BARTOLOTTA Big and Small
These are teeny tiny Mediterranean clam-like things are called goose barnacales:
They are very small:
…but huge in flavor. They reek of the sea, and those flavors mimic the taste of chewy-yet-tender-and-sweet- shellfish (think littleneck clams with a touch of the metallic)…reminding us, with every nibble, of sea foam spray and our beach-combing days. (FYI: you only eat the tender little neck inside the dark little sleeve.)
These are Sardinian red prawns:
They are extremely large shrimp:
“Extremely large shrimp” would seem to be an oxymoron, but it’s the only way to describe these lush and succulent swimmers that retain the faintest hint of gaminess.
This is the chart the captains at Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare use to keep track of the various fresh fish they have on hand every night:
It lists the number and weight (in grams – very confusing that) of every whole fish available on the premises.
Speaking of being “on hand,” Paul Bartolotta — the chef whose passion and genius brought forth this seminal restaurant in 2005 — no longer resides in Las Vegas, but does come here once a month to check on his creation. In that sense, he has morphed from being the “on premises, all the time” chef Steverino Wynn trumpeted when he launched the Wynn, to just another celebrity toque who shows up contractually to make sure no tune-ups are needed.
Wynn has apparently made peace with reversing field on all the hype he dished when he opened the joint, so apparently we have too.
We have because, at least as far as Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare is concerned, very few tune ups are needed.
Which, we guess, is a testament to Bartolotta the Man’s genius and passion.
So we at ELV will give Paul B. a “go in peace” and look forward to going back to his restaurant for bites both big and small.
That is all.
BARTOLOTTA RISTORANTE DI MARE
In the Wynn Hotel and Casino
3131 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Las Vegas, NV 89109