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The 10 Best Steakhouses in Las Vegas in 2012

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Choose your own beef-venture with the meat cart at Gordon Ramsay Steak.
Photo: Adam Shane

Indulgent, audacious, utterly over-the-top—the steakhouse is the quintessential Las Vegas restaurant, because it’s so much like Las Vegas itself. And while steak is in demand here more than ever, the restaurants devoted to it are not just about beef anymore. The latest generations of stylish chophouses are reaching for well-rounded culinary greatness, and many are hitting the mark.

The tough part: In Vegas, where beef is king and the steakhouses are among the best in the world, how do you choose? Of course, the highest-quality meat is a must—along with diverse cuts, sauces and supplements—but service and atmosphere are important, too. If it’s not a special occasion, it better be by dessert. The vibe must be cool yet comfortable, and a little edge helps, too. Value was considered—though you’ll have to spend if you want the best. Most importantly, that first beefy bite needs to drip with what I like to call asgoodasitgetsness.

Many local steakeries are deliciously deserving of accolades, but in the end, it comes down to satisfaction. These 10 steakhouses deliver every time, and that’s why they’re the best in Las Vegas.

The Archetype

Craftsteak

Simply put, it’s everything you imagine a steakhouse will be, your beef-loving dreams come true. Leather, metal and wood make for a dark, alluring space, relaxed but bustling and anchored by some of the best service in the city. The menu is all about simplicity: delicious food allowed to shine on its own merits, whether it’s a dry-aged roasted porterhouse or a side of asparagus with lemon. Thank heavens Tom Colicchio is opening another Vegas restaurant next year. MGM Grand, 891-7318, website.

Craftsteak at MGM Grand.

The Virtuoso

Cut

Wolfgang Puck’s Las Vegas restaurants are consistently, resoundingly brilliant, and Cut is the stud of the stable. Pristine beef—including pricey, crazy-rich Japanese and Australian Wagyu—is only the beginning of the most dynamic steakhouse menu on the Strip: bone marrow flan, maple-glazed pork belly, Indian-spiced short ribs, Parmesan polenta. You could skip the steak and still have the meal of your life—but don’t. Palazzo, 607-6300, website.

The Masterpiece

Prime

Hopefully you haven’t forgotten about this grand dame of Vegas dining. Global chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten has a newer spot at Aria, but Prime remains his standard-bearer here, a chocolate-and-Tiffany-blue hybrid where luxury meets serious beef. Just as Bellagio ushered in a new age of great food in Vegas, so did Prime. It hasn’t fallen off one bit, nor has its amazing wine selection. Bellagio, 693-8865, website.

The Sensation

Carnevino

If you’re looking for the single most amazing bite of beef in the city, it’s the 240-day dry-aged riserva porterhouse at Carnevino, buttery-soft with a uniquely funky, fresh truffle-esque flavor. Combine that with the fact that this is also one of the best Italian joints in town, and you’ve got a difficult task ahead: deciding what to order. Pretty good problem to have. Palazzo, 789-4141, website.

Prime at Bellagio.

The Firebrand

Gordon Ramsay Steak

Expectations were high for the famous chef’s first Vegas venture, and honestly, I was surprised mine were exceeded. The room is loud and lively, the beef is top tier, and the cuisine is cool, complete and spectacularly consistent, all the way through to thrilling desserts. Paris, 946-4663, website.

The Legend

Old Homestead Steakhouse

There’s no messing around at Old Homestead, a recent New York import that might have been overshadowed by Ramsay’s arrival. The menu is straight-ahead steakhouse greatest hits done to perfection, and all the beef is selected by legendary meat maven Pat LaFrieda. It’s a terrific upgrade to the space formerly known as Nero’s. Caesars Palace, 877-346-4642, website.

The Extravagance

SW Steakhouse

Mr. Wynn may have gone vegan, but his signature steakhouse remains a carnivorous classic. The refined lakeside setting feels fancy yet casual, and the menu is a perfect match. Don’t forget the jalapeño-fruit steak sauce alongside that juicy, chile-rubbed ribeye for two. Wynn, 248-3463, website.

The Charmer

Delmonico Steakhouse

Between Cut, Carnevino and Emeril Lagasse’s New Orleans-influenced Delmonico, Venetian/Palazzo must be the awesome steakhouse capital of the universe. This regal restaurant boasts a separate, laid-back bar, an absolutely killer burger and Creole-seasoned char-broiled beef that could induce tears of joy. Venetian, 414-3737, website.

Delmonico Steakhouse at Venetian.

Delmonico Steakhouse at Venetian.

The Innovator

Stripsteak

A wild glass-and-stone design by Super Potato, 300 single malt Scotch options, foie gras sliders and butter-poached beef finished on a wood-burning grill. Chef Michael Mina’s Stripsteak has something of a rebellious streak. Fine by us. Mandalay Bay, 632-7200, website.

The Hot Spot

STK

Cosmo created its own scene when it hit the Strip two years ago, and outside of Marquee, the place to be seen within that scene is the salacious STK. The clubby steakhouse makes plenty of sense along with dollars, but who would have thought the trail of shortest skirts would lead to such great food? Cosmopolitan, 698-7990, website.

The Next 10 …

N9NE Steakhouse STK before there was STK. Palms, 933-9900, website.

Tender Steak & Seafood The Strip’s sleeper steakhouse. Luxor, 262-4852, website.

35 Steaks + Martinis New and improved, and very cool. Hard Rock Hotel, 693-5500, website.

T-Bones Chophouse and Hank's Fine Steaks Station has the best steakhouses off the Strip. T-Bones at Red Rock Resort, 797-7576, website; and Hank’s at Green Valley Ranch Resort, 617-7777, website.

Jean-Georges Steakhouse A modern menu from the master. Aria, 877-230-2742, website.

Vic & Anthony’s Steakhouse Old-school feel at Downtown’s best. Golden Nugget, 386-8399, website.

THE Steak House The locals’ favorite, great value. At Circus Circus, 794-3767, website.

Voodoo Steak Food as good as the view. Rio, 777-7923, website.

Strip House A sexy spot and steady kitchen. Planet Hollywood, 737-5200, website.

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Brock Radke is Las Vegas Weekly's food editor and author of the Strip-focused column The Incidental Tourist. He has written ...

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