A Vegas favorite brings back Italian staples and unique pairings with lovely scenic views at an off-Strip resort
A casualty of the pandemic was the temporary closures of some of our city’s favorite restaurants. Fortunately, we now have cause to rejoice, as Vetri Cucina has reopened at the Palms Casino Resort, delivering stunning views matched with equally spectacular cuisine.
As for the view, very few outlets in Las Vegas can equal it. Perched high-atop the Palms Ivory Tower on the 56th Floor, panoramic views can be enjoyed due to floor-to-ceiling windows throughout, with every table guaranteed excellent vantage points.
But for the best seats, endeavor to reserve a table at the east end of the room, which has slanted windows delivering a 180° perspective overlooking the Strip. As the room only seats 75, an intimate atmosphere prevails. Décor elements include Edison light chandeliers and earth tones via light beige brick walls, brown stained glass, dark wood slat ceiling and a rustic wood floor.
The restaurant is named for and owned by award-winning Chef Marc Vetri. A Philadelphia native, his list of accolades is quite impressive. He has been awarded the James Beard Best Chef Mid-Atlantic, named one of Food & Wine’s Best New Chefs and received the Philadelphia Inquirer’s highest restaurant rating.
The Vegas Vetri, which originally debuted in November 2018, is an extension of the same-named flagship, which has been an extremely popular eatery in Philadelphia since its opening in 1998.
Chef relates the dishes at each Vetri restaurant are the same, but unlike the East Coast version, which requires diners to select items in a four-course tasting menu, the Vegas location offers an à la carte menu. This allows for flexibility for decision making for whatever your palate is in the mood for.
Chef Vetri classically trained in Bergamo, Italy, and his cooking style is designed to give guests a taste of Italy with a contemporary sensibility. On his menu, you’ll find both Italian classics and unique pairings and presentations.
Highlights from the Antipasti section are: Bluefin Tuna Crudo with blood orange vinaigrette and wild arugula; Sweet Onion Crepe with truffle and Parmesan fondue; and Warm Salad with bacon, egg and sherry vinaigrette.
Pastas are well represented by Saffron Fusilli with lobster and tomato and Gemelli with orange and a pesto made with pistachios rather than the traditional pine nuts. A quite unusual offering on the Secondi portion of the menu is Roasted Goat served with house-milled soft polenta. The meat is smoked and then roasted and has a unique flavor with a hint of smokiness. In my opinion, it tastes like a cross between pork and beef.
Less adventurous eaters have plenty of other choices, such as Swordfish with Swiss chard and pine nuts; or Grilled Wagyu Bavette with crispy squash and a horseradish bagna cauda dipping sauce. There are also three sharing options for two: Salt Baked Branzino with Brussels sprouts and truffle butter; Grilled Seafood Misto with lemon and extra virgin olive oil; and Porcini Crusted Ribeye with chanterelle ragu.
Complementing the fare is a wine list with Napa and Italy vintages, such as the Rosso di Montalcino Altesino, Tuscany 2020; and an extensive spirits list with more than a dozen bourbons and ryes like Kentucky Owl Bourbon and Fallon, Nevada-based Frey Ranch Bourbon.
Vetri’s beverage program also offers 10 signature cocktails, of which the most popular is the Brown Butter Manhattan with brown butter and sage fat-washed Russell’s Reserve Bourbon and Lustau Rose Vermouth and bitters. It’s a savory concoction that pairs well with pasta.
Both the sourdough bread with toasted sesame seeds (that accompanies dinner service) and Doci menu are the handiwork of Pastry Chef Ashley Costa. Sweet finales include the likes of Molten Pistachio Cake with orange curd gelato; Crème Fraiche Panna Cotta with huckleberry conserva and meringue; and housemade gelati and sorbetti such as banana/chocolate and honey vanilla.
Vetri Cucina is open for dinner on Tuesday Through Saturday from 5-10 p.m. and happy hour is 5-6:30 p.m.
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