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Where to go for a top-notch steak in Vegas, NEED HELP PLEASE!!

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Hello fellow CHers, I have been reading tons of posts and checking out tons of menus, and I am starting to feel extremely overwhelmed!!! Going to Vegas in a few days, really want to go to an amazing steakhouse. Sure, I've been to the usual suspects elsewhere: Morton's, The Palms, Smith & Wollensky, blah blah blah. Don't get me wrong, I like 'em all cuz I always appreciate a good piece of meat. Most outstanding steak I've had to date was at David Burke's Primehouse in Chicago where I had a 40 day dry-aged bone-in ribeye. And I've been several times to Prime 112 in Miami where they offer Japanese A5 Kobe filet, and are nice enough to let one order it at a minimum serving of 2oz.. It's to die for. So I'd like to have something to knock my socks off in Vegas. I am curious about how the American version of Wagyu/Kobe stacks up to the Japanese stuff. I am also very curious about the dry-aged BBL beef at Carnevino. So I've narrowed it down to the following:

CUT
Stripsteak
Craftsteak
Carnevino

I would like to take good sides/apps and desserts into account... it's always nice to start and end a meal with good tidbits, but primarily I would like to focus on the steak. Any votes/suggestions would be greatly appreciated, and if you wouldn't mind divulging your vote for both restaurant and which steak to order, that would be awesome. And I'm only doing ONE steakhouse while I'm in Vegas, so I want to choose wisely.

Also, I know I'm going to have to go into hock to afford this meal, but I'd like to have some sort of idea of how much it will cost. I can only find pricing online for CUT. Stripsteak lists their Japanese A5 steaks at "MP" and I can't find any pricing at all for Craftsteak. Anyone have any helpful info on this? Also, does Carnevino offer steaks that aren't listed on their online menu? I thought I read somewhere in one of the millions of posts I've read that they have steaks dry-aged for an extremely long time. And do you have to be "in with the chef" at CUT to order the "chef's tasting menu?" And what about this "butter-poached" steak at Stripsteak?

You see how I'm going crazy with this? PLEASE HELP, and thanks in advance!

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  1. I have been very happy with the steak at Stripsteak. I usually order the Angus ribeye cap. It is not on the menu, but so far they have always had it when I asked - usually the waiter says they don't know, then they go to ask the kitchen. If I recall correctly, it has been around $45, which is a real deal in a fancy Vegas steakhouse.

    They also have a Kobe ribeye cap, which is on the menu. It is a whole lot more expensive and while it is very very tasty, I find it hard to eat a whole one as it is so rich. I prefer the Angus version.

    1. Carnevino's aged (not 100% sure but think it is between 6-9 months if I remember correctly) is $100 per inch. Odd sounding yes. And if you are going to Vegas to experience something new, there is no question that you should try this. No I have not but am dying to!

      Here is the link to an excellent review of "Top 10" in LV. Enjoy! http://www.eatinglv.com/2010/02/las-v...

      1. This site has reviews of three of the restaurants you listed (missing Craftsteak) and he had the waygu at CUT and the long-aged steak at Carnevino, so the reviews will likely be helpful. Actually he has reviews on over 90 LV restaurants and after dining at five of them I feel his reviews are very trustworthy. Anyway here's the site ... he liked the CUT Japanese wagyu best but has interesting comments on the other options as well:

        http://home.comcast.net/~lasvegasvaca...

        1. You choice really depends on what you are looking for....you mentioned wanting to try american wagyu. Additionally, as you pointed out, each place prepares their meat in a particular fashion, so what you like is important as well. If you are looking for A5, I don't believe you will be able to order it. It hasn't been publicized much but there was an outbreak of hoof and mouth(this is what I've was told at least) and a huge percentage of bulls were slaughtered. All imports of japanese beef are banned currently and will not resume for a while. My butcher said most of the places are substituting Australian or New Zealand wagyu, though I've never had an Australian even come close. I’ve heard some places are still getting shipments under the radar(think small boutique sushi/kaiseki places).

          Those issues in mind, I'd say go to Carnevino for the reserva. (My choice reflects my personal love of dry aged beef). Carnevino’s aging program is literally one of the best in all of America. Arguably, several of the other places you mentioned have better sides/apps dessert. Even so, you are looking for something special and reserva would definitely qualify. LVI is correct regarding the pricing, it fluctuates depending on which cut(p-house often) is available but it is usually around $100/ per inch. It is totally unlike any other steak I’ve had and only available here currently. There is a strange pleasure in eating meat that has been sitting around since new years day. The regular beef is outstanding as well, and if you are going with a few people you could order the reserva cut and then the regular to compare. If you choose this option, call ahead to ensure that they have it that day(the meat is aged off-site in an industrial part of town). Prices for the rest of the meal http://www.carnevino.com/dinner.cfm. An aside, the wine list(Italian heavy obviously) is outstanding.

          If you are leaning towards American wagyu, any of the other options would suffice, my preference in that case being Cut.

          2 Replies
          1. re: palmdoc1

            Thanks for your replies everyone. I had already come across the Top 10 on EatingLV.com (thanks LVI), which is a nice compilation. And I took a look at Larry's reviews (thanks Willyum), but he seems to begrudge the whole steakhouse thing. And his review of Carnevino's 8 month dry aged steak has actually made me a little scared to try it. Question for PALMDOC1: How would you describe the steak? The longest dry-aged steak I've had is 40 days, and I loved it. Larry describes the 8 month old steak as "drier and chewier than a regular steak." Honestly, I don't want to pay $100/inch for musty beef jerky.

            Anyway, other places I am considering are :
            Bouchon for brunch
            Tao and/or Lavo (because I want to stick around for the nightlife)
            Pepper Mill Diner
            Raku
            Okada
            Bradley Ogden
            Burger Bar

            Any last minute advice/suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again!

            1. re: jlliu01

              I've only had the reserva a few times but I would not classify it as particularly chewy or drier than other lesser-aged steaks. Undoubtedly, there is a certain funk, but in a good way. To me, it has taken on an almost hamlike essence, the closest thing I can think of would be true jamon iberico. I guess it is harder to encapsulate in words than I previously thought-you know you are eating steak, but is has transformed into something else - Larry is right though, it is a deeper, more intense flavor. Musty, beef jerky it is not.

              Out of the others you listed, I would choose Raku every time, though it is difficult to provide a selection based on the variety of cuisines you present. Every guest I've ever taken to Raku has absolutely loved it. Yes, Raku gets a lot of love here, yelp, etc. but I think it deserves every bit.