Neighborhood Staple Echo & Rig Steakhouse is Lights and Sirens!

We visited local neighborhood favorite Echo & Rig Steakhouse with our special guests Sheriff Joe Lombardo, Harsch VP John Ramous and MDL Group’s Robert Perkins.

For those unfamiliar with the Summerlin staple, Echo & Rig is an off-Strip steakhouse and butcher shop located near the extravagant entrance to the Tivoli Village entertainment district. This bi-level palace of meat is enough to attract carnivores from across Southern Nevada and even some tourists who wander far enough west. This steakhouse has a catchy name, reasonable prices, doubles as a go-to spot for lunch or dinner and triples as a butcher shop.

We began our night at the bar with some fine 21-year-old Balvenie PortWood. This was a special night. I mean, how often do you get to dine and drink with the sheriff of one the largest law enforcement agencies in the country?

The crew that night included:

Joseph “Literally the Sheriff” Lombardo

John “Juan” Ramous

Robert “Patron de la Propiedad” Perkins

Story & Atmosphere

The acclaimed chef and creator of Bottega Louie in Los Angeles, Sam Marvin set out to reinvent the traditional steakhouse. Marvin simultaneously introduced the neighborhood butcher shop—with a large, open glass meat locker, vertical displays and an exhibition area—and new dishes not commonly found in your granddaddy’s steakhouse. 

We started the evening downstairs at the bar. After a couple of glasses of the PortWood, we ascended to the second floor for the main dining room.

Spirits & Wine

If you’ve read our previous stories, you’ll notice we found a must-try whiskey at Bavette’s Steakhouse when we first sampled the Old Forester Birthday Bourbon. We tried to order it again at Scotch 80 Prime but they didn’t have it. Instead, Whiskey Master Cody Fredrickson recommended the Old Forester Statesman. It was good, but we found ourselves still chasing the awesome taste of the birthday edition. We looked for it at Echo & Rig. They, too, didn’t have it and suggested the Old Forester 1897 Bottled in Bond. We gave it a shot, or, rather, a bunch of small sips. It was a bit rough for our liking and certainly nothing like the birthday edition, which remains missing from our palates.

Our thirst for something new and better continued after this round of drinks but we quickly discovered that Echo & Rig has a limited whiskey selection. There are some good options on the menu, such as the Angel’s Envy Rye and Balvenie Caribbean Cask, but both were out of stock that night. The bar also lacked the large ice spheres or cubes that we have come to favor. But don’t worry, we still found a way to enjoy some good whiskey. When you find yourself with limited options or spoiled by places such as Scotch 80 and Herbs & Rye, you just need to go back to the basics: The Glenlivet, The Macallan and The Balvenie DoubleWood—all great go-to drams. We mixed it up with those and a couple of other common options before we switched our focus to the menu.

Food

When you sit down for dinner at Echo & Rig, the server hands you laminated paper menus just like many other restaurants. But unlike most others, Echo & Rig also has a show-and-tell version when it comes to the steak options. The presentation is simple: You sit there, hungry and anxious to fill your belly while the waiter presents a tray of five of the largest raw cuts of beef you’ve ever seen. It all looks mouthwatering. We kept it together and selected the 38-ounce porterhouse, rib cap and a few other entrees.

We also ordered some starters to hold us over while the meat was being prepared. Speaking of which, it’s not often that we discover a salad that stands out during a steak-and-whiskey kind of night, but the fried spinach at Echo & Rig was fantastic! The salad includes lightly fried spinach with red onion, cauliflower, broccoli and chili lime vinaigrette … the latter of which truly makes the dish. We also had the Caesar salad, but it was average at best, with romaine hearts, Parmigiano Reggiano, herbed croutons and a classic Caesar dressing. It was good, but far from great.

In true OverRye fashion, we also ordered the Butcher Blend Burger, cut six ways, so we each could have a bite to kick off our upcoming red feast. Like burgers at most steakhouses, this one was thick, juicy and far better than the burger you would get at a typical burger spot. Thanks to Chef Marvin, we also tried some complimentary grilled thick-cut bacon with barbecue sauce. It was a certainly nice touch to start off a meal.

OK: steak time. One of the first entrees to hit our table was the Jumping Beef. This was just one of those dishes that we simply could not ignore from the menu: filet mignon tips, roasted tomatoes, red onions, crispy potatoes and Peruvian demi-glace. And it was damn good! But the award for the best steak of the night was definitely the ribeye cap of Creekstone all-natural beef, cooked to perfection. Like at Scotch 80 Prime, there is something truly special about this cut of meat.

The side dishes at Echo & Rig lived up to the reimagination of the traditional thinking in the steakhouse kitchen. Case in point: portobello fries with herb aioli. These fancy little ‘shroom fingers are tastier and, presumably, healthier than traditional french fries. We also had the roasted garlic mashed potatoes with white cheddar and the roasted broccolini with jalapeños. Exceptional!

Value

It’s not easy finding a quality steakhouse that doesn’t cost the earth but Echo & Rig is that place. With pricing that even beats fast food, it is also, of course, a thousand times better than anything you could get at a burger counter. We’re talking gourmet small plates and appetizers that start at just $6.40! Salads are only a few dollars more, and some high-end entrees are only $22. Colorado lamb chops, Alaskan halibut, smoked Wagyu beef rib and many more are all the same price! Wait, what about the steaks though? Well, they deliver in value in that category as well. You can get anything from a $27 butcher cut or a $37 filet to a sharable 38-ounce tomahawk for about $100. The bottom line is that Echo & Rig has an incredibly diverse menu that offers tasty bites for just about any size budget or appetite.

Overall

Since opening in 2014, Echo & Rig has been a solid go-to for Summerlin residents. And five years on, the menu is still a blend of creative and quality. If there is any room for improvement it would be in directing the creativity of the butcher shop toward the whiskey shelf. But even still, it’s better than most!

Over / Under

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

Joe Lombardo: Over. “A fairly extensive menu with a lot of good options. The ribeye cap and portobello fries, in particular, were excellent.”

Dori Koren: Over. “But not by much. It’s a great local spot, and it has awesome prices, but there is not enough of a wow-factor to rise above the other steakhouses in town.”

John Ramous: Over. “Solid local steakhouse. Definitely worth another visit!”

Jarrad Katz: Over. “I liked the airy feel of the restaurant and the natural light. The steaks were cooked perfectly and sliced for sharing.  The thick-cut bacon with barbecue sauce was a standout.”

Robert Perkins: Over. “I like the menu variety. Everything was put together well, and the ribeye cap … it was amazing!”

Hayim Mizrachi: Over. “I need to come back and check out the offerings of the butcher shop!”H


Kindred Spirits: OverRye Meets Scotch 80 Prime

Who would have thought of creating a restaurant that combines the very best of steak and the very best of whiskey? Well, truth be told, our new BFFs at Scotch 80 Prime did one better than your ol’ pals at OverRye. Actually, they did three better.

Where N9NE Steakhouse once stood in the Palms Casino Resort is now Las Vegas’ new darling. Longstanding chef Barry Dakake is back in the kitchen where he practically had every celebrity on Earth sign his office door in the N9NE days. [NOTE: The chef left the venue in late March, before this review was posted]. With him are added sides to sell the sizzle. “Whiskey Master” Cody Fredrickson slings neat pours from one of the largest and most diverse whiskey collections in the city. Plus, to keep your wandering eyes occupied, a hefty art collection includes masterpieces from the likes of Richard Prince, Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat blended with contemporary commissions from Jason Revoke, Crash, KAWS, Timothy Curtis and Eric Haze.

In addition to the usual OverRye crew, guests that night included:

Bret “Master Somm” Davis

Chris “Ace” Johnson

Mike “the LAW” Roitman

Story & Atmosphere | Rating: 10

“From Dust to Gold” is the theme of the $400 million remodel that The Palms is undergoing. And seems like half the budget was spent on this place. Yeah … it’s that nice. This is the quintessential Las Vegas venue that is merging the classic and the new. Scotch 80 offers an incredible whiskey collection (boast 500 labels at present and reportedly counting), including the largest collection of The Macallan Fine & Rare Single Malt Scotch sold for consumption in the world—33 marques in vintages ranging from 1937 to 1991—and the presence of Fredrickson, who as a whiskey sommelier, essentially, is there to assist guests in selecting their perfect dram.

Service | Rating: 9

They either knew we were bloggers or they are just that good. Seriously, we felt like VIPs the whole night. The waitstaff was on point, giving excellent recommendations. Bret “Master Somm” Davis brought a couple of bottles from his double-secret Summerlin wine collection with which the staff accommodated us. Fredrickson is an all-star, selecting different whiskey flights for each of us that were based on our expressed palate.

Spirits & Wine | Rating: 10

One of the most recognizable and arguably best whiskey distilleries on the planet is The Macallan. The staff of Scotch 80 knows this and that’s why they offer an unmatched selection of The Macallan that goes as far back as 1937. If that’s too heavy, McFly, you could always settle for their merely 65-year-old Macallan at $7,200 a glass. But it’s not just these rare Macallans that makes their $3 million whiskey inventory the best in town. Scotch 80 also has a wide selection of bourbon and rye, as well as a dozen or so available flights that would fulfill the needs of any whiskey explorer. And exploring is exactly what we did. We asked Fredrickson to introduce us to some unique spirits based on what we’ve enjoyed in the past in the hopes that we would discover something new. And he did not disappoint.

We tried Westland Sherry Wood Single Malt ($25), which is crafted from the rich, flavorful barley of Washington State. We also had Old Forester Statesman ($20), a 95-proof bourbon inspired by the movie Kingsman: The Golden Circle. The Statesman was great, but the Old Forester Birthday Bourbon ($70) is still our favorite. We also can’t forget about the Nomad Outland Whisky ($17), which is ‘born’ in Scotland but raised in Spain. That also proved to be quite good. A Jura Single Malt ($17), John Drew Rye ($18) and Brixton Mash Destroyer ($15) also made the lineup that night, and all were interesting and worth a try.

If the whiskey was not enough, we also had some unbelievable wine thanks to our guest, Bret. Bret is what you would call a true wine collector and, as we found out that night, his expertise and generosity made for one hell of an OverRye dinner. He brought two bottles from his personal collection to share with the group (NOTE: a $35 per bottle corkage fee applies, two-bottle max; the wine can’t also appear on the venue’s wine list). The first was a 2012 syrah from Sine Qua Non—Bret’s favorite. The second was the 2014 Andremily Syrah and also quite tasty. Both were exceptional and really added to the start of an exceptional dinner.

Food | Rating: 10

We had high expectations for Scotch 80, but the truth is that those expectations were more about whiskey and atmosphere than the actual food. Don’t get us wrong, we anticipated a good meal to follow our drinks, as we often do, but we just didn’t realize how much better things could really get at a steakhouse that seemed to focus on whiskey first. Much to our surprise, Scotch 80 proved to have it all: great drinks, great atmosphere and great food.

We kicked off our meal with the Ribeye Ravioli ($19), which transformed the meaning of ravioli for all of us. Seriously, put down the Chef Boyardee; this is a game-changer in the ravioli world: roasted bone marrow, braised swiss chard, pickled mushrooms and Scotch-rubbed jerky. Yep, that’s right! Scotch … rubbed … jerky! We also tried the Bacon’s Best ($16) appetizer, which is best described as thick cuts of Nueske’s bacon drizzled with chocolate rootbeer glaze and spicy pecan brittle. Talk about a flavor explosion! Least we should forget the soup. When you’re surrounded by a Scotch selection that represents ALL of the regions of Scotland, you have to rename your soup Scotch Onion Soup ($14)! And with Walla Walla onions, sherry and Gruyere gratin, this starter was amazing.

Ready for the main course?!? How about a 12-ounce Creekstone Farms Rib Cap ($56)? We’ve had a lot of steak in our lives, but this one was out of this world! Simple in presentation and absolutely flavorful. We also had the fancy Chateaubriand for Two ($135). Yeah, we know, it sounds fancy and expensive but trust us…it was freakin’ amazing! This dish, prepared for sharing, features a large center-cut filet mignon that is perfectly roasted and served alongside potatoes and sauce. We also tried the Organic Mary’s Chicken ($38) but found it to be a bit dry and too simple to stand out among the other dishes. We didn’t order many sides but the ones we did order were outstanding. The Mac & Cheese ($14) was so good that we could go back to have just that. No, seriously, just mac and cheese for dinner. The Old School Creamed Corn ($12) was also a star and so good, in fact, that Chris “Ace” Johnson said it brought a tear to his eye.

As full as you may be at the end of dinner at Scotch 80 Prime, dessert is a must at this place. We tried a Fire & Ice Banana Split ($36) which is assembled tableside with hand-turned vanilla bean ice cream and caramelized bananas. The palate of eight toppings makes this dessert awesomely playful and perfect for groups. Banana Bread Pudding ($12) was good but not as good as the Peanut Butter Pie ($16).

Value | Rating: 8

Like most high-end steakhouses, Scotch 80 Prime is not cheap, especially if you decide to have as much whiskey as we did. But being expensive doesn’t mean it’s not worth it. In fact, Scotch 80 seems to be fair in this regard. You’re going to pay more for a glass of whiskey but it’ll likely be a great glass of whiskey. You’re also going to pay more for an appetizer or steak but, again, it’ll be a great appetizer or steak. So all in all, while Scotch 80 sits at the higher-end of steakhouses, you get what you pay for and, in this case, it’s worth it.

Overall | Rating: 9

The bottom line is that Scotch 80 Prime is firing on all cylinders. The atmosphere is energizing. The whiskey selection is unmatched. The service is on point. The food is unforgettable. And prices are high but fair for what you get. All things considered, this place is the real deal and we can’t wait to go back.


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

Dori: Love it. One of the best new steakhouses and whiskey spots in town. Incredible whiskey selection and great rib cap.

Bret: Over. Absolutely amazing. One of the best appetizer and dessert menus in town.

Chris: Juiciest, most delicious burger ever. Creamed corn brought a tear to my eye.

Jarrad: Over. Whiskey education was tremendous. The French onion soup was exceptional. Definitely will be back.

Hayim: Over. Absolutely over. Holy effin ish, futha-mucha. Welcome, Scotch 80 Prime. I’m coming back. Rib cap!

Mike: Over. Rib cap and mac and cheese!

Check out the About Us page for more info and photos of our guest judges…


Our “Almost Famous” Moment: OverRye at Tom Colicchio’s Craftsteak

The only thing better than an OverRye dinner is an OverRye dinner with a celebrity look-a-like at a celebrity steakhouse! Things got ‘extra’ during our outing to Tom Colicchio’s CraftSteak in MGM Grand.

Read more

OverRye at Herbs & Rye: That’s Got a Nice Ring to It

As we mentioned in our first story, OverRye is about capturing the experience you have with friends OVER a glass of RYE whiskey or some other delicious drink or tender steak that helps you let loose and simply live in the moment. And our last outing, at the Herbs & Rye Steakhouse, certainly met this purpose! Read more

Steaks, Pasta and Axe Holes: A Downtown Las Vegas Andiamo Steakhouse Story

This is OverRye’s first Bachelor Party Edition! Why were we in Downtown Las Vegas for a bachelor party, you ask? The Glitter Gulch is closed, after all. Well, we’ll tell you why: to throw some axes, that’s why! Read more

Welcome, Bavette’s—What took you so long?

We were just coming off an OverRye evening at Prime. It’s difficult to compete with an evening that includes a celebrity chef, the Bellagio fountains and an established steakhouse. Bavette’s, however, was up to the challenge. And let us say: She was Read more

A ‘Prime’ OverRye Experience

It’s official! We launched the OverRye website, set up social media accounts (follow here, here and here, if you’re so inclined) and began connecting with a network of steak and whiskey lovers across the country. And so it was time to visit another Las Vegas steakhouse and share our story about the experience.

This time was different, though.

Read more

Something New: Oakville, a Napa-Inspired Steakhouse

After the inaugural OverRye dinner at Las Vegas’ oldest steakhouse, we decided to go to one of the city’s newest. On Wednesday, August 30, Oakville in the Tropicana was our spot.

Read more

Going Old School at Golden Steer

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.

Read more

The Origin of OverRye.com

Tuesday, April 4, 2017 nothing special was going on in Las Vegas … except for everything! We had been planning this night for months. On the agenda, a visit to Cut by Wolfgang Puck in The Palazzo.

Read more