By: Bob Gurley
Downtown Summerlin has become the go-to place for upscale shopping and dining.
A new entrant to the gourmet eating scene is Andiron Steak and Sea, the brainchild of successful Restaurateur Elizabeth Blau and her talented husband/Chef Kim Canteenwalla. Billed as “an homage to all things grilled, roasted, shucked and seared” the menu has roots in classic dishes with a contemporary spin.
A quintet of appetizers tastefully welcome the feast to come. Maine Sea Scallops are made with English and sugar snap peas and truffle vinaigrette. Nueske Bacon-Wrapped Matzo Balls are prepared with horseradish crème fraiche and Sandy Valley Farms arugula.
Most steakhouses do a fine job with the meat, but side dishes lack creativity. That is definitely not the case here.
In fact they are so good you will almost forget about the meat, but don't. You will find a nice selection of beef including Creekstone Farms NY Strip or Strauss-Grass-Fed filets.
I usually opt for a juicy filet mignon, but our informed waiter steered me to the Wagyu Skirt Steak and I'm glad he did. It was the best one I have ever tasted.
Sliced thin and expertly folded, it was so tender there was no problem cutting it with a fork. The 9-ounce portion was just the right size.
It was served with glazed shallots and chimichurri. They also feature a Tomahawk Chop for Two, a whopping 36 ounces, for $98.00.
Seafood selections are equally adventurous. They offer a whole Branzino that is grilled and served with roasted peppers, ragu, capers, wild fennel and pine nuts.
European Turbot, a fish not seen too often here, is pan seared and delivered with sunchoke puree, sugar snap peas and ratatouille vinaigrette. A Santa Barbara Shellfish Pot is a creative collection of shrimp, scallops, mussels, clams, rock fish, potato and saffron rouille sitting in lobster broth.
Vegetarians will enjoy the Roasted Cauliflower Steak prepared with king trumpet mushrooms and pickled Fresno pepper vinaigrette.
About those sides - Chef Kim has put together a list that at first glance looks ordinary but is anything but. First of all, the creamed spinach, a mainstay at just about every steakhouse is considerably lighter with parmesan cheese and crispy onion.
They have mac and cheese but this version is an original (Mac and Cheese Waffle). The noodles and cheese sauce are actually made in a waffle iron. The finished product is crispy on both the top and bottom and creamy in the middle.
A twice baked loaded potato has both bacon and bee hive-smoked cheddar to give it a slight smoky flavor. Tater Tots, mustard spatzle and ash-roasted leeks are also available.
Desserts are another plus. Ashley's crème Brulee Donuts are an original. And yes they are just what the name implies: little donuts filled with creamy crème brulee with burnt sugar on top.
Apple Tarte Tatin is delivered with sweet cream ice cream and the Chocolate-Banana Cream Ice Box Cake has caramelized bananas and a chocolate wafer cookie for a clever accent.
Andiron is another crown in the burgeoning Blau empire. It is the perfect place for a special event or a gourmet dinner with a contemporary twist.
Andiron Steak and Sea, Downtown Summerlin, 1720 Festival Plaza Dr., adjacent to Red Rock Resort. (702) 685-8002. www.andironsteak.com.