Yes… we were in Las Vegas and we were on a mission to eat lunch at the big name chef restaurants.
When we were hanging at one of our favorite hotels, The Venetian and went to The Shops at the Pallazo to listen to the gondoliers sing and push on their gondolas that travel all across the shoppes, we got hungry. Las Vegas is like going to Walt Disney for adults… you walk sooooo much!!! Which is a good thing; because you eat and drink so much you need a way to burn off the calories.
Right in the Piazza San Marco replica… next to the street performer’s platform is OTTO, the Pizzeria and Enoteca from Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich. I’ve been meaning to eat at OTTO in NYC for years and always something happens… Once we actually got there, but they were closed in between lunch and dinner service. So here in Vegas, I would actually have the chance to taste Mario Batali’s recipes.
This is what we ordered:
The Acetaia Vinegar Maker’s Salad… this was sort of a chef’s salad but I asked to leave out the bacon and grated eggs. The arugula, cucumbers, onions and other veggies were really crispy and nice against the lemony vinaigrette.
The Fried Artichoke hearts with the whipped Burrata cheese… This was the second time having burrata cheese, which apparently is one of the “hot” cheeses around. Fresh Mozzarela di Buffala is passé, move over and make room for burrata. It’s delicious and creamy and a great contrast to the fried artichoke and salad on top. I would have had another one…
Penne a la Norma featuring a tomato sauce with eggplants… I’ll be honest; I was underwhelmed by the presentation and the amount of food on the plate. I get it was a pasta plate, primi for the Italians and it was lunch, but almost $20 for the simple pasta we got was a bit pricy. It was delicious, but it did not blow our minds away.
We did not have dessert here either because we unknowingly “splurged” by ordering a bottle of sparkling water… had I known the water was going to be $10 a bottle, I would have traded for dessert certainly.
The final veredict… Otto was good, but not great. I am not going out of my way to recommend it to people. But, if someone invites me there again, I would love to maybe explore other things in the menu, like the Meatless Mondays menu. We were there some other day of the week, so these alternatives were not available… just like we couldn’t order our pasta whole wheat because it is not the day of the week they serve whole wheat pasta. Weird, no??
I am sure there are better Italian options in Vegas, what has been your experience??