Center Cut Steakhouse creates a modern classic
The Vegas steakhouse is an institution; a rite of passage in a town where over-the-top is the norm. Thick cuts of red meat served with big reds are almost as much the standard as the showgirl on the Strip, dating back to the days of Bugsy Siegel and the Flamingo. And what better way to remember the father of Las Vegas as we know it than to take part in tradition in the property for which he was known? Welcome to Center Cut Steakhouse.
The Flamingo celebrates its 70th anniversary this year, and the contemporary Center Cut pays homage to classic Vegas while allowing diners to enjoy modern convenience. Comfortable banquette seating is situated just below flat-screen TVs parading a rotation of classic Vegas images: Johnny Carson, The King Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr., and even George Burns and Cher for good measure. And you can imagine all of them dining in the welcoming Flamingo steakhouse.
Before gorging yourself on red meat, explore some of the inventive appetizers to begin your experience. Seasonal rotating oysters—Kumamotos on a recent visit—arrive on the half shell with a crisp champagne mignonette and fresh cracked black pepper, straying away from the traditional accompaniments. Elsewhere from the sea, a sharp seasonal shrimp ceviche is delivered on a corn tortilla and accompanied by a rich avocado mousse. But best of all is charred beef carpaccio. Perched atop what is described as a “crisp cheese Twinkie” (essentially a Gruyère and Taleggio cheese crouton), the thinly sliced strip loin exudes a hint of smoky char, contrasting both the nutty Gruyère and the dukkah—a dry Egyptian condiment containing crushed pistachios.
Nosh: Center Cut Steakhouse
But this is a steakhouse, which means the menu revolves around steaks and the ever-present sides. Center Cut sources cuts from the Aurora Beef Company from the western Chicago suburb of Wayne’s World fame. Midwestern beef needs no introduction but Aurora Angus ups the ante with DNA traceability so you could learn the lineage of your steak. Not that you’ll care when it comes to a crispy-exterior, fork-tender wagyu short rib atop a celery root purèe or tenderloin finished with red wine and thyme/rosemary butter accompanied by triple-cream Yukon mashed potatoes rich with butter. Or maybe you’ll pair a meaty NY strip with garlic-laden creamed spinach.
Wash it all down with a reasonably priced wine by the bottle or glass—The Prisoner pairs particularly well with beef. Or peruse the innovative cocktail list with choices such as the Mexican Mule, which trades out the vodka traditionally found in a Moscow Mule for Patrón reposado. And do try to save room for dessert where a just-sweet-enough New York cheesecake and a sublime vanilla crème brûlée await.
Flamingo, 5-10 p.m. Sun.-Thurs., 5-10:30 p.m. Fri.-Sat. 702.784.8821