Heading to Vegas to celebrate my big 4-0. We have reservations at Wing Lei one night for the duck tasting menu. I'd like some assistance choosing an Italian restaurant. All suggestions/descriptions welcome. thanks
Are you staying at Wynn or Encore? If so, it shouldn't be difficult to book reservations at Sinatra at Encore Tower Suites. IMHO they're the best Italian in town, or at the very least on the "Top 5 Short List". The pasta dishes are superb, the cocktails are quite nice, and you'll be VERY HAPPY if you're a steak person.
Just off The Strip at Hard Rock is Ago, another of my Italian faves. The wild mushroom ravioli are fabulous, and the desserts are sure to please.
And if you can handle going WAY off Strip, try Marinelli's at The M Resort (just off the 15 @ Las Vegas Blvd & St Rose Pkwy). I still fantasize over the gnocchi in gorgonzola sauce! :-D
I wholeheartedly agree with atdleft about Sinatra. You won't go wrong there.
I'd also suggest Bartolotta at Wynn for Italian seafood prepartations. For an over-the-top event, order the family style tasting menu. Expensive but you really get what you pay for here.
For a more laid back meal still with fantastic food try Enoteca San Marco at Venetian. This is a great place to sample many appetizers and pair them with "value-priced" Italian wines. Good for lunch as well.
The Italian options these days are basically unlimited, so perhaps you can narrow the focus a bit with particular preferences, But on or near the the Strip alone you have (alphabetically) Ago, B&B, Bartolotta, Circo, Enoteca San Marco, Fiamma, Nove, Sinatra, Sirio and Valentino, and some might even add Cafe Giorgio, Rao's, Stratta and Zeffirino as well, with Piero's and Ferraro's also just a block off of the Strip. So perhaps particular style of cuisine and ambience can help to narrow the scope a bit.
We just came back from our dinner at Sirio at Aria. Maybe my expectation was too high, but I was very disappointed.
We started with "trio of meatballs" and "Frittura Mista" appetizers. Meatballs were rather dry and sauces were unimpressive. Frittura Mista was good but nothing spectacular. We had three different entrees: Ravioli Di Ricotta E Spinaci Alla Moda Di 'Mamma Egi', Risotto with shaved truffle, and homemade spaghetti with bolognese. Ravioli was very nice with a classic browned butter with sage. Bolognese was good, and the homemade fat spaghetti was nicely done. However, we were all so dissappointed with Risotto. It was very grainy and powdery. It denifitly needed to be cooked at least another 5 or 10 minutes. It was so clear that the chief chef did not even tasted before the dish came out of the kitchen.
As for a restaurant reviewed as upscale Italian, the ambience was rather casual. Sisal-ish table matt for dinner setting - definitely not a sign of upscale restaurant in my opinion. Since there was nothing in the interior to absort noise, it was so noisy and it felt like a high-end cafeteria at the peak of dinner time. At the end of the dinner, we were waited by a waiter who could not explain what Sabayon was on the dessert menu.
Sommelier was the highlight of the night. He was very attentive and chose a couple of good wine for our dinner.
Paying over $500 for a dinner for 3 persons, it was not a memorable experience. There are many other good restaurants, and we won't be back.