We want to like Mario Batali’s restaurants (all three of them in the Venetian). We really do. We try to ignore his less-than-appetizing appearance, celebrity status, high prices, and the overwhelming mediocrity of the food….but sometimes, it’s just hard.
It’s hard because when you drop $150+ for lunch, for two, consisting of a pizza, a pasta, a plate of (really good) salumi, a bottle of Lurisa mineral water and a bottle of $75 wine, you’re going to feel like, well, as my Dad used to say: “They saw you comin’.”
The menu brags about “Over 100 wines under $100,” but what it doesn’t tell you is that most of those wines are priced way north of fifty bucks. It also doesn’t tell you how average the pizza dough is, and how over-laden with toppings it becomes in order to please the yokels. (The pizzas here aren’t even in the same league as Settebello’s — so much for Batali’s pizza-making fame — which, no doubt, you’ve heard about from Otto or Mozza.)
Of course if your customers don’t care, why should you?
You can almost feel the tourist trap machinations that go on behind the scenes here — like: “How much (or rather: How much for how little?) can we get away with…?” — catering to a clientele that simply wants to say it ate at a Food Network god joint, with no demands or expectations beyond that.
That being said, there are reasons to come here. The aformentioned salumi is superb, as is the collection of Italian cheeses. We suggest sidling up to the bar, ordering a glass from the interesting, all-Italian, by-the-glass-list, grab a grazing platter, and watch the world go by from one of the best, indoor perches in town.
Once things get cookin’ though, youz paying your monies (lots of it), and youz takin’ your chances.
ENOTECA SAN MARCO
In the Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian
3355 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Las Vegas, NV 89019