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Desert Companion

At first bite: Old Homestead Steakhouse

At this iconic import, there’s no muss, no fuss — but lots of superb steak

You’ve got to love what they’re doing with food at Caesars Palace. The place has become a gold mine of iconic, imported, super-old dining destinations: the Forum Shops has Joe’s Stone Crab (of South Beach) and P.J. Clarke’s (of New York), and the casino has the great Rao’s from Harlem and now, replacing what was the perfectly decent Nero’s, comes Old Homestead. Did I use the term super-old? This steakhouse has been in the meatpacking district in Manhattan way before it was cool, since 1868.

The Vegas version is compliments of Greg and Marc Sherry, brothers whose family has been operating Old Homestead from the very start. With such an impressive pedigree, it’s a given this place serves up prime beef in big, bold portions. The real question is how it can distinguish itself from the roughly 34 million other steakhouses on the Strip. After one visit, I sense a certain confidence emanating from Old Homestead, justified by fantastic flavors. There’s no energy spent toward reinvention. The focus is on the beef — give the people what they want — with strong side dishes of classic presentation and superb service.

The signature steak is a velvety 16-ounce bone-in filet mignon ($58). Old Homestead steaks have the best outer-meat-char I’ve ever drooled over. They also do the ribeye lollipop-style, served on the massive “dinosaur bone” (32 ounces, $85). My pick is the New York Strip (18 ounces, $54), impeccably beefy and needing none of the four classic sauces available. There’s a little bit of seafood, and extensive if unsurprising appetizers and side starches rounding out the menu and, as you have read, the prices are high. Worth it? If you love beef, and appreciate an undiluted steakhouse experience, this might be your spot.

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Old Homestead Steakhouse Inside Caesars Palace, 731-7560

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