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Aug 11, 2009 07:37 AM

B&B or Piero's in Vegas

I'm heading to Vegas tomorrow and have reservations at B&B in the Venetian for an early dinner at B&B (9:30 show tickets). However, I've been tempted to change to Piero's based on stories I've read recently. Wife, who has not been to LV in 12 years, and I are going for an anniversary. I was thinking it might be fun to check out an old school place rather than another hotel place. Our other meals are Craftsteak and Picasso.

Anyone have a view on whether this is a big mistake?

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  1. Although I am a big fan of B&B (which gets mixed reviews here), I would definitely do Piero's (for your stated reason, as well as for the incredible osso buco).

    1. Piero's is excellent, I have never had a bad meal there. And, as you correctly point out, there is something about the old school feel of the place.

      1. There was a temptation to re-fresh an old B&B thread but this looks like as good of a spot as any. First in terms of the particular question being asked, there is a big difference in the service level’s – Piero’s brings not only an old school feel but high standards, while B&B has been frustratingly inconsistent on that front. But if the dining must be pre-show, that almost takes away from Piero’s a bit, since it is a great place to linger without having to move on.

        From a food standpoint we want to give B&B a deserved accolade. For all of the great culinary talent that has dotted the Las Vegas landscape over the past dozen years we have remained far behind in an important category – genuine “seasonal” menus that take advantage of what is fresh right now. The better places on the Strip bring in impeccable ingredients for their offerings, but when you look at the menus you would have little idea what month it is, or even which season, on the calendar. It is an unfortunate limitation that the Las Vegas setting forces. That is why we want to give B&B an extra tip of the cap, for genuinely taking a fresh direction over the past year, instead of merely being a Las Vegas outpost under the Mario Batali umbrella. So far in 2009 we have experienced a cycle of unique dishes that have only been on the menu for a short period of time, and then disappear when the particular ingredients have run through their season. Ultimately, that is a very good thing.

        Last night was a good example. They have a Pasta Tasting menu at all times, but it changes based upon the current market offerings. So what could be better at this time of summer than a Tomato-based cycle? And they carried it off well, with an amazing basket of produce. “Garganelli with Heirloom Cherry Tomato & Paula’s Basil”. “Spaghetti Nero with Green Zebra Tomato and Sweet Shrimp” (the spiciness nicely paired with an off-the-list 07 Terlano Quarz Sauvingon Blanc, kudos to the crew for that call), “Ricotta Cavatelli with Early Girl Tomatoes, Flageolet and Ham Hock”, “Bavette with Roasted Flamme Tomato & Polpettini”, “Jose’s Pyramids with Purple Cherokee ‘Sugo Finto’”, followed by a “Tomato with Peperoncino Sorbeto”, and “Candied Tomatoes with Sweet Corn Gelato”, the latter served over a sweet corn bread that would have you thinking Strawberry Shortcake if you closed your eyes. And to help balance the pastas out there was a side order of “Charred Corn with Fregula” that also celebrated the season well.

        There were about 8-9 varieties of tomatoes throughout the courses, and it was a tribute to the vision of the kitchen how well it all came together. So while B&B does have their fair share of critics, and our own experiences have shown us first-hand some of the issues, the direction they have been going in over the past year or so has been a breath of fresh air on the Las Vegas scene.