The Palazzo: check
Extensive wine list: check
Truffle season: check
Mario Batali: check
A recipe that could possibly change my blog from bitchingitout to notbitchingitout. But sadly from my experience and my utter desire to bitch and criticize, I will remain bitchingitout.
I decided to take a different approach on my Las Vegas trip this time. Hoping this has nothing to do with my olding age. I figured changing it up to make it more adult-like and sophisticated would be interesting. Therefore, the plan was to drink less, dine better, not walk barefoot on Las Vegas blvd and sleep before the sun came up. (In retrospect this was a bad idea, why mess with a good thing? And who are we really kidding? All that stuff is super fun)
Anyhow, with the numerous restaurant options Vegas presents, finding one I have not been to was pretty difficult. Then of course after all that research you get so hungry it doesn’t even matter. And you wind up picking something you are familiar with or eating at one of the “cafes” in the hotel that serve just about anything and everything mediocre(ly). The 2 options it came down to were Carnevino by Mario Batali and Gordon Ramsay’s new restaurant (wait for it…) Gordon Ramsay Steak. Decision maker was where we could get a last minute reservation on a Friday night.
If you have not figured out which restaurant was available, then you may kindly leave this blog.
So Gordon Ramsay Steak was fully booked. This of course means: it is a better restaurant to begin with.
Carnevino, being located in the Palazzo helps ease the worry of whether it is decent or not. The restaurant was separated into 2 sections, almost as if they were 2 separate restaurants. I should have checked how the food got to the different sections? Or perhaps they had 2 kitchens? Probably not.
We were greeted at the door with way too many hostesses, who seemingly worked at McDonalds. I was already hungry which actually is code for cranky, so I was annoyed even before I could have a glass of wine. Then of course, we were welcomed by a massive bull (not a real one or not in reference to a large person) at the entrance of the bar area/restaurant, between the dark wood wall paneling and the bull I thought I was at Merrill Lynch (one of my reoccurring nightmares). While strolling to our table, I was happily surprised that the rest of the décor was suitable for a high-end steakhouse. However, nothing about this place screamed Mario Batali or for that matter, Italian.
The loud heavy rock music blaring in my ear from the conveniently located speaker (above my head) and the accented waiter, I could not understand/hear anything he was saying. Yes, I am a huge fan of men with Italian accents. But only the young hot ones. Anyway, I am already frustrated and hungry/cranky; I could not stop thinking about how Gordon was doing across the strip, whilst trying to get a buzz before I kill someone with the meh silverware.
Sorry I have to go back to the music for a sec. I am not done bitching about that. Steakhouses that serve $100 steak and $18 for a pound of truffle, should probably invest in a pianist or at least play something that is soft, low and sophisticated. Don’t try to be creative by trying to make a steakhouse more hip and young. The hip and young don’t know shit about steak or food.
Lastly, the pasta section of the menu was oddly similar to Mozza Osteria in Los Angeles. Change it up dude!
This is what I had:
1.Carne Cruda alla Piemontese – chopped to order steak tartar with raw mushrooms
- Is there any other way to make steak tartar besides chopping it to order?
- The steak was fresh and delicate. The only criticism I have on this is; I wish it had a tad bit of acidity.
2.Shrimp “alla Diavola” – in the style of Calabria
-This was the biggest shrimp I have ever seen.
-It was one big ass shrimp on a spicy and very delicious tomato sauce.
-Had I known it was going to be "one" big ass shrimp, I would not have ordered it. As big shrimp tend to be tough and flavorless. The smaller ones are sweeter and juicier.
-Plus it was fishy.
3. Dry age Bone in Rib eye (for 2)
-This is what I came here for.
-It arrived Flintstone-style and was cut table side, just the way I like it.
-Smelled of what I imagine heaven smells like.
-Juicy, tender and melts in your mouth like butter
-Only complaint: I wish they did a better job cutting this beautiful piece of meat. The rib eye gods would not be happy. It was slightly sloppy and did not have a very appetizing presentation once it was put on my plate.
-Mascarpone and guanciale mash potatoes: pretty good. Probably will forget about this after this blog is done.
-Shelling beans with pancetta: not good, except for the large chunks of pancetta. Which I could have had anywhere.
The food in general was pretty good, what I went for (the steak) was incredible in flavor. But everything else just annoyed me about this place. Also, I was saddened that such minor and stupid mistakes can really screw a place up. I wish these so-called money-making chefs such as Mario Batali would keep a closer eye on their establishments. I want to like all his food, restaurants, regardless of the city it’s located in or the type of cuisine he has chosen.
I still wuve you, Batali (insert cutesy voice)