Tom Colicchio’s Craftsteak, Las Vegas
February 29, 2012 4 Comments
My boyfriend and I have always enjoyed watching Tom Colicchio, head judge on Top Chef, call people out on various culinary sins, such as sub-par butchering skills, too-stiff risotto, and over-salting. Our experience at Craftsteak was definitely not marred by any of those missteps. After a good 6 hours of driving, we craved a hearty steak. Craftsteak certainly delivered, though various service-relate hiccups prevented the experience from being flawless.
The menu is pretty straightforward, with an easy-to-read three column layout. Everything is pretty much standard steakhouse fare, but some of the sides were pretty interesting. For example, you could get heirloom cauliflower or white beech mushrooms.
Stephen got a gin martini. I adore the little shaker! So cute. As a side note, the sommelier was beyond awkward. He had a sleazy, greasy sort of vibe. It made us feel uncomfortable and we set the wine list aside to avoid his sliminess.
And here comes the Caesar salad. It was pretty good, nothing too spectacular. I liked that we were given full romaine hearts because the crunchiness of the leaves was preserved yet we got a well-dresses salad. Stephen, who ordinarily does not like croutons, ate all of the croutons!
Now here’s something interesting.
Here’s our bread.
We got our bread after our drinks and our salad. It was a good thing the bread so damn good–buttery, cloud-like, and warm–because the pacing of it was a bit strange. In addition, after we polished off our bread, our waiter asked if we wanted more (“YES!”), but it never came. Sad.
Anyways, halfway through our bread-inhaling, we got these beautiful steak knives with Craftsteak etched into the sides. The knives worked really well when our steaks came; very smooth cutting.
I went with a 10 oz. filet mignon. I really liked the cast iron pans the steaks came in and the fact that it was not drenched in butter. I love butter (and will be loyal to Ruth’s Chris for their buttery plates) but I wasn’t in the mood to drench myself in cream. The steak came with a really nice red wine based sauce that heightened the meatiness of my steak. Each bite was smooth and tender as the whole steak was cooked to medium rare perfection, however, I do think my steak probably rested about 5-10 minutes longer than necessary because it wasn’t as warm as I usually prefer.
We shared a side of cipollini onions with bordelaise and Vermont butter. According to Wikipedia…
Bordelaise sauce is a classic French sauce named after the Bordeaux region of France, which is famous for its wine. The sauce is made with dry red wine, bone marrow, butter, shallots and sauce demi-glace.
The onions were divine. Very buttery, but the sweetness and richness complimented the steak very well. Each bite of steaky marvelousness was accompanied with a tender, oniony morsel.
Stephen ordered a 16 oz. New York strip steak, medium. He said he loved the chewier texture and the sauce. (He got more sauce than me, hmph.)
After we finished our main courses, we examined the dessert menu. Lots of homey, expected desserts. We weren’t really in the mood for chocolate, so we went with the waiter’s recommendation and got the Cinnamon Monkey Bread.
It was tasty and had plenty of wonderful spice flavor. The richness of the pecan toffee sauce was nicely paired with the tangy sour cream ice cream. However, the texture of the bread itself reminded me too much of a Cinnabon cinnamon roll. Definitely good, but it didn’t have enough layers of flavor or the cinnamon flavor was just very superficial. I wouldn’t mind ordering it again, but I wasn’t wholly impressed. I really liked the sour cream ice cream though… I think I could eat that on its own.
Tom Colicchio’s Craftsteak is a great steakhouse with the meat themselves being the appropriate highlight of the restaurant. In my opinion, the biggest areas of improvement are the service and the desserts, though the salad was predictable and uninspired. Stephen and I had a very enjoyable dining experience and would recommend it to anyone in the mood for perfectly cooked steak at the MGM Grand. Ultimately, it may be better just to skip dessert and head over to 32 Degrees for a footlong frozen margarita monstrosity.
For more information about Craftsteak and their menu, go here.
This is part 1 of a series about some dining experiences I had while in Las Vegas. You can read part 2 about Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill here.