Most people go to Las Vegas to gamble, see the Strip, see the lights, see the shows. While my husband and I do a little bit of all of that, we go to Las Vegas to indulge in some incredible food. After all, Las Vegas is the new, up and coming food hot spot. All of the world-renowned chefs have opened restaurants on the Strip, and these establishments serve some of the most highly acclaimed food in the country. Being food lovers, we want to get in on some of that action.
For our last meal in Las Vegas on our quick weekend trip, we decided to try out Delmonico’s Steakhouse for lunch. Delmonico’s is the brain-child of celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse of “Bam!” fame on The Food Network. Emeril has taken on the challenge of an all American steakhouse and turning it into something that is classically Emeril with the flavors of New Orleans. Delmonico is located on “Restaurant Row” inside the Venetian hotel on the Las Vegas Strip. The restaurant is bright, modern, features a bar and has a dining room that is simplistic, yet comfortable and modern with muted elegance.
According to its website, Delmonico’s harkens guests back to a time when lunch was an event. The service in the restaurant was impeccable. It felt more like dinner service rather than lunch service where the wait staff really paid attention to the guests, and no one was rushed to get through their meal, so in that sense, it was an event. The lunch menu at Delmonico’s offers guests the restaurants signature steak options, but also a variety of lighter lunch options as well.
Each table is served a bread basket and some butter to start. Though there was nothing standout-ish about the bread itself, it was served fresh and warm to the table. And though partaking in the bread basket at a restaurant only serves to fill you up with starch and carbohydrates you probably don’t need, I just can’t resist.
For my starter, I chose the wild arugula salad. I was looking for something that was light and flavorful; this was lunch, after all. The salad is described as wild arugula served with shaved local apple, candied walnuts tossed in champagne vinaigrette with a trio of artisan cheeses. And the salad delivered on everything it promised. The arugula was nice and peppery, with a bite you could taste because the salad was lightly tossed in the champagne vinaigrette rather than drowned in it. The shaved apple was a nice touch, providing crunch and a mix of tartness and sweetness to the salad. The candied walnuts were delicious and perfect for this salad. And the artisan cheeses, which included blue cheese, and 2 softer cheeses, was the perfect accompaniment. I really loved the salad.
My husband started with Emeril’s signature truffle parmesan potato chips. The waitress had recommended this dish to us as something we should try. My husband loved it! The chips were cut so thin and fried perfectly crispy, but without being overdone. We wondered how they would have been able to shave the potatoes that thin and figured they must have gone through the deli slicer to come out like that. The parmesan cheese sprinkled over the top gave the chips a nice bite of saltiness and the truffle oil drizzled over the chips was just the right amount. Truffle oil is good, but a little goes a long way, and if too much is drizzled over the chips, it would be too overpowering so that you couldn’t taste the potato chips themselves. This was the perfect starter for lunch and my husband devoured the whole thing.
Since this was lunch, and not dinner, my husband and I both knew that we wouldn’t be ordering the steak, as much as we wanted to. So, my husband went with the Delmonico’s prime hamburger. My husband said he’d never had a burger made with prime meat before, so he was looking forward to it. The burger was served on a toasted brioche roll with bacon and cheddar cheese and served with french fries. One bite of the burger, and my husband loved it. He said that the prime meat was so good and you could really tell the difference in the quality of the burger. He was really happy with his burger.
I opted for the grilled skirt steak sandwich for my lunch entrée. According to the menu, it was served on ciabatta with roasted mushrooms and onions, horseradish mayonnaise, spinach and served alongside truffled french fries. Since I don’t like mushrooms, I did ask for the sandwich to be made without the mushrooms, and they were more than accommodating with my request. The sandwich was amazing! The ciabatta bread was perfect, lightly grilled it really held up well. The steak was cooked a perfect medium rare, and the horseradish mayonnaise was incredible. I love horseradish, and this was filled with horseradish. It cleared my sinuses right away! But combined with the grilled skirt steak, the horseradish mayonnaise was the perfect combination, along with the wilted spinach. This has to have been one of the best steak sandwiches I’d ever had!
Though we were full, we couldn’t pass up a peek at the dessert menu. How can anyone ever say no to dessert? And there were definitely some unique dessert options at Delmonico’s. One look at the menu, I knew exactly what I wanted. At first, my husband was going to share with me, but a glance at the menu and he found something he wanted for himself.
What my husband ordered for dessert is something I’d never seen of, or heard of before. And it’s a combination that was so unique that my husband just had to try it. Now, I’ve seen root beer float on various dessert menus before, but I’d never seen Chocolate Root Beer Float before. Ok, now you’re thinking what’s so special about this? Well, I think that the name of chocolate is a bit of a misnomer here. It should have been called Spicy Ginger Root Beer Float. The menu describes the dessert as Ginger sorbet and Hawaiian vintage chocolate ice cream. It’s the ginger that caught my husband’s eye, because anything that has ginger in it has to be good. Out to the table comes a tall glass with one scoop of ginger sorbet topped by one scoop of the Hawaiian vintage chocolate ice cream. Then, on top of the ice cream were a couple of pieces of candied ginger, which just delighted my husband. Also served was one bottle of Abita root beer. I’d never heard of Abita root beer before, but one whiff of the bottle and you could just smell the spicy bitterness of the root beer. Apparently Abita root beer is sweetened with pure Louisiana cane sugar as opposed to corn sugar and fructose as most root beers are. Pour the root beer into the tall glass and immediately it began to foam and fizzle. My husband said that one sip of the drink and you taste the spiciness of the ginger in the sorbet and the bitterness of combining it with the root beer. He absolutely loved it!
For my dessert, I went with Emeril’s banana cream pie. The waitress had mentioned that this was Emeril’s signature dessert; though I had known that I was going to order it even before she had told us it was his signature dessert. Come on, a dessert with bananas in it? I’m all over that. This banana cream pie was an experience, and so very different from the deep dish banana cream pie I had just had at Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill. Based on the description in the menu, this was a traditional banana cream pie served with caramel sauce, chocolate shavings and whipped cream. With that description, I had expected something like a pie you’d find at Marie Callander’s or Coco’s. Oh no. What came to the table was a culinary delight. I thought I’d died and gone to banana heaven. You could see in the enormous slice of pie, the layers of fresh banana that make up the pie. It was incredible how much banana was actually in the pie. And it was delicious! There was caramel sauce drizzled on the plate, and the pie was topped with a mound of fresh whipped cream and chocolate shavings, but the pie itself was really the star of this dessert, everything else was just the cherry on top. I’d never eat a banana cream pie that was this decadent. I’m so glad I ordered it!
Emeril’s Delmonico’s Steakhouse was fantastic, and my husband and I both left the restaurant, full, satisfied, and both saying that we’d definitely dine there again. Though, perhaps, next time we’d go for dinner so we could try out some of Emeril’s signature steaks. Hey, I can’t say no to a good steak. And if my grilled skirt steak sandwich was any indication, I can’t wait to go back one day and eat at Delmonico’s again!