Should you go? YES!
Menu Items Tried:
- Spaghetti nero
- Parmasean potatoes
- Fiorentina porterhouse
- Reserva porterhouse (?)
I recently had the opportunity to dine in Vegas and I took a bit of a dining budget to sample the higher quality fare. As my friend likes to say, "gambling is a tax on people who don't understand probabilities". Although entertaining to watch, I really had no interest in those tables.
I wanted to try Bouchon, but they couldn't support our party size on short notice, and we found ourselves instead at Mario Batale's CarneVino.
As we made our way to the table through the impressive dining room, I took note that the general "foul carpet" smell that seems to always linger at even the finest restaurants- wasn't present. Sometimes subtle, sometimes stunningly overpowering... most folks seem to just ignore it. I was pleasantly surprised to find that, aside from food smells, CarneVino had an intentional aroma of "clean". The entire place was spotless, without the the caustic odors of bleach or ammonia. Places with that subtle touch are well maintained by folks who pay attention to customer impact. Along with balanced, impeccable signature silverware, this was a very nice beginning indeed.
The wait staff was helpful and upbeat, and as I strained to find a defect in the ambience, they gently guided me to a simple but interesting menu. So far.. perfect.
Bread appeared quickly thereafter, and I was pleasently surprised again by an interesting combination of butter and 'lardo' served with the bread. Although creative and fresh, the tastefully herbed lardo didn't quite steer me away from the butter, which was also very good.
Next we tried the spaghetti Nero... I was able to find a lump of crab, but couldn't for the life of me determine where the advertised jalapeno had gotten to in this fairly bland dish. I had to ignore the dark pasta... while visually unappealing, occasionally veggie pasta speaks to a flavorful uniqueness of a dish. However, on this occasion, the awesome was simply missing. Maybe on the second trip... we shall see.
We then coasted past the fifteen dollar spinach (of little note) into some fantastic parmesean potato halves, as the server carved up the Fiorentno porterhouse (top steak in the image below). The presentation and preparation of this steak was absolutely superb, although relatively similar in texture and flavor to other great aged steaks I've had (without Vegas pricing).
What really made this meal significant was the reserva. Simply amazing. This steak is aged 214 days, using a special process... and it tastes of buttery, tangy bleu cheese, and truffle oil. It simply melts in your mouth, but at ninety dollars an inch, it should. I'm supposed to use plenty of big boy words here, but I don't know that there are enough in the English language to entirely capture the experience. You just have to go. If you're reading this page, your interest is piqued... and from a Brutal Foodie, CarneVino gets the nod.
Bring some cash and some friends. The family atmosphere and stunning reserva do not disappoint. I'm really looking forward to the second and third tastings, should I be so lucky.
Also of note: On the way out, be sure to ignore this particular view of the decorations:
All information contained herein is the opinion of an individual and is in no way presented to harm any other business or individual's reputation.