Sonoma Cellar Steakhouse evokes wine country
In Las Vegas, venturing off the Strip is not a bad thing—the entire area has a wealth of opportunity for thrill seekers, nature lovers and food aficionados. Near the southern end of the valley, you’ll find Sonoma Cellar Steakhouse in Sunset Station, a charming place that’s frequented by locals. The California wine country-inspired restaurant recently expanded its environs and its menu, with some eclectic items joining traditional steakhouse choices.
Among those eclectic offerings are the cornflake-crusted Buffalo frog legs, available on the bar menu and for happy hour, too. Although most people have had chicken wings, they probably can’t say the same about frog legs, which are surprisingly similar to chicken, but much juicier. Fried green tomatoes are juicy, and tangy, too, with a rémoulade accent.
You can wash those down with a tasty craft beer like the Alaskan Smoked Porter or the Dogfish Head 120 Minute Imperial IPA, or go for a cocktail like the Pain and Suffering. With its combination of pineapple juice, orange juice, Russell’s Reserve Private Barrel bourbon and cream of coconut, this upscale take on a Painkiller will have you feeling no pain. The restaurant also offers a good variety of wine and a whiskey library.
At your table, go light for starters with a tomato and burrata salad with basil and peaches, balsamic vinegar and olive oil, or try the sweet beets four ways, accented with goat cheese and pistachios. For soups, choose steakhouse stalwarts such as French onion and lobster bisque. And smoked pork belly over grits and rainbow chard makes a lovely gateway to your entrée. The chard itself makes for a fab bite, without any bitterness at all.
The restaurant features everything from aged steaks to a 24-ounce porterhouse and lamb T-bones, but the Sonoma classic is the signature steak for a reason. The 20-ounce ribeye is perfectly cooked, marinated with garlic, tomato, and cilantro. It’s served with a garlic-cilantro sauce, which is offered for the other cuts as well. Pair the steak with a side of slightly crispy Hasselback potatoes, presented with bacon, Gorgonzola cheese and chives. Another excellent addition is the charred sweet corn, served off the cob, with chipotle aioli, cilantro and cotija cheese, evoking the feel of Mexican street corn.
To cap off the meal, the inventive, pretty Coffee and Donuts cooks up a warm glazed-doughnut pudding, like a bread pudding, but with a twist. Cappuccino gelato provides the coffee portion, and pairs very well with the pudding. Want even more decadence? Peanut butter pie. You really only need those three words to evoke the complete richness of this dessert, but here are a few more: Candied peanuts and an Oreo crust. It definitely makes a detour from the Strip worth the trip.
Sunset Station, 5-10 p.m. daily. 702.547.7777