Two American icons – the New York Yankees and great steak – fittingly come together at Seminole Casino Coconut Creek, one of south Florida’s top gaming and destinations. Yankees memorabilia (the club is a partner in the restaurant) share NYY Steak with as a fine a collection of aged Prime steaks as any South Florida steak house has to offer
“I think we’ve set the bar,’’ for casino restaurants, said Executive Chef Chris Fearnow, as he sat at a table in the middle of NYY Steak’s dining room.
Fearnow, aside from being an expert on steak, also is an expert on running a casino restaurant. Prior to joining Seminole Casino Coconut Creek in September 2016, Fearnow’s 40-year culinary career included working at Las Vegas-based properties such as The Mirage, Bellagio, Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino, Larry’s Old Ranch House, Stardust Hotel, Texas Station, Silverton Hotel & Casino and the Green Valley Ranch. He’s even cooked for legendary illusionists Siegfried and Roy when the duo performed at the old Frontier Hotel on the Vegas Strip.
“I cooked at an old ranch house, too, where I cut my own meat and cooked in front of people,’’ Fearnow said. “We opened up Bellagio (in 1998) with 10,000 team members and the best of everything. That was a really good experience. And then went out to the Resort at Summerlin. Money was no object there, either. So, as I went, I was always adding things to my tool box.’’
That is, Fearnow was learning how to cook a plethora of foods and cuisines – from steak to Chinese, Italian and Mexican.
“I also was able to talk to people and bring teams together,’’ he said. “I still have a home in Vegas, but I’m starting to sell off stuff, because I’ve been here about two years and I like it here. It’s fun, it’s green and I can get to the beach.’’
To be sure, the beach, along with his wife, five children, nine grandchildren, one great grandchild and a Harley Davidson Springer motorcycle make Fearnow happy these days.
Conversely, “I make people happy with food,’’ he said. “Whether it’s a $300 dinner or 99-cent hot,dog, you bite into it and go ‘Wow.’’’
That’s a good word to describe Fearnow’s entire menu at NYY Steak – from the 30-ounce Long Bone Ribeye to the New York Strip and Colorado Lamb Chops.
“What do people want to eat when they come to a steak house. They mainly want steak.’’ Fearnow said.
Most of NYY Steak’s meats are aged in an in-house dry-aging room. Guests can watch steaks cut in a room near the restaurant’s main entrance.
“All of our beef is Prime, except for filet, and we dry-age for more than 28 days,’’ Fearnow said. “The dry age room is the most-valuable room on property – except for the vault.’’
The best way to begin the “Wow’’ factor at NYY Steak, however, is with the Thick Cut Bacon appetizer – house cured and smoked, maple lacquered kurobuta pork belly. The maple drips down into a cornbread pan for a flavor that sets the tone of the remainder of the meal.
Follow with one of the steaks – or even a whole Maine lobster – before finishing with an ice cream sandwich dessert that perhaps even Babe Ruth couldn’t eat by himself.
In addition, NYY Steak offers a Ruthian-sized Sunday brunch that includes crab legs, shrimp, oysters, lamb chops, and prime rib – items you might not normally find on a typical brunch menu.
“I think we’re a diamond in the rough,’’ Fearnow said. “We command a lot respect and we have generous owners who allow us to do what we do.’’
And what Fearnow and NYY Steak does, is make people happy.