Hexx Kitchen + Bar
Banana Nut French Toast – Caramelized Banana, Foster’s Sauce, Fresh Berries
Carrot Cake Pancakes – Spice Batter, Carrots, Cream Cheese, Frosting
Chocolate Pancakes – Caramel Syrup, Fresh Banana, Powdered Sugar
Cinnaroll Waffle – Cream Cheese Frosting, Cinnamon, Sugar
Chicken and Waffles – Apple Cheddar Waffle, Apple Butter, Bourbon Maple Syrup
Baked Cheese – Carr Valley Wisconsin Cheese, Fig Jelly
Spaghetti Carbonara – Guanciale, Pecorino, Cracked Black Pepper, Egg
Classic Burger – Kobe Beef, Aged Wisconsin Cheddar, Peppered Bacon, Sesame Bun, 1000 Island
Pineapple Upside Down – Pineapple Compote, Vanilla Ice Cream
Apple Pie – Puff Pastry, Cinnamon Apple, Vanilla Ice Cream
Crème Puff – Chocolate Cream, Toasted Marshmallow, Graham Cracker
Coffee Cake – Cinnamon Crumble, Espresso Ice Cream, Chocolate Sauce
Turtle Sundae – Brown Butter Praline Ice Cream, Brownie, Pecans, Chocolate Sauce
Single Origin Chocolates
Replacing Sugar Factory with Las Vegas’ first bean-to-bar Chocolate company it stands to reason that Hexx is looking to shake things up, and wanting to write a story about not only the behind the scenes beans but also the restaurant itself a Saturday morning breakfast was planned, Executive Sous Chef Derek Desroches taking me through a baker’s dozen dishes on the 24/7 patio before an hour-long tour of the chocolate kitchen showed off the passion of Chefs Matt Piekarski and Matthew Silverman to do something Sin City has never seen.
Not entirely abandoning the ideas espoused by Sugar Factory, the culinary team still mostly intact and the menu decidedly “American” it was just after 8am that I entered the stylishly appointed space and with a prime seat on the patio mine for the morning as everything from Led Zeppelin to Lady Gaga played overhead it would not be long before several more diners of all ages gathered, the sunlit space nearly filled to capacity when I completed my tasting nearly two hours later.
Largely crafting a menu of breakfast and lunch favorites based on my personal requests, it was expectedly that the day’s dining began with Pancakes alongside French Toast, and although the later was not exactly what was expected in that the thick wedges were actually griddled banana bread the lightly charred fruit flavor was absolutely exemplary, a similar compliment owed to both stacks of flapjacks, the chocolate iteration rife with cocoa that unfortunately is not yet sourced from Hexx’s beans while the richly spiced carrot cakes were feather light despite being stuffed with plenty of shredded carrots beneath a mountain of frosting at once both tangy and sweet.
Treated to spot-on service, coffee and water kept brimming with new serviceware and napkins delivered at each course, round two transitioned sweet to savory with a duo of waffles, and featuring entirely different batters one would be hard pressed to decide where best to invest – the cinnamon roll dough just barely tanned with a light and fluffy mouthfeel matched to rich icing while chicken that could have used a bit more spice or brining sat atop a crispy buttermilk batter offset by caramelized cheddar and julienned Granny Smith’s that melded beautifully with the Chef’s grandmother’s apple butter recipe as well as a sidecar of house-made syrup fragrant of woodsy notes and booze.
Treated to pan-seared cheese cubes finding their foil in rich fig jelly as savory entrees were prepared it was at Derek’s behest that I sampled the restaurant’s signature burger, and although those preferring their meat still mooing might be somewhat saddened at the thin patty’s inability to be cooked rare I’m happy to say that flavors came across bold with juiciness not for lack amidst a great grind, the neighboring Carbonara with noodles sourced from nearby Pasta Shop proving an unexpected stunner with guanciale just smoky and fatty enough to stand out from the al dente noodles sticky and well spiced in a simple lacquer of black pepper and cracked egg.
Rounding out the afternoon with no less than five of the restaurant’s signature desserts, suffice it to say that the 24/7 available options are reason enough to stop by Hexx for a bite, the pineapple upside down cake, sundae, and apple pie all well constructed with High Road Ice Cream gilding each bite while buttery coffee cake and whimsical profiterole interpretation of S’mores were absolutely inspired, the later actually incorporating graham flour into the choux with future plans to begin utilizing Hexx chocolates throughout the menu adding all the more promise in days and weeks to come.
At this point led from the table to the retail outlet, and then to the chocolate lab in back, the majority of the next hour was spent chatting with the two Matt’s about all things chocolate and swapping stories about techniques, sourcing, machinery, and the blooming bean-to-bar scene one cannot help but be excited for the team and city of Las Vegas, an unguarded and unbridled excitement palpable in not only words and actions, but also the quality of the process and flavor of each bar, but more on that to come…
FOUR STARS: Replacing the shimmer and celebrity of Sugar Factory with a passion project seemingly set to do big things it should come as no surprise that the focus of Hexx is indeed the single origin chocolates, yet instead of mailing it in on food the team can assuredly sell based on location alone it seems the 24/7 spot with great views is poised to not only please but to excel, prices no higher than similar Strip-side eateries while execution and innovation outpace all but a few.
RECOMMENDED: Single Origin Chocolates, Carrot Cake Pancakes, Cinnaroll Waffle, Spaghetti Carbonara, Crème Puffs, Coffee Cake.
AVOID: The bitty bird on the chicken and waffles is a far cry from that at Yardbird or Citizen considering the hefty $24.95 tab and those expecting “French Toast” may be a bit disappointed by the Banana Bread, even though it is quite good under the right context.
TIP: Five flavor chocolate tastings at the counter are free starting at 9am until the retail store closes at night, the rich 73% variety from Ecuador currently used in the restaurant’s hot chocolate and soon to be featured in an exclusive ice cream from High Road that will be offered by scoops in house and later via pint in stores.
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor