Center Cut beefs up the traditional steakhouse menu
By Brock Radke
Photography by Beverly Poppe
The roster of standout steakhouses on the sparkling Strip seems to go on forever, and yet new and improved versions of this classic American dining experience are popping up everywhere.
Indulging in the highest quality of beef and seafood complemented by a lavish environment sounds like a dream come true, but it has become the standard—nay, the bare minimum—where all Vegas steakhouses begin.
Is Center Cut at the iconic Flamingo up for the challenge? Absolutely. Overlooking the casino resort’s fun, frolicky wildlife habitat and lagoon-style pool area, this shiny new restaurant packs a mighty menu and serene surroundings. Outside the dining room, staff is decked out in black and happy to guide you to a comfy, active lounge for a pre-meal martini. Step inside and you’ll find a sleek, rounded, black-and-white space, open and airy, a refreshing twist on the leather-and-dark wood appearances chophouses employ all too often. For extra intimacy, secure one of the large, round, chandelier-topped booths hiding in the corners, your very own private dining room.
Center Cut Steakhouse boasts an innovative list of appetizers, classics spiked with creativity. There’s a shrimp cocktail poached in lime juice, lamb riblettes in a tangy house barbecue sauce and a trio of bacon satays: cayenne-peppered, applewood-smoked, and blue cheese-cured. There is a must-order among these starting dishes, a seafood selection that cannot be overlooked. Sweet lobster medallions, huge king crab legs, fresh raw oysters and U-4 shrimp (that’s four ounces per single shrimp!) compose Center Cut’s seafood tower, augmented by traditional cocktail and house-made heirloom tomato sauces. It sounds like a lot to tackle, but, trust me, you can handle it.
After a bowl of onion soup or lobster bisque, you’ll be ready for the main event. The 28-ounce tomahawk ribeye, on the long bone and served with marrow, is the flashiest—and most powerfully flavorful—steak in the spotlight. There’s also a 20-ounce bone-in ribeye, which comes from Aspen Ridge Farms in Colorado, like all of the beef here. A thick cut of prime rib is crusted with horseradish and fresh herbs, layers of flavor matched perfectly with a crisp pinot noir.
Other land-dwelling meals include a gigantic burger (almost a full pound of beef) with bacon and blue cheese fondue, a veal porterhouse with caramelized shallot butter, or a Chilean coffee-crusted pork chop served with jalapeño-bacon creamed corn. (Don’t worry, you can order that spicy, smoky corn as a side dish, unless you prefer lobster mac and cheese or ranch-seasoned steakhouse fries.) From the sea, struggle to choose between Scottish salmon, sautéed diver scallops or a spectacular 2-pound Maine lobster.
Everything at Center Cut is top choice, and that includes dessert. There are fun sweets to choose from, like a crème brûlée tart or the whimsical coffee-toffee crunch, but you’re at a steakhouse, and you’re serious. Don’t pretend to ignore the 18-layer triple chocolate cake. It’s the perfect closer to the perfect Vegas steakhouse meal, memorable and utterly satisfying.
5:30-10:30 p.m. daily. 702.784.8821