My off-Strip dining adventures have become increasingly bland lately. Not sure if it’s a seasonal phenomenon or if it’s just me, my taste buds getting burned out from repetitious mediocrity. But I was looking forward to breaking out of the funk with a visit to DW Bistro, the 7-month-old southwest Vegas spot with a Jamaican influence. I figured full flavors would follow. Not so much.
- DW Bistro
- 6115 S. Fort Apache Suite 112, 527-5200, Open Tuesday-Thursday 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and 5 p.m.-9 p.m.; Friday 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m.-11 p.m.; and Sunday 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Way down on Fort Apache past Russell Road, DW Bistro is a beautiful neighborhood restaurant, a sleek mix of space-age orange and white with some rustic touches, like worn wood cabinets that would be at home in a Caribbean cabana. Service was polite and well-intentioned if a little awkward, another sign of a place still finding itself.
The menu is full of familiar dishes spiced here and there with island flair, a proper balance between exotic and expected. But the kitchen would be well served to let loose a bit, stretch out with those seasonings. For example, the jerk chicken salad is a fresh pile of greens, jicama and grilled vegetables with a pleasant citrus vinaigrette, but the chicken is merely slices of grilled white meat with a little zing on the outside. If you really need jerkage, order it on a steak, lamb chops or, best, juicy roasted pork shoulder over rice. But don’t expect a lot of heat.
Another middling offering is a chunk of salmon with barely-there guava beurre blanc. But a tasty, colorful bowl of chicken curry, served over tender Israeli couscous with plenty of veggies, was a creamy, well-seasoned winner. Another sure thing is the cheeseburger with jalapeño bacon and New Mexico green chilies, the prize of DW’s lunch menu. As for side dishes, the kitchen was all out of fried plantains, so we settled on a decent mac and cheese, which doesn’t need its truffle oil or possible add-ons of bacon and mushrooms.
DW Bistro is a cool place with a nice variation on comfort food, and it’s a still-young restaurant that will almost certainly tighten up. But the flavors didn’t catch me off guard, and as the days grow cold in the desert, a restaurant serving this cuisine needs to pack a little more punch.