Wednesday, July 31, 2013 | 11 p.m.
Editor’s Note: As Robin Leach winds down his traditional summer vacation under the Tuscan sun in Italy and heads to the East Coast for a brief visit before returning to the rigors of Vegas DeLuxe, many of our Strip personalities have stepped forward in his absence to pen their own words of wisdom. We continue today with Erick Stecher, executive chef of SHe by Morton’s at Crystals.
At SHe by Morton’s, there is never a dull moment. Being an executive chef at any restaurant is exciting, but SHe is the restaurant I am most proud to have on my resume. The restaurant has a unique concept: a steakhouse where co-owner and actress Eva Longoria could take both a date and her best girlfriends.
I was attracted to the idea of being able to craft a menu that fits with lush designs and captivating performers. My name is Erick Stecher, and I am the executive chef at SHe by Morton’s.
I have worked for many high-end restaurants in Las Vegas, but SHe is completely different from the rest. There is nothing traditional about SHe. How many other steakhouses do you know that have performers dancing in between banquettes and strutting down a catwalk in the middle of the restaurant?
The first thing I did when we began constructing the menu for SHe was look at the overall feel of the restaurant. From its lush leathers to the decadent chandeliers, the restaurant drips with a bold sex appeal. I knew any menu I made would have to reflect this.
I began fashioning the menu around the star of the show: the steaks. Deciding portions and cuts is very important. With so many options, it just made sense to cater to women, men and couples by offering three cuts: SHe cuts, He cuts and We cuts. SHe cuts features a 6-ounce center-cut filet, He cuts is highlighted by a 12-ounce center-cut filet and a 22-ounce Chicago-style bone-on rib eye, and We cuts offers a 32-ounce bone-in New York steak for two.
No menu is complete with just steaks, and I really wanted the menu to reflect the alluring feel of the restaurant. To capture this essence, I created menu items around the steaks that feature items like crispy tempura shrimp accented with spicy aioli, shishito peppers and fresh lime — guaranteed to spice up your evening in a single bite.
I would be remiss if I neglected to mention the boldness of many of our other entrees. After all, the food complements a nightly lineup of DJs, sexy contortionists and even a fashion show; the flavors had better be big enough to hold your attention. My spiced ahi tuna with shitake mushrooms, bok choy and lobster broth always has diners’ focus where it should be — on the food.
Here is a final food tip: For a truly provocative ending to your meal, check out my dessert menu. With a title like “Misbehaving,” you better believe these desserts are sinfully good. I wanted desserts that were rich, bold and packed a flavor punch. Try the “Goodnight Kisses,” brown sugar meringues with dulce de leche droplets, tropical flower gelee and a bittersweet chocolate sauce.
It’s not just about our amazing food at SHe. We offer great events, many of which we have crafted specific menus. Our happy hour, affectionately called “Happy,” is available from 5 to 7 p.m. in the bar and patio and features beers, wines and mixed cocktails at $5, $7 and $9, respectively. Don’t forget about the “Happetizers,” including Le Poulet wings and Lil Big Royales, $8 each, which will keep you satisfied until dinner.
On Thursdays, we cater to the ladies even more than before with Ladies Night. Ladies are treated to $5 glasses of wine and $7 cocktails all night long. Ladies also may indulge in a menu of small bites, which includes chicken satay, crab Pipoli and cheese-stuffed mushrooms and more.
But for a truly one-of-a-kind Las Vegas experience, SHe introduced Fabrik Fridays to feature new fashions each week from local and national designers. A softly lit runway winds through the restaurant offering views of the show from any angle. The evening is packed with DJ sets, entertainers, three fashion shows and Bacardi drink specials.
SHe loves its locals, and we cater to them every Sunday through Wednesday. Any local who presents their Nevada ID at dinner receives 20 percent off dinner menu items.
Next time you are on the Strip, don’t forget to stop by SHe by Morton’s, and I will whip up a bold, delicious meal for you to share or have all to yourself.
Check out our other guest columns today from chef K.C. Fazel of Tender Steak & Seafood at Luxor and Adam Sperling of Shriners Hospitals for Children Open and Thursday Michael Clift of “The Australian Bee Gees” at Excalibur, Charles Ressler of First Fridays and the staff of Vegas.com.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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Follow VDLX Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.