Revel in seaside flavors at Mercato della Pescheria
One of the best things about Las Vegas is that it can transport you to anywhere around the world. One day, you can be on top of the Eiffel Tower, the next, you could be walking the streets of New York. Sure, it takes a little imagination, but all great things in Vegas do.
In that sense, Mercato della Pescheria offers to take patrons to a very specific place: a coastal Italian fish market. Fittingly, the restaurant is located in The Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian and The Palazzo.
After a scenic walk through the canal village, you end up in St. Mark’s Square, one of the liveliest areas in the large mall. This is important, because there are numerous seating options at Mercato. Multiple open kitchen stations plus an ample bar are tempting, but the move here is to sit outside on the patio, giving your party the chance to enjoy live music from well-dressed singers who perform in The Square.
Perhaps the perfect drink to accompany the meal is a Negroni Sbagliato. Literally meaning “messed-up Negroni,” it is smooth all the way through, with its mix of Campari, Cinzano 1757 vermouth and Stellina di Notte prosecco.
As it is a “fish market,” a good place to start is with the yellowtail tuna tartare. Day boat yellowfin gets the citrus treatment with both a vinaigrette and a variety of fresh fruits including blood oranges, lime and lemon. Avocado adds necessary fat and bottarga (fish roe) adds the saltiness. And anytime I see a burrata salad, I’m likely to order it. Mercato’s features housemade cheese, cherry tomatoes, aged balsamic and roasted peppers.
Mercato Della Pescheria
Pastas are all made in-house, and I doubt there is one that isn’t great in the bunch. (The version with king crab is a particular standout.) Swiss chard ravioli is stellar and the pesto cream sauce it is topped with is vibrant and pops with basil, toasted pine nuts and gran padano cheese. It might be one of the best pasta courses in all of Las Vegas.
A mixed grill was a special I couldn’t pass up, as it featured a flat iron steak, a half a lobster tail, four jumbo prawns, roasted purple potatoes and grilled asparagus. With the singers entertaining onstage, and a platter with many delicacies on the table, it almost felt as if I was dining royalty. You’ll find a variety of other steaks and seafood, such as the salmon with Italian greens and lemon oil, veal saltimbocca, and garlic chicken. Roasted cauliflower, cooked with anchovies, sun-dried tomatoes, olives and saffron is a bite you’ll keep going back for.
The tiramisu here is among the best I’ve ever tried. This iteration is prepared tableside with the drenched ladyfingers commingling with coffee and fresh chocolate shavings. The standout element is the layer of elegant mascarpone cream. While there are many worldly destinations throughout Las Vegas, I’d be happy to revisit this Italian fish market any time.
The Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian and The Palazzo, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. daily, happy hour 3-7 p.m. 702.837.0309