Chef Ryan Clark Combines Local & Exotic for PY Steakhouse Spring Menu

With Ryan Clark recently appointed as Chef de Cuisine at Casino del Sol’s flagship restaurant, the award winning PY Steakhouse has stepped up its game even more with its latest spring menu.

Clark, a three-time Iron Chef Tucson winner, left his role at Agustin Kitchen in October 2015. With a casino-level budget, Clark has been able to push the boundaries further in both quality and with unique ingredients.

“All of the beef is sourced from Arizona,” said Clark. “Top Knot Farms supplies our duck, while E & R Pork supplies the heritage breed pork.”

Arizona grass-fed beef tartare at PY Steakhouse at the Casino Del Sol Resort (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Arizona grass-fed beef tartare at PY Steakhouse at the Casino Del Sol Resort (Credit: Jackie Tran)

With such a close connection with purveyors, quality control is top notch. You can confidently dig into rare beef, as is the case for PY’s Arizona grass-fed beef tartare. The sous vide egg yolk brings richness to the lean beef, while tiny drops of lemon oil brighten up the dish.

For luxurious lard, try the E&R Red Wattle pork belly.

“The Red Wattle breed is known for its fat,” said Clark. “Though the fat content is high, it’s a pleasant fat that just melts in your mouth.”

Clark tempers the velvety-smooth pork with ingredients such as pickled watermelon rind and watermelon compressed with basil. The plum jus includes hoisin flavors as well, bringing sweet and spicy notes to the mix.

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While the meat is local, the rest of the menu is filled with purveyors from in and around Tucson, such as Black Mesa Ranch, Green Valley Pecan Company, Sleeping Frog Farms, Hayden Mills, Exo Roast Co., AZ Grass Fed Beef Company, 5 Star AZ Beef, Dragoon Brewing Company, Covilli Brand Organics, Arizona Stronghold, Queen Creek Olive Mill, and Sonoran Mushroom Company.

With the impressive list of local purveyors, rare and exotic ingredients such as black truffles and goji berries also make their way into the menu.

“It’s interesting to add goji berries in place of other dried fruits,” Clark said. “Plus, it’s a super food.”

Chef Ryan Clark plating at PY Steakhouse at the Casino Del Sol Resort (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Chef Ryan Clark plating at PY Steakhouse at the Casino Del Sol Resort (Credit: Jackie Tran)

There are global inspirations all over the menu reflected with items such as togarashi aioli and preserved Meyer lemon, but the menu is still dominantly steakhouse.

Guests will still find steaks such as a broiled 28-day dry-aged cowboy ribeye and basted USDA prime porterhouse. Unique steak rubs such as the Exo Roast Co. rub and the porcini mushroom salt and truffle rub are also options.

For sides, guests have a selection of 14 to choose from. Two extra-special treats are available, too – sauté of wild and local mushrooms and potato pavé gratin with chipotle and cheddar.

Each month, a different ingredient is highlighted for the PY celebration tasting menu. For $65, the tasting menu gets you four courses. Wine pairings are extra.

For those not budgeting a full steakhouse dinner, check out Wednesday nights for PY prime rib night. For $20, guests get 10 ounces of herb-rubbed prime rib that was slow-roasted for eight hours. It’s eye-openingly tender. Rosemary jus, horseradish cream, loaded baked potato, and the chef’s seasonal vegetables complete the meal. Add a $4 wine special to the mix and you’ll feel like a winner.

For more information, visit casinodelsol.com.

Jackie is a food writer and photographer native to Tucson. He loves corgis and still thinks rickrolling is funny. If you'd like to stalk him, visit jackietran.com and his Instagram @jackie_tran_.

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