Where You Should Be Drinking in Las Vegas: Heritage Steak
If you’re in Vegas, and looking for a place to celebrate–which sometimes happens–we highly recommend Heritage Steak, created by Top Chef head judge, Tom Colicchio. Every celebrity chef needs a Vegas restaurant and Vegas needs a restaurant from every celebrity chef; but this one stood out to us for its combination of atmosphere, good steaks, and good drinks. Its location in the Mirage lobby’s large glass dome gives the restaurant a unique indoor-outdoor feel; the smell of steaks on a wood fire grill accentuates the feeling that you’re at some sort of highly cultivated backyard barbecue. The menu features a good selection of steak-friendly cocktails, as well as a range of pours matched to just how lucky you were at the tables: standard pours for standard prices if you’re taking the edge off your losses; an extra-aged Gran Patron $90 tequila for moderate winnings; a 20-year rum or 70-year port in the $300 range if you won big; and an $850, 100-year old Cognac if you’re one of Ocean’s eleven.
What We Ordered
La Caja: tequila, walnut bitters, maraschino cherry, oak smoke
LV Blvd: Maker 46 Bourbon, Cocchi Barolo Chinato, Aperol
What We Thought
We’ve seen some amazing cocktail presentations by true masters of both the craft and the spectacle of mixology, at barmini, The Baldwin Bar, and The Aviary. La Caja, a simple tequila old fashioned, blew them all away. A box (get it?) of smoke arrived at the table. The server opened the door, smoke poured out, and we reached in to grab our drink. Though they whisked the smoking box away, the effect lingered for the length of the drink, not just on our noses but on our taste buds as well. This drink was a good lesson in just how complex our sensation of flavor is. When you consider just the liquid ingredients, it was a quite simple drink: just a shot of tequila with a dash of bitters and the hint of sweetness a cherry brings. A good bit of theater and the engagement of our olfactory senses made it so much more than that.
Our love for the Negroni and all of its variations is well-documented. For example, when we’re in the mood for something darker and sweeter than the standard, we might turn to the Boulevardier, the Negroni’s Bourbon version. Our one complaint with the Boulevardier is that it can sometimes taste like it contains too many strong personalities, with the Bourbon and the Campari vying for attention. LV Blvd addresses that problem with two slight but highly effective adjustments: swapping sweet vermouth for chinato, and swapping Campari for Aperol. These changes simultaneously deepened the sweet, whiskey qualities of the drink and brought back some of the crisp refreshment of a standard Negroni. The mellowing effect of the Aperol and chinato was probably enhanced by the use of the additionally aged Makers 46, but we’ve since used some rather young Bourbons and still found it delicious.
One mark for us of a successful drink in the Negroni extended family is that we simultaneously enjoy it as is and immediately start to riff on it. That’s exactly what we did with the LV Blvd, replacing the chinato with Cocchi Americano. Where the chinato brought the drink deeper, the Americano lightens it and brightens it. That rendition has been heavy in our rotation since.
The Parkway Cocktail Recipe
- 1 oz Bourbon whiskey
- 1 oz Cocchi Americano
- 1 oz Aperol
- Combine all liquid ingredients in a mixing glass.
- Fill with ice to the level of the liquid.
- Stir until the ice noticeably melts.
- Strain into a cocktail glass.