Fiamma Trattoria & Bar
Ciabatta, Olive Focaccia and and Soft Rolls with Tomato Basil Butter and Unsalted Cow’s Milk Butter
Beef Carpaccio – Spicy Patatine, Classic Cipriani and Citonette Dressing, Shaved Parmigiano, Brioche Croutons
Caprese – Fresh Bufala Mozzarella, Heirloom Tomatoes, Basil Pesto, Aged Balsamic Reduction, Roasted Bell Peppers
Grilled Mediterranean Octopus – Yukon Gold Potatoes, Kalamata Olives, Red Pepper Romesco, Crispy Capers, Parsley
Italian Beef Meatballs – Salsa Pomodoro, Grilled Ciabatta Bread
Beef Tenderloin Marsala – Fresh Ricotta Cavatelli, Sliced Beef Tenderloin, Wild Mushroom Marsala Sauce
Lobster Gnocchi – Maine Lobster, Vodka Cream Sauce, Pea Tendrils, Calabrian Chili
Raviolini – Short Rib Ravioli, Black Truffle Cream, Vegetable Confetti, Barolo Wine Reduction
Homemade Fettuccine – Tomato Fettuccine, Tuscan Kale, Roasted Red Peppers, Spicy Italian Sausage, Roasted Garlic Cream Sauce
Strauss Farms Veal Cheeks – Slow Braised Veal Cheeks, Thyme roasted Mirepoix, Pea Tendrils, Pommes Puree
Mediterranean Sea Bass – Pancetta-Braised Tuscan Kale, Crushed San Marzano Tomato, Char-grilled Lemon
Sauteed Spinach – Roasted Garlic, Chili Flakes
Crispy Patate – Green Onion, Crispy Pancetta, Parmigiano
Peach Bellini – Prosecco & Vanilla Panna Cotta, Caramel Peach Infusion, Peach Sorbetti, White Chocoalte Pearls, Bellini Macarons
Nutella Tiramisu – Nutella Mascarpone Mousse, Frangelico Lady Fingers, Coffee Whipped Cream, Caramelized Hazelnuts
Gelati and Sorbetti – Vanilla, Nutella, Pistachio, Apple Moscato, Raspberry, Lemon Basil
Triple Cioccolato Bread Pudding – Dark Chocolate Bread Custard, Warm Milk Chocolate Ganache, White Chocolate Ice Cream, Chocolate Sable
Slowly creating a list of ‘go to’ places when friends suggest a style of food, particularly when that friend is a well-known local who states his last meal at a favored place was less than great, it was just a few days after the announcement that former Fiamma Chef Buscaglia would be returning to the Strip that a party of two sat down for dinner from the restaurant’s current kitchen, Chef Pawan Pinisetti and his team including Shawn Hamada putting out a sixteen plate feast that impressed by way of classics and new items recently launched for Spring.
No doubt an odd day for Las Vegas, the robbery at Bellagio on Friday and a hostage situation in front of Cosmopolitan slowing traffic and seeing an increased police force present throughout the MGM Lobby, it was just past 5:30pm that a sizable booth overlooking the lower-ring of the restaurant was presented, Sommelier Caleb Anderson and other familiar faces quickly making everyone feel welcome as the new menu was unveiled, complete with several new items and the option for a prix-fixe tasting.
Always happy to give the kitchen carte blanche, a healthier looking Chef Pinisetti stopping by to say hello and chat about the underrated restaurant’s business – as good as ever as Sin City enters convention season and even tourists have come to realize that the long-term MGM tenant is doing something special – it was not long before a glass of wine was poured and Bread was offered, the braided Rolls and Basil-Tomato Butter now joined by fluffy Olive Focaccia that is just briny enough to be delicious on its own without overwhelming the sauces it will be used to wipe up throughout the night.
For the third time impressed by the server’s ability to make such a sizable space feel cozy yet chic, the fact that several Front of House members have been on staff for more than five years, it was not long before a quartet of antipasti arrived including the Caprese Salad that remains one of Las Vegas’ best thanks to produce from Intuitive Forager Kerry Clasby, updates to the Carpaccio including crispy Potatoes spiced with Hungarian Paprika and well-charred Octopus with Capers and Olives both as good as in the past while Pinisetti’s new Meatballs do away with Pork and Veal to focus strictly on Beef and just enough Bread to keep in together in a bowl of bright Pomodoro and melted Cheese.
Continuing to impress by making every Pasta in-house daily, the two women arriving before 4am possibly soon to be given the spotlight in a new restaurant feature later this year, those familiar with Fiamma will know that no meal is complete without the classic Raviolini matching tender Short Rib to Truffles and Barolo while the Gnocchi has reached a new level by way of decreasing the Potato content to make it even more fluffy, the generous chunks of Lobster providing a sweet and snappy contrast to the Dumplings bathed in Calabrian Chili infused Vodka Cream.
Saucing Pastas to an American standard, which some nay-sayers would suggest to be ‘too much,’ more impressive plates from round two consisted of springy Ricotta Cavatelli topped in bold Marsala bolstered by Mushrooms with slices of Beef while the new Fettuccine is Tomato-based and cooked to a fine al dente amidst Kale, Red Peppers and housemade Italian Sausage with quite a bit of spice.
Replacing the previous Broccolini with Spinach, again cooked tender in a bath of confit Garlic and spicy Chili Flakes, it was alongside crispy skin-on Potatoes tossed with Pancetta and Green Onions that Secondi were served after a bit of respite, the Turkish Sea Bass flaky, moist and simple while the Veal Cheeks from Strauss Farms were a bold move towards rustic in an unlikely environment, the tender protein literally soft enough to be eaten with a spoon atop Potatoes that attest to Pawan’s time at Joel Robuchon plus a bouquet of flavors added by an edible mélange of Vegetables.
Only adding one new item to the dessert menu, though the seasonal Sorbets and Ice Creams are worth seeking out on the strength of Pistachio, Apple Moscato as well as Raspberry, those who’ve been in the last six-months will be happy to know that both the layered Nutella Tiramisu with gold-dusted Hazelnuts and the ‘dinner and a show’ Peach Bellini remain must-orders, that term equally applicable to a small round of Bread Pudding infused with Dark Chocolate Custard resting in a pool of melted Milk Chocolate beneath a ball of slowly melting Cocoa Butter Ice Cream that ranks amongst the most decadent in town.
FIVE STARS: Excelling at what Las Vegas does best, producing a luxury experience despite volume that would make most restaurateurs’ heads spin, the sustained success of Fiamma Trattoria & Bar continues to attest to the dedication and skill of the staff, the front of house and kitchen working step in step to generate the sort of food that keeps patrons coming back whether they are just in town for a conference or living just down the street.
RECOMMENDED: Beef Carpaccio, Raviolini, Lobster Gnocchi, Homemade Fettuccine, Crispy Patate, Mediterranean Sea Bass, Peach Bellini, Bread Pudding.
TIP: The Veal Cheeks were a daily special, hence the reason they are not ‘Recommended above.’ Tune in to Social Media for frequent updates from Chef Pinisetti and be aware the online menu is woefully out of date.
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.