There are times when I go out to eat and don’t have the intention of writing a review of the experience. Sometimes a nice meal is best kept among the diners. That was the plan when I visited Rx Boiler Room at Mandalay Bay.
On a previous visit to Rx Boiler Room, I had a burger and beer which was good. Even though this is the restaurant by a famous chef, Rick Moonen, I went to dinner with another simple meal in mind. The plan was to simply have nice evening catching up with a friend from the east coast. That thought changed as soon as the first drink arrived.
From the First Drink….
The first drink was their smoked whiskey and cola. Think of it as a fancy version of Jack n Coke made with George Dickel Tennessee Whiskey, House Made Cola Syrup, Bitterscube Cherrybark Vanilla Bitters, Fever Tree Soda Water and Smoked Cherrywood Chips. The flavor of the cola was much better than any other cola I’ve had before. The whiskey was served from a skull bottle. That drink was the sign that this wouldn’t be a normal evening.
The waiter recommended we start with the Bacon Wrapped Bacon-N-Egg and Duck Confit Poutine. Two dishes I
probably wouldn’t order without encouragement from someone else. We had more food and drink later on but this was the highlight of the night. This was most adorable dish I’ve probably ever eaten and a “duck that smells like steak but isn’t steak” take on poutine with tots. I love tots.
The first dish to arrive was Bacon Wrapped Bacon-N-Egg. This is a tiny taster of Brioche Toast, Tomato Jam, Sunny Side Quail Egg. The bacon was thick cut and reminiscent of a nub of pork belly. Each piece was about 1-inch square and they were a perfect bite to get the night started.
I’m rarely experimental when I go out for dinner. That might have to change. My eyes were opened to food I wouldn’t have ordered in the past. This was just the beginning…
….and on to the Phenomenal Poutine
The next appetizer to show up was the Duck Confit Poutine. This isn’t traditional poutine and that made me extremely happy. I’m not much of a fry guy and gravy fries with cheese curds don’t really excite me. That’s how I describe your fancy poutine.
This dish was made with Moonen tater tots, cheddar cheese curds, and duck confit (we omitted the egg on top) sounded like another great start to the evening. The bordelaise sauce was on the side so we could enjoy as much or little as we wanted.
The tots remained crispy despite being surrounded by cheese and the super flavorful duck confit. I could have eaten two more orders of this and called it dinner. To say this dish was phenomenal might be an understatement. Everything about this dish was right. My mouth is watering as I write this a week later.
Dinner continued but I was mentally checked out after the first two dishes. The chicken pot pie nuggets were good but they weren’t as spectacular as the dishes mentioned above. My main course was the 18-hour Guinness braised beef short rib #NoKnifeNeeded (this is how it’s listed on the menu). Indeed, no knife was needed. The short rib was great but I was stuffed before even putting fork to beef.
I went into dinner at Rx Boiler Room with minimal expectations beyond a solid meal and left much more excited than I have after most meals in the past year. I was so excited by the two dishes that I almost wrote this review while enjoying a mini-vacation. Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino has so many restaurants to choose from, but I’d put this near the top of my list, especially if I was looking for something a little different.