Raising the Steaks

Las Vegas Steak Houses

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This New York institution travels well to Las Vegas, where its curbside location is not as sprawling but has captured some of the saloon ambience of its East Coast counterpart. The steaks are breathtakingly big, seafood appetizers excellent and the wine list extensive. The wait staff is friendly and fun. A waiter points to his girth to back up his recommendation of a sirloin steak. The wine list asks diners to "make an offer" for Opus One.    
Forum Shops at Caesars, 3500 Las Vegas Blvd. S. 702/732-7256  
Somehow the caricatures of local Vegas characters on the walls of The Palm in the Forum Shops at Caesars don't have the same impact as those at the original New York Second Avenue version. There's little else to hoot about, though, if you're a fan of this chain. Same saloon atmosphere, juicy steaks, pastas, fish dishes and enormous lobsters. Humidor leans toward the mild side.    
The Venetian, 3355 Las Vegas Blvd. S. 702/414-3737  
This Emeril Lagasse restaurant in the Venetian was named for the Delmonico of F. Scott Fitzgerald's New York, but only after the celebrity chef opened a New Orleans eatery of the same name. That must explain the hint of Creole on the menu. It doesn't account for the stark Holden and Dupuy décor with its Tuscan-modern overtones. Never mind. The touch of schizophrenia works. Steaks are aged wet and dry. The wine list includes some umpteen-thousand-dollar stunners alongside Emeril's own Red-Red Wine.    
New York-New York, 3790 Las Vegas Blvd. S. 702/740-6450  
Appropriately placed in New York-New York Resort & Casino, Gallagher's is faithful to the style of the Big Apple original, if not to the rundown atmosphere. Chunks of steak hang in meat lockers at the entrance, a testament to the exacting wet-and-dry aging process the restaurant uses. Photos of sports and entertainment figures of old (Babe Ruth, Gary Cooper) hang in frames on the wall. Diners sit in half-round banquettes.    
The Four Seasons, 3960 Las Vegas Blvd. S. 702/632-5120  
The steak house at the Four Seasons, while not as spectacular as Charlie Palmer's Aureole in Mandalay Bay, is still a respite from the clubby entrants in the genre. Only three cuts are offered of steak (filet mignon, bone-on strip steak and rib eye) on a menu that includes caramelized chicken, lamb sirloin and halibut with prawn ravioli.
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