Brand of BROTH­ERS

Vegas Magazine - - Food & Drink - By Michael Ka­plan // Food pho­tog­ra­phy by Jim Decker, in­te­rior pho­tog­ra­phy by Bar­bara Kraft, por­trait by Denise Tr­us­cello

The name may be low- key, but the f la­vor is enor­mous. Newly opened in the Ha rd 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 truff le 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 Mor­ton fam­ily ( yes, that steak­house fam­ily) is sum­mon­ing its fa­mous legacy in MB Steak, the city’s new-meets-old-school steak­house.

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.”

Th e hands- on at­ti­tude is refl ected 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, “Th is 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, mb­

“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.” – DAVID MOR­TON

Clock­wise from left: The skylit up­stairs bar; David and Michael Mor­ton; seared Sonoma foie gras.

From top: The braised, pep­per- crusted 32- ounce bone- in short rib is a per­fect dish to share with your date— and then some; the main din­ing room is all sexy nat­u­ral woods and this spiky, “rock candy” chan­de­lier. That cor­ner ta­ble in the back is the one to ask for if you’re a be­liever in the con­cept of the Ve­gas power seat.

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