Chef Sam Marvin’s Rise
Sam Marvin is a Los Angeles native with serious classical French training, having attended Le Cordon Bleu in Paris at age 19. After graduating he worked seven years abroad with Marc Meneau at L’Espérance à Saint-Père-sous-Vézelay, Georges Blanc at L’Auberge de La Mère Blanc and other prestigious restaurants around the world, in countries such as Switzerland, Italy, Thailand, Morocco and Holland. Back in the U.S., in the late 1980s chef Marvin proved himself in Los Angeles at seminal restaurants like Flaming Colossus and Patina, and also opened his own restaurant, Modada, in 1994, with an avant-garde menu combining classical French dishes with eclectic influences from around the world, followed by Bottega Louie in Downtown Los Angeles in 2009, which marked the beginning of the revitalization of Downtown L.A.
Fortunately for us, chef Marvin has been sharing his culinary genius with Las Vegas with his Echo & Rig Steakhouse & Butcher Shop, which debuted in 2013 at Tivoli Village. He has since opened another Echo & Rig in Sacramento in 2018 and the new opening in Henderson in February 2023 marks the third location of the unique brand.
Not Your Average Steakhouse
When Echo & Rig opened in 2013, it was one of the first of a cavalcade of upscale restaurants offering extreme high quality OFF The Vegas Strip and at prices easier to swallow than that of those ON The Strip. But it also offered some unique aspects, first being a full-fledged old school neighborhood butcher shop with classically trained, skillful butchers, where customers can purchase a wide range of top-tier meat with Prime quality not available in grocery stores.
Another reason the steakhouse stands out is by offering Prime cuts of meat that either had been forgotten or are not commonly seen. More on that later…
The New Henderson Location
The new Henderson branch is set in the old Elephant Bar space, across from the eastside Green Valley Ranch casino entrance. Like the original location in Tivoli Village, there’s an old school butcher shop near the entrance, which while not as large, does have a good selection of Prime cuts to take home, which are displayed in a large open glass meat locker and dry-aged cases.
The 8,000-square-foot interior seats 130 in the dining room and 45 at the circular bar and more in the 800-square-foot outdoor terrace, where you can people watch strolling shoppers at The District. The dining room has an elegant, yet comfortable vibe, with white curtains, brass chandeliers, colorful stained-glass pillars and eggshell-hued booths, which contrast nicely with the wood grain and faux marble tile flooring and dark brown tables and chairs. There are also large windows allowing for ample natural lighting.
• The Best Wines to Drink with Steak
• Beef Grades & Quality Ranking
Echo & Rig has become known for offering delicious food at a fair price and cuts of beef not often seen these days. Ten cuts are offered, including the familiar Rib-eye, NY, Filet Mignon, Hanger and Rib-eye Cap; less recognized Bavette, Spencer, Coulotte, Outside Skirt and Zabuton; and bone-in cuts of Porterhouse, Tomahawk, T-Bone, NY and F1 Wagyu.
I usually go for the NY, but upon our server’s suggestion I opted for the Zabuton. Sometimes called a Denver steak, in this case it’s also a Wagyu version and I proclaim it to be absolutely ideal for my taste buds. The steaks are cooked on a wood-fire grill burning white oak and are accompanied with buttermilk fried onions and mushroom Rockefeller (like the oyster version, but with mushroom).
• Beef Cuts
• Barbecue & Grilling Tips
There are several creative desserts like Berry Shortcake Sundae with macerated berry sauce, house-baked shortbread and candied hibiscus flower; Caramel Turtle Sundae with caramel ice cream, house-made Bourbon caramel sauce, chocolate shavings and toffee nut topping; and fresh baked Grand Soufflé with Grand Marnier, vanilla, Chantilly cream, house-made marshmallow fluff and chocolate fudge sauce.
• All About Chocolate
• Dessert Recipes
Chef Marvin brought in master mixologist Tony Abou-Ganim to design the entire beverage program. In addition to classic cocktails with Abou-Ganim’s spin added, there are five he created found only here, like The Wizard with Blue Ice Potato Vodka, Dolin Vermouth de Chambéry Blanc and Yellow Chartreuse Angostura orange bitters.
A newly expanded menu list contains a quite respectable list of more than 100 reasonably priced Bourbon, rye, Scotch, whiskey, rum, tequila, mezcal, amaro and Cognac. Some standouts are Puncher’s 14 Year Rum Cask Bourbon, Casa Dragones Anejo Tequila, Don Q Zinfandel Cask Rum and Courvoisier XO Cognac.
If beer is your beverage of choice and you like supporting local, you are in luck, as the selection presents brews from Nevada breweries including Bad Beat I Love NV Amber Ale, Big Dog’s Peace Love and Hoppiness, Lovelady Love Juice IPA, Neon Desert Heaven and Helles, and Tenaya Creek Hefeweizen.
Oenophiles should appreciate the 50-plus wines mainly from California, France and Italy, including 15 by-the-glass such as the Daou Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles, 2021.
• Best Beers From Around the World by Bob Barnes
• Whiskey Guide: The Best Bourbon, Scotch Whisky, Rye & Cocktail recipes
• Guide to Rum
• Cognac Guide
• The steaks are so flavorful that you won’t need a sauce, but as they all come with one of your choice (with options of béarnaise, horseradish cream, red wine demi, charred onion, blue cheese and chimichurri), don’t pass up the opportunity to try at least one. I can attest they are so savory that they are delicious on their own.
• If you like octopus like I do… As a self-proclaimed connoisseur of octopus, I have to place the one served here among the most tender I’ve had. A secret in its preparation is that it is simmered in used wine corks, which have a magical enzyme that aids in tenderizing. The dish also includes gigante beans, celery leaves and a citrus vinaigrette.
• A newly launched happy hour available in the bar Mon.-Fri. from 3-6 p.m. and all priced at $5, includes a beer of the day, a wine of the day and five cocktails: Paloma with tequila, grapefruit, lime and simple syrup; Harry’s Berries with gin, elderflower, lemon and strawberry; John Collins with Bourbon, lemon and simple syrup; Cucumber Cooler with vodka, lime and simple syrup; and Hibiscus Royale with rum, lime and hibiscus.
KEEP READING: More articles by Bob Barnes.