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Taste

Get your Fix with a new menu at Bellagio’s pre-club mainstay

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Grilled over wood in the Fix kitchen, this bread is a smoky wonder waiting to be slathered with cured yogurt, sweet jam and toasted pistachio.

On the outside curve of Fix’s open-air dining room, you have one ear in the casino and another in the packed bar and restaurant. The servers will tell you that the club corridor gets entertaining in the wee hours, those who’ve partied too hard struggling to figure out the ATM or even doing the “roll of shame” to a waiting taxi. But thanks to a new menu, you’ll be too busy focusing on the goodies in front of you to notice.

Nicoise salad is typically done with tuna, so it was a delight to try Fix’s play on the classic with salmon poached in olive oil. The fish’s silky texture and soft flavor let wheels of fingerling potato and green olive come forward, and the nest of just-tender green beans, tomatoes and fresh herbs in bright lemon vinaigrette gave it a foundation worth eating alone. It’s an appetizer, but I’d order two and call it a meal.

Duck and waffles and maple-bourbon syrup? Let's drool together.

After such a light start, we were ready for dates stuffed with spicy chorizo and wrapped in crispy coats of speck, also known as smoked lean pork leg. These nuggets of richness were served in a pool of electric-red piquillo pepper sauce, the hit of acidity just right.

But the star of our shared plates was by far the most rustic. Slices of country bread were crisped on Fix’s wood-fired grill, infusing them with a heady bouquet of smoke. On top, we spread perfect spheres of cured yogurt, the wonderful tang begging for the sweetness of blackberry jam and the depth of toasted pistachio. The dish looked simple and tasted outrageous. I may never eat peanut butter and jelly on toast again.

On the entrée side, we roamed from juicy roasted scallops crusted in brioche over saffron cauliflower to an excellent spin on chicken and waffles. Just as the Nicoise swapped out the expected protein, this dish showcased duck confit. Crackling skin gave way to thigh meat that didn’t need a drop of the maple-bourbon syrup, but the miniature waffles were there, so we indulged.

Somehow finding room for the fries and their decadent truffle aioli (the best way to start or end a night at the club), we were actually scared by the sight of dessert. But it’s hard to resist a warm doughnut, or a golden mound of banana bread pudding mingling with the melt from coconut ice cream. Did I mention that we had cocktails, too? While some of the garnish was overkill (I prefer my drinks without a side of cherry tomatoes), I enjoyed the balanced flavor of the Elderflower Gimlet (Bombay Sapphire East Gin, St-Germain, Thai basil, lime juice, simple syrup). I like Old Fashioneds without frills, but I was won over by the honey syrup, baked apple bitters and skewer of brandied cherries that make Fix’s version stand out. It was a delicious surprise—much like finding a restaurant designed as a nightlife stopover that gives such attention to food.

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Erin Ryan

Erin got her first newspaper job in 2002 thanks to a campfire story about Bigfoot. In her award-winning work for ...

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