Fans of the one-armed bandits and sundry games of chance hungry for some elevated fare—or folks just looking for a prime cut—have a new place to try: Final Cut Steakhouse. The restaurant opened earlier this year in the Hollywood Casino in Maryland Heights, part of a massive $62-million renovation of the property, which formerly was Harrah's St. Louis.
The interior of Final Cut is miles away from the garish casino floor just outside: no flashing lights or buzzers here. Instead, the decor is sleek and understated with modern touches like the almost circular entryway that houses the hostess station and the eye-catching striated amber panels backlit behind the bar. The high-end atmosphere is somewhat negated, though, by the big screen TVs over the bar. Since the restaurant is open for dinner hours only (5 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday; and 5 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday), maybe management could take a cue from our moms and shut off the TVs during dinner time?
The menu at Final Cut is full of traditional steakhouse items, from soups and salads to a variety of surf and turf options. We started with the Classic French Onion Soup ($6) and the Final Cut Caesar Salad ($7), both classics that are presented with a minimum of fanfare. The sweet and savory soup had plenty of the requisite gruyere cheese on top, and the salad was elevated a bit with the addition of some white anchovies and a parmesan tuille on top. Both dishes were hearty portions.
The entrees on the menu are divvied up between Land and Sea. From the Land side, we ordered the 8 oz Filet Mignon ($33), which we paired with a glass of Trivento Malbec ($12); and from the Sea, the Pan Roasted Chilean Sea Bass ($35). Our filet was a by-the-book classic cut, cooked a nice, rosy rare. Following the basic steakhouse formula, sides are ordered a la carte. However, at Final Cut, the steaks do come with a choice of either baked potato, baked sweet potato or sweet potato casserole. To accompany our filet, we chose the casserole. Wrong move. This dish was way too cloying. It had more in common with a dessert than a side to accompany a steak. A tried-and-true baked potato would have definitely been the way to go here.
The fish came perched on some saffron potatoes, accented with a crab mueniere and topped with a spray of micro-greens. The fish itself was flaky and tender, and deliciously ensconced in a delicate crust. The sauce had the tangy bite of lemon, along with a contrasting subtle sweetness that accented the mild fish nicely.
Easily accessible from I-70, the restaurant also benefits from the casino’s wealth of surface and garage parking, making it a convenient dining destination for gamers and non-gamers alike.
-- Final Cut Steakhouse, 777 Casino Drive, hollywoodcasinostlouis.com.