by Mandi Pimental
When you walk into Craftsteak, a steakhouse recently named one of the top 10 newest hot spots in Las Vegas situated inside the MGM Grand Hotel, your senses are immediately awestruck. You’ve entered a beautiful place that is grand in size without being pretentious. The same can be said for the expansive menu.
“Top Chef’s” Tom Colicchio opened Craftsteak this year with the mindset of simplicity and purity. Colicchio created his menus incorporating items from local family farms and fresh food is hard to come by on the strip. Colicchio, residing as head chef on every season of Top Chef since 2006, has been the recipient of five James Beard Foundation Medals for cooking accomplishments. He also was a volunteer serving food to the rescue workers outside of Ground Zero after the September 11th attacks in New York City. After a successful run opening restaurants in Dallas, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Connecticut and South Carolina under the Colicchio & Sons umbrella, Craftsteak is the latest to join the family and gives Las Vegas a taste of excellence.
The ambience of Craftsteak is alluring and dark, wood panels cover most of the 250-seat interior while exposed Edison bulbs hang from wood planks casting a warm yellow glow throughout the space. Decorated with rich tones in leather, metal and wood, a relaxed masculinity is felt throughout. Bare wood tables and branches in large, dark vases hint at the overall purity Colicchio is trying to articulate through the craftsmanship of his latest culinary endeavor.
Contemporary, yet casual, one doesn’t need to be fancy to dine at Craftsteak. Upscale, it may be but you can leave your gown and tuxedos home. Business casual is recommended for this chic eatery, so leave the flip-flops by the pool.
As for the food, once a sliver of the Kobe skirt steak hits your taste buds your attention will no longer be on the look of the room, instead your senses will shift to taste and smell. The purest ingredients are used in dishes such as the bacon and gruyere cheese grits, thyme and mustard seed turnips, or the garlic oil baby spinach. And those are just a few members of the entourage to the main stars of the menu. Craftsteak is known for its beef, it is after all in the name, and you may order it however you wish. Not one to over-shadow his stars with fancy sauces that may take away from the true flavor, the choices are still extensive. You have the options of grilled, braised or roasted. You may choose where your meat has traveled from, New York, Idaho or from way down-under in Australia. Sizes range from six to a whopping thirty-two ounces and the signature selection in keeping true to the pure message Craftsteak is trying to put forth, you may choose if your beef was corn-fed or grass-fed. With that many options fifty-six dollars no longer sounds steep for a nearly handpicked filet mignon.
If you are not a meat lover, fear not. Craftsteak offers delicious seafood choices including lobster bisque, shaved fennel sea scallops or a two and half pound lobster entrée. Vegetarians can enjoy the wide array of salads, the port wine and pear Market spinach salad is especially wonderful with its farm fresh ingredients. The mushroom assortment is also a great option.
Not forgetting dessert, the must-try item is Craftsteaks chocolate soufflé topped with espresso ice cream & creamy caramel sauce. A decadent ending to a meal in sin city. And while you are splurging, during your meal you can sip on a rare wine that usually doesn’t make its way far from its California wine. The Ghost Horse label is available at the eatery and can fetch up to $5,000 for a bottle of this elusive wine.
Visit www.mgmgrand.com for more information or to make a reservation.
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