The Morton family (yes, that steakhouse family) is summoning its famous legacy in MB Steak, the city’s new-meets-old-school steakhouse.
The braised, pepper-crusted 32-ounce bone-in short rib is a perfect dish to share with your date—and then some.
The name may be low-key, but the flavor is enormous. Newly opened in the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino—it even has its own valet parking!—MB Steak is a welcome addition to Las Vegas’ legendarily hot prime-beef scene. Some MB dishes take steakhouse fare to new levels, with standouts that include the buttery A5 Japanese Wagyu, a dry-aged tomahawk that more than earns its name, and souped-up sides such as Brussels sprouts with pickled shallots, creamed spinach augmented by truffle Gouda, and mushroom-studded grits finished with pecorino.
Though co-owner Michael Morton is known for doing fantastic restaurants around town—he started N9NE, which arguably launched Sin City’s modern steakhouse craze; and owns the winecentric La Cave at Wynn, tapas-formatted Crush in MGM Grand and cool downtown Mexican eatery La Comida—for this one he has particular incentive to reach for greatness.
A partnership between Michael and his brother David Morton (MB Steak’s name stands for My Brothers), the restaurant also serves as a tribute to father Arnie Morton, who passed away in 2005. Michael feels certain his dad would be pleased with MB and his approval would go beyond the beef. “I think our father would be proud of the nonsteak items on the menu,” he says. “The sea scallops were inspired by him. Scallops were his favorite thing. Every menu he ever did had scallops on it.”
Michael, who’s enjoyed great success on the Vegas food landscape, learned the restaurant business by toiling for Arnie. “I swept floors, did linen orders, worked every station,” he says. “I cut whole lobsters in half, pulled out the stomachs, poured the cream in, gave them a splash of butter and threw them in the oven. I was a server and a busboy. This was during high school and after college.”
David, who traded commodities before jumping into the food biz by launching DMK Restaurants, found inspiration in how his father handled himself as a restaurant owner: It was on display whenever the family dined together at one of Arnie’s spots. “Two things happened religiously,” David remembers. “We always sat facing the door because, God forbid, a guest walked in and was unattended. Dad would jump up and take care of the person himself. He always had a comment for the chef; while we ate, they’d banter about little things to tweak. If the phone rang more than twice he jumped up to answer it. He was maniacal about that.”
The hands-on attitude is reflected in MB’s stylishly masculine design that includes charredwood paneling downstairs, a private cocktail lounge, cool and modern chandelier presiding over the main dining room, and a living wall upstairs. Considering it all, Michael concludes, “This would have spoken to my dad so much. It has the potential to be the best thing I have ever been involved with.” Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, 702.483.4888, mbsteaklv.com