By: The Food Hunter
Along the shopping promenade within the Las Vegas Wynn Casino is where you'll find Paul Bartolotta's name sake restaurant, Bartolotta. A seafood mecca in the middle of the desert is how I would describe this modern contemporary multilevel restaurant.
Semi-private balcony tables and alfresco seating overlooking a private lagoon set the scene for the high end romantic meal you are guaranteed to encounter at Bartolotta. Adding to the restaurant's charm, and proving just how serious they are about fish, is a large chandelier dramatically constructed of gold fish to represent the Mediterranean seafood cuisine served here.
Dinner at Bartolotta is an experience from start to finish. Fresh Italian Mediterranean fish with exotic names like, orata, scorfano and gallinella are flown in regularly and presented to diners in large rolling carts. Servers go to great lengths pointing out each fish and describing its preparation.
The Italian inspired menu is set up in courses allowing guests to get a taste of several appropriately portioned items in one meal; with the grand finale being the chosen fish. With this in mind my husband and I decided to share the octopus salad, the linguini & clams and a salt encrusted branzino.
I've had octopus salad in the past but have never tasted one quite this good. Lightly dressed in olive oil and lemon juice the Ligurian octopus was so tender it melted in your mouth. Served with two small potatoes and some arugula it was the perfect introduction to what was yet to come.
As I mentioned above our pasta course was linguini with clams; also tasty and delicious. The pasta was cooked to a perfect al dente and sauced just right for my taste.
The main course Branzino was encased in 2lbs of salt, seasoned with fennel and citrus. Our server expertly removed the crust and filleted the fish table side as he described the low and slow cooking method that was used.
Plated with some new potatoes and sautéed zucchini it was the perfect portion for two. Common in Sicily this cooking method produces a moist almost creamy fish with just a hint of salt. It's a remarkably simple fool proof way to cook delicious fish.
The dessert menu was simple and to the point including a few Italian standards; semifreddo, Liguarian lemon cake, gelato and a chocolate almond cake. We shared the chocolate almond cake and couldn't be happier. Topped with homemade vanilla bean gelato it was a great way to end our meal.
I can't say enough good things about Bartolotta. The quality and preparation of the food and the knowledge and service provided by the staff was exceptional. If you make it to Vegas, love seafood, and have a few extra dollars to spend I would highly recommend a dinner at Bartolotta.
Bartolotta Ristorante Di Mare3131 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109