Strip Steak: Las Vegas Chefs Discuss Burgeoning Trends Across America's Playground's Steakhouses

Posted: Jan 13 2014, 7:31am CST | by , in News

 
Strip Steak: Las Vegas Chefs Discuss Burgeoning Trends Across America's Playground's Steakhouses
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Steakhouses are sprucing up their menus.  No longer is it acceptable just to have dry or wet aged beef.  Guests are demanding, and receiving, sustainably raised, grass-fed products prepared with upscale techniques like cold-smoking and sous vide.  TravelsinTaste found six steakhouse trends popping up in Las Vegas and spoke with some of the city’s top steakhouse chefs about them.

The first? Natural grilling methods.  Top chef judge Tom Colicchio brought his passion for cooking with fire to the Strip with his Heritage Steak which focuses on meats prepared entirely over an open flame – from wood-burning ovens to charcoal grills. So who better than Anthony Zappola, his executive chef, to demonstrate this trend. Zappola explained, “The standard guest nowadays simply demands a quality, organic meal with outstanding taste. We deliver this through natural cooking methods, the original concept behind Heritage Steak. Our steaks are prepared over an open wood flame, rather than a gas grill that can add a dominant char to the meat. The wood-burning grill gives the beef a wonderfully unique roasted flavor and allows us to highlight the exceptional quality of our product.”

Next up? Sustainably raised and grass-fed beef products.  Michelin three-star, James Beard Award-winning chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten has rewritten the steakhouse with his decidedly contemporary Jean Georges Steakhouse.  Executive Chef Robert Moore told us, “At Jean Georges Steakhouse we’re taking the next step in artisanal, small-farm sourcing by not only offering grass-fed and free-range beef, but now moving toward serving an all-natural product. The fats in these steaks are healthier and they won’t give you that ‘food hangover’ associated with hormone-injected meat. The beef we serve is not only what guests want, it’s what they should be eating.”[/entity]

Meanwhile Joe Vicari’s Andiamo Italian Steakhouse at the D Las Vegas transports guests back to the glory days of the classic Vegas steakhouse while meeting the modern day demand for sustainably prepared meat. Executive Chef Joe Parrino provided further details, “We’ve learned that food has a huge impact on both personal health and the environment, and as such, consumers are increasingly looking for greater transparency when it comes to where their food is coming from and how it was raised. At Andiamo, we only serve products of the highest quality that we are proud to serve. We’ve partnered with the nation’s top butchers to offer the finest meats including Pat LaFrieda and Stockyard Premium beef, all-natural Strauss® Lamb and Veal and premium free range chicken, all of which is raised sustainably on grass-fed, free-range and humane practices.”

At TENDER steak & seafood Executive Chef K.C. Fazel’s menu showcases sustainable, small farm and seasonally procured ingredients. Fazel expanded upon the trend, “I’ve seen a great rise in demand for grass-fed meats. Steaks that are grass-fed have lower fat content providing a healthy alternative to traditional beef and are more sustainable for our eco-conscious guests. For foodies, grass-fed meats deliver distinctive flavors as you can actually get a taste of the animal’s natural environment. At TENDER, we provide grass-fed beef selections from all over the world in addition to traditional beef so guests have the opportunity to experience a diversity of flavors.”

Not all beef has to be the most exciting cut – chefs are now tenderizing less glamorous butcher’s cuts.  Brian Massie, Executive Chef of The Light Group explained what he is doing at FIX Restaurant & Bar.   “One trend that we’re experimenting with at FIX at Bellagio is taking what’s been traditionally regarded as less glamorous butcher’s cuts’ of beef – such as flat irons, hanger steaks and non-traditional sirloins – and using special techniques like cold-smoking, 24-hour brining, dry-rubbing and sous vide, to name a few, to create surprisingly tender, incredibly flavorful steaks. This has been a popular trend in other foodie cities for some time now and I’m excited to see Las Vegas embrace it, as it really allows a chef to showcase their skill.”

At Biscayne Steak, Sea & Wine Executive Chef Will VanDusen shared his thoughts with why on the bone is in again. “At Biscayne, we are including more ‘on-the-bone’ options to the menu such as our Dry Aged New York Strip. In addition to being more tender near the bone, leaving the bone in imparts flavor to the meat.”

The bigger, the better and who better to tell you about that then Barry S. Dakake, Executive Chef of N9NE Steakhouse, famous for its Chicago-style prime aged steak selections and frequent celebrity guests.  Dakake explains, “I feel that larger steak cuts have become popular since they offer great value and the comfort of sharing a family-style meal. Our brand new 48 ounce Tomahawk Steak has quickly become one of our most coveted dishes on the menu. It has a massive, over-the-top presentation because of its size.  As I slowly walk through the room to present it to the guest, everybody in the restaurant starts spinning their heads and we are suddenly inundated with a high demand of orders. Some of N9NE’s additional larger cuts include our 32 oz. bone in Prime Rib and our 22 oz. Porterhouse that melts in your mouth.”

Lastly, special dietary menus are making their way the steakhouse.  At Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s other Vegas steakhouse, PRIME, Executive Chef Sean Griffin explained, “I’ve experienced a noticeable increase year after year in the amount of diners visiting our restaurant with special dietary restrictions and preferences. At PRIME, we feature exceptional vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free menus. These menus are excellent because the dishes offered on them are well thought out by our chefs, rather than just being prepared as an afterthought. Because of this, we’re able to provide guests with particular dining preferences with just as enjoyable of a dining experience as someone visiting us for a mouth-watering steak.”

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Source: Forbes

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