Restaurant Review: Society at Wynn Encore Las Vegas

Society!” exclaims a friend as we walk down a gorgeous hallway in the new Wynn Encore resort, with a view of the pool on one side and the casino on the other. “What a name for a restaurant!”

Yes, the name does conjure up images of Katherine Hepburn in some classic black and white movie where Hepburn played her usual type, a snobby, highborn Connecticut debutante. Yet Society is actually the Wynn Encore’s fun, food-friendly casual dining restaurant, where even serious foodies can take a break from the high-end “be on your best behavior” restaurants and simply enjoy good conversation and great food.

Actually, Society is a very good name for a restaurant. The best! Why? Its name sums up what restaurants are really all about: friends and family celebrating good times over warm, comforting, tasty eats. Unlike other restaurants at the Wynn Encore, it is the perfect venue to take your family for a Sunday dinner or crawl in for breakfast after a night of clubbing at XS or Tryst.

Society is the creation of Executive Chef Kim Canteenwalla and partners Oliver Wharton, Sean Christie, and Elizabeth Blau, who helped orchestrate the creation of Wynn’s upscale-restaurant filled Bellagio Hotel in 1988. I met her at the opening and have always been impressed by her restaurant marketing savvy.

The four partners have created a really fun, feel-good restaurant that is casual in tone, yet offers an upscale décor and affordable prices. Menu items have very cute, whimsical names like “Pigs in a Blanket” that generate a smile and sense of fun. The room is so warm, inviting, and chic you’ll want to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner here – and you can.

Take breakfast. You can find happy patrons eagerly tucking into omelets, egg sliders, and sticky buns with warm caramel and crisp walnuts, and sipping freshly brewed strong coffee. I really enjoyed people watching, especially early in the morning when it’s obvious many of the diners digging in have not been to bed at all. (Naughty, naughty!)

Society is fun for lunch too, especially when you are so busy playing the slot machines you do not have time to experience a drawn out, formal lunch. Though the items have cute names, the cuisine has a very polished underpinning. Take charred rare yellowfin tuna with wasabi, shiso, and cucumber salad that shows up as a “slider” (surrounded by a bun), or a filet mignon slider served with caramelized onions, horseradish cream, and French fries.

Parents with small children (or — more succinctly — adults who want to re-experience a child’s sense of fun) will appreciate Society’s dinner menu, which offers mac ‘n cheese “bites” accompanied by truffle dipping sauce. Or choose the more upscale “Simple Grilled” entrée like the New York strip or Colorado lamb chops. Personally, I really liked the roast black cod with bacon and chive hash. It reminded me of my Boston days where bacon and cod were a natural pairing at Locke-Ober and other traditional Boston restaurants (after all, there’s nothing quite like the holy trinity of cod, bacon, and potatoes to stave off the freezing winter cold).

You can also drop into Society for coffee and dessert. A grown-up option is the brulee cheesecake. Yet, given the venue, why not be a kid again and order the peanut butter and jelly bar with crunch peanuts, chocolate mousse, and concord jelly. Either way, Society is a very colorful, lively option for a fun-filled meal.

Wynn Encore Resort
3131 Las Vegas Blvd S
Las Vegas, NV 89109
(702) 770-7000

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