Trio of Duck Fat Fries
Yellowtail Sashimi – Cucumber Salad, Crispy Rice, Serrano Chili, Yuzu-Ponzu
Crispy Rice Poppers – Hamachi and Ahi Tuna, Tobiko, Ponzu
Roasted Bone Marrow – Chipotle-Chimichurri, Grilled Sourdough Bread
Braised Shortrib Ravioli – Roasted Root Vegetables, Ricotta Salata, Crispy Parsnip
Instant Bacon – Five Spice Pork Belly, Tempura Oyster, Green Cabbage Slaw
Roasted Beet Salad – Goat Cheese, Granny Smith Apples, Toasted Hazelnuts
2013 Il Poggione Rosso di Montalcino
Dr. Joe’s Duck Breast – Seared Foie Gras, Pumpkin Ravioli, Crispy Pumpkin
16oz Prime Creekstone Rib-eye with Grilled Foie Gras and Cornbread
Loup de Mer with Lemon
Smoked Gouda au Gratin Potatoes
Crispy Cauliflower Bagna Cauda
Maple Glazed Brussels Sprouts with Sliced Apples
2008 Royal Tokaji
Michael Mina’s Root Beer Float – Sassafras Ice Cream, Root Beer Sorbet, Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookie
Sweet Treats – Cookies, Ice Cream Bars, Financiers, Bundt Cakes, Pate de Fruit, Valrhona Chocolate Truffles
Warm Beignets – Macallan 18-year Butterscotch Pudding, Vanilla Crème Brulee, Mocha Pot de Creme
Campfire S’mores – Smoked Marshmallows, Salted Caramel Ganache, Graham Cracker Ice Cream
Without a doubt the site of one of the worst Las Vegas meals in memory it took a change at the helm to provoke renewed interest in Stripsteak, Chef Tony Schutz having recently taken over the shoebox of a kitchen that serves over 300 patrons each evening, and has been doing so for ten years running.
Setting aside previous events, yet ironically seeing this reservation also compromised at the start as someone had somehow entered it for Saturday, it was with the immediate intervention of a young woman named Ashley that the appropriate information was ascertained – a tight four-top along the wall nearest the kitchen situated for three over the course of nearly four hours.
Having arranged the reservation by way of another member of Michael Mina’s collection of talent, a request for prix-fixe carte blanche happily accepted by Chef Schutz whose work at PUB1842 was significantly undervalued by locals, it was after brief greetings from the Kitchen staff and servers that cocktails were mixed for out-of-town guests while a brisk glass of Brut was poured for me, the signature Duck Fat Fries soon landing and still industry standard even compared to the best of the best seen in Brussels this past May.
Making a few small requests early on, personal favorites and those of friends easily worked in, course one saw Chef Tony start light with snappy Yellowtail Sashimi layered amidst sliced Cucumbers and Serrano Chilies, the “Crispy Rice Poppers” alternating Hamachi and Ahi Tuna Tartare atop something not unlike an Arancini with a crown of Roe and bright Citrus dressing.
Drinking the Champagne faster than usual, but finding Iced Tea and Red Wine better suited for the heavier courses to follow, three full Bones arrived next with their hemisected insides topped in smoky green Herbs alongside toasted Bread for spreading, the Braised Shortrib Ravioli not quite as refined as those at Carnevino, but still well designed as the rich pillows rested in a puddle of earthy Jus with Ricotta Salata and crispy Parsnips.
Finding pumping techno as off-putting as prior, the high-ceilinged space already loud by way of a full-house, it was after a prolonged trip to the single-person restroom that my friend came back as Chefs visibly waited patiently at the kitchen door for nearly five minutes, the signature ‘Instant Bacon’ not losing any of its effect as smoke and sweetness quickly flooded the palate while a ubiquitous Beet Salad once again evidenced that few ‘celebrity chefs’ have the same passion for produce that Michael Mina does.
Trying to show the kitchen’s diversity with entrees and additions, three grilled items and a similar number of side dishes delivered with share plates already holding Cornbread and Honey, it was during a later kitchen tour that we learned each steak is subjected to an immersion circulator bath of clarified butter before Grilling, the Rib Eye perfect medium rare with a good crust while both the Fish and Duck were cooked beautifully, the latter a new preparation for the fall season while both the Sprouts and Cauliflower are also set to be launched soon.
Unable to resist consuming every bite of the Potatoes, the multi-layered stack as rich and sizable as it was tempting, it was with only a hint of regret that we returned from the kitchen tour to find the table decked out in desserts, Pastry Chef Monica Delgadillo serving Mina’s Signature Root Beer float alongside Stripsteak’s famous Beignets plus a plate of eight small bites and the wholly hedonistic skillet of S’mores.
FOUR STARS: Still a bit too ‘trendy’ to feel like a serious restaurant where dinner for four can push $500 or more there is little to be faulted in terms of the Stripsteak kitchen under Chef Schutz, a return visit once he has had the opportunity to truly create a menu likely to make me enjoy the place even more.
RECOMMENDED: Crispy Rice Poppers, Roasted Bone Marrow, Dr. Joe’s Duck Breast, Smoked Gouda au Gratin Potatoes, Campfire S’mores, Warm Beignets.
AVOID: Both the Short Rib Ravioli and those on the Duck were too thick as relates to the noodle while the Sweets plate is fun, though there is no real standout item.
TIP: Currently celebrating their 10th Anniversary, Michael Mina’s Root Beer Float is available for a limited time only.
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.