Going Old School at Golden Steer

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This is it, ladies and gentlemen! We can’t believe it. It kind of felt like a first date. On Thursday, July 28, we went on the inaugural OverRye excursion. It was obvious that the first Las Vegas steakhouse we had to visit was Golden Steer.

Jarrad has been there before, but he ate at the bar—he prefers that sort of a thing; Dori and Hayim had never been.

The crew on this night included some classics:
Ray “Babyface” Lucero – Vice President, Plaza Bank.
Robert “Smiles” McPeak – Partner, McDonald Carano.
Adam “Jack Bauer” Walker – Counter-Terrorism Intelligence Analyst, LVMPD.

“Being a Las Vegas native, any restaurant with known mob and Rat Pack ties is special to me. I love that they haven’t spent one dollar on tenant improvements since the place opened in 1958! In this case, it’s a good thing, because the old-school vibe is very cool.” – Ray “Baby Face” Lucero

Story/Atmosphere | Rating: 10 ***

In terms of the story and atmosphere, it doesn’t get any better than this. The ambiance would best be described as Old Vegas, no question. After all, this place was founded in 1958. They filmed the movie Casino in this joint! The waiter was a character who has been there for some 20 years. Once we were seated, he started with stories about when the Rat Pack would come in and where they would all sit. He pointed to a booth across the dining room favored by Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe—until they got divorced. After that, Marilyn’s booth was moved into the other dining room so they wouldn’t have to look at each other.

Service | Rating: 7

It was cool that our waiter was also one of the original employees when the place opened. It seemed like that, anyway. He had lots of good stories and the service overall was pretty good.  One of the other waiters made a great call on the second bottle of wine, so that certainly helped. Two areas that weren’t so great included the staff forgetting our asparagus and then bouncing Jarrad’s twice-baked potatoes on the carpet.

Food | Rating: 6

Golden Steer serves USDA Prime aged, corn-fed beef. A few of us agreed to share entrees. In the mix were the filet, rib eye and chicken parmesan. Everything was good, but nothing blew us away. Actually, the chicken parm was a standout. When it came to the steak, though, we were disappointed. The cut and portion sizes … great! But the flavor was just ordinary. It’s disappointing when you don’t break out with the meat sweats in the middle of the night because you just couldn’t allow yourself to waste any of your steak and you are full as hell.

Spirits & Wine | Rating: 7

We told you it felt like a first date. Hayim got there early and bellied up to the bar to scope out the rye and bourbon selection. He went with Blanton’s. In the words of the bartender about their selection: “We’re not fancy, but we know how to pour.” And he wasn’t kidding. When he pushed the rocks glass forward, it was like a triple—my kind of place!

  • 2010 Foley Johnson Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon:  We ordered this wine first in an attempt to find a big, bold, full-bodied wine to pair with our heavy meal to come. The wine did not disappoint, but it was missing something. Still, it was a quality wine for the price, and I would order it again.
  • 2012 Domaine Tempier Bandol Cuvee Classique:  For the second bottle, we decided to ask the sommelier for advice, and he immediately recommended this bottle. He stated that he is proud to have this bottle and that it is by far the best wine on the menu for the price. He was not kidding. This wine was exceptional and paired perfectly with our steaks and chicken parmesan. I would recommend this bottle to anyone.

Value | Rating: 7

When you go out to a steakhouse, you expect to pay $100–$200 per person, including drinks. Unless you get silly with the cocktails and wine (which we have all done). And then the sky is the limit. Here, the prices was fine at about $150 per person.

Overall | Rating: 7.5

We would recommend that everyone go to the Golden Steer because it is “Old-School Vegas,” but if the venue could step up the quality of the food and spirit selection, this place could be unbelievable.

What’s the OverRye.com over/under on going back?

  • Dori: “Under. Pricey and underwhelming. I expected more from a steakhouse that’s been around nearly 60 years.”
  • Jarrad: “Under. The idea of going there was more exciting than the experience itself.”
  • Hayim: “Under. It was nice to go so now I can say I have. For the money, there is better.”
  • Ray: “Under. I love the atmosphere. It’s a shame the food isn’t better. It wasn’t good enough for what we paid.”
  • Robert: “Under. It is more about the experience than the food. The cocktails and wine were solid.”
  • Adam: “Under. They’re selling ‘Old Vegas’ ambiance at ‘New Vegas’ prices. The meat was decent, but now that I’ve checked this off the list, I don’t see a good reason to return.”

(***Scale of 1 – 10)

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