One fine dining restaurant on the strip that is worth checking out is Bartolotta Ristorante Di Mare at The Wynn Resort. Unlike any other restaurant in the United States of this great America, you will discover the freshest fish flown in from the Italian Mediterranean as if you were fishing those waters yourself on the same day you ate your catch. Chef Bartolotta accomplishes this by retaining on his staff a marine biologist who maintains the temperature and salinity of the water tank that stores the live seafood, including Bartolotta’s famed langoustines. Chef Bartolotta also employs a system of tracking the temperature of his seafood shipments to ensure that there has been no material fluctuation of temperature during the transportation process. Keep in mind that the menu does not represent all of the seafood that may be available on any particular day so you will need to ask about daily specials. Unequivocally, Bartolotta Ristorante Di Mare is a Pescatarian’s “dream come true.”
Start your journey through Southeast Asia by ordering the Som Thum, the Thai Papaya Salad, a classic dish that consists of green papaya, chili, tomato, crushed peanuts, mixed with lime juice, fish sauce and sugar. Lotus of Siam’s subtle sweet version of Pad Thai is not to be missed---stir-fried thin rice noodles with eggs, green onions, bean sprouts and chopped peanuts on the side. I usually add shrimp to my Pad Thai order.
Leaving Lotus of Siam after this deliciously satisfying comfort meal and exquisite wine experience, you will know that you hit your jackpot during your visit to Vegas.
Raku resides in an intimately situated space that minimally distracts you from the food and your company. On the other side of the main dining room, Raku provides traditional Japanese subterranean seating for larger parties.
Chef Mitsou Endo has two formats to choose from while dining at his restaurant. First, the Omakase at a price of $75 or $100, and the other is a la carte from the regular menu and the irresistible daily menu on the mini-chalkboard. The daily menu typically includes a special fish that is prepared sashimi style, a whole fish that can be prepared in a variety of ways depending on your preference, among other items. I recommend you order all of them as part of your personalized tasting menu that the server will course out for you.
Although Raku has been nominated multiple times by the James Beard Foundation as the best restaurant in the Southwest region of the United States, Raku still maintains an “Under The Radar” status by virtue of its Off-The-Strip location. I hope it stays that way because Raku will always remain Vegas-At-Its-Best in my book.
As visitors to Vegas, we often times get lulled into the labyrinth of the hotel casinos, ubiquitous dining venues, and eye-popping entertainment attractions. With as little as a short cab ride and a desire for adventure, you will discover a city replete with cultural anomalies that will not only enliven your senses but also inspire you to come back for more.
Bartolotta Ristorante Di Mare is located at the Wynn Resort at 3131 South Las Vegas Boulevard, Las Vegas, NV 89109 (702) 770-3305, open nightly at 5:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., http://www.wynnlasvegas.com/Restaurants/FineDining/Bartolotta.
Lotus of Siam is located at 953 East Sahara Avenue, A5, Las Vegas, NV 89104 (702) 735-3033, open Mon – Fri from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and 5:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. and Sat – Sun from 5:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., www.saipinchutima.com.
Aburiya Raku is located at 5030 West Spring Mountain Road #2, Las Vegas, NV 89146 (702) 367-3511, open Mon – Sat from 6 p.m. to 3 a.m., closed Sunday, http://www.raku-grill.com.