Price Per Person:
3131 Las Vegas Blvd. S.
Las Vegas, NV 89109
One of the most deservedly celebrated resturants in Las Vegas from chef Paul Bartolotta, serving upscale Italian/Mediterranean cuisine that specializes in fresh seafood.
At Wynn Las Vegas on the North Strip.
Although seafood is the focus here, with langoustines being the house specialty, they have a good selection of other dishes of traditional and nouvelle Italian favorites.
A gorgeous two-level dining room overlooks its own private reflecting pool and outdoor dining area.
Personable and attentive without being obsequious.
It is one of the most expensive restaurants in Las Vegas.
Chef Bartolotta is leaving the restaurant at some point in 2015. A new chef will take over and most likely revamp the menu.
If you're going to spend this type of money there are few places in town that you can get better food for the dough.
It took me too long to eat at Bartolotta, the upscale Italian seafood restaurant at Wynn Las Vegas. Since it opened with the hotel in 2005 it has been amassing awards (AAA Four Diamonds, James Beard Foundation, etc.) and plaudits for the fare from Milwaukee bred chef Paul Bartolotta who you may have seen on various cooking shows like Top Chef.
I wish I had visited earlier so I had more chances to eat here before Chef Bartolotta leaves in 2015. No word yet on the specifics of what will happen to the restaurant and menu, but get there while Bartolotta is still in the kitchen if you can.
The restaurant is stunning, to start with. Two levels overlook its own private reflecting pool; if the weather is nice and you can score a table outside, jump at the chance. It's lovely in ways you rarely get to experience in the hectic Las Vegas scene.
One of the biggest differences between this and other celebrity chef restaurants is that Chef Bartolotta is often in the kitchen here at Wynn Las Vegas. He directly oversees the meals, the menu, and the acquisition of the fresh seafood, much of which is flown in daily from Mediterranean Sea.
Your dining experience - and I have to call it an experience because it is not just eating out - starts with a presentation of the fresh seafood in a tableside display case. The wait staff will walk you through the various selections, many of which are rare in the US much less in Las Vegas. The specialty of the house are the live langoustines, which for the uneducated like myself, look like small lobsters and are prized for their succulent meat.
Starters include a variety of seafood such as seared sea scallops, poached shrimp, and sautéed clams plus a few salads and non-fish appetizers like duck liver mousse with black truffle and rabbit wrapped in smoked pancetta. I tried the charcoal grilled pancetta served with arugula and balsamic vinegar - it was like eating really salty, fatty bacon and I mean that in the best possible way.
Pastas are listed as appetizers as well but you could get an entrée sized version if you'd like. No one would blame you with the choices they offer including linguine with clams, spaghetti with rock lobster, sheep's milk ricotta ravioli, and potato gnocchi among them. We sampled several of the offerings including a succulent lasagna style pasta with lobster, shrimp, and crab and an absolutely mind-boggling maccheroni, hand-rolled spaghetti with Tuscan meat sauce. The latter was dark and rich, with a perfect zest that made me wish I had just gone ahead and gotten a full bowl of the stuff.
Seafood is the focus of the main courses here with sea bass, sole, pink snapper, john dory, and more served whole and fileted at your table. We went with a Mediterranean sea bass that easily served two people and was a victory in the derby for least fishy tasting fish. Seriously, I don't usually eat seafood but if it all tasted like this I'd consider changing my diet. It was tender and lightly seasoned, yet full of a rich-bodied flavor.
Non-seafood entrees include a pan roasted veal chop, chicken, lamb, and a seared filet of beef in a red wine sauce. The latter was also one of our samples at the table and although it may not have been the best steak in the history of the world, it will definitely make the non-fish fans at your table happy.
Desserts... don't miss the desserts. We got a chance to sample pretty much everything on the menu (I love my job sometimes) but the absolute winners with the selections of ice creams, gelatos, sorbets, and ices that run the gamut in flavors from vanilla to rosemary with stops at raspberry, pear, lemon, and of course chocolate along the way. The panna cotta with seasonal berries was amazing as well and the warm chocolate-banana custard almost got carried out of the restaurant because I wanted to save it and eat it later.
As you might expect from a restaurant of this caliber, prices are high. Our meal for three people with drinks, tax, and tip (not counting the dessert explosion) came to about $500. The fish is served whole and based on weight, working out to roughly $15 for 3 ounces so most of them will be over $100 by themselves. Again, that will feed two people but still. If you went for one of the appetizers and did an entrée version of the amazing pasta and kept your alcohol intake to a minimum, you might be able to eat here for less than $75 per person but if you do it right you can expect to spend twice that.
These days it is easy to spend that amount of money on a meal in Las Vegas but there are very few restaurants that I think are worth the cost. Bartolotta is one of them.