Long before steakhouses proliferated the Strip and the burbs, there was Smith & Wollensky, which opened in 1998 near the Showcase Mall and was a local and tourist favorite until it shuttered in 2017. Now the chain steakhouse—with locations in 10 other cities—is back after a two-year hiatus, this time at the Grand Canal Shoppes in the Venetian. The 14,000-square-foot space occupies two stories and brings back familiar architectural touches—the green awnings, antique lighting and herringbone dark-wood flooring. It’s classic steakhouse ambience through and through, with a menu that lives up to its “America’s Steakhouse” moniker.
The restaurant’s stock-in-trade are dry-aged and hand-butchered USDA Prime steaks, and diners can get a peek into the butcher room where the dry-aging magic happens. For starters, the menu features classics such as steak tartare ($18), seared scallops ($23) and crab cakes ($22). There’s a selection of chilled seafood, along with shellfish towers of varying sizes. If virtue calls your name, the Wollensky Salad ($13) is a hearty meal in itself.
But you’re probably here for the meat, and you’ll be pleased to know the hand-cut steaks are chosen from the top 2 percent of all beef in America, then aged in-house for 28 days. You won’t go wrong with the 24-ounce ribeye ($69) or the bone-in New York cut ($67). Order it medium rare and pair with a glass of wine from the concise but carefully curated list. If you’re feeling especially ravenous, opt for the 44-ounce American Wagyu Snake River Farms Tomahawk ribeye ($175). It comes out swinging on a hook, then gets expertly charred tableside and served with Yukon potatoes.
On a side note, the usual suspects are present and accounted for: potatoes in varying preparations, vegetables like cauliflower and asparagus, and kicked-up mac ‘n’ cheese in lobster or truffle iteration. Dessert comes in solid (cheesecake, carrot cake, chocolate cake) or liquid (key lime pie martini, espresso martini) form; all are good finishing touches for the rib-sticking meal.
SMITH & WOLLENSKY Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian, 702-637-1515. Sunday-Thursday, 11:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 11:30 a.m.-midnight.