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B&B vs Enoteca vs not while in Vegas - can you weigh in?

nycreba Dec 16, 2008 07:10 AM

I've read many posts and threads on the hound regarding Batali's ventures in Vegas. I'm a die hard long standing fan of Babbo in NYC - I've never had a bad meal (or even a mediocre one) there.

Now we're headed to Vegas this weekend for a few days and have tentative reservations at B&B and Enoteca San Marco for dinner next Monday.

I'm quite torn - the reviews have been SO mixed on this site, varying from downright awful to high praise. Are either of these restaurants worth a visit for one of our few dinners while we're on the strip? We're at L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon to try the tasting menu on Saturday night, are journeying to Bouchon (I can't WAIT!) for brunch/lunch on Sunday and I was hoping to round it out with either B&B or Enoteca on Monday but now I'm not sure.

Suggestions? Clarification? Has anyone eaten at either very recently with good things to say?
Many thanks...

  1. c
    climberdoc Dec 18, 2008 09:01 AM

    IMHO Enoteca is definitely worth a trip for lunch. The food is simpler than B&B but well-executed and a good sampling of Batali's abilities (if that's important to you). It's not a quiet and comfy place like I would choose for a dinner though. I do think that the open, bright, sometimes loud and bustling nature if Enoteca really adds to the experience.

    3 Replies
    1. re: climberdoc
      Claudette Dec 25, 2008 09:44 PM

      We just ate at Enoteca yesterday afternoon and were SO disappointed: dried-out salumi ($36 for about 3 or 4 ounces total) and burnt bread. The pasta and pizza were so salty we could barely eat them, and the pizza crust was hard and tasteless. Mario is my favorite chef, and I wanted to like his resto so much, but nothing was good - even the pork shoulder was burnt and dry. (No Chowhound warned me that it was served with a SWEET sauce! I thought I'd stumbled into a Chinese resto, for pete's sake.)

      Had breakfast at Bouchon this morning and was not disappointed: nothing was overcooked nor oversalted, and the croissant shattered at first bite - divine! It was better than any breakfast I'd had in Paris.

      1. re: Claudette
        Erich Dec 26, 2008 05:58 AM

        We were also at Enoteca earlier this week. The burnt bread was sort of remarkable - what, is crappy dry bread fashionable in part of the world if it's wrapped? We actually sort of laughed that we'd be served such a thing.

        The pork shoulder definitely had a sweet fish sauce taste going on - it felt Vietnamese to us until we got thinking about ancient Rome (garum/liquamen) realized that the chile peppers in the dish were the only part of it that might not have been served there. The pork that we had was very fatty but cooked well - it was too fatty for my wife to eat, but I was able to enjoy it. Crisp on the outside, buttery on the inside. If you don't care for fatty meat, avoid this one.

        The bucatini amatriciana was profoundly salty (the guanciale used has got some major salt-cure going on), but our excellent server warned us about this. The arancine were okay, but not outstanding. Service was just great.

        The wines that we tried were okay on the lower end of the spectrum, but the barolo I had just didn't seem worth the cost. Frankly, the least impressive barolo I've ever had.

        Enoteca's location is pretty darn annoying, too - a faux "patio" on the "Piazza San Marco" in the Venetian Grand Canal Shoppes. The singers in the plaza really detracted from the meal - all of Enoteca's staff made it clear that they were about to go crazy from the singing.

        My wife and I tried to have a nice little late lunch at Enoteca San Marco on Sunday and dropped a bit of change doing it. We enjoyed our time together, but I doubt we'll be back.

        1. re: Erich
          Friend of Bill Dec 26, 2008 06:31 AM

          I have eaten at B&B several times; every one of my meals has been stellar (as has the service).

    2. n
      ns1 Dec 17, 2008 11:42 AM

      I'm so sorry but Bouchon is closed until the 20 something.

      2 Replies
      1. re: ns1
        nycreba Dec 18, 2008 02:14 PM

        Do you happen to know until what date?? We're coming in on the 20th, staying til the 22nd. I'll cry if they're closed for the duration of our trip...

        1. re: nycreba
          ns1 Dec 18, 2008 03:22 PM

          You should give them a call; I was there over the weekend and wanted to drop by on Monday but called first, I don't recall when it's over; ALOT of restaurants are closed right now (many of Michael Mina's restaurants)

          (702) 414-6200

      2. n
        ncdave Dec 17, 2008 11:09 AM

        I've had a few meals at both B&B and Enoteca and have decided not to return. The meals are not the problem ("liked" B&B, "loved" Enoteca); it is the dining room itself.

        These are just not comfortable restaurants. They are cramped and loud; B&B is too dark, Enoteca glaringly bright; the chairs are hard and small. Although I've always enjoyed the food at these restaurants, I've never felt relaxed or at ease at the end of a meal there.

        There are so many places on the strip in all price ranges that get the ambience right.

        1. Debbie W Dec 16, 2008 08:41 AM

          If I could eat at Babbo regularly, I wouldn't bother with B&B. Enoteca San Marco is better suited to lunch, IMO. I wouldn't "waste" a Vegas dinner on it either - not when there are so many other fabulous restaurants - although it does get decent reviews here.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Debbie W
            nycreba Dec 17, 2008 04:55 AM

            Thanks...I was getting that feeling myself. I ended up cancelling our B&B/Enoteca res's and opted for FIamma instead...have been curious about that NYC outpost in Vegas as well - reviews seem to be both more even and quite positive.

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