Tom Colicchio’s Craftsteak
MGM Grand Hotel and Casino
Las Vegas, NV
Web Site: MGM Grand Hotel and Casino (Craftsteak)
Vegas. I’m not sure what possessed me to go on vacation in a city that I generally can’t stand. Don’t get me wrong, I love going to the shows, I love the desert flora and fauna, but I hate going through casinos filled with smokers and the constant blaring sounds of the slot machines. It just isn’t my kind of scene.
And while the signature hotel restaurants are by definition excellent (and indeed very expensive) I don’t generally like to dine at them. After all, I live in the New York City metro area and I have access to some of the best restaurants on the entire planet, many of which are the original concepts of which the Vegas restaurants are actually based on.
I had planned to take advantage of the nice 70-80 degree weather that week by chilling out at our timeshare’s pool and spa, and keep our costs down by hitting inexpensive casual restaurants away from the activity of the Strip.
But then my buddy Matt Seeber got a hold of me on FaceBook.
Matt, who earned his toque in New York’s Fiamma Osteria (may it rest in peace) and the short-lived but excellent BID, left the East Coast a number of years ago and headed west to Vegas, where he re-united with his former boss Tom Colicchio, from Danny Meyer’s Gramercy Tavern years before.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, we all know how Colicchio’s star soared from there. He’s been a very busy and successful guy, opening up 15 restaurants all over the country. And he’s on like this TV show and … stuff.
With Collichio’s blessing, Seeber took the reigns as Executive Chef of Craftsteak, the anchor steakhouse at the MGM Grand Hotel.
“Dude, you gotta come on over and see what we’re doing over here, man. Seriously, you’ll have a good time.”
Ok, so as much as I hate Vegas, there was no way I was going to pass that invitation up.
I have to apologize in advance for the quality of the photographs. Craftsteak has very muted lighting, and as I was on vacation, I only brought a simple CASIO Exilim point-and-shoot instead of my usual overkill SLR and prime lens rig, so I had to toss a lot of material on the cutting room floor, particularly the restaurant interiors.
There’s plenty of of good photos of the interiors on MGM’s Craftsteak website, so you should really go check those out.
Still I think that you’ll get a very good feeling about the cuisine and the experience at the restaurant from the photos below.
Bar/single dining area at Craftsteak
Ready for a serious, Vegas-style steakhouse experience? Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.
Filet Mignon with the restaurant’s signature Bordelaise sauce. Craftsteak goes through a massive amount of Bordelaise, about THREE GALLONS a night. In the video above, you’ll see how it is made.
Australian Wagyu Beef Tartare. The only form in which minced beef is used at the restaurant. No burgers.
Wild Mushroom Sides.
Caesar Salad with Marinated Anchovy
New York Strip.
Italian Buffalo Mozzarella with Tomato and Balsamic Vinegar.
Australian Wagyu Skirt Steak. If you’re big on beefy flavors, this is the one to order.
Surf and Turf Combination with Lobster Tail
Surf and Turf combination with Diver Scallops
The restaurant has a dedicated pastry staff to make the desserts. This is a bread pudding.
Monkey Bread, which is like a big pecan cinnamon caramel sticky bun that you pull apart with your fingers.
Vanilla Bean Cheesecake
A flight of sorbets and fresh ice creams, served with a sweet Tokaji dessert wine.