Dry aged steak - Las Vegas
I was out West for other reasons for vacation, and I don't drink or gamble so the strip isn't really my thing. But, after days of sleeping on the ground and baking in the heat it was nice to have a day of AC, and I got a room on the strip for a very specific reason. I wanted to try the dry aged steak at Carnevino.
This is one of Mario Battali's restaurants in the Palazzo. So negotiating what seemed like 50,000 people and 3 casinos I made my way over there with high expectations. I wasn't disappointed.
I'll start off with what I saw as the only real negative (other than price, but I knew what I was getting into there) which was the atmosphere wasn't exactly subdued. There was loud music and the restaurant is right off the casino floor. This was distracting at times trying to hear the waiters (service was excellent, attentive without being intrusive), but it didn't bother me while I was eating.
I had the chopped salad and the charred asparagus with mustard vinaigrette. They bring a fresh ciabatta roll with lardo and butter. They also brought around one of these little round fried cheese puff pastry things (asagi?) that was astoundingly airy and delicious. It was all tasty, but the main course was the 90 day dry aged porterhouse.
This thing was incredible. I took the first bite and thought I was going to cry from happiness. There was a very nice crust, and the interior was warm and quite juicy. The flavor is really hard to describe as it doesn't taste at all like a regular steak, or at least not *just* so. The depth of flavor is great and complex, although different enough that I could see where some folks might not like it. Some describe it as blue cheese-like, but I didn't get that. I naturally eat pretty quickly, but I took my time, savoring every bite. Melt in your mouth is about as clichéd as it gets, but it applies.
This was my first opportunity to have a dry aged steak, that's specifically why I went there, and it far exceeded my hopes. Not having tried dry aged beef I was actually a bit apprehensive I wouldn't like it but decided to jump on in. I do look forward to trying some other restaurants dry aged steaks when I get the chance. As far as the beef at "regular" steak joints, this was at least as far above some place like Ruth's Chris as that is above Taco Bell, although it may not be a truly fair comparison as it could really be called almost an entirely different food. Highly recommended.
I liked it enough that if I ever find myself in Vegas again I will make it a point to go back. And I will hopefully be trying the Riserva, if available, which is aged up to 11 months.
Although I probably won't actually stay on the strip.