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Old 03-20-2006, 12:50 PM   #1
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Fancy Italian Restaurant

My girlfriend and I got the opportunity to eat at a nice Italian restaurant over the weekend. She works for Harrahs, and we were "shopping" the customer service and amenities at the Flamingo this weekend.

We ate at a restaurant called "Ventuno" at the Flamingo. We had an antipasto all'Italiana for starters, which was very nice. For our main courses I had the Saltimbocca alla Romana... robustly flavorful and good. My girlfriend got the Cioppino (clams, mussels, calimari, codfish, scallops, shrimp and a 1/2 pound Maine lobster in a light tomato broth, served with fresh crostini). The dish was very well presented and the crostini was very nice. But... the shrimp, lobster, scallops (the only things I tasted from her meal) were WAY 'chewy'... Very disappointing, especially at a restaurant that is supposedly "fine dining". Of course we let the chef know and we included brutally honest and factual comments on our review.

This was especially disappointing because we RARELY do the "fine dining" thing. Prices are often very high and there is no guarantee of quality. We prefer to go to less 'fancy' places where we KNOW the food will be nicely prepared (or to prepare meals ourselves - - we often comment "we could do better than this" LOL).

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Old 03-20-2006, 01:05 PM   #2
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Aw Z I'm sorry it wasn't that good. I'd rather eat cheap knowing the food is good than fine dining not knowing how it's going to be too.
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Old 03-20-2006, 01:09 PM   #3
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Don't ya just hate that Z?

Well at least you got to have a nice time with the gf and neither of you
had to do the dishes!! ( Always look at the bright side, life is more fun that way)
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Old 03-20-2006, 01:15 PM   #4
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Yeah... we still had a nice time, but I have eaten GOOD Italian before (several times) so was pretty disappointed with the food there. I'm glad WE weren't paying for it or I might have been more than 'disappointed'. I don't know. Is it just me, or should one expect more when dinner for two comes to just under $100?

The next morning we reviewed the Buffet. Neither of us are big buffet fans ('Buffett', sure... but that's another topic) so we weren't expecting too much... so we weren't as disappointed when that was ordinary.
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Old 03-20-2006, 01:17 PM   #5
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Nope.. it's not just you. You should have gotten better for your money.
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Old 03-20-2006, 01:22 PM   #6
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Aw Z that is too bad. And no, for $100 you should expect the meal to be really danged good. Bet you're wishing you'd gone for the steak now aren't you?

Ah well, at least you didn't have to shell out with your own $. Now THAT would have really been upsetting.
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Old 03-20-2006, 02:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alix
Aw Z that is too bad. And no, for $100 you should expect the meal to be really danged good. Bet you're wishing you'd gone for the steak now aren't you?

Ah well, at least you didn't have to shell out with your own $. Now THAT would have really been upsetting.
Exactly... and, yes. The Steak House, in hindsight, would seem to have been a better choice.
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Old 03-20-2006, 02:33 PM   #8
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That kind of makes me think that the soup was held hot, in quantity, then ladled up and served as orders came in. If the soup warmer is set to hot, the soup can continue cooking over time. In fact, even is the warmer is set correctly, over many, many hours, the soup will still overcook.
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Old 03-20-2006, 02:43 PM   #9
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That is really unfortunate. When you let the chef know was their any response?
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Old 03-20-2006, 02:57 PM   #10
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Well, no. We didn't speak to him (or her) personally. But we were very clear about our 'issues' with the meal with our server who ASSURED us that she would inform the chef.
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Old 03-20-2006, 03:03 PM   #11
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For the best hotel Italian dining in Vegas there's only place to go: The Bellagio
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Old 03-20-2006, 06:24 PM   #12
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As far as Italian goes Im betting the little mom and pop restaurants that have been around for years hafto be the best bet for consistantly good food.
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Old 03-21-2006, 07:07 AM   #13
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I agree with you jpm-something about the "little guys" trying harder- and homemade always beats out trying to impress me with something "fancy"
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Old 03-21-2006, 07:47 AM   #14
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I have to agree that the little "mom and pop" restaurants seemingly always have better food than the "fancy" places. My husband and I had an experience once where we went to what was supposed to be a very nice place in Princeton for dinner on an anniversary date and the food was a huge disappointment and, even going back about 30 yrs., our bill was close to $100 w/tip. UGH. When we still lived in NJ, there was a little unpretentious, but nice, Italian restaurant in a small strip shopping center in Mt. Holly that was just great. Everything was definitely homemade and portions generous. Our daughter and son-in-law would always give us gift cards on our anniversary dates for this restaurant and we never got bored or too much of the "good things" they had to offer. We definitely miss dinners there since having moved to DE.
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Old 03-21-2006, 10:08 AM   #15
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sorry to hear about it z.
a "c" note should have gotten you a better meal. better luck next time i guess.

cioppino is a tricky dish to make well. i used to have a recipe that stressed the importance of the timing of adding the fishes, and how long to let each simmer. if you go too long, as it sounded the restaurant did, you get fairly tasty rubber.

i made it once really well by strictly following the timing. another time was rubber, because i didn't pay attention. i have to see if i can find that recipe again. it was just a clipping from a newspaper.
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Old 03-21-2006, 11:09 AM   #16
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We used to go to St. Louis for the weekend occasionally, and one can get the best of Italian food on "The Hill". Of all the wonderful Italian restaurants there, Tony's is our favorite. They have excellent service, and really good food. It is pricey, but you'll find it money well spent. If you are ever in St. Louis, check it out.
The restaurants are all closed on Sunday though.
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