The Envy Steakhouse is located in the Renaissance Hotel which is less than 5 minutes from the Las Vegas Strip. It was given the 2005 Las Vegas Life Magazine Epicurean Award for “Best New Restaurant – Off the Strip”. At first, this seems like a suspiciously insignificant honor, but when considering the growth of Las Vegas especially as an eating destination, the award starts to mean something.
What originally drew me here was a gift certificate from http://www.restaurants.com/. The gift certificate was for $75 off of a $150 meal. Trying to order at least $150 worth of food without going too far over was a fun challenge. Luckily, our waiter allowed us to use our beverage purchases towards the $150 total. It’s not like I needed another excuse to order wine and cocktails in Las Vegas, but it was a nice gesture. Originally, I was planning on ordering the Tasting Menu with hopes that I could sample some new dishes. Unfortunately, they only feature tasting menus during certain times of the year, but our waiter was very helpful by suggesting some of his favorite items along with the house specialties.
The first item was a Caramelized Onion and Shitake Soup with a Kobe Beef Dumpling. The broth was packed with intense beef, onion, and mushroom flavor which overshadowed the skimpy beef dumpling. Overall it was still very good.
Second was the Seafood Tower which was chalked full of chilled shrimp, crab, lobster, and oysters. I thought it was an impressive assortment, but it was very basic and uninspired. One unexpected service that our waiter performed was bringing out 3 types of sea salt and giving us the rundown on each one and the foods which they matched best with.
The last course was the steak and sides. I ordered their most popular cut. The Bone-In Filet along with sides of creamed corn and Truffle Reggiano Fries. The steak was cooked on both sides over an open flame and had a great sea salt and peppercorn seasoning. Easily one of the best steaks that I have ever had. I remember fiendishly shaving every last morsel of meat from that hulking bone.
The Truffle Reggiano Fries were another hit. They had tremendous amounts of earthy truffle flavor and they were perfect for soaking up all of the steak juices…when no one was looking, of course. The creamed corn was not spectacular, but I could easily let it slide considering the steak which preceded it.
The meal had solid high points. The highest of which was the steak. I hate going to steakhouses just to have some mashed potato side dish invention as the best part of the meal. Envy does many things well, but they excel at steak. Next to that, the best part of the meal was receiving the check and discovering that we just barely covered the $150 minimum to get the $75 discount. I think the food, service, and atmosphere at Envy would have warranted paying the undiscounted price, but at nearly 50% off it was a killer bargain.