Tag Archives: strip

BURGER BAR: Better late than burger.

Jimmy checks out Burger Bar at Mandalay Place, a restaurant that’s been around for forever, but has it maintained the initial hype!?

Reviewers:
Jimmy Fricke (@jvfricke on twitter, @jimmyeatsvegas on instagram)
Matt Suelflow

Editing:
Thomas Keeling (SrslySirius)

Sound:
bensound.com
intro: funky suspense
outro: funny song

Photos used in the video:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Extra:

MOMOFUKU: Get hype. Hype got.

Fairly often, a new strip restaurant opens up with a big celebrity chef named stamped on it.  Rarely will the chef ever go there, and the food suffers as a result.  It makes sense to cash in on your newfound celebrity if you’re one of these people, but those are the exact restaurants that give Vegas its negative reputation of overpriced tourist trap places.  Reasonable enough restaurants, but nothing worth the money and often boring and underseasoned food that caters towards rich and trendy people.

I’d heard tell that Momofuku in NYC is the real deal.  David Chang is, by all accounts, a brilliant chef.  He has a sterling reputation, but is by no means nearly as famous as Gordon Ramsay or some of the Food Network darlings.  I was super excited to try his restaurant with its simplified menu at his Las Vegas location and see for myself if I can add another actually good strip restaurant to my list.

momofuku las vegas
Who let that homeless guy in here?

The restaurant is located on the less traveled 2nd floor of the Cosmopolitan off in a corner next to the chandelier bar.  It’s a gorgeous space, and I can imagine the rent on this place to be astronomical.  The menu has a few extremely expensive items nestled among some reasonably priced entrees, and though I love truffles as much as the next guy I stuck to the mainstays and most of the popular dishes that Momofuku is somewhat famous for since I’ve never been to the original restaurant.

I required something raw.

Everything is served family style and they just bring things out as they’re ready, so the first thing we received was sashimi of citrus cured fluke and pickled plum and seaweed.  I’m a huge citrus fan in general, and the fish was cut thick enough that it had a really satisfying bite to it.  There was a lot of acid and a lot of sourness which went along really well with the fish, which was a good choice.  The powerful flavors didn’t overpower the flavor of the fluke and everything meshed extremely well together, which is sometimes hard to do with sashimi.  I told my friend Matt that it was a good start, and I was excited for the dishes to come.

Literal heavenly light is shining down on this.

Excitement was appropriate, because the chicken katsu with pepper gravy was absolutely the best new dish I’ve had in months.  Simply good fried chicken cutlets were covered in a thick, peppery gravy  that looks like it’s going to weigh down your stomach and make you regret finishing the plate, but the acidic bite of sherry vinegar completely cuts through the heaviness of the sauce and makes it an absolute joy to spoon up once the chicken is all gone.  It was absolutely impossible to put down the spoon until we ate all the sauce.  This dish is simply a must order.

This looks like skull island.

In this enigma of a bowl are up there as the best brussels sprouts I’ve ever had.  Seemingly deep fried for intense caramelization and covered in a vinaigrette with possibly fish sauce, these are crispy treasures that give just enough bite to satisfy a sprouts fan.  Not necessarily the most inventive dish, but sometimes you just want something done extremely well and this bowl delivers.

This bowl has quite the pedigree.

The ramen came very highly recommended and was Matt’s absolute “must try” dish.  It wasn’t hard to see why; fairly typical noodles but in a tonkatsu broth packed full of savory goodness with a soft poached egg that popped with the slightest touch.  And instead of an anemic piece of pork belly with unrendered, unappetizing chunks of fat, braised pork was in the bowl adding a small layer of melted pork fat to each bite.  Super simple, but absolutely delicious.  At $18, one of the more expensive ramen dishes I’ve ever had but worth every penny.  I can imagine coming here just for this.  Matt concurred.

HE’S NOT HOMELESS, HE’S MATT.

The service was fine, but a little spotty at times.  Near the end of our meal it took a frustrating amount of time to get someone over to us to be able to tell them that we had yet to receive our (intended appetizer) pork belly buns which are renowned in NYC.  After a few minutes, we had a nice little steamer tray set down along with a little squeeze bottle of sauce for each bite.  A nice touch!  Sometimes the sauce is so good you need a little more than they give you.  And boy, was this the case.

WORTH THE WAIT IMO.

My problem with pork buns generally is that the buns are big, doughy and overpower the sometimes paltry amount of meat and sauce within.  Absolutely not the case here.  Beautifully made pillowy buns acted as a taco shell for crispy, well rendered pork belly and cucumber and a hoisin sauce that sent literal shudders through me.  The chili sauce on the side added an acidic bite as well, and the whole thing felt like an out of body experience.  I can definitely see why these are so famous and they’re yet another dish I can’t see skipping when I come here.

All told, aside from a somewhat slow end to the meal due to inattentive servers, I was blown away by the quality of the experience and $135 for two people after tip was well within what I would consider to be a steal for a strip restaurant.  I absolutely can’t wait to go back again and try out more of the menu.

Momofuku

2nd floor of the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas

Open daily 5:30 – 10:30 PM

GIORDANO’S: Tastes like home.

It’s not a casserole.

I can hear you snickering through the screen.  Chicago style pizza is NOT a casserole.  It’s not a lasagna, it’s not a joke.  IT’S OURS OKAY STOP MAKING FUN OF IT.  Jon Stewart famously said “it’s not only not better than New York Pizza… it’s not pizza.”

Listen, if I’m gonna grab a quick bite to eat and keep walking on the way to a hipster meetup, New York style pizza is great.  It’s thin, it’s tasty and easy to eat.  Chicago pizza is difficult.  It takes a while to cook, you kinda need a fork to eat it, it’s so filling that one of them can feed a whole family… but these are not necessarily bad things.  Chicago is a much more laid back city, one where sit down meals with your family are common and a 45 minute wait to get your food is a good time to talk and be with loved ones (as well as devour delicious sides).

You can rattle off 5 great pizza places in every city and all of them will be either authentic Italian or New York style pizza.  Very rarely will you find a real Chicago pizza outside of Illinois.  However, a new day has risen, my friends.  In the outdoor mall at Bally’s just off of Flamingo and Las Vegas BLVD, one of the mainstays of Chicago pizza has opened up a newcomer for the crown.

BEHOLD.

giordanos chicago pizza
Err, wait.

Let’s try again.

BEHOLD.

giordanos chicago pizza
Slightly better.

I won’t lie, I was underwhelmed at the outdoor seating offered here.  I was blown away that they’re open 7 days a week from the morning to 2 AM, mostly because I expected a place serving midwest style food to happily close at a reasonable 9-10 PM.  But the seating itself makes no sense in a volatile weather place such as Las Vegas.  The roof over the seating area isn’t solid, so when there’s wind or rain it blows right through.  There’s also dust everywhere, to the point I had to clean off my place when I sat down.  And on a cold night like the one I visited, the considerable 40 minute wait felt twice as long.  I remarked to our server what a bad decision they made to make the only seating outside and he told me everyone was saying the same thing. (MAKE NOTE OF THIS)

We quickly ordered a side of parmesan garlic fries and a small stuffed pizza with sausage and onions (sausage is a must with Chicago style pizza).  The fries were quick to come out, and we were happy to munch down on them to stay warm.

giordanos chicago pizza
The fanciest ranch dressing garnished dish ever.

Solid fries, though I’m sad they came with a side of ranch dressing.  The garlic was pretty well caramelized, to the point of getting stuck in your teeth when you tried to chew it.  If they fix the garlic, they’ll be pretty damn good fries.

After way too much talk about how cold it was and how we wish they had an indoor seating area, our pizza arrived.

BEHOLD AGAIN.

giordanos chicago pizza
CLICK FOR AMBIENT MUSIC

I don’t know how anyone can look at such an item and not be immediately filled with carnal thoughts.  It tasted as good as it looks, obviously.  There are places that sell Chicago style pizza frozen that can get most of it almost perfect, but the one thing that they can’t get right is the crust.  The crust in this pizza was fantastic; crumbly, tender but still tough and thick enough to hold together this huge slice of cheese, sauce and stuffed toppings.  Eaten with a knife and fork for true flair.  Two adult men were stuffed after 2 pieces each with 2 pieces left to take home afterwards.

giordanos chicago pizza
BUT HOW CAN YOU MAKE IT HOME?

The whole meal was less than $20 a person with tip, making it one of the best values on the strip.  With such prime real estate, you would expect this place to be significantly more expensive.  If only they had reasonable seating, I would come here a few times a month!  Alas, I left satisfied but ultimately sad that I would probably not come here too often to dine because of exposure to the elements.

Imagine my surprise a few days later when picking up a few carry out pizzas for a get together.

giordanos chicago pizza
WHAT
giordanos chicago pizza
THE FUCK

There’s an upstairs!  I’m a fucking moron!  There’s a huge bar and an absolutely beautiful interior!  The servers let me go on and on about what a terrible decision not having an indoors was!  It took me about 10 minutes for me to be able to get my foot out of my mouth when I realized this.

After this discovery, I see no reason not to rate this one of the absolute best restaurants for the money on the strip.  Open until 2 AM, I think this is a must visit for anyone who likes Chicago pizza and a good spot for simply anyone who likes food.  I’ll be back a lot.

Giordano’s

Inside Bally’s outdoor mall area.

11AM – 2AM daily

Carryout available.

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.

steakhouse
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.

steakhouse

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.

steakhouse
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.

steakhouse
HASSAAAAAN CHOP
steakhouse
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.

steakhouse
Forgettable creamed spinach.

‘Nuff said.

steakhouse
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.

steakhouse
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.

steakhouse
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.

steakhouse
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

VIVA LAS AREPAS: Viva, uh, this place.

What the hell is an Arepa?

I’m still not quite sure, but I can say it’s pretty damn delicious.  I’d never heard of this Venezuelan treat until just before setting foot inside this place.  It’s just north of the Stratosphere on the BLVD and most Latin-American restaurants in this area are dingy places that make you want to call the health department.

What a surprise this was.  A glorious, very welcome surprise.

I don’t know what that anthropomorphized sphere is supposed to be but whatever she’s selling, I’m buying.

The place is really clean inside, alarmingly so.  Tons of people working in the back which makes sense because it was fairly busy for the time we showed up.  We ordered a ton of stuff in an attempt to find the best food in the house but I really had no idea what I was ordering when I did so.  Just a tip: ask for help.  I’m sure they do it constantly but they know what the good stuff is.

Like a Venezuelan Chipotle.

Turns out an Arepa is basically a crispy english muffin stuffed with meat, veggies and sauce.  They also have some empanadas that were really fantastic, but the sheer variety of Arepas available make sure everyone is going to be happy.  We got shredded beef, shredded pork and kind of a Venezuelan chicken salad with avocado and cilantro.

They’re not reinventing the wheel, but this is some next level comfort food.  This is basically halfway between a taco and a big ol sub sandwich.  The Arepa crunches with every bite despite the soft juicy filling and they do not skimp on the meat or toppings.  Each one is about five bucks each and we had serious trouble finishing the 5 we ordered between the two of us.  Will definitely go back and get two at most next time, maybe just one if I’m getting an empanada (pfft yeah right).

The fried plantains were just fine and the fried thing on the left in the picture below was kind of a sad dessert thing that we don’t need to discuss.  The hot sauces available, however, were really great and I could add a lot and had a nice burn going without it ruining the meal.

I instantly regret this decision.

This mountain of food filled me and my friend up for the rest of the day.  This easily could’ve fed 3-4 people for less than $40.  If you’re walking the strip and want something new, Viva Las Arepas might just be the place to be.

1616 South Las Vegas Blvd. #120

Las Vegas, Nevada 89104

Monday-Sunday  8:00am to 12:00am

TABLE 10: Table harder.

Busting out of poker tournaments sucks.  Tasting menus make things suck less.  So after I lost some money I decided to go with a friend to dinner at Emeril’s more traditional restaurant Table 10.  The Emeril in front of this one looks fresh out of his hit 90’s tv show instead of the one being threatened beside Delmonico.

Look at that smug immortal bastard.
Look at that smug immortal bastard.

The ambiance of the restaurant is very relaxed, almost like a country club.  It’s a place you could have a business dinner or a place to go after a show.  It’s also a place they might be hiding Emeril’s fountain of youth because you DAMN WELL KNOW HE DOESN’T LOOK THAT GOOD NOW.

This was a true tasting menu where you get a few limited choices on what to order and they bring you small enough portions that you don’t overload by the time the meal is done.  Between the two of us, my friend and I ordered completely different items and shared because if you’re going to taste a menu, taste the whole menu.

First course, I ordered a Caesar and he ordered the Gumbo.  The Caesar was a weird mix between being nontraditional and traditional and I didn’t enjoy how it was mostly just one big piece of lettuce.  A butter knife doesn’t cut this leaf particularly well and the dressing wasn’t well incorporated.  I liked the crouton with the anchovy but probably would’ve preferred it if it were actually incorporated together the way a real Caesar is.

You don’t win friends with salad.
You don’t win friends with salad.

The Gumbo was Emeril’s classic that we had at Delmonico.  It’s very good, probably less chunky than I would like with no real big pieces of meat to speak of.  But the broth is extremely tasty and no complaints on flavor of the roux.

Gumbo is everyone’s friend.
Gumbo is everyone’s friend.

For the second course, I was very excited to order what they call the Mushroom “Vol au Vent” which is generally a pastry stuffed with meat.  The mushroom was very hearty and I didn’t really miss the meat at all (“LIAR!”).  The pastry was seriously unimpressive though and tasted like it had been sitting out for a long time, as if they made them all ahead of time and it had started to grow stale.  Instead of collapsing and being warm in the middle, they were a bit chewy and not in the good way.  Also, if you’re going to put microgreens on something, please actually put it on the food instead of leaving us to guess if we are supposed to eat it or not.

Hahaha no but seriously why aren’t these better.
Hahaha no but seriously why aren’t these better.

My friend Kevin spotted the candied bacon extremely fast and I was excited to see what they did with it.  I’m happy to report they actually just used some extremely high quality ingredients and let it shine.  We got 3 huge pieces of bacon steak, essentially, served with a very high quality maple syrup that makes me wish even more that I was born Canadian.  Definitely one of the best things we tried and I would gladly come back just for this.  Actually, for the price you can order it off the regular menu this might be a new thing for me.

[BACON JOKE #4752] [/BACON JOKE]
[BACON JOKE #4752] [/BACON JOKE]
For the mains, I decided to order the chicken with gnocchi and gravy and Kevin went for the arctic char with polenta.

It might have been the best chicken dish I have ever had in a restaurant.  Most places put 0 effort into their chicken because they know only super boring people order it, but they certainly poured their heart out onto this plate.  The gnocchi were perfectly made (though I am surprised to see it in such a restaurant because I don’t think they’re particularly Cajun) and the gravy was luscious.  The chicken had a super thick piece of crispy skin on top and the meat was surprisingly not overcooked.  I stay away from poultry for the most part because most places overcook it just to be on the safe side but this chicken was very moist and they avoided turning it into that chalky texture you get at grandma’s house during Thanksgiving.  A clear star.

This dish is the comic relief in a buddy cop movie.
This dish is the comic relief in a buddy cop movie.

Arctic char is a cool fish and very similar to salmon.  It’s sustainable which is pretty awesome and something I can give them extra points for, but this is one of the most bizarre dishes I’ve had in recent history.  A tiny piece of fish sitting in a very rich polenta surrounded by olives.  The olive aroma was in pretty much everything which for this particular dish was a complete turnoff.  Granted, I’m not a fan of just popping olives like candy anyway but I don’t see what they were going for here exactly.  The fish was well cooked and had crispy skin and the polenta was rich and tasty but I couldn’t take a single bite without tasting olive.  Also, that fish portion is seriously small.  It was probably 1/6 the amount of meat if not less than the chicken on the other plate and is significantly less satisfying.

They call it sustainable but this is ridiculous.
They call it sustainable but this is ridiculous.

Kevin ordered green beans.  Here’s a picture.

MORE LIKE HAS-BEENS HAHAHA I'LL SHOW MYSELF OUT
MORE LIKE HAS-BEENS HAHAHA I’LL SHOW MYSELF OUT

Emeril is apparently quite known for his Banana Creme Pie and I am a fan of pretentious french spelling of the word ‘cream.’ so I figured we had to pick that one.  I’m also a big fan of carrot cake and was very happy to find that it was the best carrot cake I’ve had in recent memory.  It came with candied pecans that offered a very nice crunch to go with the soft and moist cake which is always a pleasure to find in something that you expect isn’t going to have much texture contrast.  The banana cream pie was very solid but to be honest I think it suffered from having very large banana slices in it which offered a texture contrast that just wasn’t nearly as pleasure to experience.  The caramel on top was great though and I certainly wouldn’t complain about having this served to me at the end of any nice meal.  Both slices were huge though and I didn’t technically finish either one (Don’t believe Kevin, he’s a liar.)

And for dessert: diabetes. May I interest you in some coffee or insulin?
And for dessert: diabetes. May I interest you in some coffee or insulin?

There are a lot of great tasting menus around town that may run you well over $100 but tonight we enjoyed all the above dishes for the very fair price of $65 each after tax/tip.  If you’re ever at the Palazzo and want a meal that isn’t going to break the bank this is likely one of the better options.  I should bust out of poker tournaments more often.

Address: The Grand Canal Shoppes, 3327 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109

Phone: (702) 607-6363

Hours: Open daily · 11:00 am – 10:00 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