Generally generic: Elixir needs food to graduate to dynamic

When Elixir opened in Henderson in September, initial reports indicated that it was mainly a bar, so I didn’t pay much attention. Then I got an email from somebody who said no, it’s a restaurant and the food’s really good. Despite the fact that the full name is “Elixir: A Local Lounge,” and the email address is elixirlounge.net, I took a look at the menu and decided he might have a point, and so it went onto the review list.

Then I visited last week and found out that the reality is somewhere in the middle.

Elixir’s food is pretty good, but while the website promises “fresh food prepared by our chef daily,” and I don’t doubt that some of it is, there’s a straight-from-the-purveyor feel to much of it. I’ll use, as an example, the stuffed mushrooms ($7.99). The medium-sized button mushrooms were stuffed with a satisfying mixture of cream cheese and bacon — bacon being the food of choice these days — and were just hot enough. On the side was a sort of Alfredo sauce, which was pretty good and added not only richness but a bit of a flavor punch in that it had a subtle sharpness from the cheese.

Something about that sauce had a sort of pre-prepared nature, though, and that was reinforced when it appeared again with an entree, the chicken roulade ($13.99). This was a more ambitious dish than I’d expect in what is essentially a poker bar — chicken breast pounded and rolled with sun-dried tomato, spinach, prosciutto and Gouda — and the flavor, color and textural contrasts were appealing. But the juxtaposition of the mashed potatoes on which it rested and the sauce the menu said was Mornay but that I’d swear was the same Alfredo gave the impression that someone was trying a little too hard to gild the lily.

Beef stroganoff ($14.99) also struck me as a dish that was ambitious for a restaurant such as this, since good beef stroganoff requires either that the beef be cooked long and carefully or that a foolproof — and expensive — cut is used, which was pretty well negated by the $14.99 price. While the stroganoff mixture had a generous component of strips of beef — some of them tender, some of them not so much — and mushrooms, the sauce was generic, with a flavor I equate more with a color (brown) than anything else.

And, well, ditto for the French onion soup, a option in the soup-or-salad choices included with entrees. Again, it was generic, the onions not particularly punchy, the cheese on the mild side, although the abundance of croutons was a nice touch.

And a tossed salad, with our chicken roulade. This was a nice creation from the kitchen, crisp and fresh and artfully arranged.

By now you may have the idea that I didn’t like Elixir, but if that’s the case, you’re mistaken. Although the all-red-all-the-time interior (including a couple of red-crystal chandeliers) seemed a little at odds with the prevalence of football-flowing flat-screens, we liked the casual energy of the place. Service was at times a little slow — our drinks took too long on an evening when the place wasn’t crowded, and we’d finished our appetizer by the time share plates were brought to the table — but unfailingly pleasant.

We also have the feeling that the proprietors of Elixir, who also own two Remedy’s locations in Henderson, have a bit of an uphill battle. That’s no pun intended, since Elixir has a hillside location (but, for some reason, has no windows to take advantage of what I assume would be a decent view) that has seen a series of occupants over the years, in the tradition of an elephant burial ground.

They seem to be doing OK as a bar, and long may it wave. But to succeed as a restaurant, the food needs to taste less generic, more dynamic.

Las Vegas Review-Journal restaurant reviews are done anonymously at Review-Journal expense. Email Heidi Knapp Rinella at Hrinella@reviewjournal.com, or call 702-383-0474. Follow @HKRinella on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Entertainment
Skybar at Waldorf Astoria lets you sip your way through Las Vegas history
Skybar At Waldorf Astoria Lets You Sip Your Way Through Las Vegas History (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Stan Lee in Las Vegas for Madame Tussauds unveiling
Stan Lee Las Vegas speaks with the Review-Journal's Chris Lawrence about his love for his fans and shared universes. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Ultimate Belgium Waffle Sundae at Lavo
Lavo at the Palazzo serves a 16-scoop ice cream sundae that costs $800. (Rochelle Ricahrds, Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
A New Zip Line Is Opening On The Las Vegas Strip
A New Zip Line Is Opening On The Las Vegas Strip (Janna Karel lLas Vegas Review-Journal)
You'll need a keen eye to find this secret bar on the Las Vegas Strip
You'll need a keen eye to find this secret bar on the Las Vegas Strip (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
"The Lion King" roars into Las Vegas
New music club 172 brings loud luxury to Las Vegas
New music venue at the Rio brings rock ’n’ roll and food together at intimate club. K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Fans fear for Zak Bagans’ safety in Las Vegas Halloween TV special
Fly Linq zip line time lapse
Fly Linq zip line timelapse
Shaq opens Las Vegas restaurant, Big Chicken
Shaq opens Las Vegas restaurant, Big Chicken
Robert Deniro And Chef Nobu Talk About The Success Of Nobu
Robert Deniro And Chef Nobu Talk About The Success Of Nobu (Al Mancini Las Vegas Review-journal)
Nevada Ballet Theatre rehearses for "Dracula" at The Smith Center
Nevada Ballet Theatre rehearses for "Dracula" at The Smith Center (Janna Karel/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Downtown Summerlin hosts its annual Festival of Arts
People crowd to Downtown Summerlin for the 23rd annual Summerlin Festival of Arts in Las Vegas, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018. (Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bellagio, MGM Resorts International’s luxury hotel turns 20
The more than 3,000-room Bellagio hotel is situated on the site of the former Dunes Hotel. The Dunes was imploded in 1993, and construction of the Bellagio started in 1996. It cost $1.6 billion to build, making it the most expensive hotel in the world at the time. The Bellagio was former Wynn Resorts Ltd. Chairman and CEO Steve Wynn’s second major casino on the Strip after The Mirage. MGM Resorts International acquired the property from Steve Wynn in 2000. (Tara Mack/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Recycled Art and Cute Dogs at Summerlin Festival Of Arts
Recycled Art, Cute Dogs Abound At Summerlin Festival Of Arts (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bellagio Patisserie Creates Life-size Sculpture Of 20th Anniversary Of Cirque Du Soleil Show
Bellagio Patisserie Creates Life-size Sculpture Of 20th Anniversary Of Cirque Du Soleil Show (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
10 Most Iconic Moments At The Bellagio Fountains
10 Most Iconic Moments At The Bellagio Fountains (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jason Aldean talks about the possibility of a Las Vegas residency
Country superstar Jason Aldean discusses his feelings about playing in Las Vegas and says he'd be interested in a Las Vegas residency when the time is right at the iHeart Radio Music Festival in Las Vegas on September 21, 2018.(John Katsilometes/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Block 16 Urban Food Hall Serves Favorite Foods From Across The US
Block 16 Urban Food Hall Serves Favorite Foods From Across The US (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Benny the Skating Dog could be the next Golden Knights on-ice entertainment
Benny the Skating Dog could be the next Golden Knights on-ice entertainment (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Who To Watch At Life Is Beautiful
Life Is Beautiful Setup
Workers preparing Fremont street for this weekend's Life is Beautiful festival, on Wednesday, September 19, 2018. Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal
The 46th annual Greek Food Festival will feed 25,000 people in Las Vegas
Madame Tussauds Has The Newest VR Experience On The Strip
Madame Tussauds Has The Newest VR Experience On The Strip. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Zia Records Move
Zias Records is moving from its Sahara Avenue and Arville Street location to a bigger store. (Mat Luscheck/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Students At The International Contortion Convention In Las Vegas Learn How To Bend And Twist Their Bodies
Students At The International Contortion Convention In Las Vegas Learn How To Bend And Twist Their Bodies. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Video from Fertitta wedding Sep. 1
video from @wedstagrams of Fertitta wedding at Red Rock Resort
You Can Get Vegan Unicorn Toast In Downtown Las Vegas
You Can Get Vegan Unicorn Toast In Downtown Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like