I recently stopped by Fleming’s Steak House (8721 W. Charleston Blvd., 838-4774) to sample the new bar menu, and came away a happy camper. I started with a terrifically refreshing cocktail called a Blood Orange Fizz, and nibbled on crazy-good flatbreads, one with filet mignon and Danish blue cheese, another topped with roasted mushroom and artichoke. Bar menu dishes are priced between $9 and $16, a fair deal.
Then, at a visit to Strip House in Planet Hollywood (737-5200), now celebrating its fifth anniversary, I was reminded of my notion that this lurid mezzanine-level space—reminiscent of a bawdy New Orleans club—is actually one of the Strip’s most underrated steak houses. John Schenk, the chain’s peripatetic corporate chef, was in residence that evening, and made sure our dinner was memorable. The Strip House roasted bacon appetizer is one of the tastiest bacon dishes on the planet; the bone-in rib-eye and goose-fat fried potatoes are superb; and the bartenders are pros, who stir—not shake—martinis that are both cold and bracing. (Sorry, Mr. Bond.)
Speaking of steak, N9NE Steak House in the Palms (933-9900) and executive chef Barry Dakake have just initiated a three-course, $65 prix-fixe menu, available 5-7 nightly, and with incredible bottomless wine pairings. Dakake is doing nightly specials, too, such as a delicious Pacific snapper served on a bed of buttery lump crabmeat mashed potatoes. The menu also allows us to sample tastes of the restaurant’s famous Garbage Salad and onion soup, and then choose from four entrées, including prime rib-eye steak, each served with green beans and Parmesan mashed potatoes. Dessert might be strawberry shortcake or banana-cream pie. It’s too good to pass up.
One of the latest entries in the trend toward healthy eating is Daily Kitchen & Wellness Bar (3645 S. Town Center Drive, 685-7100). I had a juice blend called Harmony—cucumber, kale, spinach, apple and lemon—but tasted more veggies than fruit. My spicy Thai chicken wrap tasted better after I added a dollop of extra peanut sauce, while the rigatoni with marinara and turkey meatballs tasted pretty much like it would have at your local mom-and-pop Italian joint.
Finally, Three Square Food Bank’s annual fundraiser, Dish Las Vegas, will return to the Palms Pool & Bungalows on Sept. 20. As in past years, the event features foods from leading local restaurants, such as Nove, Lavo and Bar+Bistro, as well as a sea of cocktails and music by local band Zowie Bowie. Tickets are $100 in advance, $150 at the door. For more info visit ThreeSquare.org.