Boot Country Food

Italian food always has so much passion behind it.

Wolfgang Puck's Pizzeria & Cucina

First, I'd like to thank General Manager Warren Richards and Bartender Ryan Duncan for their professionalism and graciousness on our visit to Wolfgang Puck's Pizzeria & Cucina. It was very much appreciated.

I visited Wolfgang Puck's Pizzeria & Cucina to celebrate a friend's birthday. We had a group of six and were treated with the best service and quality of food. We really had a great experience.

The birthday girl and I started at the bar (Which has a never ending happy hour!) and we decided to snack on the Sweet Peppers (Happy Hour menu) while we waited for the rest of our party. These Cream Cheese Filled Sweet Peppers were marvelous! This is the best small plate I've had in a good while. The peppers were delicately sweet and amazing with the cheese being as creamy as possible and just downright delicious. The combination of the snap from the peppers and the soft cheese made for a good mouth-feel and experience. It's a good thing they only serve these on a small plate because I wouldn't stop eating them if there were more! 

Once we sat as a group at a table overlooking Crystals' first floor we were introduced to the house Bruschetta. For me, there is no in-between Bruschetta. It's either horrible or great. This Bruschetta was great! The tomatoes were very fresh and sweet and were paired with a light oil drizzled about atop a nicely toasted crustini. Everything was just as it should be on a solid Bruschetta. 

Next we shared a hearty Calamari Salad, although I think I ate most of it. The Calamari was very fresh, light in texture, and well cooked. The salad and dressing were also done well with a very nice original taste to the dressing. This salad could be a meal on its own. Once you get through the Calamari and salad you get to the beans awaiting you at the bottom drenched in the delicious dressing and you just can't stop! A very well contrived salad for sure.

Meatballs… Grilled Meatballs… These are good. Served with a mountain of parmesan cheese, these Grilled Meatballs were seasoned to perfection, very tender, and moist. These went pretty fast at our table!

Now to my two main entrées. Yes I had two, but I did share! Mussels are an easy way to me heart. These Steamed Mussels are some of the best I've had. Served in a skillet and still bubbling hot, I was already impressed. The mussels were cooked perfectly and the sauce was outstanding. Even more so because it was riddled with little cubes of sausage that were also phenomenal. This dish was so good I can still taste it as I write this.

My second endeavor was their Prosciutto Pizza. A pizza that is so simple it just makes sense. Prosciutto, tomato sauce, mozzarella, arugula, and pecorino flakes. That's it. Atop a crispy thin crust, the meat is abundant, the arugula adds a good amount of bitterness to the sweet meat, and the pecorino does get a little lost but still adds a little saltiness to each bite. As a whole, it's different yet refined. If you're a fan of cured meats, this is the pizza for you!

Don't forget dessert! We had the Zeppole with Vanilla Gelato and caramel dipping sauce. The little doughnut holes were fluffy and sweet and well enhanced when dipped in the rich caramel. The gelato was a little out of place, but nonetheless was still creamy and rich as well. A good way to end our meal.

We all really enjoyed ourselves at Wolfgang Puck's Pizzeria & Cucina. I will definitely be frequenting the bar and trying the rest of the ongoing Happy Hour menu and eventually a few more entrées. Ciao!

Rating out
of 10
Description
3 Location

Let's be honest, Crystals is not the easiest place to get to.

9 The Décor

A very modern and open dining room with many tables overlooking
Crystals' first floor.

8 The Prices

The Happy Hour menu at the bar is amazing. About $5-$8 for
dishes. The regular menu isn't too up there and the food to portion
size ratio is pretty damn good.

10 The Drinks

A fully stocked bar with some hard to find bottles as well as a very
knowledgable bar staff always equals a good time!

10 The Food

There really wasn't anything to complain about and I was
impressed with the quality of each dish. I want more!

8 Overall

I'll be raving about this place for quite some time. I just wish it
was easier to get to…

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Nove Italiano

I want to start by thanking Manager Alenrry Iniguez for his and his staff's amazing hospitality and graciousness. It was very much appreciated.

So, I wanted to take my girlfriend to an outstanding restaurant for our anniversary and I chose Nove Italiano for a few reasons: I love the view, the décor, and from what I remembered, the food. I was first at Nove over five years ago and I remember having a good meal and enjoying the view, so I figured I try them again and give them a proper review.

Nove Italiano sits on the 51st floor of the Palms Fantasy Tower and has a great view of it's sister tower and the Strip. It's main dining room (pictured) is very open and every seat gets to enjoy the view through the enormous windows. The seating further back peers directly over the Strip and has bench seating for larger groups (Or for two if you're early enough like we were!). Everything in Nove has a purple motif to it and all of the design elements inside are elegant and fun. And the best part? The amazing décor is matched by amazing food!

Most meals in most restaurants start off with some sort of bread. Most are boring and typical. Some are a little more artisanal. And then a select few actually put quality comestibles of yeast and grain in front of you as Nove did. Not only did the bread come in three varieties, there were also three ways to enhance the already superb bread flavors with a light oil, parmesan, and red pepper flakes. The parmesan sticks were very strong and direct with their parmesan flavoring, maybe a little much for some, but I liked it. The other two breads were fresh and very fluffy. What I liked about both were that the stood on their own perfectly well, but were upgraded once dipped. Absolutely some of the best Table Bread I've had at a restaurant.

Next we had a small plate, compliments of the chef, of two nice Brushetta bites and what I deduced to be fried Potato Balls. The bruschetta was light and sweet and the potato balls were cheesy and delicious. A good little plate to begin our meal.

My girlfriend and I love fried calamari; So we had to order the Federal Hill Calamari, and man are we glad we did! The calamari was draped with banana peppers and had a subtle lemon flavoring throughout. The calamari itself was very tender and actually had a touch of heat to them in each bite. This dish is very well balanced and I would go back just to order it by itself. It's that good. Easily one of the top three fried calamari I've ever had.

After we ordered and before our food arrived, we had a nice little conversation with some of the servers and they kept telling us that the octopus was to die for. Later in our meal when we met the manager he asked us if we've had the octopus too… We said "No, we'll get it next time for sure." But he wasn't having that and thusly brought us out a small order of the Baby Octopus to show us what was up. Damn…that is some damn good octopus. I've had octopus thirty different ways. This could be the best I've tasted. The char on it was perfect. The consistency was perfect. And the lemon and lime was there just enough to shine yet let the octopus be the true star. If you go to Nove Italiano, order the Baby Octopus! You won't be sorry.

Now back to our regularly scheduled meal. I was going to go for the duck on the menu but once the waiter told me one of the specials was Mako Shark I immediately changed my mind. It's a rare occasion I get to order shark anywhere, so when I can, I do. This shark had the major flavors and consistency of swordfish. It really didn't have much flavor to it, but it was hearty and tasted fine. The party happening around it on the other hand, out of control amazing! The "corn bread" the shark was seated upon was, is, and may be forever the best corn anything I'll ever have. In a single spoonful, the shark and the corn were a good combo. But I seriously would order just the corn portion if I could. It was so buttery and luscious with a great mouth feel and aroma. I let my girlfriend have some and her eyes lit up and she said "Wow!". The only thing out of place was the wild mushrooms placed atop the shark. They were tart and lemony with the consistency of artichoke hearts and did not blend well anything else on the plate. Thankfully, the corn components blew away my taste buds and that's all I could think of. I know sharks are king in the oceans, but on this plate, corn > shark. 

For a side I had the Gnocchi, which ended up being quite a big side dish. The gnocchi is kind of like a "soup of the day", the menu says Gnocchi- Chef's Whim. This day's Gnocchi consisted of lima beans and rabbit in a rabbit sauce reduction. The gnocchi was cooked perfectly and had a great feel to them. The rabbit was just ok, the sauce helped, but it was a little dry. The lima beans added some great color and were cooked well, but also were nothing outstanding. Overall it was a great side, I just felt like it it just needed some extra love to be over the top.

My girlfriend had the Rigatoni Bolognese for her main and I had a few bites. Visually, it was beautiful. The flavors reminded me of meat sauces my mom has made for me in the past, and I always see that as winning feature of any meal. If it can make me feel at home, it's good. The noodles may have been a little too cooked, but it wasn't that big of a deal. The meat and seasoning was perfectly balanced and was a real winner. And portion wise, this was enough for two. Next time she'll just get the pastas here appetizer size.

Originally we weren't going to order dessert because we were running short on time (had a show to catch) and we were getting pretty full. But the staff had other plans for us. After our meal, we were presented with a very fun dessert of Cannoli's that you fill yourself at the table and then dip into different sauces and toppings. I've never seen a dessert like this before and we loved it. We took turns filling the cannoli's and then trying out all of the dips and toppings. My favorites were the raspberry (bottom left) and the chocolate (bottom right) with the pistachios (middle). They were all delicious though and we really enjoyed this dessert.

Our anniversary dinner was quite a success. We had a top notch view of the city, some unexpected dishes that blew us away, and we met a very friendly staff. Nove Italiano is a restaurant every Las Vegan needs to get to at least once. After my recent experience and what I remember from my last, I'm going to make it a point to frequent Nove on a regular basis.

Rating Description
out of 10
9 Location
I've always loved the Palms and there's always something going on there or something to do. For Nove Italiano, the view helps and the ease of a direct elevator. It feels so exclusive!
10 The Décor
Every detail inside Nove looks very well thought out. The long bar made of wood, the purple accents to everything, the paintings that are actually TVs, it's all beautiful and modern.
8 The Prices
Not too shabby for a 5 star joint. Two are eating for around $100-$150, but you could get away with a few appetizers and still have your belly full and mind blown.
10 The Drinks
Fully stocked bar, well priced and tasty signature cocktails, and only one beer on tap, but that beer is Delirium Tremens. Epic...
10 The Food
As a whole, everything was amazing. Flavor combos and profiles were just smart. Plate presentation was always on point. And for having pasta, fish, sides, and dessert, it was all better than expected.
9.4
OVERALL
A Sin City Foodie Favorite!
(out of 10)

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