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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Vegas 2012: Carnevino

The last night in Vegas I made a reservation for Mario Batali's Carnevino. I watch him all the time on Iron Chef and The Chew! And I've heard amazing things about his restaurant. 

We arrived on time and were immediately seated. It wasn't packed at all while we were there. The place was quite big despite what it looks like from the entrance. 

Carnevino Italian Steakhouse - Palazzo 
3325 South Las Vegas Boulevard 
Las Vegas, NV 89109 
(701) 789-4141 
Price: $$$-$$$$$+ 

We were greeted by our waiter with menus and served some water. He later came back to give us a background of the food and their specialties. He seemed pretty knowledgeable of the food. 

After we ordered we were served compliments from the chef. Three Cheese Zeppoli (Parmesan, Gorgonzola, Parmigiano Reggiano). It was light and airy. Not bad, but I wasn't blown away... 

Another waitress came by and served us some Rosemary Focaccia (with whipped unsalted butter and Pork lardo butter with rosemary). OMG. The way she described the pork butter was amazing.. but I was underwhelmed with the flavor. They should put some chopped up bacon in there or something. haha. 

For the appetizer we got the Grilled Octopus (pickled vegetables and limoncello) $25~
This is the main reason I wanted to come here. My foodie friends have told me that they have the absolute best octopus they've ever had. The waiter also recommended this... they've won awards I think? And indeed they should. The most tender preparation of octopus I've had. Tons of flavor... hint of spice, hit of acid, it definitely wakes up your palate. Very very good. 

For the entree I already knew what I wanted. The 2nd reason I chose to come here. haha. I got the Spaghetti Nero (crab, jalapenos, and shallots) $25~ 
I love squid ink pasta and I really wanted to try theirs. I mean Mario Batali is Italian, the pastas HAVE to be good right? hehe. I liked the flavors a lot. The jalapenos added just the right amount of heat. And there was plenty of crab throughout. However, I felt the pasta was a tad undercooked. And I love al dente pasta and this was even a bit under for me. And I'm sorry to say.. I found a few crab shells in my dish. That's a bummer given the caliber of this restaurant, they should be more careful... Other than that I still enjoyed it. But I rather have the squid ink pasta at Spoon in Dallas any day!! 

My friend ordered the Spaghetti Ai Frutti di Mare (slightly spicy with clams, giant shrimp, lobster and calamari) $31~ 
It looked really good with all the seafood on top. The pasta was cooked a little better than mine. But the lobster was overcooked and dry. The sauce had nice flavor though. 

Another friend got the Veal Chop (20oz bone in; Rubbed with special blend of sea salt, thyme and porcini powder) $85~ Natural, pasture raised veal from Strauss Farms. 
He ordered it medium rare but I think it was more medium. Still quite tender but for $85 it should be spectacular. The flavor was light so you can actually taste the meat, which I liked. But all their meat dishes are a la carte which I hate. I think if you are spending big bucks on a piece of meat, the restaurant can at least give you some sides to go with it. We're poor young people so we didn't want to break the bank. hahaha. The $85 splurge was already big enough so it was just basically a piece of meat on a plate. haha. 

We were too full to have dessert. But I wasn't really into trying anything either. I guess I had really high hopes for this place with the celebrity chef I watch all the time plus the recommendations by my friends. I wasn't impressed. I would rather spend my money at John Tesar's Spoon right in Dallas!! And the waiter, even though he was professional, wasn't very friendly. It seemed like he couldn't wait for us to finish and leave just because we weren't dropping bank on this meal. It made me feel like we didn't belong there. Sigh~ The other assistant waitress/waiter were all great though. 

Quality of Food:




Overall Experience: 


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