Linger awhile at D.vino Italian Food & Wine Bar
Come, let’s take a little tour of Italy, and stop in at one of those trattorias we’ve heard so much about. What, you’re going to Vegas instead of Italy? Well then, let’s head to Monte Carlo and try D.vino Italian Food & Wine Bar.
Just off the casino floor, the intimate lounge and restaurant, part of the MCC Hospitality Group, features charming checked tablecloths and cozy booths, just what you imagine a trattoria should be. Order a glass of wine while waiting for your table and you’ll be transported even closer to Italy. It doesn’t hurt that the classic dishes on the menu are accompanied by changing specialties that match the season (recently, artichoke pizza, with artichoke both on top and in the sauce, might have inspired cries of “This is the best pizza I’ve ever had!” Artichokes are in season March through May, and D.vino's Artichoke Festival features eight dishes created with the vegetable through April 14.) You can also get a variety of wood-fired pizzas that stay on the menu all year around.
For a full meal, start with D.vino’s menu stalwarts, such as a meat and cheese plate, and bruschetta, which seems to perfectly encapsulate an ideal Italian appetizer: a combo of fresh and marinated tomatoes, a sweet balsamic reduction, shaved Parmesan reggiano and fresh basil on perfectly toasted slices. A little basil oil drizzled about makes it nearly perfect. No need for the rest of the meal. But …
Gnocchi Bolognese might make you change your mind about abstaining from the rest of your dinner. These little potato pals are soft and properly pillowy, cuddled up with a veal and pork Bolognese blanket. Wild mushrooms ensure good dreams. Four cheese and spinach ravioli might wake you up, though. The spinach pasta, stuffed with a creamy blend of cheese, comes accented with baby heirloom tomatoes and fresh basil and oregano.
For a truly hearty bite, order the beef short rib, slow braised in red wine, and served over an incredibly good saffron rice, which perfectly pairs with rich beef. And no good Italian trattoria could ignore eggplant Parmesan. What’s nice about this dish is that the eggplant planks aren’t overly thick, meaning it’s cooked perfectly throughout. The sauce of San Marzano tomatoes is plentiful, fresh mozzarella perches on the eggplant and, instead of spaghetti, a tasty pesto penne with fresh basil.
If you need seafood, a squid ink tagliatelle may be the ticket. A lobster sauce complements sautéed shrimp and calamari. Lobster and shrimp ravioli dips into decadence, with Maine lobster, shrimp and a cognac lobster cream sauce.
You can find plenty of sweets here, if you save room. Molten chocolate cake comes with a Kahlua crème Anglaise, which also highlights the tiramisu. This is a traditional presentation of the classic Italian tiramisu, with layered ladyfingers and mascarpone making lingering over coffee more likely.
Monte Carlo, 4-10:30 p.m. Sun.-Thurs., 4-11 p.m. Fri.-Sat. 702.730.7966