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Dec 4, 2011 09:05 PM

Trip Report

E by Jose Andres-- A lot of fun! It was just my sister and me, as the party of six that would have filled out the meal cancelled. I was pretty psyched about this and loved having a 6:2 ratio of staff to diners:) I'm sure you've already read about the food enough to know the general concept. It's a cool room, everything's perfectly but lightheartedly presented... the food itself is heavy on the foam, dry ice, spherification, etc. A lot of it's done right there, so you can watch very closely. I particularly liked his take on chickpea strew and a fantastic dish of turbot and bone marrow. Really neat drink pairings, too, alcoholic or non. If it's in your price range, it's a great experience. I didn't get to experience the whole "conviviality" aspect, but that didn't bother me.

Charlie Palmer Steak-- I went twice. Loved it. Beautiful room, fantastic service, great value if you order the cut of the week. Top notch all the way around. Fantastic wagyu tartare.

Carnevino-- the best thing I can say about it is that it's open a little later than other places-- which is why I went in the first place. I wish I hadn't! It was just gross. I can't believe I'd say something like that about a place with input from Batali and Bastianich, but I can't think of anything good to say about the food. That was a lot of money to spend for food that was literally not good enough to finish-- I would have done better at a buffet or with the $14.95 prime rib at the hotel!

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  1. Thanks for your report. I've never seen such a negative report about Carnevino posted on Chowhound. If you don't mind elaborating a little bit, what did you order and what was wrong with it?

    4 Replies
    1. re: Dave Feldman

      I'll make a good faith effort... We each had a pasta. I had ravioli of braised pork with a sauce of duck livers. The sauce tasted and looked like someone had pureed a liverwurst, added a little water, and poured it over the ravioli. And it was cold. And really gray.

      My sister had pork agnolotti with squash. The pasta was served on a bed of pureed squash, which had a very odd chalky taste. Again, cold.

      We shared a mixed grill. Sweetbreads (which were good), a large prawn, chicken, steak, and buffalo sausage. The prawn tasted WAY off. The chicken tasted like chicken. The steak was okay, though by no means spectacular. The sausage tasted like what I imagine canned dog food tasting like.

      I am trying to be specific, since you asked. Seriously, the whole meal was so bad it was surreal. I do have a pretty good idea of what good food tastes like, and this wasn't it. It was about on a par with the airline food you get at the front of the plane.

      And no, I have no antagonistic feelings toward either B or B-- I sincerely wish the meal had been good!

      1. re: lizreedy

        Thanks, no wonder you were disappointed. I'd be curious if other Chowhounds have had negative experiences at Carnevino lately.

        1. re: Dave Feldman

          I've eaten at Carnevino a couple of times in the last few months. The last time I was there, my son ordered the mixed grill. I didn't think it was nearly as bad as Liz described, however, it was nothing special leaning more towards mediocre. On the other hand, the seperately ordered steaks, sides, and service were still very good. I think the mixed grill was just more of a dud menu item, than a reflection of the rest of their offerings. I can't speak to the two pasta dishes Liz reviewed, however, the few pasta apps I've had there in the past were well prepared and tasty.

          1. re: Dave Feldman

            I ate at the bar at Carnevino on Nov 21. The grilled octopus app was fantastic. The app portion "Spago" pasta with lamb ragu was nicely done. Service was adequate. Left feeling sated.

      2. Liz, what IS the price at E? Can you order a la carte or just a tasting menu? How many courses in tasting menu? What were the non-alcoholic drink pairings?

        3 Replies
        1. re: Food Tourist

          $160 food, $120 alcohol, $90 non, mostly fruit/botanical concoctions. You have to get the whole menu.

          1. re: lizreedy

            I had a great dinner at e last year. Planning to return when I come back to LV in March. Do they still require a form to be completed to secure the reservation? Are they still taking reservations only 30 days in advance?

            1. re: ellenost

              From my recent experience, yes and yes.

        2. liz i have to second your two reviews. we were in vegas in october and totally loved the e so much better that carnavino. we stayed at the palazzo and heard great things but we had two cold apps,one hot app and shared the $140 rib-eye that wasn't really very tender or flavorful. highly recommend e and stay away from carnavino.