STK’s food overcomes noise, distractions

by Las Vegas Review Journal

Article ran in-print and online; paper receives circulation of 204,036, site receives 1,251,522 unique monthly viewers

If you can’t stomach trendy, you’re probably not going to like STK.
This big, bustling spot among the restaurant row at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas has a DJ every night, kind of a lot of noise from both music and conversation and lots of conventioneers, which means big groups of people who are having a good time, God bless ’em.
On the other hand, all that high-energy stuff can be kind of fun — and may even make you feel like you’re on vacation — the food and service are superlative, and the prices, while up there, aren’t really any worse than lots of other local steakhouses.
But back to the food. The details tend to tell a lot about a place, and that was the case with STK’s bread. It was very good, a sort of monkey-esque construction whose monkey-ness was augmented by the buttery-cheesy mixture it was drizzled with. But the best part was the ramekin of chive oil for dipping. Yes, chive oil, which was new to us, and which was a really interesting (not to mention, tasty) accompaniment.
Details, as well, with the carpaccio ($20). This classic generally is a very simple, elemental dish of thinly sliced raw beef drizzled with olive oil and/or balsamic vinegar and scattered with shaved Parmesan. This one had all of that, but also pickled cherry tomatoes that were little bombs of briny, vinegary goodness, plus a sizable mound of basil-tinged cold noodles that we found ourselves fighting over as much as the beef.
We’d have to get steak at a steakhouse, of course, and one thing we liked about STK’s list is they’re grouped as small, medium or large. From the small stack we chose a 7-ounce filet medallion ($39), sublimely tender and as flavorful as any filet has the right to be, even better with the cup of excellent bearnaise ($2).

Chicken ($29) was free-range and so more flavorful than most, even more so with the whiskey-imbued smoked-tomato condiment. Unlike the steak, which was just steak on a plate, this one came with polenta “fries” that were actually sort of puffs, crispy-edged but with the appealingly granular texture of polenta, and tender haricot verts, or green beans to you and me.
The glazed beef short ribs ($39) were just as short ribs should be, the tender braised meat breaking down into shreds with full, beefy flavor, with creamy horseradish for a few sparks and a green-apple confit for a contrasting sweet-and-sour accent.
And as a side dish, the mushroom potpie ($12), the crust flaky, the tender but meaty woodland mushrooms resting in a savory sauce.
Service throughout was very good, our server exceptionally pleasant and friendly. She also was possessed of a fine subtlety, her only attempt at upselling a mild comment that the sauce of the mushroom potpie would be particularly nice spooned over mashed potatoes, which we could order on the side.
And yes, because of its location and expense-account price point, not to mention the waves of credential-wearing conventioneers, we would tend to think of this as a tourist spot, but that aspect is subtle as well. In fact, our server’s only tourist-trappy transgression was to ask where we were from.
Citizens of the world, my dear. Citizens of the world.