Everything Sparkles in Las Vegas. Even the Kerner.

Emil and I had lunch at Otto (formerly “Enoteca”) in the Venetian Hotel’s Piazza San Marco yesterday.  What’s the best way to celebrate the start of a couple days in Las Vegas with your favorite person?  Why, Bollincine Italiane, or course!  Bubbles for everyone!

Otto is a great option for a casual lunch, or some pre-dinner apperitivi.  Their meat-curing tower is especially interesting- you can definitely make a meal out of sampling their wide array of meats
and cheeses.  We also sampled a couple of their classic dishes, all of which paired really well with the Carpene Malvolti sparkling Kerner.

The wine was refreshing- small bubbles and a frothy mouthfeel.  There wasn’t as much fruity depth as I expected from Kerner– this grape is a more recent varietal created in 1929 by genetically crossing Reisling and Sciava (a red grape native to Trentino-Alto Adige).   I enjoyed the steely minerality against the rich “Fritelle di Prosciutto”.  Emil also ordered the fried sweet potatoes- topped with a tangy salsa verde and fried sage, they were a perfect foil to this enjoyable, refreshing sparkler.

We also ordered the Pasta alla Norma complete with a the most tender sauteed eggplant, and a creamy, strained version of Ricotta that absolutely melted in my mouth.

We also had to try the Pizza Margherita- this is highly critical research.  We both feel a deeply important need to try as many versions of this Neapolitan classic as humanly possible.  (Well maybe it’s not both of us- it could just be me.)  Otto’s cracker-thin and crispy crust was delightful- the San Marzano tomato sauce was sublime.  Soft, delicately textured with the perfect balance of sweet tomato and fruity acidity.  Good tomato sauce is like a well-made wine.  Balance is key.

Of course, it wouldn’t be vacation without a little something sweet to end the experience.

We sampled the seasonal gelati, including Almond Milk Ice, Grahm Cracker and Salted Caramel.  I say “we sampled”, but in reality only Emil “sampled”.  I couldn’t stop myself from devouring this bowl of gelato- served at the perfect temperature which creates a texture closer the soft-serve ice cream than gelato.  Dreamy!