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Raising the Steaks

Las Vegas Steak Houses
Jack Bettridge
From the Print Edition:
Kevin Costner, Nov/Dec 00

(continued from page 3)

An otherwise lackluster cigar list is brightened by the occasional Arturo Fuente Short Story or Hemingway. The Havana Cigar Company, which stands next door and stays open late, is a frequent choice for Ruth's Chris diners, who can drop in for cheaper smokes and walk them back to the restaurant's well-stocked bar for after-dinner drinks.    

STEAK HOUSES OF THE STRIP  

PRIME
Bellagio, 3600 Las Vegas Blvd. S. 702/693-7223  

Endowed with the best view of any Vegas steak house, Jean-Georges Vongerichten's Prime sits on the edge of the Bellagio's fountains where diners can watch the water-and-light show while they chomp away. Inside, the Michael De Santis décor--purple velvet walls, marble floor, sky blue drapes, massive chairs--seems a little fussy for those expecting a chop shop. So might the menu (heavy on sauces, and the recommended steak is a strip plastered with six pepper corns). Well then, raise your expectations. Excellent humidor. Cigars are to be enjoyed on the deck.    

SMITH & WOLLENSKY
3767 Las Vegas Blvd. S. 702/862-4100  

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.    

THE PALM
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.    

DELMONICO STEAKHOUSE
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.    


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