Press – St. Helena

Press Market Cut RibeyePress
587 St Helena Hwy S
St. Helena, CA 94574

Rated: ♣♣♣♣♣

When I go out for a meal for a work function, I know I’m going to eat well. A few weeks ago, we had an overnight sales summit at Solage in Calistoga (review to come) and I had the privilege to dine at Press. Dedicated to supporting local farmers and using organic ingredients, this high-end restaurant celebrates the freshness of their food by refusing to use sauces and heavy seasonings. The quality of their ingredients is so fresh, it doesn’t need any additives for it to taste amazing.

The scene:

Our party of 30 sat on the outside patio decorated in white Christmas lights, white table cloths and a large fireplace in the center of our 2 tables. The atmosphere was almost fairytale-like – absolutely beautiful.

To be honest, I didn’t get much of a feel for the service. The menu was set and the only interaction I had with our waiter was when he took my order.

The food:

Our EVP of Sales selected the menu and he definitely was not shy. We had about 6 different appetizers and sides to go along with our entrées. I’ll go through the most memorable below

Chopped Salad – This was the best chopped salad I ever had. The greens were fresh and well seasoned and the quality of their bleu cheese blew me out of the water.

Dry-Aged “Cowboy” Bone-In Rib Eye, Flannery Private Reserve – I just checked the online menu and this 20oz. steak is $49. I can’t believe I ate only half and left the rest at the table! This was the most expensive steak I’ve ever had and you can definitely tell the difference between this and a $20 steak. The grass-fed beef was aged for 28 days for supreme marbeling. The massive steak was so tender, my knife cut though it like butter.

Press Truffle Mac n CheeseTruffle Mac ‘n Cheese – Again, another favorite of mine. Press takes the average mac ‘n cheese to a whole ‘nother level with a shaved truffle and crispy panko crust. I was bummed that I had to share this with others at my table.

Broccolini – Wow, I never thought that I’d love broccoli this much. The green veggie was perfectly al dentè. Staying true to their food philosophy, the broccolini was completely naked so that the devourer can taste the pure freshness of the vegetable.

Strawberry Shortcake – I was 110% full before I got to this dish, but I managed to squeeze most of it in. Although very tasty, it was not the best I’ve had. This strawberry shortcake is made with freshly baked scones, strawberries and home made whipped cream. Bake Sale Betty’s beats this one out of the water.

The restaurant is so beautiful, I’d say it’s an ideal location for a wedding reception or a special date (hint, hint, K). If I could every afford to come back here again, I’d come in a heartbeat.

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Bill's Gamblin' Hall & Saloon: The Victorian Room – Las Vegas

Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall & Saloon: The Victorian Room
3595 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Las Vegas, NV 89109
Rated: ♣♣♣

I’m going to title this, How I Got My Man Card Back. Now, how I lost it is a whole other story, but the important thing is, it’s back.  I may have lost it again after going to Rotunda, but I grabbed it back on a recent trip to Kentucky Fried Chicken.  I’ll tell you guys all about it later.

While taking a stroll on the Vegas strip, I noticed a huge sign that read “T-BONE STEAK AND EGGS – $5.99 – 12am – 6am”.  I thought to myself, Gee!  What a deal!  I kept talking about it with my travel companions, and we committed to taking them up on the offer.

The Scene

The Victorian Room is in the back of Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall and Saloon.  Walking through the casino, you could tell you weren’t having martinis in the glitzy lounge-singer-esque side of Vegas, instead you were knockin’ back some brewskies with the starving college version.  The dining room itself looks like it’s been around for a long time.  The red vinyl booths were burgundy and worn, unlike the bright red booths shown on their website advertisement.  The clientèle after midnight consisted of broke gamblers, drunk night club patrons that wanted to end the night and our table, the smart penny pinching group of Asian dudes looking for some cheap meat.  It was kind of funny, seeing the table next to us, where a guy was tipping his head up-and-down due to heavy inebriation.  Our waiter took forever and our forks were mostly dirty.  Definitely a place to test your immune system.

The Food

All real manly men are in constant search for meat.  I… can’t grow a full beard or chest hair, so I only search for meat when I’m in need of it.  You can kind of say I’m a Cullen in a manly men’s world (Author’s Note: It’s comments like that, where I lose my man card).

Steak and Eggs – I ordered a Medium Steak because with prices like that I’d really have to question the quality and cleanliness of the meat.  The meat was tough, but it was saved by all the butter they used to cook it.   Everything is better with butter.  Pour some A1 on that sucker and we’re golden.  The Eggs are cooked to order, so I had “Over Easy”, that tasted the way Denny’s eggs would taste.  Now the part that really made this meal awesome, the side surprises. Hash Browns and Toast.  I had no clue that a $6 meal could gather so many different things onto my plate.  All I can say is, if you want something affordable really late at night, and you are poor and/or cheap, this is an awesome place to try.

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