I’m not a big Emeril fan and I didn’t like Table 10 when I ate there. But, I was craving a good steak and crab cake so I crossed my fingers and made reservations for my birthday dinner. When we checked in with the hostess she wished me a happy birthday and, after waiting a few minutes in the lounge, seated us at a table tucked away in a corner of a room that was off of the main dining area. Typically when my wife and I go out to eat we get stuck at the crappiest 2-top the restaurant has to offer. But this time around we were at a nice, big, four person table in a low-traffic area in the quietest part of the restaurant.

Now, on to the food…
Jumbo lump crab cake – a single crab cake with fennel, tomato and an herb salad on top. The crab cake was sitting on a slightly tangy, tartar-like herb emulsion. While it tasted delicious it just can’t compare to real jumbo lump crab cakes from Baltimore. The Delmonico crab cake consisted of crab mixed with a binding element that tasted like a mayonaise based mix. Personally, I prefer crab cakes with little else other than crab and some old bay. But, for a crab cake outside of Maryland, this one was still very good.

Roasted butternut squash ravioli – The ravioli, sitting in a sage brown butter sauce, was excellent. The shredded duck on top of the ravioli was excellent. But, the pairing seemed slightly odd and unnecessary. Sure, eating the two together was a sweet and savory delight that gave my taste buds a happy ending but I think the ravioli was good enough to stand on its own. The duck was a little overkill on a dish that was already fabulous.

//Amuse Bouche//
Shrimp dumpling – Our apps were served so quickly that they came out before the amuse bouche, which the waitress brought out as we started digging in to the appetizers. This may not have been proper protocol, but we still appreciated the additional dish. The waitress called it a shrimp dumpling, but it was fried like a fried wanton. Whatever you want to call it, it was served with a yuzu sauce and cucumber. It was a tasty bite — a touch of acidity and tartness with some crunch — but it felt out of place. I thought Delmonico was a southern restaurant… what are they doing serving a heavily inspired Asian dish?

Filet mignon with a side of sauteed garlic wild mushrooms – We weren’t all that hungry so we split the entree. They didn’t mind splitting the steak before it was served to us. When it came out each was on it’s own plate with a small piece of butter resting on top (health food this is not). We ordered it medium rare, but it came out closer to rare. No problem, I don’t mind a little blood. Their steaks have a creole seasoning rub that makes for a strong peppery taste (they definitely kicked it up a notch). It’s unique compared to the taste of other steaks around town and while it was a touch too salty, the filet was so tasty and tender that it didn’t matter. The mushrooms were pure buttery, garlicky awesomeness. A great accompaniment to the filet.

Banana rum sorbet – With all the other stuff we ate we were feeling full so this light, complimentary dessert was perfect — at least in theory. It’s flavor was too subtle and bland, but still a decent way to cleanse the palate. It was free after all, so I shouldn’t complain. The final thing served was a plate of mignardises — while none were spectacular, they provided a deliciously sweet ending to a great meal.

I only glanced at the wine list, as my wife and I only got a couple wines by the glass. But, in flipping through their extensive list I saw plenty of bottles priced well below $100. Some as low as $40. So, it looked like they had something for everyone, no matter what your price range.

The service was top notch. We were waited on by two people who were very attentive, constantly checking if we liked everything, needed anything, and refilling drinks. It was odd how quick everything was served. Our apps came out within 10 minutes of ordering (before the amuse) and our entree came out right after we finished our apps. Everything seemed so fast-paced. On the way out the hostesses again wished me a happy birthday. This was some of the best service I’ve gotten at any restaurant in Vegas.

The atmosphere felt like an upscale restaurant, of course, with it’s wine room, stone wall (on one side), and vaulted ceilings. But, the white walls looked so bare. A touch of paint could do wonders. Even adding more flair would make it more comforting and welcoming. My favorite thing about the decor was probably the chairs. They’re large leather chairs that were so comfy. Perfect seating for a steakhouse, in contrast to the office chair seating at CUT.

I wasn’t expecting to be blown away by Delmonico, but every aspect of my dining experience was as good as any other steakhouse I’ve been to in this city.

4.5 Stars

— Updated below: 1/14/12 —

Apparently finding a high-end restaurant on the Strip that serves lunch is more difficult than I thought. With many spots only open for dinner service I opted to dine at one of the few with a lunch menu — Delmonico.

We started with the wild arugula salad — shaved apple, candied walnuts tossed in champagne vinaigrette with a trio of artisan cheeses. It was a large portion that they split for us.

My wife had a steak panini served medium rare on ciabatta. The accompanying horseradish was overpowering, but the beef was still excellent. The sandwich came with some amazingly crispy and light truffle fries.

The lobster sliders I ordered was a small order of two. The Maine lobster was lightly dressed with a citrus aioli and celery leaves, helping make this some of the tastiest lobster you’ll find in any sandwich in town. The Old Bay fries that they came with were tasty, but not nearly as good as the truffle fries. My only complaint about this dish is the size. Something this delicious shouldn’t be constrained to two sliders per order.

4.5 Stars

3355 Las Vegas Blvd S
Las Vegas, NV 89109
(702) 414-1992

Delmonico (Venetian) on Urbanspoon