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DELMONICO STEAKHOUSE

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The Venetian

3355 Las Vegas Blvd. S.

Las Vegas, NV 89109

702-414-3737

website

$50-$100

Sun-Thu 11:30am-2pm; 5-10pm

Fri-Sat 11:30am-2pm; 5-10:30pm

Steak & Seafood

B+

AT A GLANCE

What is it?

A steakhouse from celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse.

Where is it?

At The Venetian on the Center Strip.

What kind of food is served?

Steaks and seafood, mainly, plus some sides and accompaniments that speak to Emeril's New Orleans heritage.

What is the atmosphere like?

Simple and classy, with a warm ambience.

How is the service?

Terrific throughout the meal.

What are the prices like?

This ain't no Denny's we're talking about here so be prepared for a high bill.

What else do I need to know?

Don't come here if you are in a hurry - meals are meant to be savored.

What's the bottom line?

A beloved option in the crowded steakhouse competition.

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FULL REVIEW

Emeril Lagasse needs no introduction here, nor should his landmark steakhouse Delmonico, which has been impressing Vegas visitors since 1999. But sometimes a restaurant with name recognition and a long history can rest on its laurels, coasting along doing the same old thing while others around it innovate.

The bad news is that seems to be the case here at Delmonico. The good news is that even though it may not be as good as it used to be its still one of the best steakhouses in town.

The dining room is lovely, with multiple rooms all done with coved ceilings, warm lighting, and a fireplace to give it a homey touch. The space is elegant without being pretentious as are the servers who wear more than your usual black pants and apron - men are in suits and women are in fine dresses.

The menu has certainly changed over the years but you'll still find all the usual suspects, both from a steakhouse point of view and an Emeril Lagasse one.

Appetizers include lots of seafood and shellfish, New Orleans barbecue shrimp, pan seared foie gras, and Creole shrimp cocktail. A few interesting things pop up here such as the apple-cured bone-in bacon with a root beer glaze and caramelized beef marrow toast with manchego cheese.

Soups and salads including a traditional New Orleans gumbo and a classic French onion plus wedges, Caesar, and the like.

The main attractions are steaks and chops, of course, from a bone-in ribeye through New York strips, filets, and Japanese Wagyu. You can also try a double cut pork chop, a rack of lamb, or Chateaubriand among others, all of which are available Oscar style (lumb crab and bearnaise), Au Poivre (pepper crusted with caramelized onions), or topped with foie gras.

Other entrees include BBQ salmon, sea bass, buttermilk fried chicken, duck, lobster, and more.

I went steakhouse traditional with the French onion soup, a filet, and a baked potato with all the fixings. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, I always say.

The soup was thick and rich, with a raft of fontina cheese floating in it. Although not the usual presentation or texture it was delicious and I ate much more of it than I probably should have.

The steak was the disappointment, although I have to admit that at least part of that was my fault. I had an hour for dinner and by the time I got seated, got a menu, got a cocktail, and was ready to order about a third of my time had been eaten up, not leaving much beyond the thirty minutes they need to actually cook the steak. The very patient and accommodating server told the kitchen to put a rush on it, which they did, but that meant it came out undercooked at least to my liking. Like I said, that was my fault, but on top of that, the flavor was fairly pedestrian and made me wish I had done one of the accompaniments like the Au Poivre toppings to liven it up.

It is entirely possible that I hit them on an off night or my time crunch pushed them into territory that wasn't comfortable because this place still wins raves from both critics and the public - heck I have eaten steaks here that made me want to fall down and weep - so take this one isolated experience with a grain of salt.

Prices are high but not any more than any other steakhouse on The Strip. Once you factor in an appetizer, a cocktail, dessert, tax, and tip you are looking at $100 per person easily.

Delmonico has such a great track record that I am loathe to say anything other than they are a really good steakhouse. The problem is that there are some truly spectacular ones in Vegas, many of whom are pushing the boundaries of what a place like this can be. I'll keep Delmonico on my list of recommended steakhouses but it isn't going to be as high as it used to be.

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