It was a great and flavorful side dish, though in the end probably not needed as our entrees were quite large and filling.

080 For my entrée, I went with a seafood dish of seared sea scallops and garlic noodles.  I loved the huge chunks of perfectly cooked sea scallops.  They were light and sweet and delicious.  The garlic noodles were cooked in a wok with red bell peppers and green onions and were flavorful, but spicy!  I had no idea it would be that spicy.  Either that or I just wasn’t expecting it to be spicy so I was a bit caught off guard by the spice.  The dish was delicious and flavorful and filling, though next time, if I were to order it again I think I’d have to ask them to take a down a notch on their use of chili sauce and red pepper flakes as my mouth was burning a bit.

084 After perusing the menu once, my husband honed in the words “sea bass” on the menu and knew exactly what he was going to order.  Steamed sea bass with ginger, garlic, green onion, cured lemon, mushroom, cilantro.  Just listing out those ingredients again makes me want steamed sea bass now.  Ginger, garlic, lemon, that’s right up my husband’s alley.  Combine those ingredients with sea bass and you have a winning combination.  My husband sure thought so.  I think it was love at first bite for him.  I was amazed and just how big the portion of sea bass served was.  Generally you see smaller portions when it comes to sea bass.  And the flavors and the aroma from the cilantro, green onions, garlic and ginger were so fragrant and aromatic and really gave nice taste to the steamed sea bass.  I’m pretty sure my husband devoured this entire dish in 2.1 seconds!  Immediately, he declared that he’d definitely come back to Andrea’s again.

088091053 When it came to dessert, my husband and I were stuffed.  But you know me, I can’t say no to dessert.  After looking through the dessert menu, we decided to do something a bit different and try Andrea’s exotic ice cream sampler.  The sampler is a small mini-cone sample of 8 small-batch, homemade ice creams in exotic flavor combinations.  The 8 flavors you get with the sampler include: chocolate chili, honey pistachio, banana crunch, blood orange ginger sorbet, yuzu sour, sake cherry, coconut yogurt and white chocolate-cardamom.  Now this was going to be an interesting proposition.  The presentation of the ice cream sampler to your table is dramatic and fantastic.  A large, spiral structure with 8 small discs that creep around the spiral structure, with each disc having a small hole big enough to hold a mini ice cream cone is brought to the table.  8 mini ice cream cones are presented all at once while the waiter who carried this structure to your table tries to explain to you each flavor of ice cream you’ll be tasting.  You’ve got to be quick with the camera as the ice cream slowly starts to melt.  Once we were ready to eat, my husband and I just started grabbing for the ones we each wanted.  I think my husband started with the chocolate chili.  At first, he only tasted the chocolate and thought nothing much of the ice cream.  But after a few seconds, he said that the hint of chili really hits you and leaves a warm fuzzy feeling tingling through your mouth.  For me, my favorite was the banana crunch, it was essentially banana ice cream with pieces of crunchy crispy rice sprinkled over the top of it.  My husband was a bit disappointed with the honey pistachio, but loved the blood orange ginger sorbet.  I thought that the white chocolate cardamom was delicious, albeit sweet from the white chocolate.  I absolutely loved the playfulness and whimsy to this dessert.  Creating mini ice cream cones to showcase exotic ice cream flavors was brilliant.  By using mini cones, it allows each person to taste a small sample of multiple flavors.  And the presentation of the dessert to the table was dramatic and fantastic and fit with the flavor and the feel of the food and the restaurant itself.

Andreas’s really was hip Asian dining with a bit of flair.  The food and service were upscale, but the vibe of the restaurant with the live DJ spinning music was modern, relaxed and contemporary.  Sometimes when you dine at the new, hot, “it” place you walk away disappointed because the food can’t live up to the hype and reputation.  After all, when you dine out, it’s all about the food.  But Andrea’s hit a home run with food that was out-of-this-world in a setting that was modern and artistic.  I’d agree with my husband, Andrea’s is definitely a place I’d consider coming back to again in the future and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend to anyone going to Las Vegas.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 27, 2013 5:46 am

    It does sound like Andrea’s was a fun restaurant to visit…your choices sound good.

  2. July 8, 2014 5:11 pm

    OMG that cone stand is to die for!!

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