By Lila Asnani, Foodable Contributor
People come to Las Vegas for a whole host of reasons. The magic of Las Vegas is that it can morph and be different things to different people. Some people come to try the newest and brightest but lately there has also been a budding interest in old school Vegas. Particularly Vegas as in the 1950’s, when the famous Rat Pack ran and set the trend for what was swell and hip in this city.
The Golden Steer Steakhouse is one such establishment that harkens to the golden, and what some people nostalgically refer to as the best, age of Vegas.
The Golden Steer Restaurant
The Golden Steer was established in 1958 and considers itself as the oldest continuously run steakhouse in Vegas. They were not just a steakhouse; they were the steakhouse and a must stop for celebrities like Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra and his Rat Pack, Marilyn Monroe and Muhammad Ali among others.
One of the main reasons that Frank Sinatra and his gang frequented the Golden Steer was because it was one of the few establishments in Vegas that Sammy Davis Jr could eat at with his friends during the period of segregation here in the US.
Step into the Golden Steer now and you can’t help but feel transported by the sumptuous décor of plush leather booths, ornate chandeliers and intricately designed carpet. In fact, existing booths are marked with brass plaques to commemorate famous celebrities’ tables. Elvis’s table is a particular favorite with regulars and celebrity visitors like Quiet Riot and Motley Crue.
Classic Service Style
What makes a restaurant a classic? Mark Steele, the maître d’ thinks that the attentive service and tableside presentation, or even flare, are the hallmarks that has drawn and continue to draw people to this long time establishment.
The tuxedo clad waiters execute tableside preparations of Caesar salad and flaming Cherries Jubilee and Bananas Foster nightly. They can do this because it is not considered a fire hazard like it would be in multi-story restaurants.
Mark emphasizes that “When you come here, we treat you like family. We remember your name, your favorite entrees and even your previous booth and make sure that you feel that you have not just had a meal but rather a memorable experience."
This family philosophy extends to the restaurant’s own personnel. The restaurant has been manned by three generations of the same family of chefs and some of the waiters have worked there for 40 years. The restaurant has only changed ownership once and is currently owned by Dr. Michael J. Signorelli.
The Golden Steer has purposely chosen to not make major changes to their menu. The restaurant realizes that their customers return because of their fond memories of the outstanding service and the restaurant’s ability to consistently replicate the outstanding food flavors and quality. The only major changes to the menu are the prices and unfortunately you cannot have a filet mignon for $6.50 as you could in 1962!
They are currently experimenting with expanding their wine selection and hope to offer innovative wine and cocktail pairings with their classic food menu.
Las Vegas has a rapidly growing and changing culinary scene and Mark believes that the Golden Steer has been able to maintain its success because of their continual commitment to the classic edicts of excellent service and quality products. In a world of ever changing elements, staying true to course has many merits.
The past few years have been good ones for the Golden Steer. They were awarded the 2013 Best Steakhouse by readers in the annual Las Vegas Review Journal poll. There has also been numerous favorable write ups by culinary and travel publications which has meant a resurgence for this Vegas icon.
Mark only sees and predicts a continued growth in their future especially since there is a growing demand now among visitors for the classic experience of Vintage Vegas. It should come as no surprise to anyone then that considering the history and dominance of this grand dame, that the Golden Steer’s trademark is “the best steaks on earth.”