a much better experience this time around at a mario batali's restaurant in las vegas.
last year at around the same time, some of you will remember that i was less than impressed with our visit to b&b ristorante in the venetian hotel. even though, i decided to take the risk and invite bill, mike, and chris to another of batali's & bastianich restaurant in the venetian and i am glad i did.
the enoteca san marco is located right there in the "san marco" square of the hotel, in front of gondolas, opera singers, and the whole shebang. the menu (food and wine) is a simpler version of b&b and the theme is enoteca - simple and earthy dishes.
the evening started a bit weird when the hostess did not want to sit us at our table "until all members of our party had arrived". which was a bit annoying as we were all a bit tired after a whole day walking around the trade show we are now attending.
but the wait was well worth it. once they brought the wine and the antipasti, the delights could be heard and felt all around the table. delicious, mouth watering and tongue melting prosciuto & salami and beautifully fresh cheezes which merited their own separate service of "cheeze condiments". these were super delicious black truffle honey (great with the gorgonzola and the pecorino), maraschino cherry in its sauce (beautiful with the goat cheeze) , and surprising candied apricot with a slight sparkle of chillis which was super tasty with the goat cheeze and the gorgonzola.
my main dish, veal and ricotta meat balls served on a bed of polenta were to die for. it seems that my 3 other guests had the same delight at their dishes: duck confit with grape & arugula, marinated chicken, and one pasta dish: bucatini all'amatriciana which was as good as the one i had in frascati just 4 days ago.
seriously. this was beyond my expectations and, after our meal at another of batali's restaurant last night (carnovino in the palazzo), i have completely changed my mind about mario batali's food.
too bad the obnoxious music is still playing in the background though...