Most of the ropin’ and buckin’ attention Dec. 5-14 will be focused on the Thomas & Mack Center, site of the National Finals Rodeo, but that won’t be the only rodeo in town. All In Barrel Races are scheduled for Dec. 5-7, 9-11 and 13-15 at the Orleans Arena, and All In Breakaway Roping Dec. 9-11.
For cowboys and -girls who work up a hunger, The Orleans offers several options, and there are plenty more nearby. Here are some of the best:
Alder & Birch
Alder & Birch is The Orleans’ steakhouse, and as such has a steak-heavy menu with four cuts of house steaks and three cuts of prime steaks, topping out with the 24-ounce, 28-day dry-aged Porterhouse, $70. Non-beef-eaters will find chicken, lamb and pork, scallops, lobster, crab and fish and enough toppings and side dishes to ensure almost endless variety. Plus craft cocktails such as And The Mule You Rode In On, craft beers and wines, all served in a quiet room decorated in muted neutral colors and lots of glossy surfaces.
The Orleans, 702-365-7111, orleanscasino.com
The Prime Rib Loft
In addition to its regular menu, which includes four cuts of prime rib and a Cajun-flavored version, The Prime Rib Loft offers options such as the Cowboy Steak, a one-pound bone-in ribeye with mushroom ragu, served with grilled tomato, roasted cipollini onion and potato, $35. In honor of NFR, the restaurant will feature the Rodeo Special, which comes with a Loft Dinner Salad, 14-ounce New York sirloin with potato and vegetables and warm peach cobbler a la mode for $36, available Dec. 5-14.
The Orleans, 702-365-7111 or orleanscasino.com
You know Gallagher’s is serious about its beef from the moment you approach and see various primal cuts on refrigerated display near the door. The steakhouse evokes the New York original with dozens of framed photos on the walls and numerous hand-cut steaks on its menu. You can get Stilton cheese, brandied peppercorn sauce or a number of other tasty little additions, and sides range from the traditional creamed spinach to the more updated roasted wild mushrooms or bacon mac and cheese.
New York-New York, 702-740-6450, newyorknewyork.mgmresorts.com
Stripsteak, from award-winning chef Michael Mina, elevates steaks to fine art — and does the same with fish and shellfish. Both Angus and wagyu steaks (including Japanese A5) and several varieties of seafood are prepared on a wood-burning grill. The menu also includes shellfish platters and hot and cold sauces to go with them, hot and cold small plates and four tartare choices — including a vegetarian one. And you won’t want to miss the Caviar Twinkie, a dead-ringer for the real thing.
Mandalay Bay, 702-632-7414, michaelmina.net
With its dark good looks, Tender evokes a traditional steakhouse but its menu offers so much more. Bison as well as American and Japanese wagyu and conventional steak choices, for example — and you can get them with scallops, shrimp, lump crab Oscar and foie gras — plus farmhouse cheese selections, charcuterie boards and chilled seafood towers. If you have room for dessert, consider the Warm Chocolate Sphere, complete with tropical mousse, mango-pineapple-mint chutney and vanilla custard.
Luxor, 702-262-4778, luxor.mgmresorts.com