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The Great Steak Out!

by R. H. Duke

Las Vegas is the world’s leader in gaming, dining, entertainment, boxing, shopping and spectacular resorts and casinos. How about steak houses? Although we’re not an Omaha or Dallas, great steaks abound in Vegas.

Steaks are among the most controversial of entrees... “bloody” rare vs. well done; au natural vs. sauce drenched; tender vs. textured; thick vs. thin. Bottom line: most of us like a good steak, though we may disagree on the criteria for one. I’ll tell you about some of the Las Vegas steak houses I like to frequent, but first, here’s some facts about beef...

The best aging process is 3 weeks wet and then 15 days of dry aging. All aging allows the beef to undergo enzymatic changes that softens connective tissues to tenderize the meat while intensifying flavors and deepening colors. Many people believe that Midwestern corn fed beef is the best. And beef is graded by the USDA according to uniform standards. “Prime” is the best, with “choice” and “good” following. When seeking a great steak, always insist on prime!

Here’s my list. See if you agree:

Ruth’s Chris Steak House (locations on Paradise Rd and W Flamingo Rd)
Honest to goodness flavorful steaks, broiled in a special oven at 1800 degrees and served sizzling on a heated plate. When my appetite is skewed toward a filet mignon done “suntanned” (well and crispy on the outside, but rare in the center), you’ll find me at the “Home of Serious Steaks.”

Delmonico Steakhouse (the Venetian Resort)
Celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse has “kicked it up several notches” in this elegant and contemporary restaurant. Steaks are charbroiled to enhance taste and are available with a number of gourmet appetizers, sides and New Orleans desserts. When opting for a great steak in chic ambience, my choice is Delmonico’s - one of Las Vegas’ top steak restaurants.

Golden Steer Steak House (W Sahara Ave)
Established over 40 years ago. You can order the best in standard cut steaks, in addition to Brochette of Beef (Flambe); Chateaubriand Bouquetiere; and Grenadine of Beef. St. Louis celebrity chef David Slay brings the same expertise to steaks as he does to his California-Continental style cuisine. Savoring original flavors in a combined old western and vintage Vegas setting is my idea of a unique and sentimental experience.

Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House (S Paradise Rd)
This is the high end eatery of the Lone Star Steak House group. High quality prime, aged, corn fed Midwestern beef is received twice weekly. Your steak is cut from the loin when your order reaches the kitchen. When I develop a voracious appetite, the 26 ounce bone-in strip at Del Frisco’s is my fix!

Alan Albert’s Vintage Steak House (on the Strip)
“Vintage” because at Alan Albert’s the steaks are great! High quality Midwestern grown cattle supply the beef. Here you’ll find a huge selection of cuts - upwards of 10 every night! The Le Winter family replicates vintage Vegas with old pictures on the walls. A double whammy experience, when I desire tender, juicy steaks and a bit of nostalgia.

Prime Steakhouse (Bellagio)
Webster defines the word prime “as first in quality and highest in excellence.” And that’s the epitome of Prime at Bellagio. Steak houses have been brought to a new level of fine dining with award winning chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s “jewel.” The prime steaks here are dry aged for 21 days and are available with your choice of sauce for a true gourmet touch. I always enjoy dining in elegance and I always enjoy a great steak. And it’s at Prime that these insatiable desires are satisfied. Elegance and extraordinary steaks!

OXO Steak & Seafood Eatery (Regent Las Vegas)
Master Chef and owner Gustav Mauler has rolled the dice for a wining combination. OXO is traditional in the sense that it serves up quality dry aged beef of the Angus standards, prepared over a mesquite wood fired grill. This locks in the flavors. But OXO is non-traditional with it bright colors and fun ambience. It’s a perfect place for me to savor a great steak and escape from the pressures of life!

Add your favorites to this list and we may qualify as a world leader in steak houses.

R.H. Duke is a former restaurateur and a Las Vegas restaurant critic who says “Fine Dining is one of Life’s Greatest Pleasures!”

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