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Cleaver’s owner, Nectaly Mendoza, helped launch a Las Vegas cocktail renaissance at his other local business, Herbs & Rye. Unfortunately, the Italian steakhouse cuisine offered there has never quite matched the exceptional (and award-winning) beverages. Mendoza has remedied that at Cleaver, which gives equal attention to food and drink. And he finished it off with much nicer décor and a much sexier aesthetic.

Mendoza’s menu once again reflects classic Italian steakhouses, with raw bar items, pastas, seafood and a wide variety of chops and steaks. The focus, however, is on the steaks. Butchered and aged in-house, they’re offered with your choice of 15 different butters, crusts, sauces and other additions. Or go crazy, and get yours “Cleaver style”: spice-rubbed, with a blue cheese crust, topped with bacon and a fried egg.

Before you book a reservation, check to see what time they’re offering happy hour prices, when most of the dishes are deeply discounted – many close to 50%. There’s usually an early and a late happy hour – although there have been times when the discounts ran all night.

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