Steakhouses in Las Vegas are so ubiquitous that the announcement of yet another is rarely worth noting. And yet the city has been abuzz with anticipation for the opening of Carversteak—the Las Vegas debut from Carver Road Hospitality—at Resorts World Las Vegas. Better still, after the invitation-only Grand Opening on December 29 (during which I joined Shannon Stewart and Ava Christie in the center booth in the VIP room, across from that of Kate Beckinsale, and between those of Paris Jackson and Marshawn Lynch, the latter of whom one assumes was just there so he didn’t get fined), the buzz has not abated.
I returned to Carversteak a couple of nights later, with my pal, Dawn Hume, before we went to see Katy Perry PLAY, also at Resorts World. Dinner and a show if you will (and you should). I’m sure there’s some adage about a restaurant only being as good as those who run it. That said, I’d be hard-pressed to find a more impressive line-up of Las Vegas hospitality gurus than that assembled by co-founders Sean Christie and Nelson Famadas, including two of my favorites, Francesco Lafranconi and Oliver Wharton.
In reimagining the classic upscale steakhouse experience, DesignAgency conceived a rich mid-century modern aesthetic with a palette inspired by the Las Vegas landscape, some highlights of which include a massive 70-foot-long stone bar of honed quartzite, a dining room featuring a rotating curation of digital and traditional artworks, two unique experiences-cum-private dining rooms (The Knife Shop and The Whiskey Room), and the pièce-de-résistance, a 3,500-square-foot terrace—complete with the Patio Bar, the Garden Private Dining Room, and the Garden Lounge—that, while overlooking the Strip, is surrounded by lush landscaping, arbors, and blooms, positively beckoning one to take a load off and smell the proverbial flowers.
But enough about the décor. Let’s talk turkey, or rather, steaks. Executive Chef Daniel Ontiveros (who’s worked in the kitchens of such renowned chefs as David Myers, Michael Mina, Thomas Keller, and Joël Robuchon) has filled the menu with preparations of dry-aged American steaks from artisan producers, Japanese-certified Wagyu steaks, and even some clever vegan options for those who opt to partake of that lifestyle.
Dawn and I started with a pair of salads: The Fork-and-Knife Caesar for Mrs. Hume, and the Baby Iceberg Wedge for me. We specified that both be chopped, and as such, I was unable to get photos of their proper presentations; but as you can see from the images, the lettuce was crisp, and the dressings were creamy. As for the taste, both were quite yummy.
It was around this time that we started kibbitzing about how much we enjoyed the cut crystal glassware and the tables with their brass trim. Also, the chairs were almost too comfortable, but more on that, later.
As our appetizers, we opted for a pair of side dishes and went with the Mac & Cheese Gratin (with cavatappi pasta and aged cheddar) and the Loaded Potato Croquettes (with sour cream & chive dip). I enjoyed the Mac & Cheese a lot, as it was very cheesy, and it had been prepared so that the cheese was crispy around the edges. And those potato croquettes were nice, but when eaten with that savory sour cream and chive dip, they were elevated to utter deliciousness.
We decided to go halfsies on the Lobster en Croûte (a 2lb Maine lobster wrapped in puff pastry with lobster-cognac cream), and I’m glad we did because while it was prepared beautifully, it’s a bit rich, and a little Lobster en Croute goes a long way. But boy, was it good!
Because we’d been having such a fantastic time, we’d neglected to take note of the time; so, when our server inquired as to whether we’d like to return for our desserts after the show, we replied in the affirmative.
Upon our return, we were led to a cozy corner table and, once ensconced in those oh-so-comfy chairs (in which we remained for more than an hour), partook of the Cookie Monster, which was a trio of cookies with googly eyes (which seemed especially fitting as we’d just come from Katy Perry PLAY), and best of all, a thermos of hot chocolate. Now, I’m a bit of a cocoa aficionado, and I daresay my favorite cup of hot chocolate is the Chocolate Chaud l’Africain at Angelina on the Rue Rivoli (though, in a pinch I’ll gladly settle for a few bags of Swiss Miss mixed with hot coffee). But I’ve gotta give it up for whomever the chocolatier is at Carversteak, because that hot cocoa was thick and velvety and had a whisper of spice (cinnamon, or nutmeg, perhaps?), and was very chocolatey without being too sweet. I recall looking at Dawn—with what she has since described as a huge smile on my face—and declaring that drinking that cocoa was akin to being hugged from the inside. And really, what’s better than that?
Resorts World Las Vegas
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Get into it!