STK, Las Vegas

| September 19, 2012

In a town where there are practically more steakhouses than Starbucks, it’s hard to find a restaurant that stands out from the crowd. Once inside, it’s hard to imagine that a Las Vegas Casino is just steps away. The atmosphere is modern, hip, almost club-like, with a beautiful staff and patrons to match. The lively music created by a live DJ spinning records complements the decor perfectly, turning an ordinary dinner into a feast for the senses – including fantastic people watching (and maybe even dancing in your chair).

The menu, like the restaurant decor, is upscale – a modern take on steakhousefare. An almost popover style loaf of bread starts the meal, with a beautifully browned outer crust and soft doughy inside drizzled with decadent blue cheese butter. For appetizers, we started with the delectable beef tartar prepared with black truffle and soy caramel and tuna tartare made with avocado and pecans and served with a corn tuile.  However, it was two other appetizers that proved to be the best dishes of the night. The first, a fois gras French toast, made with poached apples and a sherry reduction. The second, Wagyu beef burgers topped with STK special sauce on a sesame seed bun.

The menu also offered a variety of remarkable entree choices, from uniquely prepared lamb chops with olives and artichokes in a pomegranate sauce, to an array of seafood choices including big eye tuna and Maine lobster. Steak lovers will appreciate the “build your own” custom steak menu. First you select your cut – ranging from the smaller filet mignon and skirt steak, to the medium sirloin and bone-in choices, to the larger porterhouse and the more unusual cowboy rib steak. Next you choose from a list of à la carte toppings, including the popular peppercorn crust or the more unique offerings of fois gras, jalapeno onions or black truffles (not to mention sauces like béarnaise, blue butter or au poive).

If you still can fit them in, the side dishes are worth a gander, ranging from mac and cheese, sweet corn pudding and truffle fries, to a variety of vegetable choices. Having indulged in fairly decadent appetizers, we opted for the leaner cuts of steak and selected the filet mignon with fois gras butter and the skirt steak with chimichurri sauce. This was also a bit of a personal test, as my previous experience with lean cuts at high-end Las Vegas steak houses has been less than stellar. I feel it is easy to make an aged rib eye taste incredible, but a mouth watering skirt steak is a more difficult task. But STK’s lean cuts far surpassed my expectations. The filet mignon was cooked to perfection and the fois gras butter only enhanced this already   superior   piece   of   meat. The  skirt  steak  had  the   flavor characteristics of a fine sirloin and was only enhanced when accompanied by the chimichurri sauce. Our side of fresh grilled asparagus was the perfect complement to these rich masterpieces.

We finished our meal with a medley of different desserts: carrot cake, three types of crème brulée and a scrumptious salted toffee caramel bread pudding (topped with the secret ingredient, Cap ‘n Crunch). The bread pudding is not to be missed. The combination of salty and sweet is a dessert lover’s dream. Overall, STK is a great choice for anyone who is looking for a fun night out with superior steaks and delectable accompaniments.