Though what happens in Vegas is supposed to stay there, this meal was too good not to share, my darlings!
Knowing I was going to be in Sin City for the Consumer Electronics Show tech toy extravaganza, I took the opportunity to check out the new outpost of the Batali and Bastianich empire -- the first outside of New York. Went online to book it, and was pleasantly surprised yet perplexed by how easy it was to score a 7pm table for two in the midst of a huge trade show. I tried to come up with possible explanations. Is it because:
(a) techies aren't foodies?
(b) I'm so in the know that I've caught on to B&B before most?
(c) I'm so NOT in the know that I caught on after everyone else had already moved on elsewhere?
As I often do, I decided to go with (d) none of the above, and on Monday night, Ms. B and I headed over to the Venetian to check out B&B.
Ms. B is loyal reader of The Fro Fro Blog, so it was a real kick to have her join me to troll for content. And I must say, she was a terrific partner in foodie felony -- from having great instincts about which dishes to try among the plethora of options on the menu, to speculating on the dramas at the tables to our left and right (sorry, stays in Vegas people), to making sure I didn't miss the beautifully appointed rest room. Check out the mosaic floor!
But I'm getting ahead of myself.
First, the wine. As you folks know, I don't often partake in the fruit of the vine, but given Bastianich's rep, and the fact that I was in Vegas for Joe's sake, I decided to have a glass (which at B&B is a very generous pour). The very helpful sommelier guided us toward the choices that would best complement our dishes: Vespa Bianco Bastianich 2004 for me, Barbera d'Asti di Pian 2005 for Ms. B.
The som knew his stuff, because the wines were indeed nice partners for our meals, as follows:
To start, Parmigiano Reggiano Sformato with Trumpet Royal Mushrooms for me...
...and Grilled Octopus with "Borlotti Marinati" and Spicy Limoncello Vinaigrette for Ms. B.
My dish was like something out of Alice in Wonderland -- the slices of mushroom looked like they came from foot-tall funghi. And the sformato. Oh, the sformato. It was like eating bites out of a fluffy cloud of cheese. I also briefly went from the sky to the sea to taste Ms. B's octopus, which had a flavor and texture as gripping as eight tentacles could be.
For our mains, we both went with pasta. Ms. B was introduced to a new kind of spicy in the Spaghettini with Spicy Budding Chives, Sweet Garlic and One-Pound Lobster...(click on the 2nd shot for a close-up of the budding chive)
...and I was over the moon about my Sweet Potato "Lune" with Sage and Amaretti.
Ms. B. signed up for the full Fro Fro experience, which requires desserts! Coming up: one Cioccolato with Bourbon Caramel and Vanilla Bean Gelato...
and one Bomboloni: Cinnamon Spiced-Sheeps Milk Ricotta Frittelle that you dip in Warm Amedei Gianduia.
Both delish, but we agreed that the real scene-stealers of the evening had been the apps.
So if you're in Vegas, baby, head over to the Venetian's, past David Burke and Emeril, and when you see Mario's God-awful signature orange Crocs, you'll know you've arrived.
B&B Ristorante | The Venetian 3355 Las Vegas Blvd. South, Las Vegas, NV | 702-266-9977 | www.bandbristorante.com