Steaks come with ‘presentation’ at Fandango’s new restaurant |

Steaks come with ‘presentation’ at Fandango’s new restaurant

Becky Bosshart
BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal Michael Keagy carries out a shrimp cocktail appetizer along with spinach salad at Duke's Steakhouse on Sunday evening. Below, James Sheppard, rear, a sous chef at Duke's Steakhouse inside Casino Fandango, watches a 24-ounce porterhouse steak and a New York steak on the grill in the kitchen.

Discerning diners don’t just want a good steak anymore. They want drama. They want a presentation. They want to see flames.

The owners of Duke’s Steak House in Casino Fandango, 3800 S. Carson St., hope to attract that type of patron with steaks carved at the table and flaming desserts.

The restaurant opens Wednesday with a menu of fine wines and dry-aged, U.S. prime beef.

Greeting guests will be maitre d’ Jacques Sender. The former maitre d’ at the Ormsby House and La Ferme said he already feels at home in the maritime-themed steakhouse.

“It’s like they gave me my own restaurant to own,” he said.

The lights came up in the restaurant as workers tested the chandeliers as Sender talked about his job. It includes recommending dishes and wines to patrons. All around him are antique pond racers that architect Peter Wilday purchased in London. Leather chairs and wood paneling complete the picture. The largest of the 20 decorative boats is 8 feet tall.

“We wanted to have a world-class American steakhouse comparable to anything in New York or Chicago,” Wilday said. “Just because we’re in Carson City doesn’t mean you can’t have a great steakhouse.”

Casino Fandango General Manager Steve Forester said Duke’s Steak House will seat about 135 guests. About 25 employees work there.

It has a 10-person private dining room with a fireplace for private parties, a cocktail lounge and bar.

Since the high-end restaurant will open right before Christmas, Forester said he anticipates a rush of families and couples looking for a good holiday meal.

“So far we’ve taken a couple hundred reservations for days over the holiday season,” Forester said.

Casino Fandango Director of Operations Court Cardinal said the wine list ranges from Kendall Jackson to Opus One. Topping the list is Chateau Lafite Rothschild for $513 a bottle. A double steak, which is meant as a meal for two, is the most expensive at $59. Prices range from $16 to $60.

Cardinal said featured menu items include a steak Diane, Kurobuta pork chops and a 30-ounce, dry-aged cote de boeuf.

The executive chef is Leo Mordhorst, who has cooked at Maxim’s in Paris and the Ritz-Carlton. He came out of retirement to work at Duke’s.

If you go:

What: Duke’s Steak House in Casino Fandango (opening Wednesday)

Where: 3800 S. Carson St.

Hours: Wednesday to Sunday

Information or reservations: 886-1664