Monday, 22 August 2011

The Las Vegas Epic 2011 - Delmonico Steakhouse, Venetian Hotel Review

Having eaten a light lunch of a 1lb hot dog at the poolside cafe in The Aria (I wish I had a photo of this as it really was an act of stupidity), Mrs G and I steeled ourselves for the meat fest which lay ahead of us. Last year's steak I ate at Smith & Wollensky’s was the highlight of my trip to Vegas and I'd planned on revisiting this time round. However the mere suggestion was laughed out of town when I put it to the good people over at Chowhound Las Vegas and  much debate followed. Apparently, there were tons of better establishments on The Strip which should be considered before S&W should be given any form of thought. Taking on board the experts’ opinions we settled on Delmonico steak house in The Venetian hotel (it's got canals just like in Venice), run by celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse who is highly regarded for his modern interpretation of Creole style cuisine.

The local Chowhounders had advised me that the bone-in-ribeye was the only way to go on the menu and that the sides and other dishes on offer could be a bit of a let-down. As a result of this advice and on the basis of my previous run-ins with US steaks, we decided that it would be sensible to forgo appetisers and desserts and focus solely on the main course.

Amuse bouche –Samosa of beef. Very mediocre. Crisp yet greasy pastry filled with spiced minced beef. It’s sophisticated appearance belied a taste which would not have been unexpected in most high street curry houses. It was only the garnish of coriander that elevated it somewhat.

Main course – Mrs G and I both opted for the bone-in-ribeye steak ($52). This 24oz (that’s 1.5 pounds or 680 grams just to hammer it home) mammoth cut of meat was a truly wondrous thing. All the steaks at Delmonico’s are chargrilled USDA prime aged and are served in a creole seasoning with butter. The chef recommended the steak to be cooked medium rare and so this was how we ordered it. The quality of the meat and it's cooking was apparent from the first mouthful; perfectly meaty and with a delicious charred crust every piece melted in the mouth. Woweewowow.

I think it deserves a close-up
Sides – Creamed spinach ($9) was disappointingly bland whilst sauteed garlic wild mushrooms ($9 - enoki, shitake & oyster I think) provided an excellent hit of garlic.

Delmonico’s serves up a mighty fine steak. However, I must say it was only marginally better than Smith & Wollensky’s. Much to the incredulity of the table next to us I managed to defeat the steak and see off the whole thing. Unfortunately Mrs G only managed ½ of hers. I considered helping her out until I noticed that my shirt was visibly tighter than it was at the start of the meal and that I had begun to sweat just a little bit....

A large knife for a large steak
The details:
Delmonico Steakhouse, The Venetian Hotel, 3355 Las Vegas Blvd. South, Las Vegas, NV 89109

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