Steaks and Vegas gambling have always gone hand in hand.
Originally Appeared on Condé Nast Traveler
Tell us about your first impressions when you arrived.
Aria, one of Las Vegas’s newer casinos (it opened in 2009), was also one of the first on the Strip that didn’t have any sort of theme. Everything about the resort, from its glass architecture to its in-room technology, casino floor, expansive spa, and celeb-chef dining concepts, is meant as a thoroughly modern escape. The Jean-Georges Steakhouse, from chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, is no exception. The restaurant recently went through a renovation that added new touches of Gotham-like glamour to it space. The entrance now features a bronzed, Art Deco–inspired gate that pulls back to reveal a darkened amphitheater-style dining room and lounge where two colors reign supreme: black and gold. It's swank and a bit intimidating, but it sets the tone for a restaurant that takes its food very seriously.
What was the crowd like?
Jean-Georges steakhouses—there's another at the Bellagio and others in New York City, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles—are not casual affairs. Diners come here looking for the best cuts of meat and for boundary-pushing dishes. It’s not all serious, though—the room has an air of celebration about it, as if everyone is celebrating a big score at the blackjack table or a major business deal.
What should we be drinking?
The concise, thoughtful cocktail menu complements the food menu with Asian-influenced house drinks like the Yuzu Gin & Tonic and the Japanese Old-Fashioned. The wine list is just as serious as the meats here, and you’ll want to consult the sommelier for the perfect pairing. Just be prepared to pay top dollar.
Main event: the food. Give us the lowdown—especially what not to miss.
A highlight here is the tableside carvery, which includes a smoked Wagyu brisket, a 42-ounce Wagyu tomahawk, and a 36-ounce porterhouse. If you want some meat with your meat, go for the Japanese Wagyu carpaccio. Otherwise, order one of the seafood starters like the crispy sushi sampler or the tuna tartare. You can also get real A5 Kobe beef from Japan in three different sizes, served with sides such as king crab legs, bone marrow, and foie gras. Pro tip: You may have noticed things are large and decadent here, so don’t eat too much of the bread basket.
What’s the real-real on why we’re coming here?
If you're looking to let your carnivorous side run wild, you’ll be in heaven at Jean-Georges Steakhouse. But the restaurant also boasts a lounge where you can have a more moderate—albeit just as good—experience.