As is fitting of a restaurant tucked inside Baltimore’s Horseshoe Casino, Gordon Ramsay Steak is a bit of sensory overload, especially sight and smell.
There’s a meat trolley with 360-degree mirrored views showcasing the marbling of various cuts of raw meat. There’s also the Union Jack mural splayed across the ceiling of a dining room that smells like seared steak and broiled bacon. It’s equally impossible to ignore a wall of white steel knives at the entrance to the kitchen, a sly wink to Ramsay’s rapier wit and sharp TV persona.
But what else would you expect from the in-your-face, Michelin-starred celebrity chef, who, with his perfectly deadpan delivery, once famously commented to one of his cooking-show contestants: “For what we are about to eat, may the Lord make us truly not vomit?” Having gorged on one too many all-you-can-eat buffets while on various visits to Atlantic City casinos as a kid, I know the feeling.
Fortunately, on a recent evening outing to Gordon Ramsay Steak, my experience left me feeling satisfied, not sick. Baltimore has no shortage of steakhouses, but most of them are places for deal-making over dinner. Not so at Gordon Ramsay Steak. With its playful plaid motif in the bar area and colorful cocktails, this carnivore’s den feels fun and festive. Here, the chef offers signatures from his sister spot in Vegas, while also adding regional products—Maryland blue crab, for instance, and Monkton’s Roseda Farm beef dry-aged with local Sagamore Rye.
Follow conventional wisdom—when you’re in a steakhouse, stick to the steaks. The menu features every conceivable cut, as well as American and Japanese Wagyu. Start with the beef tartare topped with a quail egg. The tartare, dramatically smoked under a bell jar at the table, is paired with house-made potato chips, adding a nice salty component.
A less successful appetizer was the grilled romaine salad, which, oddly, was served cold, though all was forgiven with the arrival of the chorizo-stuffed lobster luxuriating in a brandied cream sauce.
As for main courses, the eight-ounce filet, which arrives sitting zen-like surrounded by a swoosh of red wine demi-glace on the plate, is truly terrific and a relatively affordable option at $52, considerably less than the triple-seared Japanese Wagyu at $30/ounce. (Casinos pretty much have their own currency.)
Ramsay’s Beef Wellington is reason alone to go. The dish is paired with mushroom duxelles framed by a flaky puff pastry and sits on a buttery bed of potato purée. Alluring sides such as mac and cheese with truffles and English peas, and a loaded baked potato with smoked Gouda béchamel, sour cream, and bacon are also excellent complements to the beef. We went with the sautéed shiitake mushrooms, whose chewiness nicely mimicked the meat.
Finish your repast with Ramsay’s signature toffee pudding sided by brown-butter ice cream. The rectangular-shaped ice cream is disguised as a stick of butter and comes with—what else—a knife for cutting. With his first steakhouse on the East Coast, Ramsay has not lost his edge.
Gordon Ramsay Steak: 1525 Russell St., 443-931-4254. Hours: Sun.-Thurs. 5-10 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 5 p.m.-12 a.m. Prices: appetizers: $18-26; entrees: $30-110; desserts: $9-18. Ambiance: Modern steakhouse chic.