There’s no place like home – Delmonico Steakhouse (The Venetian, Las Vegas)

Is there anywhere more romantic than the grand canals of Venice for an evening meal?   This was a second visit for me to Delmonico but it meant so much more as my fiancé was experiencing the wonderful food that a Emril Lasagsse restaurant offers.  Not dissimilar to James Martin, Emril learnt his craft in pastry but swiftly moved on to become a world class chef, passionate about ingredients.

Delmonico Steakhouse opened in 1999 and whenever I speak to fellow foodies while on holiday in Vegas they always rave about this place.  It comes as no surprise that one of the best restaurants in Las Vegas is located it this stunning hotel.

We booked for 9pm and had a short walk from the Mirage and wandered through the beautiful italian styled casino.  We arrived slightly ahead of our reservation and joined other diners in the bar area while our table was prepared.

We ordered some pre-dinner drinks and within 5 minutes our hostess led us into the warmly lit dining room.  I often wondered why this function is needed as the young lady did not carry our drinks not really very hospitable.wp-1477429326702.jpg

We were seated in the first room in with a wonderful view of the main restaurant (the kitchens are tucked away here, so no viewings of the Chefs’ in full throttle). We were welcomed to our table by our waiter, Drew, who advised us of the house specialities for that evening and that Michael would be our Maitre’d guiding us through the menu until our order.

The wine list was the most extensive I have ever seen with plenty of choices for the high rollers.   We selected a reasonable priced Argentine Malbec Casarena Reserva 2012 for $45.00.  This wine is produced by Casarena in Mendoza, the largest region in Argentina for the Malbec grape and this wine is known for its big sweet black fruit flavours.

We moved onto the menu, which as you would expect was not as extensive, but offered an excellent selection to please any carnivore.  For us it was an easy choice, we’d come to a steakhouse and we were not going to take a different direction other than maybe a lighter starter.  wp-1486642771230.jpg

The Maitre’d, Michael returned to take our order of Vine Ripened Heirloom Tomato Salad ($18) to share followed by a glorious Chateaubriand with asparagus and smashed garlic potatoes.

Anyone with OCD look away now, as the sight of this cucumber being slightly right of centre might drive you nuts.   wp-1486634843901.jpgThe amouse-bouche (or if you prefer hors d’eouvre ,some say the former is for a bite size portion but I thought the latter was supposed to be bite sized too) was a slice of cucumber with a blackeye-pea humous; a welcome palate cleanser between our cocktails and malbec.

The bread served gave us a smile and a slight chuckle as their “Mushroom Bread” (as announced)  was indeed a Yorkshire Pwp-1486634780945.jpgudding, maybe not the norm but then we are in Vegas and this city anyting but normal.  The Mushroom Bread was served with a salted butter so possibly the most calorific bread basket I’ve ever been had.  I love butter, but even I draw the line at buttering Yorkshire Puddings!

The atmosphere of Delmonico is warm and cosy despite the size of the restaurant and the front of house team are well-balanced in their style between formal and friendly.  Diners ranged from large tables of men only (clearly on a stag celebration; or should I say bachelor) but not so that it interfered with the smaller tables or couples.  We were within one of the larger alcoves with two other couples and as the tables have good spacing you could hear soft conversation without feeling overlooked (unlike Gordon Ramsey Steak at Paris).

The Heirloom Tomato salad was served just in time to hold off our hunger for the main event.  Priced at $18 a plate I had high expectations for this salad with slices of burrata cheese, red onions, and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, olive oil and slithers of fresh basil. Burrata, meaning buttered, gives you a wonderfully creamier texture compared to mozzarella; a cheese often served with tomatoes, but don’t confuse the two as they are different.

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The salad was divine a fabulous mix of tart, sweet and creamy and a serving more than enough for us to share. I would not normally choose tomato based salads but Delominco’s changed my view and certainly set the bar very high.

We were cleared and waited for our Chateuabriand, a fillet which was raised naturally by Creekstones Farm in Kansas (the home of my favourite fictional heroine).  The term naturally raised is what we in the UK call organic, some cattle in North America can be fed growth hormones and feed which is genetically modified.

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Drew arrived centre stage and presented the Chateaubriand and as flambeau work commenced our fellow diners were drawn to the watch the gentle basting of those rich meat juices over our fillet.  I wondered if these diners, who had opted for the larger portioned creole steaks, looked on with intrigue or envy?

This Kansas reared fillet was as good as any I have ever eaten – no wonder Dorothy uttered those immortal words “there’s no place like home”

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The accompaniments were just perfect; the asparagus was crisp and perky in contrast to the smashed potatoes which oozed a salty butter and warm garlic flavour.  As I write this review a month on I swear I can recall every tender bite and flavour of this simple yet glorious meal.

Despite being tempted with a wonderful sweet menu we had no room for dessert and politely declined.  The team at Delmonico thought better and presented us with a complementary sorbet to cleanse our pallets, a lovely touch to end a fantastic dining experience.   The bill was $198 before a gratuity, about £150 at the time of the exchange rate and worth every penny.

I sit on my couch back in England on this cold autumn day dreaming of our return to this fabulous restaurant or to another Emeril Palace.  Just maybe, if I click my heels, I too can return to savour this fine Kansas beef.

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Happy eating

 

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Ego at The Beverly Arms

It’s no Ego trip (Donaster Road, Ackworth)

This review focuses on our first impression of Ego at the Beverley Arms  and a few comments on our subsequent visits.

We booked in on day 3 of trading at the newly opened Ego at the Beverley Arms.   We arrived at 730pm and were quickly seated our drinks order was taken about 15 minutes later.  There is a lovely buzz about the place with a hint of chaos from a new team which added to the excitement and anticipation.  I am craving an excellent restaurant locally and hope this fits the bill.  However they clearly can seat over 100 covers so I hope they have the experienced team to handle this with their extensive menu.

Around 745pm we placed our order from the a la carte menu ordering the Chicken and Rosemary Pate and Moules Marinieres to start. Followed by Moroccan Lamb  Tanjine and Iberian Belly Pork, served on a bed of spinach with black pudding.

The starters arrived around 15 minutes, they were nicely presented (although no finger bowl for the Moules!). The Pate was very chilled so the flavour was lost and the toasted bread  was not really toasted.  The moules, a starter portion was served in a main course bowl #disappointment. The upside was they were juicy and the mariniere sauce was creamy with just enough garlic so they can be forgiven what I see as teething problems.  I do hope the Head Chef orders some small pots to avoid disappointing their diners.

The main course arrived an hour after our initial order.  The Moroccan Lamb was well presented in the Tajine.

Ego at The Beverly Arms
Lamb Tajine

The was no shortage of olives in this dish, the cous-cous, as promised was lightly buttered (and very fluffy), the vegetables were tasty in the rich sauce, the lamb however as tougher than you’d expect for a slow cooked dish.  There was plenty of tzatziki and corriander to compliment.  Overall this dish was tasty – however – I think it is overpriced at £15.95 considering the lack of provenance and the average quality of the lamb.

David enjoyed his belly pork – the sauce was rich and pork was tender and had a wonderfully crisp top. Again though the pricing is high, you can find similar dishes and more plentiful plates for less (consider this is not served with any vegetables or carbohydrates).

The Dauphinoise Gratin was a fraud it was more like Lyonnaise Potatoes; in summary it was cheesy potatoes – not the wonderfully rich creamy garlic dish you’d expect.

Dauphinoise Potatoes
Dauphinoise Potatoes at £3,25 (that’s a desert spoon for reference)!

It was quite late by the time we finished our mains so we did not order a further course or coffee.

Overall we were not bowled over by Ego at the Beverley Arms, I think  the Ego brand may think they are stronger than they are. In my opinion they have some evolving to do.   We paid over £50 (inlcuding a small carafe of red wine) and in my experience I have paid less for more.  In future, we will dine on their special nights as their main course prices match that of a an established city restaurant with great service.

Our second experience was on the steak night this improved upon our first visit. The latest visit was for a family meal for 8 which was better than our first trip but still a long way off, stronger service is needed again the gap between starters and mains was noticible with no apologies and we were left alone far too long with regards to drinks orders as not all the party were wine drinkers.

I give Ego 3 out of 5 and hope that this soon will improve and would recommend you try but if you are too a keen cook you may wish to book in for a specials night first.

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Louise x

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