Game on: Tender Steak & Seafood encourages culinary exploration
Tender, tender is the slice. And at Tender Steak & Seafood in the Luxor, that slice might be from dry-aged black Angus beef, Oregon lamb, Wyoming bison or even Rocky Mountain elk.
The steakhouse is a far cry from most other traditional steakhouses; the delights here range from those exotic meats to exceptional cheeses and succulent seafood.
And although the dishes can run to the exotic, Tender exudes a friendly vibe. The dining room still has that old-school steakhouse feel—you’ll still sink into plush booths—but just updated for the new century.
Tender’s appetizers range from charcuterie and carpaccio to the seafood tower, with Maine lobster, white shrimp, oysters, clams and two types of seafood salads. The presentation alone very nearly overwhelms you—it’s just that pretty and, well, big, with the serving piece twisting toward the ceiling.
An artisanal cheese board is the opposite, stretched along a horizontal surface, with three or five cheeses of your choice, plus two types of bread, honeycomb, honey dates and cherry fig chutney. The cheeses, along with many menu items, are sourced from Western farms and producers. Standouts include Barely Buzzed, with espresso and lavender rub, and Purple Moon cheddar, which is soaked in cabernet; both cheeses are from family cheesemakers and use vegetarian rennet. When either of these is paired with a bit of honey, the results are mouthwateringly outstanding.
Tender Steak & Seafood
And although the cheese might satisfy you, that’s no reason to stop your meal. Choose from vegetarian minestrone, Maine lobster bisque, wagyu chili (Texas-style) and an exotic mushroom soup for a tasting trio. The mushroom may seriously be one of the best varieties you’ve ever had.
Tender pulls its beef from a range of areas, including Kansas City, of course, but also New Zealand, Australia, Wyoming and Idaho. And you’ll find those in several cuts—filet mignon, Strip loins and porterhouse, ribeyes. Order flat iron, dry-aged, even bison. A wide range of sauces includes a hot chili sauce called Smokin’ Phantom Stinger. Four chili peppers go in this preparation, making for a flavorful condiment worthy of its name.
One of the more unusual offerings here has to be the game tasting trio—Rocky Mountain elk medallions, venison osso buco and a wild boar chop are accompanied by farro, a huckleberry venison reduction and fig chutney. Those accompaniments are chosen well, helping intensify the deep flavors of the game.
Seafood lovers will undoubtedly develop a favorite here, whether for the Maine sea scallops, served with duck bacon, or the Skuna Bay salmon, which comes with truffle caviar.
Select from myriad desserts to end your meal—a “doughnut fritter” apple short cake, chocolate butterscotch brownies, sugar-free lemon sorbet and salted caramel chip ice cream. And if you can’t choose, try a dessert sampler—maybe with Tahitian vanilla bean crème brûlée, chocolate soufflé cake, peanut butter pie and cheesecake? You choose. For a unusual finish to the sweets, add a specialty sweetener drizzled on top—Hawaiian or Mohave Desert honey, balsamic, blue agave nectar and bourbon-barrel aged maple syrup. Now, that’s a perfect ending.
Luxor, 5-11 p.m. daily. 702.262.4778