Tasting the hype at Gordon Ramsay Steak
Wed, Jun 20, 2012 (5:28 p.m.)
Photo: Beverly Poppe
The opening of Gordon Ramsay Steak is super-huge, probably the biggest celebrity chef restaurant to hit the Strip in several years. Ramsay’s larger-than-life landing in Las Vegas instantly creates the second biggest draw at Paris (behind the faux Eiffel Tower, of course). But it’s a curious arrival at a critical juncture: Vegas’ food reputation is rising, aspiring to something more than big names and expensive meals. Ramsay is famous to most of us for being a forceful, even angry, TV personality. We know his character—or caricature—more than we know his food. This creates unique expectations for his Vegas steakhouse, probably the most accessible of his U.S. restaurants.
I haven’t seen much of Ramsay’s TV stuff. After eating his food, I became curious, and caught up on the current season of MasterChef, where he critiques the kitchen work of home cooks. It’s an entertaining show. I liked the part where he slams someone’s steak tartare for being bland, because that’s the way I would describe the dish at his restaurant. It’s also the only thing I tasted there that falls short of excellence.
- Gordon Ramsay Steak
- Paris, 946-7000.
- Daily, 5-10:30 p.m.
The steaks, which come from New York butcher Pat LaFrieda (just like those at Caesars’ recently opened Old Homestead), are terrific, particularly the juicy ribeye ($56) and the American Kobe rib cap ($58). The starter plates are even better, from chorizo-stuffed, butter-poached Maine lobster ($28) to a delightful, cleanly flavored roasted beet salad ($18) with creamy ricotta and oyster mushrooms. Signature dishes are also fun and flavorful. Beef Wellington ($52) is cooked perfectly, with both meat and pastry clocking in at luxurious. The loup de mer (sea bass) fish and chips are great if overpriced at $44. Remember, this is a big-time Strip steakhouse, so be ready to spend.
The best parts are the desserts and the space. The sticky toffee pudding, a dense, moist cake-ish creation done in all kinds of rich with brown butter ice cream nearby, wants to be the top treat in town. It’s a power dessert in a power room, a two-story hideout done in dramatic reds and dark woods, with a mighty Union Jack on the ceiling and a slick bar encased in the Chunnel-like tube. The things you have to do to live up to hype, huh?