Hello, Echo & Rig in Henderson, Nevada

After a lot of back-to-back sushi restaurants, I finally went to something different—a steakhouse. Now that I’m back home in Las Vegas for a bit until my next leg of travels, I met up with a friend and our restaurant of choice was Echo & Rig in Henderson, a suburb of the Las Vegas Valley in Nevada.

While we were browsing the menu and deciding what to order, we got some complimentary bread. The photo makes it look a bit washed out and unappetizing for some reason, but in-person, it was great. The outside was a perfect balance of crispiness and softness, and the inside was extremely soft. The butter had a unique texture in that, even though it had the consistency of butter spread, it still had the flavor intensity of pure butter.

To start, my friend ordered pork belly burnt ends. I tried a few pieces and it tasted very intensely of pork. Pork is usually on the lower end of my tier of pref­er­ences of different kinds of meat, but I do have to acknowledge that the pork belly burnt ends were very well prepared. Although the flavor was ex­treme­ly intense, it was a clean intensity (as opposed to tasting gamey). They also managed to capture the burnt flavor while having a relatively mild lev­el of bit­ter­ness.

My first appetizer was steak tartare. It wasn’t the best beef I had ever tasted, but it still had a rich and tasty flavor. The bread had a perfectly light amount of butter and the sourness of the pickled Castelvetrano olives added a great tang to complementarily contrast with the meat.

My second appetizer was lobster cigars with chili mint sauce. I usually like lobster, but this was the worst dish out of everything I ordered. It basically tasted like cheap deep-fried vegetable eggrolls from a fast-serve Chinese chain restaurant with a hardly-detectible infusion of lobster essence. I tried it both with and without the sauce, and it did not help.

My friend’s main entrée was an F1 Wagyu filet mignon with a side of mac and cheese.

I tried a few pieces of the mac and cheese and it was a bit too creamy and cheesy for my liking. However, flavor-wise, I think it would be great for some­one who likes cheese. I’m not entirely sure how to articulate it, considering that I don’t consume much cheese so I’m not experienced enough to pin­point exactly what was different about it, but it tasted “more gourmet” than other mac and cheeses I’ve had before.

For my entrée, instead of getting a main meal, I decided to get three more small plate appetizers as a bit of a “build-your-own” kind of dinner. First was wood-fired octopus with celery leaves. The octopus was well-prepared and the celery leaves formed a very unique pair with the octopus. The sauce was also rich and flavorful without being too salty or sweet.

However, the beans posed an interesting conundrum. I’m almost never one to say something is too bland, but the beans … were too bland. Well, at least in the state that they were served. These were very large whole beans, so I would be enjoying some octopus with sauce and then bite into a bean, which would crumble and cause an explosion of blandness in my mouth. Until I managed to clear out the bean, it would be a bit too bland. To put it simply, this dish had a sinusoidal wave of flavor—it had high flavor when I wasn’t eating a bean, and low flavor when I was eating a bean, as opposed to having a con­sist­ent steady average throughout the consumption of the dish.

I think there are two potential solutions to making this better. The first would be to slightly reduce the saltiness of the sauce, then cook the beans in salt­ier water so they absorb more of the salt—this would transfer some of the flavors into the center of the beans while still maintaining an overall net-neutral level of sodium across the dish. The second would be to cook the beans a bit firmer and then slice them into smaller pieces so it’s easier to mix in with the rest of the dish and not cause a burst of blandness.

Next was crispy pig’s head terrine with violet cherry sauce. Even though I’m not the biggest fan of pork, this was the first time I had seen this on a res­tau­rant’s menu, so I wanted to try it. To me, it just tasted like shredded pork with stuffing. Unlike the pork belly from earlier, the pig’s head did have a very light gamey taste. However, the greens on the side were a perfect level of sourness that balanced everything out well.

My final dish was bone marrow carne asada topped with onions and with a side of orange slices.

I did my best to prepare this with the tools I was provided—which wasn’t much. I wasn’t given a spoon, so I scraped the marrow out onto the plate with a fork, chopped it up a bit with the side of the fork, added in the carne asada, squirted on the orange juice, and stirred. It would’ve been helpful to have a small bowl on the side as well, as it would’ve allowed me to mix the final result into a more even and spreadable consistency.

Flavor-wise, this was my favorite dish. It was everything you’d expect from bone marrow—savory, creamy, buttery, slightly nutty, and extremely fatty. The juice from the orange wedges had a very interesting effect—it made it so it the bone marrow and carne asada smelled fresh and citrusy on the way up to your mouth, but once you were actually eating it, it did not interfere at all with the umami.

For dessert, we shared a Grand Marnier chocolate soufflé with a side scoop of vanilla ice cream. Because the portion sizes on the appetizers were de­cent­ly satisfying, I was already very full by this point, so I don’t think I was able to enjoy the soufflé as much as I could have. The cream sauce they had was a little too sweet, but bites of just the soufflé and the ice cream together served as a refreshing conclusion to the meal.

Before paying for our meal and heading out, I snapped a photo of the bar area, which had some neat lighting and a nice arrangement of alcohol bottles.

Bread and butter $  0.00
Pork belly $ 12.00
Steak tartare $ 14.00
Lobster cigars $ 12.00
F1 Wagyu filet $ 58.00
Mac and cheese $ 12.00
Wood-fired octopus $ 14.00
Pig’s head terrine $ 14.00
Bone marrow carne $ 14.00
Chocolate soufflé $ 13.00
Ice cream $  3.00
Hot tea $  5.00
Sales tax (8.375%) $ 14.32
Gratuity (20%) $ 37.06
Total $222.38

Near the entrance of the restaurant, there was a shop that I didn’t notice when first com­ing in. We were there pretty late so the storefront was closed by the time we had finished our meal, but the area was still open, so I peeked inside to take a look.

There was a dry ager up against a wall that was in the process of preparing some meats; I’m always very intrigued by the entire concept of the dry ag­ing process, so I snapped a photo before I left.

We rotate covering our meals, and it was my turn this time around; the table to the right shows how much I paid.

Although it was a bit pricey, I think the ratio of val­ue to cost was pretty good. The only dish that was a huge miss was the lobster cigars.

Con­sid­er­ing how many different plates we or­dered, I’m sure they would’ve been hap­py to comp the lob­ster cigars if I had asked. However, I al­read­y have an issue of people no­ticing my cam­er­a, as­sum­ing I am a food re­view­er, and trying to give me special treat­ment, so I decided to stay qui­et and not draw attention to myself so that I could en­sure as neutral of an experience as pos­si­ble.

If a meal like this is within your price range, then this restaurant gets my recommendation. If you’re in the Las Vegas Valley but Henderson is a bit too far away from you, they have another location at Tivoli Village, and I would imagine they both have substantially similar offerings and quality.