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When a restaurant has a name like Steak, it would be a little difficult to be uncertain about its mission. So it’s somewhat ironic that what makes Steak stand out from the herd of steakhouses is its vegetables.

Steak is one of those rare steakhouses where, when you order a steak, you don’t get steak — period — but also a couple of side dishes. And in addition to the usual steakhouse sides, there are some that are a little offbeat.

Corn and leeks, for example. We both considered it and both demurred, because, well, corn and leeks? We love leeks, but this reserved cousin of the more aggressive onion and garlic surely would overpower the namby-pamby corn.

Ah, we of little faith: This turned out to be one of the best parts of the meal. The leeks had been cut very finely — minced, really — and sauteed with the corn just until the leeks were soft but the corn kernels still crisp. It was an inspired pairing.

The grilled asparagus definitely was less offbeat but still laudable because of the thoroughness of the grilling, which added a nice touch of char to the spears. And sauteed spinach had been very gently sauteed, so the fresh-spinach flavor rang out loud and clear.

A baked potato was nice and flaky, but our waitress had offered prosciutto in addition to the requisite butter and sour cream, and the former failed to materialize — a pity, since that’s another offbeat touch.

Steak does, as you might expect, know how to cook a steak, and our 8-ounce filet mignon ($26) was properly rare and reasonably flavorful — especially considering the price, since we’ve paid $10 to $20 more for the same cut with lots of claims attached but no more depth of flavor. Since filet mignon is inherently not a particularly flavorful cut, owing to its relative shortage of fat, we paid $2 extra for a warm Gorgonzola sauce (other sauces are included with dinner, one to a customer) whose earthiness did the beef proud.

And it knows how to cook pork chops ($19), which logic should dictate would follow but in reality doesn’t always. The pair was wonderfully moist and so purely flavored as to be almost sweet; the cabernet reduction we chose on the side complemented them quite nicely.

The weak links in our dinner were both our appetizers, which didn’t give us much of a first impression. The crab cake ($9) was mostly crabmeat and was plated with streaks of aioli and a pile of microgreens, but the crab flavor was off, and a bowl of tomato-basil soup ($7) had such a concentrated tomato flavor that it had an overly acidic edge and all the charm of diluted tomato paste.

Oh, and we had another cause for a bad first impression: Upon entering, we found an empty hostess podium. A young woman wandered over to it but was chattering on a cell phone and promptly wandered away again, back to the lounge area, where she launched into conversation with another woman; we later saw both of them seating customers. And so we stood and waited until a male management type walked by and was the first to actually acknowledge us, and then the woman who proved to be our server came to deliver us to her table. The other two may have been on break, or dealing with some sort of nonapparent crisis, but if it was the former they should have been somewhere else and if it was the latter there should have been someone to fill in. Luckily, our server did much better (except for the prosciutto, which might have been the kitchen’s fault).

Steak has a wine shop, too, and that dedication to the vine showed in the depth and breadth of its wine list, which took some serious perusal because there were so many intriguing possibilities. We finally ended up with a bit of an old standby, a 2005 Frank Family Vineyards Zinfandel ($49) that fit like an old pair of shoes.

It was easy for us to see why Steak had such a healthy crowd when so many others are suffering. The bird’s-eye view of the valley’s sparkling lights doesn’t hurt, of course, but to us, Steak mostly represents reasonably priced steak done right and vegetables that are far above garden variety.

Las Vegas Review-Journal restaurant reviews are done anonymously at Review-Journal expense. Contact Heidi Knapp Rinella at 383-0474 or e-mail her at hrinella@ reviewjournal.com.

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