HeXX Kitchen + Bar
Coffee from Pete’s
HeXX Ecuador Hot Chocolate
Twisted sticky bun – Toasted pecans, Brown Sugar
Fresh Fruit Bowl – Seasonal fruit, Banana nut bread
Overcooked bacon – Applewood smoked, Maple aioli
Crispy broccolini – Dried chili, Citrus, Golden balsamic
Smothered fries – Pulled pork, Cheese curds, BBQ gravy
Blueberry ricotta oatcake – Brown sugar, Blueberry syrup, Ricotta, Lemon, Almond butter
/ Baked French toast – Mascarpone, Banana, HeXX Ecuador chocolate, Bourbon syrup
Chilaquiles – Shredded chicken, Roasted salsa, Tortilla chips, Poached eggs, Avocado, Sour cream / Baked eggs – Tomato, Grilled bread, Egg, Herbs
Chocolate cheesecake – HeXX Venezuelan chocolate, Cream cheese, Oreo crust, Caramel popcorn
Espresso tarte – HeXX Tanzania chocolate, Espresso foam, Cookie crumble
Chocolate Budino – HeXX Tanzania chocolate, Vanilla bean ice cream, Banana bread crumble
Aztec cake – HeXX Venezuela chocolate, Spiced ganache, Cinnamon icing, Toasted almonds
Ecuador, Venezuela, Madagascar Ice Cream Tasting
Chocolate Chip Cookie
Red Velvet Cookie
In a 24/7 city with more places offering food all-day and all-night than anywhere else in the United States HeXX could easily be overlooked by locals and tourists as ‘another’ hotel property pushing average quality at a trumped-up price, but with a tweaked menu including more and more use of the Single Origin Bean-to-Bar Chocolate made on-site the experience is actually nothing short of excellent, or dare I say “a local gem in the least ‘local’ of places.”
Still under the direction of Chefs Matthew Piekarski and Matthew Silverman, the former present during a Christmas Day Brunch and happy to discuss ongoing growth of the brand including a Milk Chocolate line and Dessert menu ever increasing in its use of cacao, details of HeXX’s origins can be read in a story I was fortunate enough to write for Vegas2LA Magazine and although Chef Desroches has moved on to pursue other interests the culinary team remains adept in their execution under current leadership while Ari Stotland carefully oversees a friendly and efficient front-of-house.
Allowing Matthew to guide our Brunch, the outdoor patio a bit too chilly for enjoyment while the inside was bustling with holiday cheer, it was after a lengthy tour of the Chocolate Factory that we sat down to Coffee and rich Ecuadorian Hot Chocolate to begin a meal of four courses, the first a hefty five plates that immediately had my three friends wondering just what they’d gotten themselves into.
Letting the culinary team direct most of the dining, a few special requests aside, it was with bites of the oft-praised “Overcooked” Bacon that the meal began and although some may prefer a bit less smoke and snap to their pork, I personally found the dish to reminiscent of a childhood eating similar strips at my Grandparents’ home with the aoili adding a whole extra dimension of flavor while the acid-kissed broccolini was on par with any vegetable served at a Stripside Steakhouse, the same to be said of fresh-cut fries smothered in cheese curds and pulled pork.
Wowed by a Sticky Bun that presents soft and buttery at the center despite the golden brown coil wound tightly beneath caramelized brown sugar and nuts the Fresh Fruit Bowl was not your typical ‘fruit cocktail’ ruined by grapes and overripe melon, but instead only the best of the best with Dragonfruit, Pears, and Pineapple all memorable alongside the toasty but supple banana bread.
Thankfully taking portion sizes into account for rounds two and three, each member of the party treated to an individual demi-portion of two menu items on a single plate, tastes of the Baked French Toast resembled those of a custardy Brioche Bread Pudding veined in HeXX Ecuador Chocolate along with Bananas and Housemade Syrup while the Oatcakes were rich and creamy atop almond butter with a touch of acid adding much needed levity.
Not particularly a fan of Eggs and Tomatoes, though if I were to eat them the ones at HeXX are perfectly fine, Chicken Chilaquiles were a welcome change of pace from more typical beef or pork preparations, the Jalapenos set aside in my case as the roasted salsa itself was quite piquant while the chips surprisingly maintained their texture despite all the accoutrements on top.
No doubt improving the dessert program since my last visit, Carol Garcia and her pastry kitchen the benefactor of ramped up production of chocolates soon to be available at select stores outside State lines, it was with already full stomachs that four more plates were brought to the table and as much as the phrase “everything was great” may seem like a cop-out the fact remains that those words are truthful, a “best of the best” mouthful offered by either the cheesecake with a bit of popcorn or the airy deconstructed Aztec with a liberal dollop of ganache.
Now making three Single Origin Ice Creams with High Road, all of them available to taste in the gift store or as part of a Sundae in the restaurant, HeXX continues to up the ante with housebaked cookies, confections, as well as a luxuriously rich brownie and although Truffles are outsourced since they are not the intent of such an outfit the “Local” concept is maintained through a partnership with Ethel M, though those wanting such a thing would be better served to visit the Henderson factory at a later date while picking up a few Single Origin Bars or Ice Cream Sandwich at HeXX instead.
FOUR AND A HALF STARS: Even if one were to remove the Chocolate program from the equation a comparison to other 24/7 Kitchens both on and off Las Vegas Boulevard will show HeXX to be amongst the very best in its class, but adding in what should be a point of celebration for locals and a destination for tourists the work of Piekarski and Silverman cannot be overstated for its dedication to quality and craftsmanship, a treasure hidden in plain sight.
RECOMMENDED: Any of the Single Origin Chocolates, Twisted Sticky Bun, Chilaquiles, Aztec Cake, Cheesecake, Ecuador Chocolate Brownie.
AVOID: Tomatoes and Eggs based on personal tastes only, but also be advised that the stellar carrot cake pancakes are only available on weekday Breakfasts, not Weekend Brunch.
TIP: Already pegged for an upcoming Beer Dinner and certainly a place for “special events” like New Years given the location, Chef Piekarski also rumors some upcoming collaborations with other artisanal chocolate makers are in the works. Keep eyes on Social Media for updates, and in the meantime feel free to purchase single origin bars from the restaurant’s website as Valentines Day is coming soon.
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.