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Charlie Palmer Steak

Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas
3960 Las Vegas Blvd. S.
Las Vegas, NV 89119
Phone: 702.632.5120
Date of Visit: 13 June 2006


Every now and then, it is nice to head out to Las Vegas to see what's going on. At least that is my excuse and I am going to stick to it. The ChiefMeatInspector was attending a conference there the week of June 12th, so I decided to fly out for a few days of R&R and see about eating some Las Vegas Dead Cow.

Reservations were made in early May for the June 13th dinner at Charlie Palmer Steak, which is located in the Four Seasons. Since I am not much of a gambler, staying at a non-gaming hotel appealed to me so I reserved a room there as well. We arrived around 6:30 for our 7:00pm reservation, and headed to the bar for suitable refreshments. I ordered a dry Beefeater martini ($14.00) and the ChiefMeatInspector opted for a glass of their "house" chardonnay ($12.00), the name of which eludes me at the moment. The martini was excellent, and they did not skimp on the amount. It was served with three nice large olives that gave my mouth something to do between sips. The ChiefMeatInspector mumbled something about the chardonnay as he was attempting to flirt with the very attractive waitress. [Score: Waitress: 1 - ChiefMeatInspector: 0 - ChiefCowEater: Thinking about another martini.]

Shortly before 7, we were seated in the dining room. Now, I am a large guy (and, sadly, I don't mean tall) who likes large tables, and chairs with arms rests. The table we were first seated at was a small round thing which, I quickly determined, was not acceptable. I asked the host if we could move to another table. Without hesitation, we were immediately escorted to a four-top with arm chairs. This was much better for my expanding posterior.

The menu at Charlie Palmer Steak is varied and, thankfully, not a dozen pages long. I tend to be skeptical of restaurants that "pride" themselves at being able to prepare everything in the modern world in an exceptional manner. Please, do well what you do well, and leave the rest for Denny's. Click the link above to Charlie Palmer Steak's web site and check out their menu details.

I noted an appetizer on the menu that screamed "Eat Me!" It was the Seared Hudson Valley Foie Gras, Georgia Peach Charlotte, Sour Grapes ($24.00). Yes, I agree. That is an obscene amount of money to pay for an appetizer. But it is Foie Gras! It's pure fat! It's pure flavor! So I succumbed to my desires and ordered it. To accompany the dish, the sommelier recommended a glass of 2003 Riesling, Schloss Schoenborn, Beerenauslese, Rheingau ($15.00). For my Dead Cow, I ordered the 11-ounce Charcoal Grilled Filet Mignon, European Cut, with Roasted Shallot Jus ($34.00), with a side of Argentine Chimichurri sauce. Our shared sides consisted of the CP Steak Fries ($6.00) and Garlicky Broccoli ($7.00). And as you know, the ChiefMeatInspector has a passion for LOTS of garlic in his veggies. So the waiter said he would ask the chef to "Cook lots of garlic and throw in some fresh broccoli!" Rounding out my meal, I ordered the Tiramisu Parfait, with Sweet Cream and Coffee Kahlua Ice Cream ($9.00).

I was in the mood for an Italian red wine, so I asked the sommelier for a recommendation. He said that he had an Italian blend of cabernet and merlot from Sicily called Firriato Camelot, vintage 2000 ($119.00). He said it was a very nice, drinkable wine, so I ordered it. When he brought the wine, we tasted it. It had a deep, rich color, with a subtle nose of cabernet and merlot fruit. The wine was balanced, with excellent fruit and balance.

The ChiefMeatInspector elected to start with the Trio of Tuna, Seared Bluefin, Spiced Ahi Tartare, Yellowtail Asian Salad ($19.00). He ordered another glass of their house chardonnay ($12.00) to accompany his tuna trio. His entree was their special for the night: Two large pounded thin (although not very thin) filets served with an Argentine Chimichurri sauce and crusted blue cheese ($36.00). For his dessert, he opted for the Dark Chocolate Liquid Center Cake, with Passion Fruit Anglaise and Tangerine Sorbet ($9.00).

The foie gras was very flavorful, especially when paired with the Beerenauslese. However, not that size is all that important, but I did think the portion, for $24.00, was a bit smaller than it should have been. But I got over it. The Beerenauslese was exceptional, and I would not hesitate in ordering it again. My filet entree was prepared a bit more towards well than medium (I ordered it medium); there was just not enough "pink" for my taste. The filet was tender, with a very mild flavor. (I do have to mention that I ordered the filet because it was the smallest cut of Dead Cow they offered. The filet is not my favorite cut of Dead Cow; I much prefer the strip steak. But for some reason, I was not in the mood for a larger piece of Dead Cow that night.) Sadly, the Chimichurri was tasteless. The two sides were great! The steak fries were so good, I wanted to take a bucket of them back to my room for "personal use." The ChiefMeatInspector's extremely garlicky broccoli was, in fact, extremely garlicky. (Go figure.) His dinner entree was excellent, he said. The filets were rare and coupled with the blue cheese, very flavorful. I do believe that the garlickey broccoli was prepared to his level of "garlickyness", as he did mention something about rolling around on the floor with it. I was not too sure what he meant by that....

The deserts were very nice. My Tiramisu parfait was like eating a traditional Tiramisu, but with the added dimension of sweet cream and Kahlua ice cream. It was sweet, but not overpowering. The dark chocolate liquid center cake lived up to its name. Rich chocolate cake, with a decadent molten liquid, paired with the tangy tangerine sorbet was very nice. Both were the perfect ending to an excellent meal.

Charlie Palmer Steak's strong point is its service. The food is excellent, but I am not sure that it is any better than some other traditional steak houses. Would I return? Yes, I believe I would. You see, there is an entree at the top of their menu that I found intriguing, but was too embarrassed to ask the price. It said: "'Kobe' Style Beef Upon Request - $ Market Price". Maybe next time.


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