Charlie Palmer Steak Las Vegas – A New Jetsetters Review
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We believe that a great and memorable meal is influenced not only by the excellent choice, taste & presentation of the food you may have, but also by the ambiance, the service, and the special touches a restaurant employs, and when all is said and done, it really does take a combination of all these factors to make your evening a stand-out, one that you will rave about for years.
This is something that Top Chef Charlie Palmer obviously recognized when creating his group of upscale steak restaurants, and at Charlie Palmer Steak, Executive Chef Steve Blandino is certainly pulling his weight with his stylish take on classic steak-house favorites. His five-star menu is bursting with freshly sourced Fish (how about Sicilian Pistachio Crusted Ahi Tuna), a creative take on seafood (think Ritz Cracker Stuffed 2.5 lb Main Lobster) and quality steaks (8 oz. Rangers Valley Australian Wagyu Striploin). In the meantime, General Manager Adam Curling has been careful to ensure the entire dining experience for guests is an uncompromising study in great service, romantic ambiance & worth every penny for the wonderful memories you will walk out with.
Charlie Palmer Steak is a beautiful restaurant located right off the main lobby of the Four Seasons Hotel on the Las Vegas Strip. If you’re lucky enough to be staying at the Four Seasons Hotel, on the top four floors of the Mandalay Bay Hotel, it is only a smooth elevator ride down from your room and a slow stroll down softly scented corridors of the hotel to get to your destination. The best part is that you are able to avoid the smoke, noise & crowds of a casino.
The ambiance of Charlie Palmer Steak is one of intimacy, the warm interior hues of butterscotch & toffee create a sense of calm & elegance. Tables are not situated too closely together, something we detest in many of the more modern steakhouses, and the lighting is low & moody. We also appreciate the relative quietness of the Charlie Palmer experience; it is possible to enjoy conversation without having to raise voices, and conversations at other tables do not intrude on those intent on romance, or simply a calm enjoyment of a great meal.
We were greeted pleasantly and seated right away in a romantic booth at one side of the restaurant, where we were able to feel relaxed and out of the way, yet able to watch the activity and enjoy a bit of people-watching. Their menu is quite extensive, with plenty of choices for every palate. As we were perusing the offerings and sipping on some cold, bubbly San Pellegrino, a sharp-eyed Sommelier noticed me paging through the extensive wine bible. With a charming smile, he offered his services, and we were quick to take advantage. Our experience has shown us that the expertise of an astute Wine Steward can catapult a great meal into an incredibly memorable experience. Invariably we always try something we may not have ever chosen on our own. He promised to return shortly after we had decided on our dinner choices.
All the Appetizers sounded amazing, and we both had a difficult time deciding which delectable dish to try. The “Duo of Hawaiian Tuna with Hearts of Palm, Avocado Spheres & Icicle Radishes” sounded wonderful, but my intense love for raw oysters won out, and I chose “Seasonal Oysters on the Half Shell with
Champagne Mignonette and Caraway Crisps”. Steve was wavering between the “Bellwether Farms Goat Cheese Tortellini with Guanciale & Baby Shitake Mushrooms” and his usual favorite starter, a Caesar Salad. Charlie’s House “Caesar Salad” didn’t sound like any run of the mill Caesar Salad…. with Prosciutto wrapped Romaine Hearts & White Anchovies” it was no surprise that this was his first choice.
My choice for the main course was the 10 oz. Charcoal Grilled Filet Mignon with Roasted Shallot. And although Steve was eyeing the “Oven Roasted Alaskan Halibut with Braised Artichokes and Pixie Tangerines”, he also went with his craving for a good steak, choosing a 14 oz. “Bone-In Strip Steak, Dry Aged a minimum of 28 days”.
Side dishes of “Trumpet Royale Mushrooms” and “Parmesan Potato Gratin” sounded like great accompaniments. Scott must have been keeping a keen eye on us, for as soon as we settled happily on our Appetizer and Main Course selections he was at our table in a heartbeat. I was quick to appreciate that he did not automatically select the highest priced wine in my selected range; but instead pointed out two bottles of moderate price which he highly recommended would compliment the meals we were choosing. He suggested Chateau Simard St. Emilion 1999 or the 2005 Chateau Monregard La Croix that would complement our thick, juicy steaks. I made the executive decision for the Chateau Monregard Pomerol .
We settled back in anticipation as Scott disappeared to fetch our bottle of wine and people watch, our tummies were grumbling in anticipation. The bottle of Chateau Monregard arrived, and after a cursory taste, I opted to let it breathe for awhile before judging, but first tastes were appealing, and I knew it would open nicely if left for awhile.
Soon our Appetizers arrived. The Oysters were divine, the Champagne Mignonette adding just a sexy hint of tangy seasoning and the Caraway Crisps providing an unexpected and unconventional appeal .Steve’s Caesar Salad was beautifully presented and the Romaine Hearts wrapped in Prosciutto made for a creative twist on what can sometimes be a humdrum salad.
We had ample time to relax between courses and people watch. We are always amazed when dining in a fine restaurant that, no matter how busy the pace, the staff always appear relaxed and are able to take care of your every need, sometimes even before you know it yourself. Our glasses were refilled with sparkling San Pellegrino water before we knew they were almost empty. Wine was carefully topped up before we had to consider pouring it ourselves. Yet neither one of us can recall anyone really doing this! When service is really wonderful, it’s almost as though the staff can make themselves invisible.
Our main courses were absolutely excellent. I always request my steak rare, which frequently seems to be a problem. Most of the time I end up receiving them medium-well done, which I really don’t like. But this Filet Mignon was beautifully done, juicy, tender & flavorful. The roasted shallot added a home-style flavor to the meal, and our side dishes of the Trumpet Mushrooms and the Potato Gratin were the perfect accompaniment. I could not believe the intense flavor of these mushrooms, they were rich and complex on the palate. Steve’s Dry-Aged, Bone in Strip was worthy of his patented eye-ball roll which only appears when a steak is absolutely perfect for him. I don’t get to see it all that often. But tonight, I did. A full-on eyeball roll. Neither of us has had much experience with a Dry-Aged meat, but Steve was very impressed with the cut and preparation of his meal. We were in heaven for quite a while as we enjoyed the entire experience, taking our time and savoring every bite and every sip of the delicious wine.
The dessert creations all sounded amazing, and I wished I could try each and every one, however our already satisfied tummies had other opinions. We decided to share the “Chocolate Peanut Butter Bar with Vanilla Ice Cream & Dark Chocolate Sauce”, a sinful concoction designed to romance your sweet tooth. It was rich and satisfying with just enough creamy peanut butter to make it interesting but not overpowering. A Cappuccino on the side made for the perfect ending to a perfect meal.