what is new in Las Vegas since last Sept.?
Just got back from a whirlwind trip (2 nights and many meals) and here's my recommendations - ate dinner at Mario Batali's new restaurant in the Venetian, B&B Ristorante. Great experience and incredible food. Would put it at the top of my list to go visit, not just for the food, but for the whole experience. Ate at the bar, but got first-rate service. Chef sent out amuse bouche of ceci (sp?) bruschetta (basically garbanzo beans with olive tapenade with vinegar, basil, rosemary, red pepper flakes - found recipe in his cookbook) - incredible mix of flavors. Then had an appetizer that was good (not great), but was pleasantly surprised when the sommelier came by and told the bartender to pour me a different taste of sparking wine (I was enjoying prosecco) that was a rose that would better complement the dish. Then I had the homemade orrichette(sp?) pasta with sausage and rapini. Wow. Was really, really good. Had a substantial size glass of wine (most poured by the 1/4 bottle and very reasonable). People next to me were enjoying the pasta sampler and looked incredible (and had a taste of the homemade fettucini with triple butter sauce - you can't imagine anything more heavenly). Was too tired and too full for dessert, but they presented me with a dessert sampler plate of mini-bites that was a nice surprise - almond toffee, fruit pate and a chocolate cake/truffle thing. All in all a fun experience. I also ate lunch at Olive's in The Bellagio. Beautiful setting, but the food was just average. Would be a good place to enjoy outside overlooking the fountain. Then I had dinner at Bartolotta's. What an amazing place, but the experience frankly wasn't as good as at B&B. Would be fun to enjoy a meal outside here around the reflecting pool, but with 100+ degree temps right now, wasn't in the cards. I'm not a fish lover, so I didn't take advantage of the wonderful fish dishes they have. Had the homemade pasta with wild mushrooms and the homemade gnocchi, which were amazingly light, but the sauce was lacking a certain something (you know how a tomato sauce tastes a little bitter when the seeds are included? had that kind of flavor, but the seeds weren't present). Had a great salad there with artichokes (the most tender I have ever had in my life) with wild mushrooms and parmesean ribbons (waiter recommended it). Enjoy your trip and let us know what you discover!
The Golden Nugget has a new Italian restaurant that had been open for just three days when I got there last October. I love Italian and it did not disappoint. I mentioned hoe much I loved the oysters and wanted to know what was in the sauce - 15 minutes later, the head chef was chatting about his recipe and things he could do to improve it. Perhaps it was just because it was new but the service was excellent, the manager stopped by during dessert to be sure things were good. I'd go back in a second.