Friday, March 14, 2008

review of craftsteak in las vegas

my husband and i recently took a trip to las vegas and tucson, arizona. we had a fantastic time, and pretty much ate our way through the two destinations! while we were in vegas we stayed at the mgm grand (which is a lovely hotel if you are in the market for one) and also at the green valley ranch (which is a seriously amazing place for those of you who like to be pampered.) the first night in town we decided that we wanted to see a show and go out for a spectacular dinner. we chose ka, the cirque show, and craftsteak, the tom colicchio steak joint, both at the mgm. craftsteak was, to put it mildly, mind-blowing. i can think of nothing bad to say, they need no improvements, and they left nothing to be truly was a religious foodie experience.


we decided very last minute that we wanted to eat at craftsteak. we'd toyed with some other locations, and even visited them in person to check out their menus...but ultimately decided that a nice cut of meat and a good bottle of wine would be the best choice. because of the lateness of our decision, there was no room left in the restaurant proper...however, the very helpful staff assured us that they would find room for us, and sat us in the lounge section. at first i was concerned that it would be crowded and noisy, but i soon realized that even the lounge was relaxing and enjoyable. i was seated on a comfy couch with fluffy pillows at a low table, and my husband was across from me in a proper chair. there was plenty of room between each table, which was refreshing. the lighting was just what restaurant lighting should be, low and moody. there were candles everywhere, and the overall mood was relaxed, almost aristocratic, and sophisticated.


the service was exceptional. as i mentioned above we were in the lounge, and at one point it did get noisy while a party was waiting to be seated...but our waitress came over and assured us that they would be seated within five minutes and asked if we were alright with the noise level. i really appreciated this consideration (even more so based on an experience that i had at another establishment, which i will have to impart at another time) and we assured her that we were fine. the service was prompt, courtious, and close to invisible. supurb.

ahhhh, finally, my favorite part! i knew what i'd be ordering before i even looked at the's what i always order when i'm in a steak restaurant; filet mignon. i know it's unoriginal, but i could care less...i love it and no one will ever talk me into getting another cut of meat.
to start: i ordered the kobe beef tartare, and my husband got the lobster bisque. the kobe beef tartare rocked our world. words can not describe just how good this was. it literally melted on my tongue. this was not a tiny pile of beef either, it was over 1/4 pound of carefully chopped, seasoned, and garnished prime beef. it was topped with the classic raw egg (which i could tell was organic), and served with parmesan toasts. vj's bisque was lovely, creamy, and full of large lumps of lobster. we shared, of course, but eventually both gravitated to the tartare. this isn't meant to be a slight on the bisque, it was exceptional, but nothing could top the tartare.
main course: we ordered the lobster risotto (because "why not?") to share and each ordered a filet mignon, both were ordered rare. the filet was exceptional, perfectly seared, seasoned, and served on a hot plate with a slew of fresh thyme alongside. i was so happy to see that they got rare just right (as so many places fail in this area) and happily sliced off sliver after sliver of perfect meat. my husband rarely made a noise, save a few grunts of whole-hearted approval. the risotto was insane. more lobster, which was perfectly prepared, and the rice was seasoned and cooked just perfectly. (the photo above is of the "doggie bag" we had to take when we were unable to finish all of our food!)


the wine list was extensive to say the least...we were truly overwhelmed. we are not accustomed to paying a small fortune on a bottle (nor are we wealthy enough to do to) and usually prefer to spend more on food than wine - though we do recognize that wine is an important part of the experience and would never want to diminish it's importance. however, i also knew that any bottle we chose would be wonderful, as their sommolier was clearly a man of good taste and clear vision. we ultimately decided on a petite syrah, and it was delicious...warm and fruity.


the price was, as expected, very high. though, i can honestly say it was worth it. after all was said and done, with food, wine, and tip, we left behind just under $320.

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