The dining options at Excalibur have always been sparse, and with the closing of the Italian restaurant Regale, the options are even fewer these days. The Steakhouse at Camelot is the only remaining upscale option. Upscale, being a relative term, as the dress code at Camelot seems to be anything goes. T-shirts and baseball caps are acceptable attire here, although most diners are a bit more dressed-up.
As a side note, comps are given generously by the Marketing Department at Excalibur and the only areas you can use the food and beverage comps are: at the pool; room service; the buffet; the Sherwood Forest Cafe and The Steakhouse at Camelot. Hence if you have a large dollar amount food comps, you are going to be eating at The Steakhouse at Camelot. For more information on earning comps at casinos read this Essay on Theoretical Loss and Casino Comps
The Steakhouse at Camelot avoids the dominant Vegas Steakhouse decor options of either being overbearingly masculine or too chic and trendy to allow for a comfortable relaxed dining experience. The ambiance is comfortable casual with slight upscale embellishments, like the baby grand piano near the entrance way, which is occasionally put to use.
The kitchen in the back of the restaurant is partially open to the restaurant, but not in a distracting or attention grabbing way.
Country Baked Meatloaf is a Signature Menu Item
In keeping with the down market nature of the Excalibur, the menu has some items that you are unlikely to find on the more high end Steakhouses in Vegas. The Signature menu items include: Country Baked Meatloaf; Deep Dish Chicken Pot Pie and a Flame Grilled 10 ounce Angus Burger.
The menu is a la carte, with the exception of a three course Dinner Special for $29.99, which includes soup or salad choice of one of three entrees, one of which is their Signature Country Baked Meatloaf, and dessert.
Appetizers: No Winners Here
The appetizers are priced $10-$15 and include the usual suspects like Shrimp Cocktail and Crab Cakes. The Crab Cakes are of the shredded crab variety, no lump crab meat included. The Dungeness Crab Cocktail, is also made from shredded crab meat and is accompanied by two sauces on the side, a Brandy Aioli sauce in which I could not detect any garlic, or Brandy, and didn’t add anything positve to the crab meat. The other sauce, seemed to be Thousand Island Dressing, another miss.
Hot Soups and Cold Bread
Two soups are on the menu, a traditional French Onion and a Lobster Bisque, for $8 and $9 respectively, while neither one is a must order, both are solid performers. I wish the Lobster Bisque included lumps of lobster meat, rather than ground lobster dumplings. The Caesar salad is the standard salad at Camelot, which comes awash in dressing, definitely not a diet salad. The bread served with the salad is cold, unfortunately.
Entrees include: Pork Chops; Rotisserie Chicken; Lobster Tails; Alaskan King Crab Legs; Jumbo Stuffed Shrimp; Ahi Tuna; Halibut; Salmon; Mushroom tortellini; and of course the real reason to eat at The Steakhouse at Camelot, the steaks, Filet Mignon 8oz.; N.Y. Steak 14oz; Ribeye 16 oz and the Signature Bone-In N.Y. Steak 20 oz.
This is a Steakhouse, Order a Steak!
All steaks are cooked over a Mesquite Wood burning broiler at 1200 degrees, and more importantly the steaks are good and properly cooked. I ordered the Bone-in N.Y. Steak, the Filet and the Ribeye, on separate visits, cooked medium, and I swear the chef must have a direct pipeline to my brain, because the steaks were cooked perfectly all three times, with a nice sear on the outside. Toppings and sauces for the steaks are an extra $3, I tried the wine reduction sauce, and was pleased with the decision. More elaborate extras are more expensive, such as grilled shrimp for $10.
The other two entrees I have tried, The Country Baked Meatloaf and the Stuffed Shrimp, were a bit of a disappointment. The Country Baked Meatloaf is a Signature dish described on the menu as follows:
Fresh ground beef enhanced with herbs and spices, wrapped with smoked bacon. Served over a bed of garlic mashed potatoes, brown gravy & fresh vegetables.
I have a fondness for meatloaf with gourmet flourishes, but as I said, this was a disappointment, the smoked bacon was soggy and the only redeeming part of the choice were the garlic mashed potatoes. The Stuffed Shrimp were stuffed with shredded crab meat, not lump, and considering the price, $30, three medium sized Shrimp seemed like a paltry serving.
The Entrees are basically a la carte, with some garnish vegetables are included on the side. The sides include: Roasted Eggplant & Tomato; Jumbo Grilled Asparagus; Sauteed or Creamed Spinach; Sauteed Onions & Mushrooms; Baked Potato; Mashed Potatoes; Stuffed potato; Blue Cheese Potato Gratin; Baked Sweet Potato; Sesame Sugar Snaps Peas. All sides are $7.
The Blue Cheese Potato Gratin sounded like an interesting twist on a Steakhouse classic, the potatoes were thinly sliced, as if they were cut on a microtome, and made for a nice texture, however I hardly detected any blue cheese. The Sweet Potato comes with butter infused with brown sugar and cinnamon and is simply delicious. The plain mashed potatoes had just the right amount of butter for flavor without disguising the potato flavor. The sauteed spinach had sour taste, lemon perhaps, that was not pleasing to my taste buds. The spinach was also heavy on stems.
No Need to Save Room for Dessert
No need to save room for dessert, unfortunately. The chocolate lava cake tasted like a cake you buy in the frozen section of a supermarket. The vanilla ice cream served with the cake, which adds a few dollars to the price, had absolutely no discernible vanilla flavor. A scoop of Haagen-Dazs Vanilla would have dramatically improved the whole experience. If you order the Three-Course $29.99 Dinner Special, you’ll be served a piece of chocolate mousse cake, roughly the size of the cakes served at the Bellagio Buffet, which are purposely small so that you can sample many desserts. The chocolate mousse cake is better than the Lava cake, but hardly anything to look forward to.
It Takes a Village to Service Each Table at Camelot
The service model here is: it takes a village to service one table. One person takes your order and delivers the check at the end of the meal. A second person delivers the food. A third person removes used dishes. A fourth person will randomly stop by to ask if everything is okay. The net effect is surprisingly inefficient and adds a cold tone to the whole experience.
The Steakhouse at Camelot offers Excalibur patrons the opportunity for nice comfortable meal with a touch of upscale flare. Avoid the appetizers and desserts to keep the costs down, and keep in mind with everything a la cart, the price of the meal can add up quickly. The Three-Course Dinner Special for $29.99 is also an option, you can upgrade the entree to the 8 oz Filet Mignon for a $5 surcharge. For more information and Internet Buzz on The Steakhouse at Camelot check out MavensVegas.com