OverRye at Herbs & Rye: That’s Got a Nice Ring to It
As we mentioned in our first story, OverRye is about capturing the experience you have with friends OVER a glass of RYE whiskey or some other delicious drink or tender steak that helps you let loose and simply live in the moment. And our last outing, at the Herbs & Rye Steakhouse, certainly met this purpose!
Herbs & Rye is not a typical Las Vegas steakhouse. Instead of being on the Strip or in some luxury commercial center such as Tivoli Village, it’s somewhat tucked away, next to a gas station on Sahara Avenue and Valley View Boulevard. From the outside, the building is fairly simple and rustic, sort of resembling a saloon-style pub that you might only find locals in. But don’t let the questionable location and lack of “curb appeal” fool you. There is, in fact, something special about what’s inside this trendy Las Vegas steakhouse, and it revolves around one of our favorite things in the world: whiskey.
The crew on this evening included, in addition to the core group:
Note, our third guest had to cancel last minute due to a work emergency.
Story/Atmosphere | Rating: 7
Any restaurant that has the word “Rye” in its name must have a presentable bar. To no one’s surprise, Herbs & Rye has a bar with character. The wood bar top and dark leather booths that line the wall provide an elegant vibe. The bartenders are also well dressed and well educated about the spirits. We’ll get into more of that later. The decor for the restaurant side is fairly simple and a bit confusing at first glance. There are laminate wood tables and a brick façade on one of the walls that resemble more of a pizza-joint than a steakhouse. At the same time, the wooden chairs and symmetric wallpaper are a bit classier. But somehow this clash of style seems to work.
More importantly, the real story to be shared here is not about the interior design. It’s the fact that this is one of the only steakhouses that has a legit happy hour. Yep, we’re not just talking a special price on some Kool-Aid-like drinks. We’re talking about half-off steaks from 5–8 p.m. almost every night of the week!
Service | Rating: 6
Our server, Deborah, had been with the restaurant since it opened in 2010. She was a sweetheart and she did a good job. Granted, it took a while to get our food, but we’ll blame the kitchen and our massive food order for that; it was a fairly full house.
Spirit & Wine | Rating: 7
This is where the rye part of Herbs & Rye stood out! The menu is a work of art. The drinks are organized by era, dating back to 1776. They have an extensive whiskey selection, and we made it a point to try as many as we could, including Angel’s Envy Rye (that’s the one aged in rum barrels, not in port casks), Balvenie 14-Year Caribbean Cask, Willett Family, Nikka Coffey Grain, Basil Hayde’s Bourbon, King Car by Kavalan and a few others we can’t remember for good reason. The Balvenie Caribbean Cask was a major standout for several of us. We enjoyed the Asian whiskies as well. The Basil Hayden’s served as a good nightcap, but it was probably the least favorite of the night.
Food | Rating: 7
The food was good. Solid. Not spectacular, but worth it overall. The Caesar salad was tasty, particularly because the Parmesan cheese was fresh and shredded perfectly. The shallots were also amazing, with good texture and perfect flavor. The French onion soup, however, was the worst we’ve had at an OverRye outing. We couldn’t be upset about this because the waitress did warn us that it was not the best option on the menu. Still, Jarrad had to try it. The mussels looked amazing, but Hayim thought they were a bit too fishy. Still, dipping the bread into the sauce that they came in was outstanding! The standout appetizer was certainly the steak tartare. In fact, Dave said it was as good as what he had at the famous Sardi’s in New York City.
On to the main course. There were three rib-eye steaks from which to choose on the menu: 18, 60 or 120 ounces. Yep, no typo there. They have a 120-ounce rib eye on the menu! We went with the modest 18-ounce filet with peppercorn sauce and the Yardbird (chicken) with risotto. The steaks were good but, believe it or not, it was the chicken that was fantastic. The sides were pretty great, too. We had the button mushrooms, whiskey shallot potatoes, and the jalapeño creamed corn. We loved the creamed corn and decided to add this to our must-try agenda for our future outings. We ended the feast with the crème brûlée, doughnuts and cookie, but none of them were that great, unfortunately. Maybe we were just too full.
Value | Rating: 7
Our check was fairly high, especially in light of the happy-hour steaks. But, make no mistake, we ordered a lot of whiskey. So, with that in mind, the prices aren’t too bad. It’s definitely worth checking this place out during the amazing happy hour. If your intention was to go at it as a value play, you could, more so than most other steakhouses in Las Vegas. But then again, why wouldn’t you go there and try all of the whiskeys on the menu?!
Overall | Rating: 7
All in all, this place is worth a try, for sure. It’s simply too unique not to. Whether it’s the happy hour price on a 120-ounce rib eye, the eclectic environment or fantastic whiskey and craft cocktail selection, we recommend you try this off-Strip steakhouse the next time you’re looking for a nice meal and a tasty glass of rye.
What’s the OverRye.com over/under on going back?
Dori: “Over. Slightly. The whiskey selection is great and the unique happy hour is enticing on any night of the week. The Yardbird is also worth a visit. The steaks and atmosphere were a little disappointing, though.”
Jarrad: “Under. I would go back for cocktails at the bar, but I would have to be convinced to eat at the restaurant.”
Hayim: “Over. Great whiskey and cocktail program. The restaurant has character for daaaaaaays! I thought the food was good…if you order the right items. There are a couple of things they could do to improve the experience: Remove items from the menu that aren’t total winners (i.e. French onion soup), and better train the staff on the whiskeys.”
Brenden: “Under. The chicken and the whiskey are over the top! Steak and sides were underwhelming, though.”
David: “Under. The tartare was good, the whiskey selection were great but, all in all, not incredible.”