A Paris Las Vegas delight: Hexx Kitchen + Bar

Hexx Kitchen + Barr overlooking the Las Vegas Strip and the fountains at Bellagio. Photo by Anthony Mair.

by Michael Barbieri
Special to The Gayly

It’s late. You’re hungry. Trouble is, most of the good restaurants have stopped serving. Sure, you could go to any number of coffee shops or fast food joints, but you want something more substantial. You want a real meal!

You’re in luck...

Hexx Kitchen + Bar at the Paris Las Vegas Resort serves up delicious, approachable comfort food, in a casual, yet stylish, atmosphere. Open 24 hours, Hexx Kitchen serves breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner and late night bites; with a menu bolstered by an extensive wine list, craft beers and specialty cocktails. As an added bonus, Hexx has an on-site chocolate factory, with some of their “confexxions” making their way onto the menus.

Our friendly server set us up with some cocktails: The Mandarin Mule - mandarin vodka, ginger liqueur, orange juice, lime juice, ginger beer, and fresh mint. Smooth, but with its tart citrus bite balanced out by the mint, it was a refreshing take on the traditional Moscow Mule.

And the Hexx Cocktail - vodka, dark crème de cacao, walnut/hazelnut liqueur, house made Peruvian cacao syrup, and cream. With a pleasantly citrusy finish from the Peruvian chocolate, and served straight up in a glass with a cocoa-dusted rim, this yummy, silky concoction could be deceptively but deliciously dangerous!

Our server had some excellent suggestions from the menu, including the Maryland Crab Cake appetizer and the Cheese & Charcuterie Plate. We decided, however, to share a few of the other popular items. From the Snacks, we chose the Overcooked Bacon - slices of Applewood smoked bacon, flavored with maple syrup, cinnamon and peach schnapps, cooked until extremely crisp, and served with a maple aioli for dipping. The sweet seasonings balanced out the bacon’s natural saltiness, making the dish a bacon lover’s dream! 

We also sampled the Crispy Broccolini - flash fried and tossed in a golden balsamic reduction, with dried chili flakes, orange juice, and fresh lemon juice. The broccolini’s earthy flavor was complemented nicely by the sweetness of the orange and the touch of heat from the chili.

We then ordered Smothered Fries from the appetizers list. Essentially Hexx’s take on Poutine, the dish consisted of light, golden French fries and gooey cheese curds, topped with savory pulled pork and an addictive barbecue gravy. A hearty dish, it was a bit on the heavy side - practically a meal in itself, but still absolutely irresistible. We couldn’t stop eating it!

For the entrée, I opted for the Short Ribs - tender rib meat, braised to perfection, served atop horseradish mashed potatoes, and accompanied by citrus roasted Brussels sprouts. The beef had a lovely depth of flavor, and just enough fattiness to give it a melt-in-your-mouth texture. The strong, spicy bite of the potatoes and the tang of the sprouts provided nice counterpoints to the richness of the beef.

My guest ordered the Hexx Burger - a juicy, beautifully grilled hamburger with American cheese, fried onions, bacon, lettuce and tomato on a white chocolate bun. There were a lot of big flavors here - the smoky char of the burger, the homey flavor of the onions and bacon, and the touch of acidity from the pickle in the house made Thousand Island dressing, but they all worked together well, with the white chocolate-infused bun giving the burger a unique, subtly sweet finish.

Finally, how could anyone dine at a restaurant with its own chocolate factory, and not order dessert? I was intrigued to try one of Hexx’s chocolate creations. I chose the Chocolate Pudding, made with Tanzanian chocolate, cocoa nib infused cream, over a banana bread crumble. The pudding itself was smooth, pleasantly bittersweet, and extremely rich, but the crumble countered the slight bitterness with a sweet crunch.

Although we had only ordered one dessert, an extra one just magically appeared - the Ecuadorian Chocolate Brownie. Served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, it was dense and rich, with a strong bittersweet under taste - perhaps a bit too bitter for my palate, but delicious nonetheless. This brownie would send a chocoholic into orbit!    

With excellent, unfussy food, great cocktails, and rich, decadent chocolate treats, we enjoyed Hexx Kitchen + Bar tremendously. There were still two more surprises to come: Our check came with two hexagonal medallions of Madagascar chocolate - dark, bittersweet, with notes of citrus and a slightly smoky finish.

Oh, the other surprise?  A tour of their chocolate factory, but that’s a story for another time!

The Gayly - 5/16/2016 @ 1:46 p.m. CDT