Wine glasses clink. Laughter mingles with the racket of nearby slot machines. Another cadre of strong-armed waiters bearing massive hunks of meat hustles by. All it takes is the nudge of my knife to slice completely through a steak bigger than what my local grocer passes off as a pot roast. Juices puddle underneath. And after 21 days of dry aging, the meat delivers a serious, full-bodied punch. Steak does not get any better than this. It is dizzyingly good. Revelatory—even for me, the son of a fifth-generation cattle rancher.
A tectonic shift has taken place in the Las Vegas dining scene: Instead of bragging about Michelin stars and 15-course tasting menus, every major hotel and resort is upping the ante with at least one glamorous steak house; the Palazzo hotel boasts four. In Las Vegas, some of the best chefs in the world have turned their attention to sourcing and grilling the ultimate hunks of meat: Mario Batali, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Tom Colicchio, Emeril Lagasse, Charlie Palmer, and Michael Mina—each opened his first steak house in Las Vegas. This spring, Gordon Ramsay joined them with his first steak house, inside the Paris casino.
In Las Vegas, steak is never simply steak. This is where Mina invented a way of poaching steaks in clarified butter before finishing them over a wood-fired grill. It is where Batali built what might be the world’s largest meat locker and dry-aging facility for servicing a single restaurant, and where Vongerichten offers VIP beef tastings. The chefs at Old Homestead Steakhouse extract butterfat from whole butter, which they mix back into more solid butter, creating the fattiest, richest butter imaginable; it is then slathered on the steaks before a final pass under a 1,800-degree infrared broiler for a truly unparalleled crust.
Las Vegas is where the modern steak house was first conceived, and where it continues to be innovated and celebrated. The result is the best steak money can buy, anywhere in the world.
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[via Robb Report]