Restaurant Review: Atlantis Steakhouse

atlantis-casino
This is the whole casino, not just the steakhouse. That would be a big steakhouse.

Dined: 9/30/16

A while back, I reviewed Bimini, the steakhouse located in the Peppermill Casino. I have now had a chance to eat at the Atlantis Steakhouse, located in the Atlantis Casino. While the Atlantis Steakhouse was good, it didn’t beat Bimini.

To start, they brought us a large basket of bread. It contained sourdough, wheat, a crispy flatbread with poppy seeds, and a brioche. Butter topped with black and pink lava salt accompanied the bread. The sourdough and wheat were pretty traditional, but the poppy flatbread was good – almost like a lemon poppy seed muffin except light and crispy (in a good way). But, the brioche was by far the best thing in the basket—a large, fist-size roll with cheese inside. The lava salt butter was great, however, you needed to be careful to evenly distribute the salt; it became too salty (but that is user error) otherwise. My only complaint is that the bread wasn’t warm – it would have improved the wheat and sourdough for sure, and likely the brioche. Though it wouldn’t have stayed that way since they left the basket at the table for the whole meal.

The amuse bouche was salmon with a horseradish sauce on a potato wafer (i.e. a tiny potato chip without the salt). It was the salmon, not the horseradish, believe it or not, that overwhelmed the dish – in a good way. The salmon was fresh and flavorful (despite being warned that the seafood wasn’t good here, I was impressed with the one bite of seafood I did have). The potato wafer was understated, but gave it a nice textural contrast. I typically like my horseradish more nasal-clearing than the sauce served here, but it might have thrown the dish out of balance.

I have a habit of trying French onion soup whenever I see it on the menu. It doesn’t matter if it is the cheapest bar or the finest dining experience – if I see it, I get it. I don’t know what my compulsion is, probably the cheese (of course it’s the cheese). This bowl was off to a bad start though, as I like my French onion soup to have melted cheese running down the side of the crockpot. This had the cheese sunken halfway down inside of a good-sized bowl, not overflowing the sides, but that was the only flaw. And there are many ways to mess up French onion soup. Too often the cheese used is too mild to stand up to the strong, pervasive onion flavor of the soup. This cheese was a strong Gruyere – nice and thick to last the whole bowl. Another downfall of many a French onion soup is the soggy bread — some breads aren’t made to be soggy, but this was one of the few breads that I actually enjoyed eating while soggy. Finally, the soup itself can be watery or too onion-y, but this was the right balance. All-in-all, this was a top-tier soup.

For my main course, I got the steak au poivre. It was slightly disappointing relative to everything else I ate here. Normally, I would say that the steak needed “seasoning,” but that wouldn’t be accurate. It had plenty of seasoning. It was just all pepper (the pepper crust gave the steak a nice char), but hardly any salt (maybe I could have scraped some off the butter from earlier – in fact, I kind of wish I had done that now). The cut itself was only okay (a New York), it was tougher than I would have hoped (by comparison, I had a bite of the filet mignon and that was melt-in-your-mouth good. If I had ordered that, this might be a different review). The sauce was perhaps the most disappointing – it had no flavor despite the composition – shallots, brandy, garlic, and cream. I only wonder if the pepper masked everything. Next, the wilted rapini was bitter. Bitter, bitter, bitter, bitter, bitter. The garlic-mashed Yukon golds were the best thing on the plate. For lack of a better description, the potatoes were potato-y. Normally, mashed potatoes taste creamy or garlic-y, but here you could pick out each flavor in each bite – a rare and good quality.

The pairing (of my own choosing) was Scott Harvey “Mountain Selection” Barbera – fruitier than I usually like, but very good nonetheless. A peppery Malbec (my preferred choice) would have either been a perfect pairing or an overload on pepper flavor given the peppery dish.

For my final course, I got the cheese sampler (as if you had any doubt). They had Brie, something I don’t remember, blue cheese, and Roquefort. The blue cheese and Roquefort were the best. There were small candied pistachios sprinkling the plate, as well as watercress. They had several fun desserts that are prepared tableside – Bananas Foster, Cherries Jubilee, Crepe Suzette, Café Diablo, and 351˚ below ice cream. I didn’t get any of these, but I saw several being prepared at other tables. [They also had several other options not prepared tableside].

As a bonus, for a parting gift they gave each of us a mini coffee cake for the next morning. It was good, but the proportions weren’t to my liking. I would have liked more cinnamon crumble and fewer nuts, but it was still pretty good. If I am being honest, I probably prefer Starbucks coffee cake.

Overall, I’d say that the Atlantis Steakhouse had fewer missteps than Bimini, but they had one major one in perhaps the most important area – the steak. Everything else was spot-on, and I would recommend it, especially if you stick to the “Steaks & Chops” section rather than the “Compositions” section.

WWYT Rating: 7.7

Gayot Rating: NA (Not sure why they don’t have ratings for any of the restaurants in Atlantis, and I’m not about to use Yelp as the comparison).

Everyone have a safe September 34th.

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