Ah, steak. What would a trip to the Entertainment Capital of the World be without it? A visit to a Las Vegas steakhouse is as much a part of the quintessential Vegas experience as poker, Cirque du Soleil shows, and Champagne. This is because an exquisitely prepared filet, like Sin City itself, is the ultimate symbol of pure, unapologetic indulgence. Vegas is the place where diets and budget-dining can be purposely forgotten. Tonight you’re here to feel alive, embrace luxury, and indulge your taste buds in a thick buttery porterhouse or a juicy, pepper-crusted filet mignon.
Smith & Wollensky
At three stories tall, the green and white building with the American flags flying overhead is so massive and stately looking, it’s easy to imagine it being mistaken for an American embassy or boutique hotel. A hostess greets you, asking if you’d like to sit inside or at the sidewalk cafe. The opportunity to people watch is tempting, but you choose inside, where it’s cool and quiet.
First established in New York in the 1970s, Smith & Wollensky has since expanded to locations in nine cities across the US. As the waiters proudly inform you, their restaurant is the only national steakhouse that butchers and dry-ages its steak on site. While many may come for the steak (their Cajun marinated bone-in rib eye is excellent), the sides are the true stars of the menu. The truffled macaroni & cheese and creamed spinach are comfort-food perfection. End your meal with a slice of the airy coconut cake—and be sure to ask for extra passion fruit sauce.
Visiting Delmonico at the Venetian Resort and Casino is like stepping into a French Riviera bistro in the 1970s. Its cream colored walls, vaulted ceilings, and mid-century modern furnishings give the restaurant a relaxed, serene vibe. You feel immediately comfortable, and a world away from the chaotic bustle of the Strip that lies just outside Delmonico’s French glass doors.
Although the filet medallion served at Delmonico is very good—tender as a piece of moist cake and deeply flavorful—the juicy yet firm and marbled bone-in rib eye is the clear winner. It’s easy to see why it’s the most popular steak on the menu: it’s melt-in-your-mouth good and uniquely seasoned with Louisiana cajun spices. This comes at no surprise, as everything on the menu is served with a heavy touch of creole flavoring.
THE Steak House
Enter THE Steak House and you’re immediately confronted with two things: large slabs of meat hanging from the ceiling, and the sound of Frank Sinatra singing “Strangers in the Night.” This joint looks like it was made with Ol’ Blue Eyes in mind. Dimly lit, with plush red leather booths and gold-framed paintings depicting Midwest farmlands, the restaurant has an old-timey vibe. It seems out of a place in a casino like Circus Circus, a resort more known for its cotton candy and corn dogs than its filet mignon. But the steak is good, tender and seasoned only slightly so as not to mask the meat’s rich flavor.
Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse
If James Bond had opened a Las Vegas restaurant, Del Frisco’s Double Eagle would be it. Popular with locals for its off-the-Strip location, convenient parking, and famous lobster macaroni and cheese, Del Frisco’s is as sophisticated and refined as the fictional British spy that inspired some of its decor. As you wander past the cigar room, piano bar lounge, and wine cellar, you can’t help but feel some of the elegance rubbing off on you; you find yourself walking a little taller. On the way to your seats, the hostess shows you the famous “James Bond Table.” With the press of an unseen button, the table suddenly lifts and opens up, revealing a hidden, 007-themed wine cellar. An array of fancy wines emblazoned with the face of Bond wink back at you as the familiar movie theme music plays from invisible speakers.
Chow down on the rib-eye steak and the bacony potatoes au gratin, and once you’ve polished off your martini, treat yourself to the lemon cake—but be prepared to share or take some home.