As you’re navigating your way through the Mardi Gras-themed Orleans casino to find its new steakhouse, it might help to know that Alder & Birch looks completely out of place. In stark contrast to the garish holiday decor, the restaurant has a modern facade and floor-to-ceiling windows separated by tall panels of rich wood. Inside, away from the madness of the casino floor, the surprise continues, with a downright sleek dining room, its decor a mix of neutral colors and natural and industrial finishes. The menu is classic for a contemporary Vegas steakhouse, with intriguing selections such as watermelon salad with goat cheese and sea salt, and beef carpaccio with arugula, mustard and capers. I was pleased to learn that the raw oysters came direct from New Orleans, as sort of proof that Alder & Birch knew exactly where it was. The dry-aged Wagyu sirloin looks tempting, but for more bang for your buck (which you can get quite a lot of here), the rib eye makes more sense for serious carnivores. The other nice touch is the craft beer selection on tap—several from local brewery Joseph James—plus a thoughtful cocktail list. The Orleans has been in the midst of a $30 million renovation, and we’re glad they started with its restaurants.