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May 14, 2014 02:30 PM

The dreaded steakhouse question....

I've been reading the Las Vegas boards for a couple of years now, and I can't quite find the answer I'm looking for. We're staying at the Flamingo with no car and I need at least one good steak. Here is where it gets complicated for me. We're bringing a first timer who isn't as much of a foodie as the other three. So no doubt he will complain about spending $50 on a great steak. The other three of us would like wagyu, but will have to settle for American wagyu as there's no way of convincing him on A5. The gf and I have done Craftsteak and both enjoyed the American wagyu ribeye and filet. Is there anywhere else on the strip that I haven't seen that might be a good fit for us? I'm not a huge fan of the dry aged steaks, but haven't tried one in a Vegas steakhouse. We did Manny's in Minneapolis a couple months ago and I wasn't impressed. We leave Friday for a weekend food coma and any quick advise from some of you regulars I see would be really appreciated!! Spur the moment on past trips we did Center Cut at the Flamingo. Good nothing special. We also did Wolfgang Puck's 24 hour place at the MGM and was surprised by a good steak and veggies for like 45 bucks. Thanks in advance, I know you all hate the topic.

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  1. Carnevino - they have plenty of options for the 'foodies' and the novice. It is the best steakhouse in town.

    11 Replies
    1. re: uhockey

      Thanks, I was waiting for your two cents. I checked out your blog the other day, I didn't like blackbird as much as you did. The Publican on the other hand was one of the better meals I've had and was with another novice that time. Thanks a bunch

      1. re: uhockey

        I really loved carnevino but ramsay steak was great as well. My better half is ruined for steak after enjoying carnevino's awesome dry aged bone in ribeye.

        1. re: chrisdds98

          Have not been to Carnevino but I was at Ramsay Steak last month and thought it was surprisingly good. (had to cancel Carnevino as my dc wanted to stay at Paris) Your "non-foodie" pal will still pay $50.00+ for a steak, but there are other options, and the other three can have A5 ($35.00/oz IIRC) if you want. Starters and sides were all good.
          Don't miss the Sticky toffee pudding!

          1. re: chrisdds98

            I love Ramsay Steak as well. I like that the environment is more "fun" than a traditional steakhouse, although that definitely does not appeal to everyone. It can get a bit loud, but again, that doesn't bother me.

            1. re: jbsiegel

              Request a table upstairs to avoid the 'loud.'
              Ramsay is definitely good, but the steaks simply aren't Carnevino quality.

              1. re: uhockey

                But if I'm dining solo (and won't be able to order the special ribeye for 2), do you still prefer Carnevino to Ramsay? Ramsay has (according to their on-line menu) a rib eye cap that I'm interested to see how it compares to the calotte de boeuf that we had at Per Se.

                1. re: ellenost

                  I've eaten at the bar at Ramsay before and enjoyed it.

                  1. re: ellenost

                    Ramsay's kitchen is sourcing an inferior product to Keller. He is turning tables in a clubby scene. It is good, but if you're expecting something like that melting cap at Per Se I don't think you'll be impressed. I tried some of Matt's when he was here - I believe Rob also ordered it - and neither felt it was even on par with Luger.

                    You have a LOT of planning time - why not call Carnevino and see if they can source you a Riserva? I know how you dine, and the price isn't THAT absurd by NYC standards, so I think it might be worth it to taste 'the best' and if you want a calotte I bet they can source you that as well.

                    Still waiting to see your agenda, would gladly do Savoy with you (or wherever you like, really, as it would be nice to catch up.)

                    1. re: uhockey

                      Thanks for the info about Ramsay; guess I'll drop him from the agenda.

                      My tentative (since I still have 6 months to go, and it's too early to make reservations) agenda is:

                      Monday - Yusho
                      Tuesday - Twist (since I'm now dropping Ramsay, but maybe Carnevino)
                      Wednesday - Le Cirque
                      Thursday - Savoy (for either the Inspiration or (if they have it) White Truffle dinner).

                      (yes, I do realize that I have mostly French restaurants on my agenda). I would have loved to have gone back to e, but can't do a 2 week cancellation penalty in case of emergency.

                      BTW, since I check the Per Se menu regularly (especially for the Salon menu) the calotte de boeuf isn't being offered as much as in the past; Per Se is offering the regular ribeye from Snake River Farms which I'm sure is wonderful, but it's not the "cap" of the ribeye which is so special. I had made a special request for it for my birthday last year, and they had it for me (along with a seared foie gras prep).


                      Please let me know if anything on my agenda interests you.

                      1. re: ellenost

                        Send me an e-mail, we can discuss. :-)

          2. If the menu of the week appeals to you, one possibility is Charlie Palmer's at the 4 Seasons. 3-course prix fixe with wine for $48 a person. Here's what they are doing this week:

            6 Replies
            1. re: Dave Feldman

              I had already checked out Charlie Palmer's and it's a strong possibility. We're also not sure what show we are going to see so we may end up doing one of the pre theatre menus somewhere. I am forcing everyone to go to either Julian Serrano or Jaleo one night. Breakfast will be Bouchon and hash house I think. I need my Thomas Keller fix.

              1. re: Brettpgillespie

                Breakfast at Hash House or Hash House A Go Go? They're two different restaurants.

                1. re: Eric

                  Didn't even know that. I meant hash house a go go. After a long long night I imagine Andy's sage fried chicken will be calling my name (Or whatever it's called) cheap, hearty, and tasty.

                2. re: Brettpgillespie

                  Skip Serrano. Jaleo is superior across the board.

                  1. re: uhockey

                    Thanks again. I just thought the Julian Serrano menu was easier to comprehend for the others in the party. I would love to try Jose Andres food but I'd love to do it at "E". I'm not quite that much of a foodie! Where I live Applebee's is the bee's knee's! Disgusting!!! So anything will be very good by our hometown standards.

                    1. re: Brettpgillespie

                      ...but you have the CHOICE here, so why settle for less?

              2. Hopping on your thread...but those in the know...about 7 years ago we had a memorable steak experience at Delmonicos. We hold it up there with Peter Lugers in NY. How is it considered?

                1. Thanks everyone for the help! I'll work on Carnecino but it may be a little too upscale for 1 in the party. We do come from cattle country and we were all raised on steak and potatoes. So I want to avoid angus beef at all costs. I eat very high quality angus steaks regularly.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: Brettpgillespie

                    I think the real issue you are going to have is not quality but rather price. And to be honest, every steakhouse is different for every person. There are those that will swear by Delmonico's (on the bottom of my list) and there are those that swear by Carnevino (why is "BBL" beef superior to good old USDA Prime? The Batali media machine). But they are all hideously expensive. As a frequent tourist I am willing to pay the price because it's...Vegas. But it is getting to a point where I am not sure it is worth the $ (especially now that beef prices have gone parabolic!). I am going to SW in 3 weeks to celebrate my 2nd 25th birthday and the reason I chose SW is simple...the experience. Several in my party have never been to Vegas so I am willing to overspend to dine in one of the more surreal settings while eating one of the best steaks on the strip. It is also one of the few steakhouses that has an accomplished chef actually in the kitchen and on the line every night. That doesn't mean that IT IS the best (that saying is thrown around way too easily for such a subjective topic), but rather it is the best for me and my party.

                    My guess is that if your party is all raised in beef country the prices may be a bit hard to swallow.

                    Also as an aside I thought I read somewhere that the Wynn is one if not the only official distributor of Japan’s Kobe Beef Council in the entire United States.

                    1. re: LVI

                      LVI - you make me want to go to SW every time you post of it. I need to move it up on my agenda.

                      1. re: uhockey

                        You should....David Walzog has been "super with steak" since his early days in NYC for the Glazier's (always loved Michael Jordan's at Grand Central Station)..and every time that I've been to SW, he's been on the line.

                        1. re: uhockey

                          I will admit I cringe when I see the prices and the bill. But when I have a group of people who have never been to Vegas or who rarely go, SW is the perfect destination. Our first experience there was a bit of a disaster (2 steaks had to be sent back twice and the staff was a bit gruff and unprofessional) but that was shortly after it opened. Each time I have been back it has been spot on. Uhockey, I need to give your darling Carnevino more love. I just have a hard time with Batali. I suppose sometimes we need to put our prejudices aside, close our eyes and judge by the flavor.

                          This is going off topic so I apologize, but I will be heading to Vegas in 2 weeks. 4 days and 18 hours (who's counting) and can't wait. We have Friday night and Saturday booked. I have gone back and forth with what to do Thurs night (5 people, 1 Vegas virgin who is a serious foodie like me, and 3 that are my regular crew). We (more me) are having a tough time deciding on dinner Thursday night. I want to keep it on strip (original thought was Raku) for my friend who has never been there.

                          One thought I have is to go to Bellagio and valet park at the side entrance and either go to Circo or Olives (before we all collectively gasp at the thought of Olives, sitting on the patio at night is pretty cool not to mention that we have really never had a bad meal there) or stroll over to Caesars and eat in there (possibly Spago). I think this would be a great way for a first timer to experience Vegas while eating some good food. (I do have a resy at Yusho but the Monte Carlo IMO isn't really a great Vegas first impression and to that, I have been hearing mixed reviews of late).

                          Would love any feed back from all. 1 caveat is that we really do not want a late evening as we have a 7am tee time Fri morn. So a 2+ hour meal is out of question.

                          1. re: LVI

                            I really enjoyed my visit to Circo and have never been to Olives. Is Circo still open?? Having also not visited the Las Vegas Spago I cannot comment on it, but I always hear good things.

                            Yusho, imo, is the best of the group but I do agree that the location isn't "wow-Vegas!"

                            Personally, I'd just let your friend enjoy the strip on Fri/Sat and stick with Raku - dollar for dollar it is your 'best bet.'

                            1. re: uhockey

                              According to the website, yes. And Open Table. I thought the same for Olives as it was suppose to be closing too.

                              Agree about Raku and it is my favorite, behind LoS. But the Vegas wow will be lacking.

                    2. How about Steak House at Circus Circus? It is very affordable and the steaks are very good.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Unkle Al

                        The price spread between it and top tier Steakhouses has closed dramatically over the past several years. It used to be considerable making it a must go. Sadly it no longer is a bargain.

                        Plus we will be going to SW the next night.