Bartolatta's Restorante Di Mare - worth the expense?
We have been invited to select a restaurant for business dinner for 1 night in Vegas. Since we're from Wisconsin we are very familiar with Bartolatta's restaurants and thought it would be fun to try the Vegas version. The reviews I've read about this Wynn restaurant talk about meals in excess of $125 and that they are not all that great. Even though it's not my billfold I hate to see that much spent on a meal that is only ok. Any thoughts - other suggestions?
I thought the food at Bartolatta was excellent but it was somewhat overpriced. I know the seafood is supposed to be flown in fresh from Italy blah blah blah, but I just couldn't taste the premium they were charging. I wouldn't hesitate to go again if some one else were paying though.
One of the questions would be the size of your party. If not too large, the outdoor cabana tables are among the nicest settings in Las Vegas, if it is to be an evening of business discussion. And if you decide to go with one of the tasting menu's they do it the right way - instead of going course-by-course throughout, which leads to a lot of interruptions, they break it into four servings - appetizers/salads (usually about a half dozen, all served at once), pastas (usually three), main protein and dessert (usually way too much; not that it is a bad thing).
Here is why some reviewers can be underwhelmed - Paul Bartolotta's focus is on the freshness of the fish, which he accents very simply. It is the classical notion that if the seafood is fresh, let the natural flavors take the stage, instead of wizardry with the seasonings and sauces. As such there are some subtleties in play, and those looking for a "wow" factor may not necessarily find it. The tasting menu's bring enough of the flavor spectrum to truly appreciate what the kitchen is doing, but we do understand that if someone merely had one of the appetizers, and an entree, they might see the lightning but not hear the thunder, or vice-versa.
I found Bartolotta at the Wynn very good, but very expensive for what you get. Also service can be confrontational if you deviate too much from what they think you should eat. They are masters of the upsell also, so watch out. I would not go again unless somebody else was paying.