Vegas restaurateurs take note: There's a new game in town that has single-handedly elevated the fine steakhouse experience to another level. This is in the form of Gordon Ramsay Steak, which opened in May 2012 aptly at Paris Las Vegas.
Hell’s Kitchen is a far cry from this elegant and alluring new eatery that has raised the bar to an exceptionally high standard.
While the Devil may be in the details, my recent visit to Gordon Ramsay Steak made clear that Ramsay’s “cheflebrity” status has served to enhance and refine his laser-focused vision of how to proffer a dining experience unlike any other. With this new namesake venue, it is entirely evident that dining details are Ramsay’s strong suit.
As one might expect, Gordon Ramsay Steak is as bold and unique as the celebrated Chef himself—from the initial “chunnel” entrance emulating the passageway between England and France, to the art deco English décor and lively pop music, to the inspired seasonal menu and spectacular presentation thereof, to the inimitable start-to-finish “team” oriented service approach executed by the impeccably-dressed-and-trained wait staff. With this venture, Ramsay pays clear homage to the UK in both the gourmet food and beverage offerings and the design. Notably, the focal point of this two-level restaurant is its Union Jack ceiling mural vividly punctuated with a custom, bright red linear neon art sculpture emulating Ramsay’s movements while making his signature Beef Wellington.
The roomy restaurant spans 7,500 square feet and is designed to seat 200 guests. It features an open dining area and exhibition-style kitchen, private dining areas, a chef’s table and a bar and lounge that has quickly become Vegas’ new bona fide hot spot.
Pomp and circumstance aside, any fine dining restaurant must deliver “epicurally.” And, this Gordon Ramsay Steak does…and then some. The experience, which brilliantly fuses tradition with ingenuity, starts with the iPad digital drink menu that allows you to visualize and read about the restaurant’s signature cocktail collection as well as wine and other libations. A staff sommelier is on hand to assist with the available 325 wine labels from around the world as well as 35 well-known American and English beer selections. During my recent visit, the sommelier selected the 2009 David Bruce Pinot Noir Russian River Valley ($120) to dutifully complement our menu selections.
When drinks are in hand and a distinctive assortment of breads with imported butter have been served gratis, next is an artful and innovative tableside presentation of the jaw-dropping array of beef cuts in raw form. This allows patrons to gawk at the thickness and marbling of each mammoth, top-quality cut prior to ordering. These included Prime Beef options hand selected by Pat LaFrieda, dry aged for 28 days minimum in his Himalayan salt room, and multiple American Kobe beef selections boasting a beef marbling score of 9 or higher.
At this point, it’s up to Executive Chef Kevin Hee to deliver culinary shock and awe. And, he’s up to the task given his training through the Gordon Ramsay Group’s own stringent regimen. My party started with Chef Hee’s Asparagus Soup ($17) served with Dungeness crab, pickled white asparagus, and smoked salmon caviar. A dollop of parmesan custard brilliantly set the dish off. We also enjoyed the uniquely semi-sweet British Ale Onion Soup ($16) prepared with Boddington’s Pub Ale, caramelized onion broth, and Welsh rarebit.
For the salad, we selected the Roasted Beets salad ($17) served with emerald crystal lettuce, oyster mushrooms, champagne vinaigrette and a grainy pumpernickel soil all served atop a silky house-made ricotta. Rounding out our starters experience was the Smoked Beef Tartare ($21) accented with lemon zest, red onion, capers and Guinness-infused mustard seeds and served with Yokon Gold herb chips that were quite artfully presented—yet another example of Ramsay’s penchant for small, yet impactful, details most other restaurateurs overlook.
For the entrée, while each of the copious beef options were tantalizing, I opted for Ramsay’s famed Roasted Beef Wellington ($50) served with glazed root vegetables, potato puree, and a red wine demi-glace. The dish is truly epic with the filet more flavorful and tender than any other Beef Wellington I’ve eaten before and, of course, served at a perfect medium rare. And, the delightful accompaniments proved worthy of being served alongside this stellar signature item.
Another in my party ordered the fresh and flaky Loup de Mer (Mediterranean sea bass) ($42). For both the beef and the fish dish, a variety of side sauces ($5 each) are available, including the House Made Steak Sauce, Worcestershire Demi-Glace, Béarnaise, Peppercorn, Bone Marrow and Café De Paris Butter. Our side dishes consisted of the overflowing Mushroom Tart ($11) with pearl onions, green beans, and mushroom cream, and the savory sautéed Spinach ($11).
As a fitting end to one of the most memorable multi-sensory dining experiences I’ve ever had, I indulged in the Sticky Toffee Pudding ($12) composed of sweet pudding cake, brown sugar toffee, and a brown butter ice cream. In a word: insane…meant in the best possible way. As if that were not enough, the table also ordered the Chocolate Layers ($12) with chocolate cake, passion fruit ganache layers, and dark chocolate Gianduja ice cream. All of this was enjoyed with French Press Coffee ($8) presented with an assortment of chocolate and liquor-dipped spoons to up the flavor ante. Details, details.
After conquering the global restaurant scene and reality television with his extraordinary culinary skills and larger-than-life, in your face persona, award-winning Chef Gordon Ramsay is rolling the dice on Las Vegas alongside the Strip’s most renowned gourmet eateries. Gordon Ramsay Steak will undoubtedly give these entrenched hot spots a run for their money.
***Some or all of the accommodations(s), experience(s), item(s) and/or service(s) detailed above were provided at no cost to accommodate this review, but all opinions expressed are entirely those of Merilee Kern and have not been influenced in any way.***
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