Every time I go to Vegas, one of my highlights is having at least one nice steakhouse dinner. We stayed downtown last month, and for this trip decided to try Barry’s Downtown Prime. It is located in the Circa Hotel directly on the Fremont Street Experience. We enjoyed our experience very much, and we would certainly go back. On balance, though, I think there are steakhouses I prefer.
If you want to get a sense of the space, please see the video we did on our Dine Drink Vegas Youtube channel. Let’s start with the space– it was a beautiful setting which definitely felt like a high end steak place. You *absolutely* want to make reservations, even if you are there on a Tuesday night like we were. I would arrive early. In addition to getting checked in, their bar is a great place to wait with very good cocktails. Do be wary, though, to look at the price list– they wanted $175 for a pour of Pappy van Winkle 10. It is an amazing whiskey, but for that price I will just have a custom old fashioned (which they do great work with here), a high-end steak, an appetizer, and maybe a bet or two at a blackjack table.
As one does, we enjoyed appetizers. The shrimp cocktail was very good, but not worth it at $28 for three shrimp. Just say no. The lobster potstickers, however, were superb. The soups I saw going out looked great. You should definitely order an appetizer course, because that is part of the experience. The shrimp just wasn’t worth it, though.
We all got different cuts of steak, and those ran between $60-$80 exclusive of the sides. That struck as us completely fair for the cuts of beef we were getting. The were juicy, well-marbled, and cooked perfectly. The problem is that they were under-seasoned. They did put some salt-flakes on the top. That helped. However, there was otherwise no salt, pepper, or garlic that I could taste.
The side orders were great. We go fried cauliflower, creamed spinach, and a lobster mac n’ cheese which may have been the star of the show. The lobster mac actually came served inside the shell and was completely decadent. There was also a very good bread basket. The side orders weren’t huge, but it was enough to share small bites with your buddies. We also ordered a Baked Alaska for dessert. Any meal which ends in actual fire is a win for the evening.
Summary Review of Barry’s Downtown Prime
So would we go again? Yeah, absolutely. It was beautiful, and the service was consistently very good. The cuts of meat were great, and the sides were fantastic. There were, however, two problems. The seasoning wasn’t great, and while the overall price of the meal was fair there were some items like the shrimp cocktail which were wildly out of whack. If you are downtown, my favorite spot is Oscar’s (new window with a YouTube link). The cocktail game there is great, and the steaks just taste better. I did enjoy this more than my last trip to Top of Binion’s. For Strip hotspots, I liked this about as well as Prime or Gallagher’s. I would love to see your comments below to hear what you like!