If you happen to be in Las Vegas celebrating a special occasion, have I got the place for you! It’s called Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare and it’s in the Wynn hotel. Paul Bartolotta won a James Beard Best Chef award for this restaurant, and also owns nine other restaurants, all in Milwaukee. I haven’t been to any of those, but I’d bet the house they are cheaper than this one.
Yes, you are going to spend some big bucks, but it will be a memorable evening. The key is to reserve one of the outdoor cabanas that are situated around a lovely pond filled with floating metal balls. This comes at a price of course, a $150 per person minimum. But if you order cocktails and or wine, you’ll have no trouble crossing that threshold. Oh, and when you make your reservation, ask for Enrique to be your server; he’s a personable and charming young man from Italy. And since the menu will transport you to Italy, you might as well have the server add to that sensation.
At Bartolotta, it’s all about the fish and seafood. There are plenty of other fine options, but considering the restaurant gets their fish shipped in from Italy every day and it’s still alive when it arrives, you might want to tame your carnivore urgings for the evening.
It was my husband’s birthday and since he’s an all-pasta-all-the-time kind of guy, he enjoyed three courses of pasta. I started with one of those same pastas, lasagnette con ragù di crostacei , “rags” of pasta, lobster, shrimp, crab, white wine, tomato. Bobby Flay once said it was the best pasta he’d ever eaten and, though I probably wouldn’t go that far in my praise, it was fabulous. The sauce was extremely flavorful without being overpowering so the freshness of the seafood came through, and the pasta was obviously homemade.
Keeping with the seafood theme, my son had a squid ink risotto chockfull of seafood. We both ordered the Abruzzi style seafood stew for our entree and were not disappointed. The broth was rich, and the seafood and fish swimming in it made it a feast.
They brought us a special dessert; Tahitian vanilla bean semifreddo, with dried figs in red wine syrup and bitter chocolate sauce. It didn’t sound very good when I saw it on the menu, but it was. We also ordered a variety of gelato, each better than the other. A sweet ending to a memorable evening.