Dinner @ Bartolotta 10/14
This is a stunningly beautiful restaurant, no doubt about it. And Chef Paul Bartolotta has deservedly won praise (and two James Beard Awards) for his brilliant cuisine. So why only 3.5 stars (rounded up to 4) stars instead of five?
Well, it's simple. That's what it deserved.
The Wynn advertises that, "Bragging about award-winning chefs is one thing. Having them cook your dinner is another." Now that certainly implies, at least, that Chef Bartolotta is himself present in the kitchen during dinner. I don't know if he was or not. But what I do know is that a) Chef Bartolotta is supposed to be a genius with seafood; b) he gets virtually all of his seafood flown in directly from Italy; and that c) his speciality is cooking the whole fish, filleting it tableside, and serving it for two.
This is a restaurant we looked forward to dining in . . .
There were seven us, celebrating a friend's birthday. We each ordered appetizers, and the plates went flying around the table! Apps included Seared Sea Scallops with Porcini Mushrooms appetizer was outstanding, as was the Warm Parmigiano-Reggiano Custard with Wild Mushrooms and Brussel Sprout Leaves and the Silky Duck Liver Mousse with Black Truffle.
Speaking of truffles, Italian white truffles were in but were advertised on the menu as begin available with *any* dish for $85.00 extra.
Pasta courses included (among others) Lasagnette of Pasta, Lobster, Shrimp, Crab, White Wine, and Tomato; Gnocchi with Tomato sauce, Butter and Parmigiano-Reggiano; and the Linguine with Clams, White Wine, Rapini, Garlic, and Parsley. All very, very good -- though *not* as good as, say, the pasta courses at Quince in San Francisco.
For the whole fish, Lynn and I had the San Pietro (aka John Dory), and while the flavors were delicious, the fish was overcooked and dry.
Now, in all honesty, my guess is that it was an simply an off-night in terms of the overcooked fish. At nearly $1150 for seven of us (not including tip) a bargain, this place is not, but I'd be willing to come back . . . even quicker if someone else picks up the tab!
Bartolotta Ristorante Di Mare
3131 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109
Thanks, this is on my list of places to check out. I am assuming you passed on the white truffles? I recall Bauer (SF critic) stated that this was the one restaurant he visited that he wished was in SF. My understanding is Bartolotta is in the kitchen nightly. A shame about the fish being overcooked. Given the money you were dropping and the level of the restaurant, I would have sent the fish back.
re: Scott M
>>> I am assuming you passed on the white truffles? <<<
Yes. The problem was -- at least for us -- that they quite clearly state on the menu that white truffles are available for any dish for $85 each (per dish) . . . BUT there is no indication of how much white truffle gets shaved on your plate(s). One thin slice? Two? Twenty-five? 100? Well, you understand my point.
>>> Given the money you were dropping and the level of the restaurant, I would have sent the fish back. <<<
I agree, but my wife and I didn't think of that until much later that night. As I mentioned, with seven of us celebrating a friend's 65th birthday, it quite honestly never dawned on either one of us -- whereas, I am relatively positive, that were my wife and I dining alone, a) we would have thought of it, and b) we would have sent it back.
C'est la vie!