Sunday, June 9, 2013

Gordon Ramsay Steak, Las Vegas. Quality, Consistency, Delicious

Sitting in Gordon Ramsay's Steak in Las Vegas - pure Brit and pure Ramsay
Gordon Ramsay Steak was everything you would want from a restaurant: amazing service, delicious food, and an atmosphere that is upbeat. But I was a bit hesitant to go to a restaurant that might be a chain- I am glad we went.

When does a restaurant group become a chain?

 I ask that a lot as many chefs are putting their names on restaurants, especially in Las Vegas. Is there a number beyond which the "chef"  looses control?  Simon Majumdar, food writer, critic, tv personality says, "I don't think it's a specific number, but it is once corporate strategy takes over from dining vision." 

Ramsay is obsessive about service, food quality, and the patron's experience. When he opens a new restaurant he takes an experienced crew and they train, and they make the food again, and again, and again - until they have it so consistently they are ready to open. That consistency comes through.

Gordon Ramsay Steak in Vegas

Located in Paris Paris, the restaurant sign is visible throughout the casino. Easy to find is a plus, given how many casinos want you to wander aimlessly by,  Ramsay insisted on visibility - and after walking a mile to get there, I appreciated it.  But a place called Paris- for a Brit?

As the hostess takes you in you go through a small tunnel, and they are quick to point out, "This is our representation of the chunnel- taking you from France to Britain."  
Clearly in Britain, the neon lights are an artists interpretation of Gordon Ramsay's hand movements
 Chef Christina Wilson, winner of Hell's Kitchen, taking time to say hi to my wife @producergirl

A wine list that isn't Vegas

Many wine lists in Vegas are too predictable.  Without looking at most wine lists frequent restaurant patrons can guess the wines as well as vintages they will have in stock. Wine sommeliers are a bit predictable - talking about "fruit forward," at which point you know they are full of it.  But here I was pleasantly surprised.

The sommelier asked the flavors I liked

Chose a lovely new wine from Washington, Doubleback, apparently former  football quarterback Drew Brees has made a great wine- 

The choices:

It is difficult to go to a steak house and not think about ordering steak, especially when you see the lovely product they have. But the choice was made more difficult when they offer the tasting menu, that has a lot of Hell's Kitchen favorites. Besides, how many times do you see Ramsay send back scallops with his famous, "Its raaaaawwwww." 
Thankfully, we not only ordered the tasting menu, but had a steak split between us. It was a great choice. 

To sum it up:

The food was executed perfectly, and the night was busy - but, as our waiter told us, every night is Saturday night. The service impeccable, and the atmosphere upbeat. When in Vegas there are a lot of places to get food, there are a lot of celebrity restaurants, but if you like steak, or want a taste of Hell's Kitchen, this is the place to go. 

Advice to Hell's Kitchen Contestants:

If you are serious about winning Hell's kitchen and working in Ramsay's restaurant group, go to this restaurant, taste everything. Then go home and make it again and again until you have it done perfectly. I'm shocked that none of the contestants do this.  Ramsay's restaurants prove it: if you want to do it perfectly, it takes practice - and he doesn't put it out to the customer until his chefs can do it perfectly. 

A steak house has to have a great presentation

It is so difficult to choose - reminds me of the Alaska Native wheel of life

The Amuse Bouche - a Scotch Egg with berkshire pork sausage, and red wine braised cabbage 

Fennel seared ahi, pea shoots, asparagus, and candied rhubarb

A seared scallop (perfectly cooked), spring mushroom risotto, and mushroom puree

What's next?
It was not on the Tasting menu, but looked so delicious we had to order the prime, aged rib caps - as you can see, nothing like a bit of steak

Who wouldn't get Beef Wellington from Ramsay. It was perfectly prepared, delicious, and I wonder why more restaurants don't make this 

Brown butter filled blueberry tarts, vanilla bean anglaise, warm blueberry compote, citrus infused vanilla ice cream, micro mint

Even the water is imported from Wales - why not?

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