The Seven Best Old-School Restaurants

Vegas Seven readers gave us most of the usual suspects, and the seven nominations listed below ain’t bad. But, because this is called the Best of the City and no clear winner surfaced, I get to be the decider. So, here’s what I like (or don’t) about each and, ultimately, which place I like best.

Battista’s. Wine is included with entrées, along with minestrone soup or Italian salad, garlic bread, pasta and the house cappuccino at this value-priced Strip Italian dinosaur. 4041 Audrie St., 732-1424,

Bob Taylor’s. The beef program may not be by a New York butcher at this steakhouse in the northwest, but steaks are grilled over mesquite coals and are about $20 less than comparable hunks of meat on the Strip. 6250 Rio Vista St., 645-1399,

Chicago Joe’s. Downtown’s old-school Italian joint is a charming little house that clings to relics such as baked clams, cioppino and the inevitable eggplant parmigiana. 820 S. Fourth St., 382-5637,

Casa di Amore. In addition to osso buco, stuffed pork chops and Steak Sinatra, this Old Vegas homage is actually doing gluten-free pizza. We won’t knock it for that. 2850 E. Tropicana Ave., 433-4967,

Hugo’s Cellar. Continental cuisine lives—and so do ladies menus without prices, flower petals on chairs and a salad cart stocked for a bomb shelter—at this Downtown haunt in the basement of the Four Queens. 385-4011,

Peppermill. Local police and foreign tourists flock to this 24/7 coffee shop, perhaps more for the shimmering design and big helpings than the uninspiring American cooking. I prefer the lounge. 2985 Las Vegas Blvd. South, 735-4177,

And the best of the best is …

Golden Steer. Where it’s still possible to get a good Caesar tossed at your table the way you like it, bygone dishes such as toasted ravioli with marinara sauce and Dover sole (boned at the table), and a brand of service all but vanished in this country. The restaurant has been around since 1958, and serves only USDA Prime, aged, corn-fed beef, not to mention a gaudy chateaubriand for two. I never come without ordering sides like the twice-baked potato or their delicious creamed corn. The place remains as close to a power-lunch spot as anywhere in town. For anyone on a law-firm expense account, wines are well tended, from a list packed with vintage reds. 308 W. Sahara Ave., 384-4470,

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