To be completely honest, I was not really inspired lately to share my following experience. In all fairness though, I am sure that Mr. Michael Mina had not intended his diners to visit Guy Savoy before visiting his dining room.
We actually had no real intention of going to Stripsteak at all this trip but due to a certain engagement plan taking place, Beverly and I had to think fast and make some last minute reservations.
Chef Michael Mina’s flagship meat house is located on the far side of the strip in the heart of The Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. As you might have guessed, we rarely travel past the Bellagio (except to visit L’Atelier). I’ve actually heard from several different sources that the duck fat fried fries are a MUST try from Stripsteak so Beverly and I decided to give it a go.
The ambiance is quite casual and is definitely a family friendly environment. The space is quite open with large wooden tables and trendy music playing in the background – this was completely opposite from the previous night’s quiet regal affair that we had. I liked that they had large glass windows looking in to the kitchen though- it’s always fun to watch the chefs at work. They also had large windows for their meat locker too!
We aren’t really “steak people” so we decided to go with a few appetizers and share 2 entrees between the three of us. Unlike other restaurants, the bread basket was actually their famous duck fat fried fries. The fries came with 3 types of dipping sauces but they were already pre-seasoned. Apparently, Chef Mina is all about the “trio” of things so the three sauces were paired with three differently seasoned fries. They were just fine on their own I felt but it was nice to have the option of the different sauces. The fries were light and crispy and offered a good amount of potatoey goodness on the inside. Were they the best fries I have ever had? Maybe. Would I go back just for these fries? Probably not.
The Foie Gras Sliders seemed to be one of the highly recommended items from various reviewers so we simply had to order them. The foie gras was quite creamy but I found that slider bun was a little too much and didn’t complement the foie gras that well. Too much bun I think. The chutney was nice and offered a good balance to the rich foie but I wasn’t wowed by it. The sliders also came with a dipping sauce which I thought was unnecessary since the foie and the chutney were quite flavorful already. Portionwise there was a very generous piece of foie but I found this to be a very heavy item for an appetizer.
As mentioned before, I’ve been on this whole truffle binge so the Truffle Mac N Cheese was a must for me. Many diners seemed to be absolutely gaga for this and I didn’t see what can go wrong with cheese and truffles. There was a very generous amount of creamy cheesiness in this dish and a nice heavy hand in the use of truffle oil making the entire dish quite salty. It was great for a few bites but a little too heavy overall – we didn’t even finish this side dish.
We felt that we needed some greens to balance out the heavy meal so we ordered their Spinach Soufflé. Looks really are quite deceiving. Though this may appear to be something hidden in the back of your fridge for the past 6 months, it tastes of rich creaminess. Served piping hot with even hotter parmesan cream sauce, our thoughts of “eating healthier” went right out the door. This is one of those dishes where you need to eat it right away because the longer it sat, the less appealing it looked and tasted. It was an interesting dish and surprisingly tasty, but couldn’t really eat the entire portion of this. Maybe it was a tad too heavy… Hmmm.. starting to see a trend here…
In addition to the Spinach Soufflé for our greens, we also got some Brussels sprouts. I’m not really a fan of Brussels sprouts unless it’s laced with bacon. Another Paula Deen style dish: Very buttery.
For our entrees, we went with the highly recommended Wagyu Ribcap and the Veal Chop. Both steaks had a nice caramelization and a good smokiness to it. The word on the web is that Chef Mina likes to use a variety of poaching techniques that involve lots of clarified butter on his meats which brings out that extra tasty beefiness. The Wagyu Ribcap was so soft and buttery it really did melt in your mouth. Both steaks were well seasoned and really quite tasty on its own without the need of additional sauces. The sear on both pieces were nice and not overly done which helped keep in all the juices of the steaks. The beef here was of good quality and we did not find any veinyness in either pieces – weird as that may sound, I found that it’s quite gross to be chewing a piece of meat and then finding a vein in it.
This restaurant could have been very good but it was slightly underwhelming for us. The food was ok at best and other than everything being quite heavy we really didn’t find it to be quite so memorable. Although I do have to put this out there, I don’t think that we gave it a fair chance because of our dining experience from the previous night. Our server here at Stripsteak was quite friendly and helpful and even offered useful suggestions when we told her that we wanted to split the appetizers/side dishes and entrees. She did seem to have trouble counting though because she only gave us two parting gifts even though we were a party of three. I think this restaurant would be great for a casual dinner for those of you who would enjoy a little heartiness in their meals. For us non-steak eaters it was ok… I left with an uncomfortably heavy heart and felt that I needed a jog and eat some fresh tomatoes to clear out my arteries the next day. Unless I am staying at the Mandalay Bay and all the other restaurants were booked up, I don’t think I would be making that trek back.
On the plus side, I did enjoy their parting gift of chocolate caramel popcorn!
Last Visit: April 2012