ELV is just kidding about the wine bottle above — although the gracious neighboring table allowed us both a few sips and a picture of it. But it was an appropriately magnificent wine to kick off the magnificent transformation of the space below into the destination restaurant it is sure to become.
The tube-like entrance (and the bar inside it) symbolizes the London Underground, and immediately makes an architectural statement about the big, brash Brit whose aura alone is enough to ensure the success of the place.
Ramsay’s star continues to shine brighter than just about any celebrity chef, and will no doubt sustain the crowds for some time to come, but it will be the steaks and sides that keep them coming back.
Those steaks get presented on an elaborate, multi-level trolley:
…replete with over-sized round mirrors to….well, we can’t figure out what the mirrors are for…but they reminded us of those angled thingees the dentist uses to check your back molars. Regardless, you’ll have a tough time finding a flaw in any of the Pat LaFrieda meat here.
So, as usual, it will be the sides and sauces that distinguish Gordon Ramsay Steak from its competitors. Since ELV’s tasting menu was comped (and since we ate there on opening night), we shan’t opine too much on the blizzard of food placed before us, except to say some things were exceptional (rabbit cavatelli, Kurobuta pork belly, beef Wellington), and some ho-hum (shrimp cocktail), but on the whole, the cooking was careful and the presentations as good as you’ll get in any Vegas steakhouse — which is to say as good as any steakhouse in America.
Prices are what you’d expect for such top shelf vittles ($63 for an 18 oz. New York Strip), and are listed along with the discounts offered to those who join whatever gambling junkie club is being promoted at the casino (something called “TR” (Total Rewards). For example: the drop your fork delicious braised beef short rib is listed for $40, but “TR” members get a whole whopping two dollars off that price — which they will immediately lose (and then some) back to the casino. Smart.
As we said, this is a “First Bites” post, not a review, so we’ll let things simmer down for awhile before diving into the rest of the menu. But true to his word when we interviewed him several months ago, Ramsay has brought a big touch of British cheekiness to what could have been just another modern meat emporium. Loup de mer fish and chips anyone?
GORDON RAMSAY STEAK
In the Paris Hotel and Casino