From their menu: “Prime beef hand selected by Pat LaFrieda, dry aged for 28 days minimum in his Himalayan salt room.” Really? Pat LaFrieda has a Himalayan salt room??? That sounds like some crazy Barney Stinson lie that you make up to get in some girl’s pants. Instantly, images up sherpas traversing the Himalayas in a blinding snow storm, fighting nomads and killer pandas just to reach that dry aged beef come to mind. Unfortunately, the reality is that a Himalayan salt room is just a room that simulates the effects of a salt cave — great for dry aging and, apparently, also good for your health.

The quality of the beef was evident in everything we sampled. Each piece of beef had a distinct — and wonderful — flavor. Our party of four tried the 8oz. American Kobe skirt steak ($48), the 24oz. bone-in ribeye ($56), the 8oz. filet ($52), and the roasted beef wellington ($52).

The beef wellington that Ramsay is famous for is the type of dish that you’ll be dreaming of for weeks. With its deliciously flaky pastry shell and bold, beefy interior, don’t be surprised if you have night sweats as you recollect tasting every savory bite.

What separates one steakhouse from all the other great steakhouses on the Strip are the appetizers. The most amazing one we tried was the butter poached Main lobster ($28) with chorizo, brandied cream sauce and sweet corn. The sauce was unbelievable and the spicy, sweet flavors of the dish made it memorable.

Another dish that’s hard to forget is the beef tartare. Sure, every steakhouse has their own version, but the one here is covered with a glass dome filled with smoke and opened table side. The use of mustard seeds and other ingredients gave the beef a bold, rustic quality. The house made chips that accompanied the dish were fabulous also.

We also ordered half a dozen Kusshi oysters… always a hit. For sides, we ordered fingerling potatoes and asparagus, which were plenty for the four of us to share. Their complimentary bread to start was exceptional as well. The mushroom tarts and focaccia were the standouts.

The drink menu is presented on an iPad. A cool gimmick, but a hassle when you have four people who have to take turns looking at it. Personally, I’d prefer a paper menu. Everyone enjoyed their cocktails. The Red Lion I tried ($14, Tanqueray, Grand Marnier, lemon juice, orange bitters) was potent and went down way too fast.

As for the look and atmosphere of the place, there’s nothing subtle about it, just like Ramsay himself. The entrance is supposed to be a replica of the chunnel that connects France to England — it’s a cool concept and makes for an impressive site as you’re walking up to the entrance. Once you’re inside, there’s no doubt you’re in British territory. There’s a huge Union Jack on the ceiling along with a sculpture that represents Ramsay’s hand gestures. The rest of the place is dark, elegant, and very spacious with a large open dining area and a smaller dining area on the second floor that overlooks the space below.

Whether or not you like the Ramsay’s onscreen persona, his food lives up to the hype and delivers a fresh approach to the Vegas steakhouse.

5 Stars

— Updated below: 12/4/12 —

Consistency can be an issue with many restaurants, but maybe not with Gordon Ramsay Steak? As amazing as my first meal was, I think the second was even better. The seating was definitely better this time around. It helps to ask for a good table and that’s exactly what we did. I was celebrating my birthday (yea me!) with the wife and a couple friends and requested an appropriate table when we made reservations. Others have complained about the volume of the music, but it wasn’t a problem when we were seated on the second floor in a semi-circular booth. You can’t beat that — comfy digs and a nice view overlooking the dining room.

Actually, the only thing that trumps that is amazing food. We started with a dozen small, plump kusshi oysters ($42) that were both mild and delicious. They were accompanied by a cocktail sauce, ponzu sauce and a third which I can’t remember.

The best way to dine is to eat family-style so you can sample multiple dishes. After devouring the oysters the beet salad was next. All of the dishes are so beautifully plated and this was no exception. Paired with salmon and bagel crumbs, among other things, it was an unusual mix of flavors that were perfectly in sync. Light, yet bold with a balance of acidity, tartness, and bitterness, it was a worthy way to continue our meal.

The four of us split two steaks. First up was the royal long-bone chop ($105). A massive 32 oz. cut that they presented right after it was cooked, then brought back to the kitchen to slice so it would be easier for us to share. Thick and savory, this steak is best described as a man’s man’s steak. It was a grass-fed slab of beef, which was evident in its beefiness and coarser texture. It was amazing and completely different from the second cut — the American kobe rib cap ($58). At 8 oz. it looked tiny compared to the royal long-bone but packed the “fury for flavor” that the restaurant’s signage boldly markets. The buttery taste and supple texture was like combining the best attributes of a filet with that of a rib eye.

Along with the beef, a side of Alaskan king crab legs ($40) was ordered. Too many places overcook them, but these were the most delicate and sweet chunks of crab legs I’ve had.

The mac and cheese ($13) was tasty and the brussel sprouts were delicious, especially with the tiny bits of ham sprinkled throughout the dish.

Three desserts were ordered. The weakest of the bunch was the carrot cake. It was a tiny square of cake on a rather sloppily presented plate. It was quickly forgotten after indulging in the other dishes. I don’t remember the name of the cake-like apple dessert, but it was excellent. And finally, the sticky toffee pudding… damn… I don’t know what else to say. As much as others rave about it, it was better than expected. The rich, dense, sponge-like texture combined with the toffee sauce and brown butter ice cream formed the perfect storm of desserts. It satisfied my sweet tooth every conceivable way… texture, taste, smell, contrasting temperatures… forcing my tastebuds into submission.

After two amazing visits, I don’t know how this restaurant could impress me again. But, I’d love to come back and let them try. Every cut of beef has been excellent, desserts are just as good and appetizers and sides would make most other restaurants envious. Consistently great food and service (not to mention the celebrity chef factor) have made this spot one of the hottest on the Strip and the buzz for it is definitely justified.

5 Stars

Paris Hotel and Casino
3655 Las Vegas Blvd S
Las Vegas, NV 89109
(702) 967-7999

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