Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Spring Trip 2016: Dinner at Craftsteak

When we were planning the trip for my Mom she had two requests:

1. She wanted to see the Bellagio (Ocean's 11 being her favorite Vegas movie)

2. She wanted to eat at Tom Colicchio's Crafsteak (Mr. Colicchio being one of her favorite chefs)

Taking the 2nd item 1st, here is the recap of our dinner at Craftseak. (In MGM Grand)

First, MiniHam decided to stop for a picture in front of Caesar's. Then he tried a little gambling at Whiskey Down prior to dinner.
MiniHam and My fat arm in front of Caesar's

No pockets, this is a problem.
After a trip down the Strip to MGM, cocktails (not pictured, although on my next trip I'm going to write more about Whiskey Down which is a great place) We finally settled into our table.
MiniHam checks the menu

He liked Whiskey Down quite a bit.
Now that we had the menu, it was time for appetizers.
The wife's: Caprese salad with hazelnuts

Mine: Warm Firsee salad with duck egg

Mom's spinach salad.
Once done with the salad course we moved on to Entrees.
The wife: Strip Steak

Me: Braised Short Ribs

Fingerling potatoes and gratin potatoes

Creamed pea tendrils and mixed carrots.
Then on to dessert..

Monkey bread - House signature dessert

Coconut and orange basil gelato
Not too bad for 4 people.

For our wine selection I ordered a Tenuta San Guido, Guidalberto 2012 which was priced at $125, when he brought the wine the sommelier brought out a 2002 Tenuta San Guido which retails at $550. When I pointed out the error to him he was more than polite.  I've had that particular wine and find it lackluster for the price. All in all I prefer the Guidalberto which is a much better wine for value.

Now that the pictures are done let's talk about it just a bit.

The best meal that I've ever had was eaten at Craftsteak a few years back. That meal included the same short ribs, but prepared as raviolo in a brown butter sauce. I also had the braised prime New York Strip and creamed spinach. That was the first time that I've ever had the Monkey bread and it's so good that I'll never really enjoy a cinnamon roll again. During that meal we had the perfect combination of waiter, assistant waiter and sommelier, it was the most enjoyable dining experience of my life, that I did not cook at home.

Fast forward to this trip and it was just as enjoyable. The wife and I have eaten at restaurants all over the world, from 3 Michelin star palaces to glorified dives. We've found outstanding food in all locations. Saying that I realize that there are more accomplished chefs in Vegas (Robechon anyone?) or restaurants with more status (Nobu, and several others) but when you consider service, food quality and value for money Craftsteak is just about at the top for me.  All of the appetizers, especially my warm frisee salad with duck egg, were excellent, the entrees were outstanding, Colicchio's short ribs are a destination meal, and oh that Monkey bread.

Next time you're in Vegas I suggest you get a reservation (strongly recommended, it's always busy for dinner) dress up (dress is business casual) and give it a try.

Don't forget the monkey bread.

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