The Las Vegas steakhouse may seem ubiquitous, so operators are focusing on ways to differentiate their versions while still providing an age-old experience. It’s a fine line to walk, one of the Strip’s newest steakhouses, Carversteak at Resorts World, manages it ably.
The first local culinary offering from Vegas-based Carver Road Hospitality, Carversteak marks the return of talented chef Daniel Ontiveros to the Strip, where he previously worked in the kitchens of such beloved venues as Comme Ça and Bouchon. In his first position as executive chef on the boulevard, Ontiveros shines.
Start with his Wagyu Cheesesteak Bites ($21), which are really more than a bite. The mini-sandwiches to order two at a time, featuring Mornay provolone sauce aged for six months and a hint of truffle and thin slices of Wagyu swaddled in buttery buns, are a must order. Equally memorable are the caviar poppers ($22), light gougères topped with brimming salty fish roe, offset by a bright and creamy lemon-chive creme fraiche. Poppers are as refreshing as Wagyu bites are decadent.
Contrasting nicely with the meat-centric menu, there are lighter seafood options. The bigeye tuna tartare ($26) is highlighted by a aji amarillo aioli that offers a hint of heat, while Spicy Salmon with Crispy Rice ($19), Ontiveros’ play on a sushi staple, offers sweetness and spiciness. And while the lobster in crust ($95), contained in a puff pastry, is tempting and visually impressive, it’s not a lobster. Instead, keep diving into the red meat section of the menu, where a variety of cuts from reputable beef purveyors across the country await.
My favorite selection is San Rafael’s Flannery Steaks 28 Day Dry Aged Kansas City Bone-In Strip ($76), combining what I consider the pinnacle of steak characteristics: dry aging and a bone-in cut. The combination delivers just the right amount of funk with extra tenderness delivered close to the bone. But you certainly couldn’t be blamed for ordering the Australian F-1 Wagyu Striploin ($90)—not as fatty as its Japanese brethren—or the Snake River Farms 8-Ounce Rib Cap ($70), a favorite cut enjoyed renewed interest on the menus.
A steakhouse is only as good as its accompaniments, and Carver’s does not disappoint. The Crispy Bourbon Brussels Sprouts ($12) are a highlight, loaded with smoky bacon and garlicky chili for textural contrast in a mix of sweet and savory. Equally successful is the macaroni and cheese gratin ($15), the spiral cavatappi pasta swimming in six-month-aged cheddar and baked in the oven. And the Loaded Potato Croquettes ($14) is a fun take on the traditional baked potato, a portable version that comes with sour cream and chive sauce for dipping.
Refreshingly, Carver doesn’t take himself too seriously. Whether it’s the whimsical wine list with titles like “Que Sera Syrah” and quotes from SNL philosopher Jack Handey, or a box of knives presented to steak eaters before their cut arrives, emblazoned with the words “choose your weapon,” the restaurant has an ambience as laid back as a multimillion-dollar Strip venue can do it. It’s a welcome addition to the city’s big steakhouse scene.
CARVERSTEAK Resorts World, 702-550-2333. Sunday-Thursday, 5 p.m.-10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 5 p.m.-11 p.m.
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