Bortolotta or another place for a splurge
OK...so want to do a surprise dinner for hubby. He loves mediterranean (Italian mostly) ingredients that are hard to find, simply prepared and delicious. Would prefer a tasting menu, but we can order different things and share (happens often!).
I was thinking Bortolotta. Anything else jump out at you?
Are there any French brasseries, not cafes or bistro, but a brasserie.
To not answer your question as best l can, found Bortolotta my most unsuccessful and overpriced meal and liked Bouchon and B & B very much. l posted on Bortolotta before so will not repeat myself.
3355 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109
My wife and I had a great meal at Bartolotta but it certainly didn't come cheap. I think Sage is better bang for your buck (and much cheaper). I would also highly recommend Milos for simple preparations of mediteranean food.
If you're willing to spend some money, I think Bartolotta sounds like a great choice for you. Scroll down to my response on this topic for my brief take on a recent meal there:
Let me know if you have any other questions or want some more details and also, since it's for a birthday surprise, I'd highly recommend reserving one of the outdoor cabana tables - they're awesome and very impressive!
I did reserve; 9:30pm was the only time working for us.
I requested a cabana; do you think I should call? I'll read your thread and may be posting back. Thanks for the advice. Their family style menu, is it that much of a deal if we ordered two plates for each course and shared. I am not sure that the dishes they chose would all be ones we would choose.
We love small plates concept so we may end up choosing a variety of apps, pasta starters and grilled langoustines, etc to share. Hubby will need some protein other than fish, so maybe veal chop for him, whereas I like to try small amounts of many things.
What do you think?
Ok, a few thoughts:
-I think you definitely should call about reserving a cabana- when we did, they faxed us a contract that asked us to agree to spend a certain $ amount per person (it was something around $130, which is no big deal, bc you can't really eat there right for less than that).
-Based on the fact that you'd like to try a bunch of different specialties and share, I would recommend doing the middle tasting menu (called Gran Menu di Mare at $155). Our server recommended this to us and she also threw in 2 langoustines for an additional $10, which is a steal. I know you mentioned your husband would want something other than fish, but I really don't think he'll miss it if you do this option- we got an amazing selection of a few salads/starters, 2 pastas, 1 risotto, a whole fish with vegetables, and a few desserts. I personally think the tasting menus are by far, the way to order here- I think you'll get to taste much more of the menu, and I do think that for what you get, it is less expensive than ordering a la carte.
-They show you all the whole fish in a case when you first sit down- it's very impressive- pretty much ALL stuff that you would not be able to get anywhere else in the US. All of their fish is line-caught in the waters off of Italy and flown in 4-6 times per week.
Let me know if you have other questions, and I'd also love to hear what you end up doing and how you like it. Enjoy!
Perhaps time to bring back something from an old thread that might help to put Bartolotta into perspective. Paul Bartolotta focuses on the freshness of the seafood, and brings those tastes to the forefront through light and subtle seasoning. It is a study in simplicity, and we have developed an appreciation for that. But as such, we do see a lot of mixed reviews. The tasting menu showcases his techniques well, and travels across the flavor spectrum in a way that allows the simplicity to shine. We have done this on multiple occasions, and have never been disappointed. But for those that do not go that route, if it is instead an appetizer or two and an entree, we can understand being underwhelmed. It is like seeing the lightning in the distance but not hearing the thunder or feeling any quake. So over time we have learned to strongly recommend Bartolotta for the tasting menu, but urge caution for anything other than that.
It isn't a question of "underwhelmed" . . . trust me.
What you are describing sounds like my definition of Chez Panisse -- everything is fresh, seasonal, light and subtle . . . and it's the subtlety that is key. Yes, absolutely -- there ARE times when some people are left scratching their heads and saying, "Is this it? Is this all there is?" Those are the people who are looking for/are more used to (relative to Chez Panisse) "over-the-top" and in-your-face" flavors and intensity. (Insert Emeril saying, "BAM!" right about now as he "takes it up a notch.)
This is not what Chez Panisse is about, and I agree it's not what Bartolotta is about either. However, this was not my experience at Bartolotta. It was truly mediocre. It wasn't fresh, simple, clean, subtle and elegant. It was simply mediocre. All eight of us agreed, and we are all "foodies" to one degree or another (though I was the only "former professional" in the group).
Perhaps what you say is true: we should have done the tasting menu. But WHY should there be that large of a discrepancy between the entrées and what's offered on the tasting menu? That doesn't make sense to me . . .
Well said, Zin. If that kind of attention goes into only the tasting menu, then I may have to pass. I do understand the mildness and simpleness of the cuisine and am all for letting the freshness of simply prepared food speak for itself. We do not want to indulge in a whole fish, but would rather do a sampling of appetizers and first courses of our choice to get a range of what is offered. However, if the posters recommend against that, I am going to trust them and spend my money elsewhere.