Date Night - Echo & Rig
John and I had our anniversary not too long ago, and we wanted to go out to a nice (but not too expensive) dinner together to celebrate. I have a never ending list of restaurants of all kinds that I want to try or go back to, and I left it up to him to choose where we went. He made a great choice and we had dinner at Echo and Rig in Summerlin at Tivoli Village.
Although I had been to this restaurant before, it was for brunch and I was excited to go back for dinner. If you are not familiar with the restaurant, it is primarily a steakhouse and they have their own butcher shop. This guarantees that everything is really fresh!
John made our reservation via OpenTable and we were excited that they greeted us with a "Happy Anniversary" when we arrived. You enter on a lower level, where there is a long bar as well as the butcher shop with a large display case of available meats for sale. The restaurant itself is up a short flight of stairs (there is an elevator as well). It's a large, open dining room and there is also a large patio overlooking the shops below.
As I had been there before, I was familiar with the menu. But that didn't stop John and I from drooling over the choices and basically deciding what we wanted well before our reservation. We started the meal with a bottle of Pinot Noir - Echo and Rig has a great wine list with many reasonably priced selections and different varietals, ranging from $40 to $99/bottle. They also offer wines by the glass and a decent selection of beers on draft, including 2 local beers (would be nice if they offered more local beers, but 2 is a good start). I believe they also allow you to bring in your own bottle of wine, but I am unsure of their fee for corkage.
I had been raving about the Portobello fries and insisted we order these as an appetizer. I HIGHLY suggest that you order them as well if you go! They are really amazing and come with an herb aioli on the side, which complements the fries perfectly. At $9.80, you get a large portion and we unfortunately didn't eat them all. John loves salads, so I knew one of our courses would be greens and he made a fantastic choice, ordering the vegetable chopped salad (also $9.80). This salad was unlike any other I've ever had - it was loaded with veggies! It featured hearts of palm, carrots, blue lake beans, corn, avocado, tomato, snow peas, summer squash, green onions, pecans, Pecorino and creamy cilantro dressing. Holy freshness!! What an amazing summer salad. It was a perfect segue into our main courses.
It's a steakhouse, so you better believe we ordered steaks! However, they do offer seafood and sandwiches if you aren't in the mood for red meat. We both ordered the same cut of meat - The Spencer Steak ($28.60). All of their steaks are cooked over red oak and are served with homemade garlic chips and mushroom Rockefeller. They also offer you one choice of their sauces, which include bleu cheese, red wine demi, brandied mushroom, bernaise, charred onion, horseradish cream and lemon chimichurri. I love horseradish, but decided to get the bernaise sauce when John ordered the horseradish cream. We both agreed his sauce was the better of the two and our server brought us out some extra, since I was eating all of his. Our steaks were cooked perfectly and were really juicy and delicious. The garlic chips were a wonderful accompaniment to the meal, along with the mushroom Rockefeller. Although we ordered from the menu, I do want to mention that they do also offer cuts from their butcher shop. Your server will bring out a silver platter with some of the most glorious cuts of meat you will ever see! These cuts are priced by the pound and I thought the prices were very competitive (meaning they aren't gouging you). There were Tomahawk ribeyes of different sizes and we both talked about how that would be the way to go with a group of 4 people, as long as everyone could decide on the cut of beef. These steaks are cooked to your liking, then sliced and served family style at the table.
All of the sides are a la carte and great for sharing. We went with the roasted garlic mashed potatoes with white cheddar ($6.40) and the brussels sprouts with pistachio and fresh lemon. I am not normally a big fan of brussels sprouts, but will always try them and have found 1 restaurant in town where I absolutely love them. While I would probably not order these again, they were tasty and a large portion for $8.60.
Although we were totally stuffed, our server mentioned that they would like to offer us complimentary dessert for our anniversary. Who can say no to free dessert?! Definitely not us. So we shared their cappuccino sundae, which is made with sponge cake cubes, chocolate shavings, affogato fudge sauce, and topped with espresso ice cream. It was sinful, rich and delicious. We really appreciated them recognizing our special event and surprising us with this kind gesture.
I am definitely a "meatatarian," and it was torture not being able to eat steak while I was pregnant. Well, let me clarify - I could eat steak, I just refused to because you are only supposed to have it cooked well done, which I refuse to do. I told John that the first thing I wanted once the baby was born was a big platter of soft cheese and cured meats, a medium rare steak or prime rib and a big glass of red wine. I was able to knock out 2 of the 3 of those at Echo and Rig and it was really fantastic to have a night out to ourselves. We really enjoyed our experience and I look forward to taking John back for brunch in the near future!
I can't forget to mention the service - it was wonderful! Our server was upbeat and friendly, as well as very knowledgeable without being stuffy. I didn't feel like she was trying to "sell" the higher priced cuts to us and we were never without full glasses of wine and water.
As a side note, I would say that the dress code is "upscale casual," although there were many people there who were dressed casually. Also, we saw at least 3 tables with small children/infants, so it's great to know that they are family friendly. Next time maybe we'll take Rosslyn and let her gnaw on a steak bone!