Bryan's been wanting to try CUT for years.
Every year we go to Las Vegas for CES, the Consumer Electronics Show. Every year Bryan suggests CUT, Wolfgang Puck's high-end steak house inside the Palazzo. Usually, we already have a reservation at Carnevino (Bryan's favorite steak house). Frankly, when I'm only in Vegas for 3-4 days, the last thing I want to do is eat steak multiple days in a row.
So year after year, I resist.
There was one year where we actually made a reservation, only to cancel it when we had to reschedule a dinner with friends. Bryan was slightly disappointed, though that meal still turned out to be excellent.
So this year I finally relented.
Full surrender, in fact.
It was a crazy Vegas trip, complete with three steak house visits in four days. Our first was Carnevino for lunch. Sadly, they had run out of Bryan's favorite steak, the 9-month aged Riserva (you can read about these special steaks here). Still, it was an excellent lunch.
Our second was dinner at CUT.
I was immediately impressed with the level of service. It felt different, more like the two and three star Michelin restaurants that I visit. We were initially seated at a dark spot in the restaurant. After asking for a brighter space, they worked hard to find us this delightfully secluded table (tucked away from the rest of the restaurant), where we could sit together on a couch-like seat and look out across the entire dining space.
While we waited at the darker table (just briefly, really), they gave us some cheese gougeres. These were tasty, though I couldn't help but think they were not as good as the ones I had enjoyed at steakhouses in Argentina. Nevertheless, they were fun to munch on, and they helped curb our hunger.
Once we moved over to our new table, additional bites arrived. I loved the dry, cheese-encrusted breadsticks. I had several, possibly even stealing some of Bryan's share.
The butter was echire butter, a special ultra-creamy butter from France (84% butterfat!) that I first discovered (and fell in love with) at Joel Robuchon in Las Vegas. It's rare that the free butter you get at a meal is so exceptionally good that you feel the need to inquire about it. Well, that's exactly what I did at Joel Robuchon, and it's how I discovered echire butter.
I was thrilled to have it again, this time paired with some lovely house-made breads. Just like at Wolfgang Puck's other restaurant Spago, we could choose between several different breads. I chose focaccia and pretzel bread (so fun!).
Our view looking out.
With nice steak, you must have good wine. We chose a Shafer Hillside Select, which was delicious.
Like most steakhouses, everything is a la carte. You order your sides, appetizers, and steaks all separately. Bryan had originally been drawn to CUT because it offers a wide variety of quality steaks and a chance to do a tasting comparing 2-oz portions side-by-side. The menu includes Japanese wagyu, American wagyu, USDA Prime corn-fed beef from Illinois or Nebraska, and USDA Prime grass-fed Angus beef. There are also a few seafood items and other land meats, like lamb
Unfortunately we found out that the restaurant had removed that tasting from the menu. We would have to order individual steaks.
But before I describe the steaks, let me tell you about the one appetizer we ordered.
This starter was simply called Warm Asparagus, Poached Organic Egg, Warm Bacon Vinaigrette. The barely poached asparagus came neatly stacked like logs on top of toast smeared 380461with a flavorful, umami-laden mushroom spread. The egg was nicely poached with a lovely runny center, and the paper thin bacon slice was nice and crispy. Our server finished off the presentation by pouring the bacon vinaigrette over the entire dish.
All in all, we loved this dish.
We ended up ordering two very different steaks so we could compare: a USDA Prime corn fed, 35-day dry aged New York sirloin (12 oz) from Nebraska and an American Wagyu beef rib-eye steak from Snake River Farms, Idaho.
New York Sirloin
The steaks were grilled perfectly, with a lovely char on the outside and a barely cooked center.
Isn't that just perfect?
The American wagyu was also excellent. The flavor of the American wagyu was "beefier" and less marbled with fat than the Japanese wagyu we've had (depending on your preference, that could either be a good or bad thing).
It was very, very enjoyable.
And perfectly cooked.
Both steaks were great.
They are famous for their decadent Mac & Cheese, which is made with cavatappi pasta and Québec cheddar. The pasta had a nice al dente texture and the breadcrumb top was nicely toasted and crunchy. Bryan, who loves mac & cheese in general, thought it was simply incredible.
The Wild Field Mushrooms & Shishito Peppers, which is seasoned with yuzu, soy, and mirin, sounded like a nice change from typical, heavy steakhouse fare. The portion-size was generous (definitely shareable!). Unfortunately, the mushrooms were too salty for me (a bit too heavy-handed on the soy) but I enjoyed the bright floral citrus flavor from the yuzu.
The Creamed Spinach with Fried Organic Egg was another excellent dish. The server broke apart a sunny-side up egg table-side.
We both enjoyed the addition of the egg, which thickened up the creamed spinach in a different sort of way. Sometimes I don't like creamed spinach because it feels too heavy. Surprisingly, this version was neither too salty nor too heavy.
Finally, a couple of small, sweet bites, or mignardises.
It had been a lovely, lovely meal. Of course, having our little secluded space tucked at the end of the restaurant didn't hurt one bit. But even if we had sat anywhere else in the restaurant, we would have still enjoyed the great service, excellent food, and impressive space.
The food is very good here. It's not the most creative, but it's executed at a very high level. They source very high quality ingredients and offer many great steak options.
Bryan was very pleased to have finally tried CUT. However, he decided that he still prefers the funky aged quality of the special steaks at Carnevino.
At this point, it's really a matter of preference. The ambiance at CUT is definitely more sophisticated and the service is at a much higher level. The steaks are all very, very good. Carnevino offers the Riserva 9-month dry aged steaks (a rarity), which - as it turns out - is still Bryan's favorite steak in the U.S. (favorite steak in the world is from Japan, of course).
Cut Steakhouse Las Vegas
Grand Canal Shoppes, Palazzo
3325 South Las Vegas Boulevard
Las Vegas, NV 89109