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ANDIAMO STEAKHOUSE

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The D Las Vegas

301 E. Fremont St.

Las Vegas, NV 89101

702-388-2220

website

$40-$75

Nightly 5-11pm

Steak/Italian

A-

AT A GLANCE

What is it?

A steakhouse serving fine cuts of beef and homemade Italian favorites.

Where is it?

At The D Las Vegas in Downtown Las Vegas.

What kind of food is served?

A lot of steakhouse basics (beef, seafood, poultry, chops, etc.) but also a bunch of pastas and other Italian specialties.

What is the atmosphere like?

Gorgeously dimly lit, and a bit of a classic throwback.

How is the service?

Superb. It has been awhile since I have been treated this well.

What are the prices like?

Not cheap but compared to steakhouses on The Strip, very reasonable.

What else do I need to know?

It's based on the steakhouses of the same name that have been a favorite in the Detroit area for more than 20 years.

What's the bottom line?

Downtown dining just got a little more interesting.

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FULL REVIEW

I know. Another steakhouse. Haven't we already settled things in this category? Old Homestead, Strip House, Delmonico, Austins, and The Steakhouse at Circus Circus. Any one on that list will provide you with a steak that you will savor and an overall experience that you will remember.

But the list has to get a little bit longer with Andiamo, a transplant from Michigan at The D in Downtown Las Vegas.

The restaurant got its start in 1990 and has grown over the years to now have nearly a dozen outlets in and around Detroit. The high-quality beef and homemade pastas have turned it into a local legend, favored by many in the area as their "special night out" eatery of choice.

It could very well be that for Downtown Las Vegas as well. The place has a cozy wine cellar feel, with a narrow, brick-lined entry opening up on to a warmly lit dining room. It's the modern interpretation of a classic, with white table cloths, cozy booths, gorgeous light fixtures, and very comfortable furnishings. Note that the servers are wearing white tuxedo jackets - you don't need to get that dressed up but do put a little more effort into it than just putting on your nicer flip flops, okay?

The menu is only one page but it's a really big page with relatively small type so there is a lot to choose from here. Starters include steakhouse classics like shrimp cocktail and oysters on the half-shell mixed with some Italian favorites like an antipasti plate of meats and cheeses, homemade sausage and peppers, and a "Grande" meatball, roughly the size of a softball and topped with ricotta cheese and tangy tomato sauce. Meat lovers should order that. It's really, really good.

Steaks range from huge to kind of crazy huge with a 32-ounce rib eye topping the charts. They boast that the beef comes from Pat La Frieda and Stockyard Premium and rank in the top 8% in the US in terms of quality. I'm willing to believe them because they are amazing. There's no special preparation - just a little salt and pepper - but the flavor is amazing even without the available sauces. Still, you owe it to yourself to try the "zip" sauce, which is basically buttery gravy. If the idea of buttery gravy doesn't make you drool a little, I don't think I want to know you.

Veal, lamb, and seafood options from scallops to lobster complete the steakhouse portion.

But we aren't done yet. There's still the whole Italian portion of the menu to explore.

Classic osso bucco and some free-range roasted chicken options are interested, but it's the pasta that you should really pay attention to. The potato gnocchi was perfect, tender and creamy served in a slightly spicy tomato ragu. The agnolotti, stuffed with beef and pork in a mushroom cream sauce was equally stellar.

Desserts are displayed on a classic cart and while you may be tempted to just wheel it out the door, you should probably limit yourself to something like the delicate cheesecake or the fluffy-sweet strawberry shortcake, both of which are excellent ways to finish off an excellent meal.

Prices are reasonable especially when you compare them to most of the other steakhouses on the list above. If you go with the cheaper pastas as your main course you could easily do the whole meal with appetizer, tax, and tip for around $40. Go for one of the more expensive steaks and seafood options and you could double that. That's still cheaper than The Strip and the food seems worth it anyway.

I'd be remiss if I didn't call out the service, which was absolutely stellar from the moment we arrived to the moment we had to dash out to see a show.

So yes, the list of noteworthy steakhouses in Vegas has gotten a little bit longer. After eating here, that's totally fine with me.

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