At a Glance
What is it?
A new take on the traditional Vegas steakhouse with much more than just steak.
Where is it?
At the Park MGM on the South Strip.
What kind of food is served?
A lot of steaks but also other interesting things like fried chicken.
What is the atmosphere like?
Dark and moody, like an old-fashioned wood-paneled supper club.
How was the service?
Really fantastic – very attentive.
What are the prices like?
It’s easy to spend a lot of money here but there are more affordable ways to go, too.
What else do I need to know?
Did I mention how dark it is?
What’s the bottom line?
Not just a steakhouse in all the best possible ways.
Part of the transformation from the Monte Carlo to the Park MGM was to pretty much sweep all of the old restaurants out and sweep a bunch of new ones in. In some instances it’s a bummer when old favorites like the Pub and Diablo’s are scrubbed from the directory but in other instances it’s a good thing when eateries like Brand, the former steakhouse that never really made much of an impression, are replaced by a dynamic place like Bavette’s.
It’s based on the acclaimed Chicago restaurant of the same name, a steakhouse that has wound up on more “must eat” lists than they can fit on their website. “11 Best Steakhouses in World?” Check. “12 Restaurants Around the Country Worth the Reservation?” Yep. “8 Amazing Roast Chicken Dishes to Try Around Chicago?” Wait, what? I thought this was a steakhouse.
Well, that’s part of what makes Bavette’s so interesting. Yes, the steaks are the centerpiece of the menu but they have a lot more than just that, turning the steakhouse experience into something much more noteworthy.
But before we get to the menu, let’s talk about the room. It’s dark. Like, really dark. Like you might want to wear a miner’s hat with one of those little lights when you go inside. Okay, I’m exaggerating but not by much. Dark woods dominate – the floor, the walls, the tables, the ceiling – livened by dim amber lighting that gives it an old-time supper club type of feel. It’s the kind of room that in the olden days of Vegas would have had a booth in the corner reserved for the mobsters smoking cigars. It really is gorgeous but if you can read the menu without the aid of the flashlight on your phone, you have better eyesight than I do.
Now, to the menu. Starters include steakhouse favorites like shrimp cocktail and baked crab cakes but also more unique items like baked goat cheese with red sauce and garlic bread that should be on your must order list. Mix the creamy cheese with the tangy sauce and start dipping – you won’t regret it.
There are a few salads but who cares, really? Let’s get to the meat. Steaks run the gamut from a 6 ounce filet to a 22 ounce bone-in rib eye, the latter of which is dry-aged for 42 days before they slap it on the grill for you. You can get a series of enhancements like a peppercorn crust, roasted bone marrow, or roasted garlic but these steaks are so good that you really don’t need them. The filet we sampled was as close to perfect as a cut of meat can get, with a smoky flavor and a smooth, expertly cooked texture. I’ve had a lot of steaks in Las Vegas and this one should be near the top of the heap.
But don’t worry if you’re not in the mood for steak. As mentioned, there are other options including a burger and a prime beef French dip that comes with gruyere cheese, horseradish, and a rich jus. The latter is a great option if you want meat but aren’t willing to commit to a full steak.
And then we move into the really interesting part of the menu that includes the roasted chicken featured in that “8 Amazing” list, salmon, a double-bone pork chop, lamb chops, shortrib stroganoff, and the dish I decided to try, the spiced fried chicken. It came piled high on the place, a little on the hot side but not Nashville hot, with creamy mashed potatoes and gravy. It was grade-A comfort food and while I was a little jealous of the steak and the French dip that my table-mates got, it was only just a little.
Of course I would be remiss for not mentioning the seafood towers, a trademark of the Chicago restaurant that they have brought to the Nevada desert. They range in size from “wow” to “holy crap,” including a $210 option that pretty much empties the sea and puts it on a platter in front of you.
A long list of sides includes a plate of thick cut bacon, candied sweet potatoes with bourbon glaze, truffle mac and cheese, and a good old fashioned baked potato with all the fixings.
Desserts were a little underwhelming with only a couple of pie and cake options but I will admit to being tempted by the hot fudge sundae royal, a $16 option that includes all sorts of sprinkle-it-yourself options on the plate like M&Ms, mini marshmallows, and more.
As you’d expect, prices are high here but not at all out of line for what you’re getting and not bad compared to other restaurants of this caliber on The Strip. Starters will cost you a few bucks on either side of $20, salads come in whole or half versions that start at $9 and go up over $20, sandwiches are in the $24 range, steaks start at around $40 and go up quickly from there, entrees are in the $34-$62 range, sides are all around $15, and desserts $12-$16. We did some of the cheaper things on the menu (not on purpose, it’s just what appealed) and walked out with a bill for three people that included drinks, tax, and tip for under $200. To be fair, you’ll probably be looking at a $75-$100 per person bill most of the time.
Service was fantastic throughout the meal – again, very old-world supper club kind of attention.
There are some restaurants that were in the old Monte Carlo that I will miss but if they could all be replaced by something as good as Bavette’s I will find a way to get over it.