Carnevino, Las Vegas NV

It seems

like in Vegas, no matter where you stand, throw a chip in one direction and you can bet your life it will hit a slot machine, and throw it in the other and you will most likely hit one of Batali/Bastianich’s restaurants. Well, that, or one by Wolfgang Puck. It seems like in their quest to take over the Continental United States they have started by trying to conquer Las Vegas. This is my second B/B restaurant in as many days, tonight taking us to their resident casino in Vegas: The Palazzo. Carnevino is their answer to the Italian steakhouse. In Vegas, they have direct clones of their New York counterparts in the forms of B&B, and Otto, yet Carnevino stands alone. It’s in interesting concept; because the meat (and specifically the beef) take the forefront of what this place is all about.

Honestly, after eating big steaks the last two dinners (Mozza two nights ago and CUT the night before) I wasn’t really in the mood to sample one of their monster steaks. This gave an opportunistic chance to look at their supporting dishes such as their imported Jamon and Gnocco Fritto.

Jamon Iberico di Bellota

On recommendation of our waiter for the night, we wrapped these delicate parcels of pork around the hot gnocco fritto (fried balls of dough) and let the flavours of the jamon come out. Fabulous. With this came our only wine of the night; this time a Chianti by Felsina – Their Rancia Riserva from 2007.

Felsina Rancia Riserva 2007

I had high hopes for this, as Antonio Galloni had rated it pretty highly. Man, were the ‘brett’ police out in full force on this bottle. I must admit, I have a pretty high threshold to brett but this was almost undrinkable.

Thankfully, it wasn’t too long before our entrees came out. I opted for the beef agnolotti with a spring onion ragu.

Agnolotti with Spring Onion Ragu

I quite enjoyed it. Definitely a little bit ‘out there’ when it comes to traditional italian sauces, but I feel it worked really well.

For main I ordered Veal Scaloppine with Porcini and Marsala, and with this we enjoyed a side of fried eggplants.

Veal Scaloppine with Porcini and Marsala

Fried Eggplants

Both were enjoyable with the veal being suitably tender, the marsala adding a layer of sweetness and the porcini complimenting beautifully. The eggplants were a great alternative to potatoes and being my favourite vegetable were also a treat.

So, overall a great night. Whilst not mind-blowing in quality; Carnevino scores top gong overall for the best Italian you’re likely to find in the desert.

Appeal (2/3):
As always I’m a fan of the franchises; and this one had the reputation of being one of the best in town.

Design(2/3):
Decor was good, with high rows of books and wines. A little convoluted with the restaurant being split down the middle (It sits on two sides of the casino walls which is a little odd).

Service(2/3):
Good service from our host; painfully again we had to wait 30 minutes after our scheduled booking for our table. Must run in the franchise.

Food(4/5):
Good food, great amount of choice on the menu with lots of fan favourites.

Drink(2/3):
Wine list was very solid, with many many to choose from. Predominantly from Piemonte/Toscana which is fine. Lost a point here for serving our wine in a obviously chipped decanter which seems very silly of them.

Overall: 
4 stars.

Would I return?
I would; if not for anything else than to try the much-famed steaks. Go here even if you are just looking for a good plate of pasta also.

Carnevino
Palazzo Hotel, 3325 Las Vegas BLVD, Las Vegas NV

carnevino.com

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