Exclusive Sneak Peek: Hell's Kitchen At Foxwoods Is The Ultimate Shrine To Gordon Ramsay

Gordon Ramsay's Hell's Kitchen restaurants span Las Vegas, Lake Tahoe, Southern California, Atlantic City, and as of this week, Mashantucket, Connecticut at Foxwoods Resort Casino. Hell's Kitchen is both an homage to and an embodiment of Ramsay's celebrated television series of the same name, which has aired successfully for 21 seasons. Ramsay first found acclaim in the culinary world as the head chef of two Michelin-starred Aubergine in London in the early 1990s and has since launched a global empire with numerous high-end and fast-casual restaurants and several beloved television series including "Hell's Kitchen," "MasterChef," and "MasterChef Junior."

Hell's Kitchen at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut is the first Northeastern outpost of the Hell's Kitchen franchise. Tasting Table got an exclusive first look at the restaurant in advance of the public opening, going behind the scenes to tour the latest Hell's Kitchen and sample the upcoming menu. During our visit, we met with Foxwoods CEO, Jason Guyot who is the first tribal member of Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation to lead Foxwoods and "Hell's Kitchen" Season 10 winner Christina Wilson who is now VP of Culinary at Gordon Ramsay North America to learn about the history of Hell's Kitchen and what makes this location special.

Hell's Kitchen the restaurant vs. Hell's Kitchen the television show

Fans of the "Hell's Kitchen" television show will feel a rush of nostalgia upon entering the restaurant. "Hell's Kitchen" Season 10 winner Christina Wilson certainly does because the hallway that serves as the entrance is modeled directly after the television set. As soon as you enter Hell's Kitchen at Foxwoods, you'll find yourself walking the same walk as the contestants on the show when the series begins, as well as when they are cut from the competition.

Once you arrive in the dining room, you'll see the first markings of Hell's Kitchen's infamous calling card: pitchforks. These are woven extensively throughout the decor — in the hanging light fixtures, patterned to the walls, mounted along the sides of the wooden booths, stitched into the napkins, and bound into the leather chair backs. The dining room itself is open and massive with soft lighting and a pleasing color palette that gives the room a feeling of warmth even though it's windowless.

The open kitchen that spans virtually the entire length of the restaurant is designed to mirror the famed "Hell's Kitchen" open kitchen with intricate blue and red tiling that, in the show, divides the kitchen between the red team and the blue team. When Hell's Kitchen opens, all of the chefs and line cooks will be wearing signature red or blue-shouldered jackets and matching bandanas depending on which side of the restaurant they're assigned to work on.

What's on the menu?

One of the biggest differences between Hell's Kitchen at Foxwoods Resort Casino and Hell's Kitchen at Casear's Palace in Las Vegas is the size and diversity of the menu. Christina Wilson describes the Las Vegas outpost as a "transitory destination" because the clientele is rapidly changing. According to CEO Jason Guyot, guests make more frequent visits to Foxwoods, so designing a menu with enough variety to continually inspire diners was essential.

That menu includes many of Gordon Ramsay's signature dishes including the iconic beef Wellington, pan-seared scallops, lobster tail risotto, crispy skin salmon, and sticky toffee pudding. Because Foxwoods is 10 minutes from the ocean, there are more robust seafood options at this Hell's Kitchen location including local halibut and freshly caught scallops. Notably, the menu features a plethora of vegan and vegetarian offerings including a vegan interpretation of the pan-seared scallops using tofu, which is served with roasted corn, and chives. The lobster tail risotto has also been treated to a vegan reinvention as a tomato saffron risotto with tofu purée, chives, and roasted tomatoes.

Gordon Ramsay's signature dishes at Hell's Kitchen

Season 10 winner of "Hell's Kitchen" Christina Wilson describes Gordon Ramsay's beef Wellington as a mirror of Ramsay himself: "complex, with tons of layers." The dish is also a reflection of Ramsay's culinary training in France under the late Joël Robuchon, evidenced in the exquisite preparation and plating as well as the accompaniment of a potato purée that was inspired by Robuchon's famed method for buttery, decadent potatoes. Of all the dishes we sampled at Hell's Kitchen, the potato purée was our favorite. According to Wilson, the restaurant goes "basically pound for pound" in terms of the ratio of butter and potato. There is also, of course, a heavy dose of cream.

We must admit, the beef Wellington lives up to the hype. The dish might even be worth making the trip to Foxwoods. Diners can expect a center-cut filet that's been seared and brushed with dijon mustard, wrapped with layers of prosciutto, mushroom duxelles, and a herbed crepe, then nestled in a puff pastry, and baked to medium rare. The beef Wellington is served with that exceptional potato purée, a red wine demi glaze, and roasted turnips and carrots. The lobster tail risotto is a delicious seasonal take on Ramsay's risotto, here served with tomato saffron, sofrito, roasted cherry tomatoes, and mascarpone cheese, finished with fresh chives and showcasing a butter-poached lobster tail that's sliced for easing sharing.

Save room for dessert

What is a meal without dessert? After the beef Wellington, Gordon Ramsay's most famous dish is undoubtedly his sticky toffee pudding, the recipe of which is borrowed from Ramsay's mother who worked at a catering company during his childhood years. A warmed date cake smothered in dark caramel toffee sauce and topped with dulce de leche ice cream. Every bite is rich and decadent, a truly perfect texture experience that allows all of the flavors and warm and cold temperatures to meld together into a culinary feat that is so nourishing it's no wonder the recipe was passed from mother to child.

Not eating dairy? Don't worry, we have good news for you. While there isn't a vegan version of sticky toffee pudding, there is a standout vegan dessert offering: Coconut Three Ways. Coconut Three Ways bring pomp and circumstance: a cracked open coconut shell sitting atop a bed of ice is brimming with coconut sorbet, mango passionfruit jelly, toasted coconut "croutons," freshly shaved lime zest, coconut shavings, and edible flower petals.

Another crowd-pleaser that may be more geared toward children, but happens to be delicious for any age, is the chocolate peanut butter trifle served in an extra-tall glass. The glass is filled with layers of peanut butter mousse, chocolate pudding, chocolate cake "croutons," and vanilla whipped cream. The whimsy of the dessert menu at Hell's Kitchen at Foxwoods is the place where the restaurant has allowed itself to be expressive and innovative.

What to expect at Hell's Kitchen at Foxwoods Resort Casino

Whether you're a super-fan of the show, or you just live in the area and are looking for an upscale night of dining with a bit of a theme, Hell's Kitchen Foxwoods caters to both demographics. You can even have a nice family dinner here where children can dine on meatballs — they just happen to be Wagyu. The menu is going to be large and rotating, and the oversized long tables and massive booths flanking the restaurant are equipped to handle large parties, so bring your friends.

This restaurant is elevated and sophisticated in a campy way, evidenced in large photographs of Ramsay as well as a massive life-size digital version of the famed chef greeting guests at the front of the restaurant. Some 700-pound mirrors hang over the long glossy bar with invisible television screens behind them that can be turned on to showcase Ramsay's many series or disappeared to amplify the ambiance. After all, the restaurant is housed in a resort casino, so it needs to be versatile. But above all else, you will enjoy your meal here, especially if you order the true standouts like the beef Wellington, lobster tail risotto, and any of the masterfully-crafted desserts.