There’s a bit of pickling going on at STK. The shrimp cocktail is deliciously askew—lightly pickled and spiced prawns served with a peppy cocktail sauce. And there are juicy bites of pickled tomatoes alongside that standard steakhouse salad of iceberg lettuce, blue cheese and smoky bacon. I like pickles, but even if you don’t, you should be able to appreciate the nice little touches that make this restaurant stand out.
- The Cosmopolitan, 698-7900
- Sunday-Thursday, 5:30-11 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 5:30 p.m.-midnight
I’ve spent a lot of time in the last year eating and drinking amazing things on the third floor of the Cosmopolitan, but STK was never on my radar. I figured it was the least interesting place to eat at Cosmo, just another expensive Vegas steakhouse. (That, and I was discouraged by the never-ending parade of short-skirted girls and their hyper, dapper dates that flows through on the way to Marquee. I don’t trust the cool kids’ taste in food.) But when I finally visited on a quiet Sunday night, without any crowds or clutter, I was equally impressed with the dark, sexy, lustrous space and the simple, well-structured menu with those nice little touches.
One subtle head-turner was the bread basket, served with bright green chive oil and blue cheese butter. The popular appetizer at STK is miniature burgers, but I prefer a duck confit and frisée salad with sharp bits of cranberry and apple. Shrimp rice crispies is actually a rich bisque, and foie gras is done “French toast” style with almond brioche and more apple.
STK bills itself as a female-friendly steakhouse, but I’m not sure why. After all, women love beef and fancy restaurants. The top picks here are a rich, fatty skirt steak, 7 or 12 ounces; a flavorful bone-in filet; or a massive cowboy ribeye of 34 ounces. As they are everywhere, the steaks are wonderful, so look to the side dishes for more nice little touches: sweet corn pudding, mushroom pot pie or Parmesan truffle fries.
Educated assumptions about Strip restaurants are usually right, but I’m glad I took a shot at STK. It’s doing strong business, and the great food justifies the attention.