B & B Ristorante or Valentino pros and cons
Only eaten at the Grill by Valentino (more casual place in front) and this is my experience last night if it is of any help. The main Valentino have tasting menus and a pricier general menu.
I have eaten here serveral times before on previous trips for conventions at the Sand Expo while staying at the Venetian and had been happy. They have a very decent Tuna Nicoise salad for $12 during lunch, great for a take aboard meal on the plane or a light meal or a starter. Also had eaten here for lunch and dinner before and had solid 2 or 3 courses for between 35-50.
It was kind of late at 10pm and decided to go there since I am familiar with the restaurant and there was a 20% coupon from the Palazoo Suite deal supposed good for both the Grill and the more formal restaurant Valetinos. I realized after I sat down and started ordering that I forgot the coupon in my bag since I only took my phone, my room key and a small change purse with credit cards.
There was a $38 menu for dinner which included soup of the day, main course of pork medallion that day and a special dessert. Not in the mood for pork so I asked about soup of the day which list for $10 in the regular menu and was told there is a mushoom soup with smoked ham and a lental soup. The mushoom soup was listed on a special daily special menu including some truffle dishes and steaks. Decided on the soup rather than the ahi tuna salad ($17) even though I loved the tuna nicole salad on my last visit since the tuna salad is a regular and the soup was a daily special. Also took the seafood linguine with spicy tomato sauce ($21) on the daily special menu.
The mushroom soup was tasty and had porcini and maybe other mushroom. The seafood linguine had salmon, shrimp (a bit tough), mussels (mediocre) and maybe a few others things in a tomato sauce. Either the pasta was boiled in very salty water or it was highly seasoned with salt. I had to specifically ask for water in addition to the red wine I ordered and no bread were offered. The spicy sauce was decent enough and I asked for freshly ground pepper after tasting rather than the waiter offering grated parmasan and/or freshly ground pepper for the pasta.
There are many small samples of dessert and seem to be good choices at 3.50 each for 2.5 ozs. Just enough to have a taste but not enough to be on a sugar high. I had the tiramisu and aside from being overly frozen, it was pretty decent with some chocolate drizzle and berries.
I was seated at the bar and the service was pretty poor imoh. The female bartender was very into discussion with 2 older ladies that are either regulars or connected with the hotel/casino. There seem to be another large group doing some kind of function in the main Valentinos. The grill was fairly empty with only about 3 tables taken. So between 1 bartender and 2 servers (might also be working the back too), service should be decent. The bartender was more interested in her discussion and later texting on her phone once the older ladies left to do more than half hearted check if I am okay. Tried to signal her a few times and was not observed.
In addition to forgetting the coupon so no discount on food, there was an issue with the bill. The mushroom soup was $16 rather than $10 as I had thought. It was explained to me it was the fine dining soup of the day which is always $16 and that the regular soup of the day for $10 is the lentil soup. If so, they really should put the price on the menu like the other items or when describing it to customers, differentiate between the two. i..e the soup of the day is lentil which is $10 and the fine dining soup of the day is mushroom with xxx (smoked pork) for $16. I would probably have taken the ahi tuna salad rather than the soup if they are about the same price. With a $11 glass of red wine (don't know much about it since I know more about French and California wines than Italian wines) the bill came to $51.50 plus tax and tip. To be honest, I would probably preferred to spend a few more $ and eat at Mario Bartali's B&B or another restaurant in the Palazoo / Ventian complex.
1. don't go to this restaurant when it is almost empty. Likely sous chef or lower level cooking.
2. The Grill is not a great venue in the evenings with loud music from either the casinos or the clubs next door and noise. Valentino should be more insulated but can be still noisy.
3. Should have left when the service was poor in the beginning
4. ask more direct questions on items. the pasta was not that great except for the sauce. I expect the seafood may have been partially cooked before. The linguine did not taste like freshly made or if so been sitting there for a bit.
Have not had dinner at B&B yet. might go there for dinner Monday night when I get back.
Looking at how full the restaurants are this last few day, B&B Batali/Bastianich is by far one of the busy ones. At 9pm last night (Thurs night) Morel had a couple of large tables and a few small ones, Delmonicos only had a few people at the bar and Grill at Valentino only a few tables too.
But B&B across from Delmonico was packed.
Between 5-6:30 and 9:30 -11:00 there is a 4 course menu for $75.