Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Okay I watched Top Chef from the beginning and I really liked the show. Now I am over it since each season has been getting more crass. I don't respect any of the new chefs like the ones from the earlier seasons. Of course I have always wondered if Tom Colicchio was as good of a chef as he tries to make himself out to be. I have heard mixed reviews of Craft in NY so I decided not to go and 'wichcraft didn't look so hot when I walked by it. The only place that I really wanted to try is Craftsteak in Vegas because I love my steak! So I got to check it out and judge him myself. I must say that MGM Grand has a nice selection of restaurants because we ended up going there twice on this trip for dinner. Just walk down MGM Grand Studiowalk to enter the restaurant area and KA.
Be sure to make reservations before you go just in case. You can make them online at the MGM Grand website, so we were set when we went. The decor was simple with a slight modern twist. They have colorful booths against the wall that look cozy as if you were in your own room. The service was friendly, but there was one thing I had to complain about. Apparently they have a lady who goes around asking if you want a photo book in honor of your dining experience. I don't know, to me it's a little tacky. Ha! I brought my own camera! That showed them! ^_~ I have to give props to their bread! It's simply delicious and flavorful. A Buttery flavor dabbled with Salt on top. You have to love the pan it's in too! It's just too adorable how the food comes out. The bread is definitely baked fresh and HOT so be careful. I love it when bread is hot because the butter easily melts into it. So good. We had two pans full! ^_^They have this great Summer Menu so be sure to order that because it's a great deal! For two people we were stuffed to the BRIM! Also I did order some extra sides. I will start off with the two appetizers we ordered. Originally I was trying very hard to get 4 people to go so we could get the Kobe Beef Menu, but alas we couldn't get enough people. So in place of being able to have a great cut of Kobe or Wagyu beef, we decided to get the Wagyu Beef Tartare to share. The meat was very soft and the flavor was good. I didn't quite enjoy the Raw Egg atop to blend in especially since Tofu didn't use it at all and mine became drenched in raw egg. It wouldn't be as bad if it was a small amount. The taste was tangy, but not amazing. I was not wowed. It was just nice to try and I actually got Tofu to eat raw meat!
For those of you who know me. I NEED my Foie Gras! They offered a Seared Foie Gras with Bing Cherries. I had foie gras earlier that week and was disappointed. The cherries actually worked here and complimented the foie gras. They gave a generous cut and everything was presented in pans that made the dining experience different.
If you get the Summer Menu or any Menu meals, do NOT order extra stuff because you will be stuff and realize that you didn't need it all. I am greedy and I didn't know how big the portions are. Even though I know that now, I might be tempted to try the Seafood Sampler next time. If you don't like leftovers or don't want to be too stuffed then just keep to your menu items. To start off the First Course you get Roasted Red Peppers, Persian Cucumber & Watercress Salad, and last but definitely not least is the Grilled Quail. The veggies were good. They were simple with a slight flavor. You can really taste the foods freshness. As you all know I do not like veggies so I left it to Tofu to finish and he loved it.
For the dishes that I really liked they get their own photo spotlight! I really have to give it to them about the Grilled Quail. Normally I don't eat quail, but it's often flavorful. They really grilled and flavored it to perfection! We talked about all the food we had in Vegas and ranked the dishes. This was definitely top 5 if not top 3! The quail just melted in our mouths and filled it with flavor. It's simplistic and clean on the palette. I think it's the best quail I have ever had, although the one Ron Siegel made was good too.
There are 3 Main Courses. It's Grilled Kobe Sirloin, Roasted Chicken, and Diver Sea Scallops. The Kobe beef was good, but I didn't feel that was anything more special than normal beef. I would have really rather have filet mignon to judge it well. The meat was cooked nicely so that it would not lose its texture. Then there was this huge plate of chicken that was nicely roasted with a crisp skin. The flavor was a light, a little lacking for my taste. It definitely could have been better, but it's not like it tasted bad. By this time it was important in choosing what food to stuff in yourself because you are probably getting extremely full. I would finish the beef and then attack this dish. The scallops were cooked in a Lemon Butter with Wine and strips of Fennel. It was flavorful, but Tofu felt the awkward tinge when these sauces are mixed so he didn't eat much of it. The scallops were huge and cooked nicely. To me the flavor was fine, but I can understand the tangy tinge you get from the seasoning.
There are 3 Side Dishes as well. It's Sweet Corn, Potato Purée, and Shiitake Mushrooms. These portions are also pretty big. Tofu hates mushrooms so he didn't touch them. To me they were a little light in flavor. I wished they had a little "oomph" to make them better. It's definitely a generous amount and they probably wouldn't take away any flavor or taste from the meat.
The Sweet Corn gets MANY MANY points! It was simply divine! The flavor was just on point and I couldn't stop eating them. I seriously wanted more! Maybe it's the corn they use or crack they put in the butter. The simply sweet flavor emanates in your mouth and plays with your taste buds. We both loved it and would definitely put this on the Top 5 and even Top 3 dishes we loved. I make a great mashed potato and I am usually not that impressed with the paste most restaurants serve. The Potato Purée was good. I loved the little pan it came in and the flavor was solid. It was creamy and had a nice smooth texture. Really makes you wonder how much butter is in that thing. lol Was this the best mashed potato I have had? Nope, I can't really remember much about the flavor. I can only tell you that it was good and went well with the dishes. All I can remember is that it was better than the one I had at L'atelier del Joël Robuchon.
Then came dessert! OMG! We were stuffed by that time. It's okay, you don't miss much since the desserts were only so-so. They gave 3 full-sized Desserts. It was 4 Flavors of Ice Cream, Warm Berry Crisp with Vanilla Ice Cream, and Cinnamon Monkey Bread. The dessert was failure to me. It's not that they were bad, but they weren't good as well. Since parts of the meals Wowed me, I guess I expect more for dessert? The ice creams were a little too frozen for my taste and lacked flavor. I couldn't really eat the Meyer Lemon or Coconut flavored ones and it wasn't worth the effort. We both didn't like the warm crisp. Usually I hate cooked fruit but I would have eaten the crust on top. We both felt that it lacked cohesiveness and the composition was a poor choice. The monkey bread was fine and I liked the sauce. Overall I didn't really care for the dessert and we left most of it, which made me feel guilty. I am Asian, I can't let food go to waste in good conscience!
All in all the food was good and for the price in Vegas... GREAT! For only $60 per person you get 4 Courses with 3 dishes each. It's like a 12 Course meal for that price. I was almost tempted to do their Wine-Pairing because it's only $30 per person. The whole time I was thinking how I can take my Mom or bring Ms. Lin back to this place because they would enjoy it. Yes, Ms. Lin has been here and I am sure she had a much better menu than we did. Still it's affordable and a great dining experience. I think I will add this to my repertoire of restaurants in Vegas now! ^_^ Yup I liked it that much!


3799 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Las Vegas, NV 89109
(702) 891-7318
Craftsteak (MGM Grand) on Urbanspoon


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