(End of) Summer Dish Review – Linguine with Clams at FIAMMA

EATING LAS VEGAS – The 50 Essential Restaurants – Number Seven

7. BARTOLOTTA RISTORANTE DI MARE
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Paul Bartolotta isn’t around much anymore. He moved his family to New York last year, and now does the celebrity chef-thing: swooping into town occasionally, according to dictates of his contract, just to make sure the best seafood restaurant in Las Vegas is still doing his name proud. Make no mistake, it still is, and is still one of the best seafood restaurants in the country.

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Our Favorite Italians – Restaurant Division

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As long as we’re thinking like an Italian these days, this might be a good time to point you to ELV’S FAVORITE ITALIAN RESTAURANTS (Las Vegas Division).

The Top Five are, in order:

1. (toss up) Allegro (for Neapolitan cooking at its finest)/B & B Ristorante (for the best pasta in Vegas)

3. Carnevino – possibly the best steakhouse in the country; certainly the best Italian steakhouse in the country.

4. Rao’sItalian-American cooking at its finest

5. Buddy V’s – a worthy newcomer that, like Rao’s, does its Italian-American ancestry proud.

Special Honorable Mention:  Nakamura-Ya – which is technically a Japanese restaurant, but which does pasta better than just about any true Italian restaurant not named one of the above.

Some of you might be wondering about the omissions of perennial favorites Circo and Sirio, to which we can only say: one is closing soon (Circo) and Sirio is now being run exclusively by its hotel’s F & B department, with nary a Maccioni on site, save for an occasional p.r. appearance. None of these developments bodes well for the future of upscale, Italian eats in our humble burg.

Indeed, when considered along with the recent, without-fanfare closing of Valentino at the Venetian, and the shifting fortunes of whatever is going on at Piero Selvaggio’s flagship in Santa Monica, one might conclude that sophisticated Italian cooking is going the way of French haute cuisine in fast becoming a gastronomic artifact, as the great food of this gourmet mecca gets drowned under a sea of red sauce.

Which leads us to:

ELV’S WORST ITALIAN RESTAURANTS

The Bottom 5 are, in order:

1)-5) EVERY ITALIAN RESTAURANT IN EVERY NEIGHBORHOOD IN LAS VEGAS

Face it. They’re all terrible and you know it.