Vegas Eats: Craftsteak at MGM Grand, Las Vegas Review
"Top Chef's" top chef, Tom Colicchio delivers an exquisitely delicious yet simple menu
Having been a frequent watcher of Top Chef for the last couple of seasons, I have become intimately familiar with guest judge Tom Colicchio's patented 'sniff and sneer'. What I haven't become familiar with is his food. I hear he is a pretty good cook, too, so when Chuckmonster asked where I would like to have my birthday dinner, I did not hesitate and say 'Craft'.
Craftsteak, as it is known by it's full name, took up residency inside the MGM Grand, right next to Emeril's joint. Now, getting inside the MGM is a task, to say the least. We tend to avoid that joint like the plague as it a) does not offer valet service to non-guests b) the parking garage is huge and always full c) the walk from the garage to anything of value is loooong. Trekking through MGMGrand's hugeness easily adds 25 minutes to the trip from just parking and walking alone. We missed the self-parking lot two times before finally wrapping around and up several floors of packed cars to finally find a place to nestle our vehicle. We traversed five floors of mostly broken parking garage escalators, a tour through the candy and trinket shops, a hike across their huge lobby, dodging punters in the casino, evading exiting Ka showgoers and more gamblers before arriving at Craft's front door. One might've expected to find Survivor host Jeff Probst at the finish line to this lengthy obstacle course - at least there was no bug eating on the way.
By the time we got to Craft, they were only seating people at the bar and the kitchen was thisclose to taking the last order of the night. Fortunately Chuck was on the phone with Craft's Maitre D during the whole hike through the casino. We pulled up some chairs at the bar and was immediately greeted by a friendly bartender named Jason.
He presented us with menus while sorting us out with some drinks and bread. The bread, a delectable (but cold) sourdough, was served with a softened pot of butter, which, when combined, resulted in a creamy, rich flavor that hinted of young cheese. When we couldn't identify it we tasted them one at a time and found that alone, the sourdough tasted of sourdough and the butter, well, butter. No cheese present at all.
When it came time to ordering, we had issues. Generally speaking I would have gone straight for the filet, given that we were in a steak house. However, since I had a steak the day before at Kokomo's in The Mirage, I was feeling pretty filled up on the cow. That opened the door for non-meat offerings, which is a rare occurrence.
The choices were overwhelming as they all sounded so delicious. Just to note, the steak selection covered all your basics: filet in two portion sizes, a porterhouse for two, sirloin, New York and a ribeye. Aside from those, we had a choice of chicken, pork chop (which I just do love), lamb in the shank and loin variety, veal and short-ribs. However, I found that for once in my life I was feeling a wee fishy so I found myself having to decide between the roasted halibut and the diver scallops. Salmon was off my list as it is something that I do have often enough to warrant it 'not special enough for a dinner at Craft'.