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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…


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