Neighborhood Staple Echo & Rig Steakhouse is Lights and Sirens!
We visited local neighborhood favorite Echo & Rig Steakhouse with our special guests Sheriff Joe Lombardo, Harsch VP John Ramous and MDL Group’s Robert Perkins. For those unfamiliar with the Summerlin staple, Echo & Rig is an off-Strip steakhouse and butcher shop located near the extravagant entrance to the Tivoli Village entertainment district. This bi-level palace of meat is enough to attract carnivores from across Southern Nevada and even some tourists who wander far enough west. This steakhouse has a catchy name, reasonable prices, doubles as a go-to spot for lunch or dinner and triples as a butcher shop.
We began our night at the bar with some fine 21-year-old Balvenie PortWood. This was a special night. I mean, how often do you get to dine and drink with the sheriff of one the largest law enforcement agencies in the country?
The crew that night included:
Joseph “Literally the Sheriff” Lombardo
John “Juan” Ramous
Robert “Patron de la Propiedad” Perkins
Story & Atmosphere
The acclaimed chef and creator of Bottega Louie in Los Angeles, Sam Marvin set out to reinvent the traditional steakhouse. Marvin simultaneously introduced the neighborhood butcher shop—with a large, open glass meat locker, vertical displays and an exhibition area—and new dishes not commonly found in your granddaddy’s steakhouse.
We started the evening downstairs at the bar. After a couple of glasses of the PortWood, we ascended to the second floor for the main dining room.
Spirits & Wine
If you’ve read our previous stories, you’ll notice we found a must-try whiskey at Bavette’s Steakhouse when we first sampled the Old Forester Birthday Bourbon. We tried to order it again at Scotch 80 Prime but they didn’t have it. Instead, Whiskey Master Cody Fredrickson recommended the Old Forester Statesman. It was good, but we found ourselves still chasing the awesome taste of the birthday edition. We looked for it at Echo & Rig. They, too, didn’t have it and suggested the Old Forester 1897 Bottled in Bond. We gave it a shot, or, rather, a bunch of small sips. It was a bit rough for our liking and certainly nothing like the birthday edition, which remains missing from our palates.
Our thirst for something new and better continued after this round of drinks but we quickly discovered that Echo & Rig has a limited whiskey selection. There are some good options on the menu, such as the Angel’s Envy Rye and Balvenie Caribbean Cask, but both were out of stock that night. The bar also lacked the large ice spheres or cubes that we have come to favor. But don’t worry, we still found a way to enjoy some good whiskey. When you find yourself with limited options or spoiled by places such as Scotch 80 and Herbs & Rye, you just need to go back to the basics: The Glenlivet, The Macallan and The Balvenie DoubleWood—all great go-to drams. We mixed it up with those and a couple of other common options before we switched our focus to the menu.
When you sit down for dinner at Echo & Rig, the server hands you laminated paper menus just like many other restaurants. But unlike most others, Echo & Rig also has a show-and-tell version when it comes to the steak options. The presentation is simple: You sit there, hungry and anxious to fill your belly while the waiter presents a tray of five of the largest raw cuts of beef you’ve ever seen. It all looks mouthwatering. We kept it together and selected the 38-ounce porterhouse, rib cap and a few other entrees.
We also ordered some starters to hold us over while the meat was being prepared. Speaking of which, it’s not often that we discover a salad that stands out during a steak-and-whiskey kind of night, but the fried spinach at Echo & Rig was fantastic! The salad includes lightly fried spinach with red onion, cauliflower, broccoli and chili lime vinaigrette … the latter of which truly makes the dish. We also had the Caesar salad, but it was average at best, with romaine hearts, Parmigiano Reggiano, herbed croutons and a classic Caesar dressing. It was good, but far from great.
In true OverRye fashion, we also ordered the Butcher Blend Burger, cut six ways, so we each could have a bite to kick off our upcoming red feast. Like burgers at most steakhouses, this one was thick, juicy and far better than the burger you would get at a typical burger spot. Thanks to Chef Marvin, we also tried some complimentary grilled thick-cut bacon with barbecue sauce. It was a certainly nice touch to start off a meal.
OK: steak time. One of the first entrees to hit our table was the Jumping Beef. This was just one of those dishes that we simply could not ignore from the menu: filet mignon tips, roasted tomatoes, red onions, crispy potatoes and Peruvian demi-glace. And it was damn good! But the award for the best steak of the night was definitely the ribeye cap of Creekstone all-natural beef, cooked to perfection. Like at Scotch 80 Prime, there is something truly special about this cut of meat.
The side dishes at Echo & Rig lived up to the reimagination of the traditional thinking in the steakhouse kitchen. Case in point: portobello fries with herb aioli. These fancy little ‘shroom fingers are tastier and, presumably, healthier than traditional french fries. We also had the roasted garlic mashed potatoes with white cheddar and the roasted broccolini with jalapeños. Exceptional!
It’s not easy finding a quality steakhouse that doesn’t cost the earth but Echo & Rig is that place. With pricing that even beats fast food, it is also, of course, a thousand times better than anything you could get at a burger counter. We’re talking gourmet small plates and appetizers that start at just $6.40! Salads are only a few dollars more, and some high-end entrees are only $22. Colorado lamb chops, Alaskan halibut, smoked Wagyu beef rib and many more are all the same price! Wait, what about the steaks though? Well, they deliver in value in that category as well. You can get anything from a $27 butcher cut or a $37 filet to a sharable 38-ounce tomahawk for about $100. The bottom line is that Echo & Rig has an incredibly diverse menu that offers tasty bites for just about any size budget or appetite.
Since opening in 2014, Echo & Rig has been a solid go-to for Summerlin residents. And five years on, the menu is still a blend of creative and quality. If there is any room for improvement it would be in directing the creativity of the butcher shop toward the whiskey shelf. But even still, it’s better than most!
Over / Under
What’s the OverRye.com over/under on going back?
Joe Lombardo: Over. “A fairly extensive menu with a lot of good options. The ribeye cap and portobello fries, in particular, were excellent.”
Dori Koren: Over. “But not by much. It’s a great local spot, and it has awesome prices, but there is not enough of a wow-factor to rise above the other steakhouses in town.”
John Ramous: Over. “Solid local steakhouse. Definitely worth another visit!”
Jarrad Katz: Over. “I liked the airy feel of the restaurant and the natural light. The steaks were cooked perfectly and sliced for sharing. The thick-cut bacon with barbecue sauce was a standout.”
Robert Perkins: Over. “I like the menu variety. Everything was put together well, and the ribeye cap … it was amazing!”
Hayim Mizrachi: Over. “I need to come back and check out the offerings of the butcher shop!”