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Downtown Las Vegas has seen a lot of changes over the last few years. It has become a cool place to hang out with many new restaurants and bars. But sometimes it’s the old reliable stand-by places that have the hidden gems.

The El Cortez has been a downtown staple for a very long time, since 1941 to be exact. It was so successful in its early days it was eventually bought by Bugsy Siegel and Meyer Lansky.

Now the casino has a new restaurant that honors the rich early tradition of the property, Siegel’s 1941; it opened in the space that was formerly The Flame Steakhouse. They did a great job making it an upscale casual restaurant, open 24/7.

In the back of the restaurant there is a wall with a lot of cool old pictures. Rumor has it, back in the day, that is where Bugsy would sit when he had dinner and entertained guests and business acquaintances. If only those walls could talk, the stories they could tell from the early days of Las Vegas and the mob. For me personally, I love hearing about the early days of Vegas.

The wife and I visited Siegel’s 1941 on a Friday night for dinner. I highly recommend Friday or Saturday if you like Florida Stone Crab as they have them flown in for the weekends.

We started off our dinner with the Spinach Salad with a warm bacon dressing, shitake mushrooms and candied walnuts. This was a great choice to start our dinner with.

For her entree Lori ordered a filet and was very happy with her selection. The filet was cooked to the right temperature and was very tender and flavorful.

I had a very nice-sized plate of Stone Crab claws served chilled on a bed of ice. If you like Florida stone crab it is worth the trip downtown to Siegel’s 1941 just for these. It came with coleslaw and what they called cottage fries – thinly sliced potatoes with sautéed onions that were absolutely amazing.

After dinner we had a couple cappuccinos. For dessert we shared the warm apple cobbler served with ice cream. The apple cobbler was excellent and a perfect ending to a very nice meal.

On my next visit I have to try a Brown Cow, as this is an old school favorite where you take two scoops of decadent chocolate, chocolate ice cream and pour Virgil’s Classic Root Beer over it in a mug. That brings back memories of going to the ice cream parlor as a kid with my dad.

The menu at Siegel’s has something for everyone – steaks, seafood, pastas and casual comfort foods. They have a wide selection of deli-style sandwiches and burgers in addition to an anytime breakfast menu.

The daily specials are Meatloaf on Monday’s, Country Fried Steak on Tuesday, Corned Beef & Cabbage on Wednesday, Pot Roast on Thursday and Pecan Crusted Trout on Friday.

Siegel’s 1941 had very reasonable prices, good food and an extremely friendly staff. I give Siegel’s 1941 a rating of 3.75 Forks.

You can find Marco at or follow him on twitter: @MarcoInVegas

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