Category Archives: Steakhouse

At last, the world famous JimmyEatsVegas restaurant reviews!  If you haven’t already, you should make sure to check out why I don’t write very many negative reviews.

I envision these reviews as a friend talking to another friend about restaurant recommendations.  If someone asks you where to go, you don’t lead off and talk about all the bad places.  You wanna talk about the best places!  So first and foremost, my job is to tell you about all the best places to eat in town and, from time to time, to tell you about why I think the places that everyone else love really aren’t that worthy of praise.

These are some of my favorite steakhouses serving American food in Las Vegas.

BRAND STEAKHOUSE: Sounds like a placeholder.

Fun fact: the very first Las Vegas casino I ever stepped foot in was the Monte Carlo.  It seemed like a fairly boring, middle of the road spot back then and that’s how it remains to me today.  The fire that wiped out the top few floors was probably the most amount of publicity it has ever received.  Which is why there is no surprise that its steakhouse fails to distinguish itself as a top choice.

It even overlooks the pit, so we can gamble vicariously throughout the meal.

Brand is a terrible name (seriously, sounds like the Bluth family’s fundraiser to fight TBA). Though the food is perfectly reasonable, I think the price is close enough to being at the Cut or Carnevino level that you should pay the difference for the upgrade.

Full disclosure: We had a comp for this dinner that we obtained through some advantage play.  This allowed us to go fairly nuts and order lots of things. It didn’t affect this review in any way, however.

Our waiter for this evening was Brian.  One of the most jovial, pleasantly attentive waiters I’ve had anywhere.  There are only a few career waiters I’ve had in the years I’ve been eating at nice places and Brian is definitely one of them.  Dude makes hospitality look super easy and I was very happy to see him again.  Definitely advise asking for him if you ever visit.

Every dish you can order at Brand is classic American steakhouse fare, so I will not be explaining to you what a caesar salad and its ilk taste like.  You will have to trust me on quality.

We ended up getting an absurd amount of food, and since the restaurant was fairly empty it did not take long to come out.

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Our multidimensional caesar salad.

Some places do way too much to a caesar salad, others barely do anything.  Brand likes to straddle the middle and leave the lettuce untouched other than to toss it with an average caesar dressing and then they go to the trouble to make a parmesan crisp crouton laid on top.  I would prefer cut romaine and normal croutons, but I can’t say it wasn’t good anyway.  For $14, though, it’s definitely not a bargain.

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The shrimp cocktail was another more expensive appetizer; 4 fairly large shrimp for $18 is not cheap, though the two sauces (a normal cocktail sauce and a remoulade) were definitely better than average and it was tasty enough.

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Whoever invented beef tartare must have been on serious drugs.

The Kobe beef tartare (another side note, anything labeled kobe beef is going to be overpriced) was another $20 appetizer that tasted great but the bar is set so high by the price that it’s hard to meet it.

This is also a big pet peeve of mine, but Kobe beef is known for its insane fat marbling.  Tartare shouldn’t be overwhelmingly full of fat because it’s served raw, and raw fat is grainy and completely gums up the texture.  And high marbling of the meat is completely pointless if you cut up the meat so much that everything gets mixed together anyway.  This was definitely an above average tartare as well, but there’s no reason for the gimmicky labeling of Kobe.  My only complaint was the tiny crouton really doesn’t serve very well as the crusty toasted bread usually accompanying tartare.

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HASSAAAAAN CHOP
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A very phallic looking porterhouse and lobster.

The steaks were definitely the highlight of the meal.  The tomahawk chop is another fairly common gimmick in steakhouses, where it’s a basic bone-in ribeye with an elongated bone left on the steak.  The steak itself was perfectly fine, but fairly small for the fairly large price they charge.  That plate was $70! The porterhouse is a much more reasonable plate, 20oz of (slightly overcooked) steak with a lobster tail and claws served with a corn risotto cake, which is a thing apparently.  I have no real problem with any of these things, honestly.  It was well seasoned with a decent sear.  My steak standards are fairly high, as a lot of you probably know.  Aside from a large gray band, I was perfectly happy with the steak served to us.  The lobster was even better, actual seasoned lobster meat instead of just dunking it in clarified butter and calling it a day.  The risotto cake was even better, and I think putting it as its own dish would be a smart idea.  But when you think that all of the above food cost nearly $200, I’m just not convinced it couldn’t be better spent in this town.

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Forgettable creamed spinach.

‘Nuff said.

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Overly salted ‘spurgus.

I’m generally a big fan of well charred asparagus, but the tips of these were so overly salted that it completely turned me off to them.  A shame.

At last we arrived to dessert.  We were pretty stuffed at this point but had just enough left on our comp that we ordered a small trio of desserts.

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Chocolate cake as dense I am.

Desserts were a definite highlight of the meal.  Whoever is working as their pastry chef definitely knows their business.  The chocolate cake is pretty much chocolate on chocolate on chocolate, which is great (if you love chocolate).  Served alongside cappuccino mousse, I’m usually not a big fan of something so cocoa-fied but it surpassed my expectations and was not nearly as heavy as I felt it would be.

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You’re trying too hard.

As subtle and good the chocolate cake was, the “classic” cheesecake was definitely a flower child growing up.  It was a very average cheesecake and they garnished the plate with a strange waxy pressed blueberry roll and some inedible flowers, which is a huge pet peeve of mine.  If I’m going to hurt myself trying to eat something on the plate, it probably doesn’t belong there.  Taste and texture were great though, and I have no real complaints about the actual execution here.

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Surprisingly delicious.

They also had a selection of ice creams and we opted for caramel.  I will say, I have a weakness for a well made ice cream and this was no slouch.  The depth of flavor in this caramel was pretty startling and it was clear they made it a very deep caramel.  Eating this with the chocolate cake was a pretty excellent few bites of food.

Overall, I have no serious issues with Brand but it just goes to show how many great options there are in town.  There are cheaper options that are about the same quality and there are more expensive options that have significantly higher quality.  If you’re looking for a reasonably priced strip steakhouse, Brand is a decent place to check out but it’s better if someone else is paying for it.

Brian’s great though.

3770 Las Vegas BLVD. South, Las Vegas NV 89109

(702) 730-6700

Open daily 5 PM – 10 PM

DELMONICO STEAKHOUSE: A fine vintage root beer.

Steakhouses are a touchy subject in Vegas.  A lot of them exist only to exist because management KNOWS they are going to make money and some places still put a lot of effort into theirs.  Venetian/Palazzo definitely have three of the best strip steakhouses, possibly the actual top 3.  Of the three, Delmonico Steakhouse has a special place in my heart because it was the first nice restaurant I went to in Vegas before I even moved here.  When you put everything together, it’s hard to beat.

I parked in a somewhat secret spot in the Palazzo garage and proceeded to “Restaurant Row” which only has like 3 restaurants in it.  I passed this extremely sad looking ad on the way to the restaurant, the text might as well have read “CONTRACTUAL OBLIGATION.”

PLEASE COME IN OR THEY’LL KILL ME
PLEASE COME IN OR THEY’LL KILL ME

I suppose I should do another FOOD BLOG SHOUTOUT to John S for joining me at this meal, but he made me wait approximately 12 minutes so he’s just a big jerk instead.

We were quickly seated, even though the dining room is COMPLETELY full.  There is a rather large convention going on in Vegas right now, and it is apparent that they have their hands full serving everyone.  The server came over, introduced himself and asked what we’d like to drink.  And because WE ARE ADULTS WHO DECIDE WHAT THAT MEANS, John opted for a root beer float.

BECAUSE WE CAN, DAMMIT
BECAUSE WE CAN, DAMMIT

Most steakhouses in town have some sort of tasty bread service but I think Delmonico goes above and beyond and serve oven hot popovers, bread that is so buttery it barely qualifies as bread. They were incredible but I’m glad they only gave us 2 each.

Pictured: A stick of butter. And then a dish of butter.
Pictured: A stick of butter. And then a dish of butter.

John said he hadn’t eaten all day so we went pretty crazy with the ordering.  I thought that was fine since I was going to be reviewing the place and wanted to get as much in the review as possible, and it actually gave me the opportunity to order a few things I had never eaten before.  He got the gumbo, I got the lobster bisque and we split some truffle parmesan chips which Yelp seemed to rave over.

Trio of appetizers
Trio of appetizers

The gumbo was really good, as was to be expected in a New Orleans themed steakhouse.  It’s not especially spicy or super thick, it’s more of a soup than a stew.  But the roux is incredibly dark and the broth itself has a ton of flavor.  The bisque was thick as well and definitely one of the better lobster bisques I’ve had, with a big chunk of lobster in the middle.  Actually that was my only complaint.  If they had cut up the lobster I would’ve enjoyed it much more.  I love soup, but I absolutely hate it when they expect me to apparently use a knife and fork to eat it. It is not easy to cut lobster into chunks with a spoon.

These chips look how I feel.
These chips look how I feel.

The truffle parmesan chips were exactly what they sounded like.  The chips themselves were homemade and very well done, super crispy and salty but not overly so on each.  It seems like the truffle flavor came from white truffle oil which is bullshit in a bottle (it’s 100% artificial, no actual truffle involved) and the parmesan was just sprinkled on top as an afterthought.  It doesn’t surprise me that yelp users loved it, but that’s because I have absolutely no respect for the average yelp user’s opinion on food.

ON TO THE MAIN COURSE!

House special ribeye.
House special ribeye.
Somewhat disappointing looking filet.
Somewhat disappointing looking filet.

To be honest I think they had an off day today.  Consistency is really important in a place like this and it might have been the fact that the place was so crowded but the steaks could’ve been better.  John’s filet was cooked perfectly but my ribeye was solidly medium instead of medium rare.  A rare slipup at a place which usually has spotless service and consistency.  We ordered a few sides which was probably a mistake since after our many appetizers we were quickly growing full.  Flavor of everything was great, but I think steakhouses like undercooking their green vegetables and I enjoy mine a little bit softer.  Asparagus is one of those things where one end is usually cooked fine and the other one is almost raw and I wish they would’ve cooked them slightly more.

Spurgus.
Spurgus.
Grits so thick you need a spoo- oh.
Grits so thick you need a spoo- oh.

I’m no grits expert, but these were so thick they were almost like mashed potatoes made of corn.  Really delicious, but I don’t think that’s the point of grits.

John immediately said LET’S GET TWO DESSERTS and I had to refuse even though I really wanted a picture of the banana cream pie.  We instead split their special dessert for the evening, a cinnamon roll bread pudding.  After we finished it, they asked us what we thought of it, as it is a new thing the chef is trying.  It was really delicious, but a cinnamon roll is already amazing.  Soaking it in custard is not really showing off either the cinnamon roll or the custard in its best light.  I think there’s work to be done here.  It also did not look appetizing at all to be honest.

Tasted way better than it looked.
Tasted way better than it looked.

Overall I’d say Delmonico stumbled a little bit from its usual self.  Places that serve huge parties night after night like this need consistency to really stand out and I can’t say they were consistent with what I’ve come to expect from them.  At $270 after tip for two people, you should almost always opt for an off strip place unless you’re celebrating something.  Even though I really enjoy them from time to time, strip restaurants are at the point where there’s almost always an equal or better option for cheaper in a shitty strip mall down the street.

Delmonico Steakhouse

The Venetian, The Grand Canal Shoppes, 3355 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109

Phone: (702) 414-3737

Hours: Open daily  5:00 – 10:00 pm