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!