Portofino Ristorante [6,] Las Vegas NV

DSC03337

Portofino Ristorante

dsc09407 dsc09408 dsc09406

Olive Oil Soaked Focaccia

dsc09418

Caprese Salad – Heirloom Tomatoes, Bufala Mozzarella, Basil

dsc09414 dsc09416 dsc09422

Meatballs – Fried Squash Blossom, Goat Cheese, San Marzano Tomatoes

dsc09412 dsc09413 dsc09417

Grilled Octopus – Calabrian Peperonata, Fingerling Crisps, Salsa Verde

dsc09420 dsc09421

Crab Cake Arancini – Lemon Saffton Risotto, Pesto Aioli, Fresno Pickles

dsc09411 dsc09409 dsc09410

Beet Salad – Goat Cheese Panna Cotta, Candied Pistachios, Orchard Apples

dsc09435 dsc09425 dsc09426

Burrata Agnolotti – Lobster, Chanterelle Mushroom, Roasted Corn Butter

dsc09431 dsc09423 dsc09424

Pot Roast Raviolini – Baby Root Vegetables, Celery, Potato Confit, Pickled Pearl Onions

dsc09436 dsc09437 dsc09438

Chicken Foie-Fredo – Hand-cut Fettucine, Herb Roasted Chicken, Chicken Cracklins’, Foie Gras Alfredo

dsc09433 dsc09432 dsc09440

Ripatelli – Wild Boar Bolognese, Roadted Tomato Sauce, Goat Cheese Pesto

dsc09427 dsc09428 dsc09429

Pumpkin Spice Gnocchi – Braised Venison, Candy Cane Beets, Gingerbread Crumble

dsc09454 dsc09462 dsc09460

Day Boat Scallops – Cauliflower Textures, Smoked Prosciutto, Mascarpone Polenta, Pimenton Popcorn

dsc09451 dsc09452 dsc09450

Rack of Lamb – Creamed Kohlrabi, Savory Bread Pudding, Honey Rosemary Figs

dsc09459 dsc09453 dsc09458

The $65 Veal Parmesan for $55 – Melted Mozzarella, Housemade Marinara

dsc09449 dsc09446 dsc09455

Veal Osso Bucco – Saffron Risotto, Bone Marrow, Gremolata

dsc09476 dsc09474 dsc09475

Nutella Crème Brulee – Shortbread, Crystalized Sugar

dsc09466 dsc09473 dsc09472

Traditional Tiramisu – Cognac Crème, Lady Fingers

dsc09468 dsc09467

Chocolate Cake – Fudge, Vanilla Ice Cream

dsc09470 dsc09471

Sorbetti – Market Berries, Lemon, Raspberry

dsc09465 dsc09464 dsc09469

Gelato – Strawberry Cheesecake, Double Chocolate, Vanilla Milkshake

dsc09478

A new menu, slightly ‘updated’ name and the same outstanding results recently defined another visit to Portofino Ristorante at The Mirage Hotel and Casino, Chef Michael LaPlaca and GM Chris Zadie continuing their reign as Las Vegas premier Italian Fine Dining Restaurant even though the executives overseeing the space have undergone a substantial change.

DSC03338

Once again failing to update the interior from Onda, even though consistent accolades and in-the-know diner’s recommendations acknowledge Portofino to have completely reinvented the space under the toque of its Ohio-born Chef, it was just past six that five friends were led to a rounded table on the restaurant’s lower level, the “Ristorante” not making the concept any more “Italian,” though the music overhead did seem somewhat louder from this vantage point.

dsc09443

Requesting the same Carte Blanche service as always, a four-course family style tasting comprised of nineteen plates soon to follow with three paired Wines, it was with slick pillows of soft Focaccia that the meal got started, the only change amongst appetizers a pleasant Beet Salad with balled Melon and Goat Cheese Panna Cotta shimmering amidst a bright Vinaigrette.

DSC03372

Impressed as always by the rest of the starters, the Crab Cakes seemingly sweeter than the past – perhaps as a result of the season – it was with the Chef standing tableside that a five-piece pasta course was presented, smoothness exemplified by Burrata Agnolotti offering perfect little pockets mixed with big chunks of Lobster while last year’s Chicken Foie-Fredo saw a big textural upgrade by way of crispy Chicken Chicharones tossed with Hand-cut Fettucine and strips of tender white Meat glistening in unctuous Alfredo.

dsc09442

Transitioning the wide-ribboned Ripatelli to winter by way of Wild Boar Bolognese while making a hearty pass at the Midwestern slow-cooker classic inside of tiny Ravioli, a tongue-in-cheek swipe at the “Official flavor of Fall” came across in LaPlaca’s ever-light Dumplings, a Ragu of braised Reindeer offering a slight bit of grassy funk that found its foil in thin slices of Beets along with charred Brussels Sprout Leaves and housemade Gingerbread Crumble.

DSC00721

Always happy to see Portofino’s Veal Osso Bucco, perhaps not Sin City’s most famous but arguably the best, new secondi offered Day Boat Scallops amidst Cauliflower Florets and smoked Pork with spicy Popcorn on a bed of smooth Polenta, the Rack of Lamb perfectly roasted medium with a round of smooth Stuffing plus Figs added for sweetness, the Strauss Brands Veal served slightly different from last visit’s “Veal Pacino” with a lower price, similar size and better flavor than the one jokingly referenced in the unofficial off-menu-only title.

dsc09477

Disappointed to see that desserts have regressed, the pastry department once again undergoing change as a result of the shared nature with other restaurants within the Casino, both the Tiramisu and Crème Brûlée remain competent closers, though the loss of Cassata Cake and the Cookie-based Souffle trio are issues that management should look into remedying as soon as possible.

dsc09479

FOUR AND A HALF STARS: As innovative as ever, the Pastas and Entrees continuing to shine on a nation-wide level despite the constraints of playing to The Mirage clientele, it seems shortsighted that management would invest time in changing the name when a fresh coat of paint and good pastry Chef could offer exponential improvement at nominal cost, though as long as Chef LaPlaca and Chris Zadie are involved there is no doubt the restaurant will continue to impress.

RECOMMENDED: Meatballs, Crab Cake Arancini, Pumpkin Spice Gnocchi, Chicken Foie-Fredo, Rack of Lamb, Veal Osso Bucco, Nutella Crème Brulee.

AVOID: Those shy about Celery may want to reconsider the Pot Roast Raviolini.

TIP: Both the Veal Parm and Lobster Milanese are available as off-menu requests only.

WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.

https://www.mirage.com/en/restaurants/portofino.html

Portofino Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Category(s): Bread Basket, Coffee, Crab, Dessert, Foie, Foie Gras, Food, Gnocchi, Ice Cream, Italian, Las Vegas, Nevada, Octopus, Pork, Portofino, Portofino Ristorante, Tasting Menu, Tiramisu

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *