Bavette’s Steakhouse & Bar at once fresh and familiar
What do Chicago and Las Vegas have in common? They are without a doubt two of the top destinations in the country when it comes to steakhouses. If you’ve spent time in both cities, you’ve probably eaten at Swift & Sons, Gene & Georgetti, Morton’s and Chicago Cut in the Windy City, and made the rounds at Strip standards like Prime, Craft-steak and StripSteak in Vegas.
Now, these two capitals of cuisine have come together in a new and utterly delicious way. A collaboration between MGM Resorts International and Chicago’s Hogsalt Hospitality has planted a Vegas version of Bavette’s Steakhouse & Bar—definitely a top chophouse pick on any list of Chicago’s elite eateries—at the Monte Carlo, the renovating resort soon to be known as Park MGM. But there are no obvious characteristics of either city at this restaurant, nor does the new Bavette’s limit itself to steakhouse traditions. There are enough classic elements inside to make it feel familiar, but it’s too fresh and lively to remind you of anything you’ve seen or tasted before.
The understated entrance from the casino floor makes you feel like you’ve discovered a secret speakeasy. The classy foyer is French country meets leather-and-wood library. The long, sleek dining room glows under golden chandeliers and Tiffany lamps, complemented by a jazzy soundtrack. And don’t get us started on the bar hidden at the back of the room. From the moment you first step inside Bavette’s, you’ll be making plans to return again and again.
The central bar offers the ultimate whiskey selection, a variety of intriguing takes on the old-fashioned and the martini, and an educated offering of classic cocktails like the gimlet and the lion’s tail. Once you have drink in hand, you may want to start your meal with a massive blue crab cake with preserved lemon and remoulade, a spicy peppered duck and goat cheese terrine or decadent steak tartare with a slow-cooked egg. Every item on the menu sounds incredibly tasty, so let your cravings take control. Check out the bacon-roasted tomato salad with watercress and herb salt, or the smoked salmon Caesar with crispy potatoes.
If you’re not in the mood for a juicy steak, you’ll be tempted by a prime rib French dip coated in Gruyère, a griddled cheeseburger to which you can add thick-cut bacon and a fried egg, or Bavette’s spiced fried chicken with mashed potatoes and cipollini onion gravy. Fresh oysters and regal chilled seafood platters are ready for larger groups looking to celebrate any occasion, while a simple steak frites—an expertly charred and sliced 10-ounce prime ribeye with hand-cut French fries—might serve as the perfect dinner for one at the bar.
The recommended main attraction is a 22-ounce, 42-day dry-aged bone-in ribeye, a steak of unmatched richness. But don’t let it stop you from pairing up with the ideal side dishes, perhaps a bacon and sour cream-loaded baked potato or creamed spinach with blue cheese and caramelized onions. Truffle mac and cheese, and charred Brussels sprouts with Parmesan are fabulous, too. And the fun continues at dessert, where you’ll have to choose between a hot fudge sundae, towering lemon meringue pie or spiced carrot cake.
Take your time with your customized feast. Because you’ll want to linger here for as long as possible.
Monte Carlo, 5-10 p.m. Sun., 5-11 p.m. Mon.-Thurs., 5 p.m.-midnight Fri.-Sat. 702.730.6700