Like a few other time-worn and treasured eateries, Delmonico has been around so long we tend to take it for granted. (Eating Las Vegas is gruntled by the fact that our food revolution has now been going on for so long that we actually have excellent restaurants that can be considered gastronomic treasures. When we moved back to Vegas in September 1990, the town’s idea of a gourmet landmark was Piero’s and the Alpine Village Inn.)
Like Emeril’s and Andre’s, this venerable spot is due for a salute. It opened on May 3, 1999, and for sixteen years has been rendering drop-dead delicious versions of the food that made Emeril Lagassse famous. Some people call it a steakhouse, but that doesn’t tell half the story. We’d argue that, on any given night, the seafood here is every bit the equal of that being served by its big sister in the MGM Grand. We’d also argue that the gumbo is a dead ringer for what the Bam Man serves in N’Awlins, and that the lobster bisque and crispy fried oysters are as good as you’ll find 1,000 miles from the Gulf of Mexico.
The steaks here are first rate too – especially the Nebraska-bred Piedmontese strip:
…as lean, beefy and juicy a steak as you’ll likely find anywhere.
Equally good are the dry-aged cuts, but it’s things like Executive Chef Ronnie Rainwater’s apple-cured, applewood-smoked, bone-in bacon (pictured at the top of the page), and one of the best Caesar Salads in the business, that have us licking our chops every time we walk in the place. Another reason to ask the Big D to take a bow is that it’s open for lunch – one of the few great restaurants in town that is – making all of this gorgeous food available for those who don’t want to stuff themselves after 8 pm.
No one will ever mistake Lagasse’s food for spa cuisine (his BBQ Salmon comes with a “side” of potato and andouille sausage that’s a meal in its own right), but he and Rainwater (who, BTW, has the best name in all of chefdom):
(You can’t beat Ronnie’s meat.)
…..do spicy, rib-stickin’ vittles better than anyone. Equally impressive is the wine list – one of the best in the country. If super-sommelier Kevin Vogt can’t find you a bottle to your liking (and in your price range) it probably doesn’t exist.
The cocktail bar is also well-known for its concoctions and its whiskey collection. Bourbon aficionados tell me the selection is the best in town.
The food here is so good I’ve never grown tired of it, after dozens of meals over the years; the booze here is so good it makes me wish I was an alcoholic.
In the Venetian Hotel and Casino
3355 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Las Vegas, NV 89109