As a card-carrying-carnivore, ELV wants to know why Carnevino isn’t listed among the top steakhouses in America?
According to Rachel Ray, the top one in the country is Bern’s in Tampa, Florida. According to John Mariani, Carnevino doesn’t even rate a wave.
Then we thought about it for awhile and figured out the answer: It doesn’t get the recognition it deserves because it’s not located in New York City.
Or even Chicago or Los Angeles or Tampa, for that matter.
It’s right here in good ole Sin City…and even with its Batali/Bastianich pedigree, the steak snobs east of the Hudson river have a hard time wrapping their heads around someplace way out west competing with (or even exceeding) the prime, aged steaks they take for granted back there.
You see, the real food snobs in the country (and by that we mean most of the food press that counts), are mostly located in the Big Apple. Even those influential writers like Michael Ruhlman (a Cleveland scribe) would rather fall on their Laguioles than admit an eatery in Vegas might be better than anything they have in their neck of the woods.
But food fans, we at ELV have eaten at Bern’s, and Spark’s, and Peter Luger, and the original Palm, and Ben Benson’s, and Maloney and Porcelli, and Gallagher’s, and BLT Prime, and Quality Meats, and Porter House, etc., etc**….and just about every top flight purveyor of prime beef in NYC…and just about all of those of any repute around this big country of ours (save for Texas…we fully admit we haven’t toured the steakhouses of Dallas or Houston – mainly because we’ve never cottoned to the Lone Star State*). That said, in none of them have we ever found beef (or Italian food) that compares with what Carnevino puts out seven days and nights a week.
We could go on and on about these umami-charged, ham-like, ancient-aged beauties….in fact we have…but suffice it to say, even if you don’t want a $150 “riserva” steak (those aged over 6 months), the prime cuts here aged from thirty to sixty days are equal to (or exceed) the quality of beef you’ll get almost anywhere in America. And the Italian food (from the house-cured salumi to the hand-made pasta) is on par with anything you’ll find in any Italian restaurant, anywhere from sea to shining sea.
Is Carnevino the best steak house in America? All we can say is, if it isn’t, we’ve never been in a better one.
Our meal (for three) came to $364 – $304+$60 tip.
In the Palazzo Hotel and Casino
3325 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Las Vegas, NV 89109
* ELV spent the longest summer of his life one week in Houston in June, 1980, and vowed never to return.
** and Keens, and the original Smith & Wollensky, and Wolfgang’s, and Bobby Van’s, and Strip House….