It’s always nice when you hear good things about a restaurant and it lives up to your expectations.
It’s even nicer when you visit that same restaurant a year later and realize the quality and customer service hasn’t deteriorated one bit.
Morels French Steakhouse & Bistro has consistently remained one of Las Vegas’ best restaurants since opening its doors inside The Palazzo on Jan. 18, 2008. Open for breakfast, lunch, weekend brunch and dinner, the restaurant shines brightest at night when it’s showcasing a menu full of savory Prime dry-aged and wet-aged steaks in addition to its traditional French bistro fare. Plus, with a 150-seat patio area right across from Treasure Island’s “Sirens of TI” show, there’s arguably no better place to enjoy dinner alfresco on the Las Vegas Strip.
Start off your evening with the Chef’s Prime Beef Tenderloin Tartar ($19) served with quail egg and truffled potato chips. Even if you’re not a fan of beef tartar, Morels’ beef tartar has a bit more consistency to it, giving it a texture that makes one feel like they’re eating ground up carpaccio rather than tartar. The truffled potato chips make the perfect complement to the dish as well, as the truffle flavor isn’t very overpowering so guests can still taste the beef’s flavor with every bite. Paired with a glass of Three Saints Pinot Noir, guests have the perfect precursor to what the evening has in store. Other tempting starter dishes include the Classic Cheese Fondue ($10 per guest), great for those on a date, and the Shrimp Scampi ($22) with garlic, shallots, capers, fresh parsley, lemon and whole butter.
After an appetizer, one might be tempted to move on to the main course. However, at Morels that would be a huge mistake, as the restaurant is home to some of the tastiest salads in Las Vegas. In fact, they may even rival Morels’ steaks for some of the best items on the menu! In addition to the restaurant’s usual salad selections, like the flavorful Roasted Golden & Chioggia Beet Salad ($16) with crispy goat cheese, candied walnuts and field greens, Morels recently introduced a Seared Scallop Salad ($22) for spring with frisée, orange and lime segments, tomato, red onion, red peppers, cucumbers, bacon and lemon vinaigrette that’s sure to please palates. If soup is more your thing, Morels still serves the best French onion soup on the Strip as well, so be sure order either the Onion Soupe Gratinée ($10) or a salad with your dinner to get the full Morels experience.
As for your entrée selection, needless to say, Morels’ steaks are some of the city’s best. Grilled under the restaurant’s 1,200-degree broiler, the steaks come to your table so tender and juicy that you don’t even need the Bordelaise sauce that comes on the side. Guests can choose from three types of beef—the U.S.D.A. Certified Angus Beef Iowa Corn Fed Aged 28 Days, the U.S.D.A. All Natural Grass Fed Tall Grass Farms Kansas Aged 28 Days and the U.S.D.A. Prime Mid-Western Corn Fed Dry-Aged 35 Days—as well as a variety of cuts, including the only one available in all three categories: the Rib Eye. Morels also serves a beautiful 32-oz. Porterhouse that’s cut tableside ($55 per guest) so both you and your guest receive equal parts strip and tenderloin. Although Morels’ steaks aren’t cheap—prices range from $52 for the 14-oz. U.S.D.A. All Natural Grass Fed Tall Grass Farms Kansas Rib Eye Steak Aged 28 Days to $67 for the 16-oz. U.S.D.A. Certified Angus Beef Iowa Corn Fed Bone In Filet Mignon Aged 28 Days—they truly are some of the best steaks you’ll ever have. In fact, the only thing that could make them taste any better would be a glass of Nickel & Nickel Cabernet, which—surprise, surprise—Morels has in its impressive wine collection that boasts more than 450 selections, including more than 70 wines by the glass.
If spending that much for a steak, though, just isn’t in your future, don’t worry—Morels’ many other entrée selections are equally as delicious! In fact, one of the tastiest items on the dinner menu is the 18 Hour Braised Short Rib ($38) with pearl onions, bacon lardons, baby carrots, pomme purée and Bordelaise. The meat is literally so tender that it falls apart the second your fork touches it. Paired with a glass of Rafanelli Zinfandel and guests truly have a memorable meal. Other “Spécialitiés de Chef” include the Sliced Pork Loin ($35) with shaved fennel, frisée, lemon zest, roma tomato and honey sage glaze and the Pan Seared Red Snapper ($28) with artichokes, asparagus, Parisian potato, parsley and lemon oil.
If you’ve managed to save any room for dessert after all that hearty food, Morels’ Classic Profiteroles ($12) with candied almond ice cream and malted chocolate sauce may be a little messy, but they’re the perfect way to combat Vegas’ spring/summer heat. Another fun and tasty treat is the restaurant’s gourmet macaroons ($8). Available in four yummy flavors—pistachio, coffee, pumpkin and strawberry—the macaroons are served from a tableside cart along with an assortment of house-made preserves. Whatever dish you decide on, don’t forget to wash it down with a glass of one of Morels’ delicious dessert wines, like the sweet Bugey Cerdon.
Of course, no visit to a French restaurant would be complete without sampling some amazing cheese, and Morels’ cheese and charcuterie bar doesn’t disappoint. Featuring more than 60 farmhouse and artisanal cheeses and salamis from around the world, must-tries include the Mimolette Extra Vieille, a firm cheese made out of cow’s milk from Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France, and the Affidélice au Chablis, a bloomy cheese made out of cow’s milk from Burgundy, France. Even if you’re not a cheese connoisseur, Morels’ Fromage menu is easy to read, making it easy to find a few selections you’re going to like (one selection costs $12, three $18 and five $26). And if you have any questions, one of your friendly servers (yes, you’ll have more than one!) will be more than happy to assist. Regardless of whether you start or end your evening with Morels’ cheese and charcuterie bar (remember: cheese tastes good enough to count as dessert!), be sure to order something from it before the night is over—your taste buds will thank you!
Morels French Steakhouse & Bistro, located at 3325 Las Vegas Blvd. S. next to The Palazzo's registration desk, is open Mon.-Thurs. from 8 a.m.-11 p.m., Fri.-Sat. from 8 a.m.-midnight and Sun. from 8 a.m.-10 p.m.; its lounge stays open an hour after the restaurant closes. Recent celebrities who have visited the restaurant include Giuliana and Bill Rancic, Juliette Lewis and “My Name is Earl” costar Ethan Suplee. For more information on Morels, click here, and to make your reservation, call 702-607-6333.