B&B Ristorante brings adventure to the plate
For almost a decade, B&B Ristorante at The Venetian has transported diners to nearly 20 regions in Italy. From Veneto, Emilia-Romagna and Friuli-Venezia Giulia in the northeast to Piedmont in the northwest, to the central area of Tuscany, all the way to Abruzzo in the south, culinary master Mario Batali puts his culinary skills to the test while Joe Bastianich brings his vast wine expertise.
A sommelier, an expert who lives and breathes wine, exists to guide you through the evening—a wine tour while you dine, if you will. The restaurant’s extensive wine list boasts more than 5,500 bottles, which happens to be one of the largest Italian wine collections on the West Coast and the largest Italian wine collection in Las Vegas for a single restaurant. With that in mind, your sommelier won’t steer you wrong with quarter-liter pours or full bottles to pair with your Italian feast ahead.
An exclusive to B&B Hospitality Group is Flor Prosecco. A good choice for seasonal dishes, the fruity champagne from Veneto heightens the flavor of the spring market greens. Lamb neck fritti, another in-season antipasti, breaded and fried with dark, succulent, shredded lamb meat packed inside, takes the meaning of exotic to a new level. The Prosecco’s acidity helps to cleanse the palate after the fritti. House-cured salumi—coppa, lonza and sopressata—is a favorite starter among diners; it showcases the restaurant’s sustainability efforts, with every part of the pig used.
A staple of Ferrara in the Emilia-Romagna region, capellacci di zucca (hat-shaped stuffed pasta; the restaurant’s version is filled with a purée of marina di chioggia squash and ricotta, topped with Marcona almonds and sage), is accompanied by Bastianich Vespa Bianco 2013, a white wine made up of chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and picolit from Friuli-Venezia Giulia. The rich texture of the wine perfectly complements the pasta’s Luigi Guffanti butter sauce.
Pastas with tomato-based sauces such as B&B Ristorante’s chitarra pair beautifully with Morellino di Scansano “I Perazzi” La Mozza 2013, a red wine from Tuscany. A classic dish originating in Abruzzo, chitarra is named after the guitar-like instrument used to make the long thin pasta. If you’re a pasta fanatic, savor the Mario’s Classics pasta tasting menu for specialties like goat cheese tortelloni and beef cheek ravioli with black truffles.
On the meatier side, diners can look to the pork sirloin for two. The caramelized sweetness of the arista rub, a Tuscan-inspired mix of herbs and spices, enhances the flavor of the Berkshire pork’s saltiness. The pork sirloin comes with roasted root vegetables and fresh arugula; add a side of thick-cut Weiser Farm fingerling potatoes and a glass of Batasiolo Barolo 2011, a full-bodied red wine from Piedmont, for a match made in heaven.
Your night isn’t complete without the caramel bonet, an Italian version of flan, accented with bits of candied cocoa nibs and sliced mandarin oranges. The gelati and sorbetti are superb, with flavors depending on what fruits that are in season. A perfect wine pairing for such decadent desserts is Maculan Dindarello 2013 from Veneto. If you like moscato, then you’ll love this bottled wine with whiffs of honey and orange blossom.
By the time your B&B Ristorante culinary and wine tour is complete, you’ll feel like you’ve traveled to Italy and back, all with the help of Batali and Bastianich’s brilliant concept of authentic Italy. And you don’t even need a passport for it. Buon appetito!
The Venetian, 5-11 p.m. daily. 702.266.9977