If you’ve ever had a hankerin’ for some moldy, nasty (looking), crusty, blue-cheese-like ancient-aged beef — and let’s face it who hasn’t? — then you owe it to yourself to saunter in to Carnevino for one of their eight-month-old, dry-aged beauties.
You heard us right. Not wet-aged. (There really is no such thing.) Forget 30-days dry-aged (Those are for sissies.) 60 days on? (A mere tyke.)
No, we’re talking meat that was cut and set to aging in Molto Mario’s humongous, temperature-and-humidity-controlled meat locker near Blue Diamond Road, before last Thanksgiving! By our count that’s over 240 days between the time the meat arrived fresh off the steer, until it was cooked and served.
Hell, ELV has had marriages that didn’t last that long.
By way of comparison, we also had a 60 day, bone-in, aged steak (called a Kansas City strip in the old days), cooked by Chef Zach Allen and his crew, so we could compare. The 60 day-er was everything you’d want a steak to be: beefy, rich, marbled, tangy, and with just a tad of mineral funk to keep your interest.
As good as it was, the main event was like a steak from another planet. The texture is almost ham-like, the taste, like steak infused with some vague, subtle, blue cheese essence. You know you’re eating beef, but it’s beef that has transcended its humble roots and metamorphosed into something ethereal — earthy, funky, silky and soft — with an umami depth charge that lasts a full five minutes after you’ve swallowed a morsel. Our staff likened the taste to eating ham-cured beef, with gamy/cheesy/meat foie gras undertones.
It’s the best steak we’ve ever eaten. And we’ve eaten them all, everywhere but Japan and South America. Which begs the question: is anyone else, anywhere, doing this? Certainly no steak house in this country that we’re aware of.
Allen couldn’t answer the question either, and explained to us that so much of the connective tissue is broken down (and over 50% of the weight lost) due to this lengthy dry-aging, that you can’t subject it to the 1,200 degree broiler that most meat gets. “It will just incinerate if you get it that hot,” he says. Instead, the whole steak essentially roasts in the side of the broiler that’s turned off, while younger cuts are being charred on the other half of the super-salamander.
He also explained that because of all that condensing and evaporation within the meat, it cooks super fast and has to be watched like a hawk while it’s doing so.
And you’ll want to eat it fast, but you won’t because every bite is a revelation. And you’ll savor every one because you know you’re having a once in a lifetime steak experience.
Only in Vegas.
These steaks are incredibly expensive, but, as we said, a once in a lifetime experience. The aged strips are priced at $65/inch and the porterhouse riservas at $100/inch, so expect to pay between $100-$200 for one of them (and one is plenty to share between two people).
In The Palazzo Hotel and Casino
3325 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Las Vegas, NV 89109