By Lisa Loverro
A decent steakhouse is relatively easy to find in any major city of the United States, but a visit to Carnevino at the Palazzo Hotel in Las Vegas will separate the decent from the outstanding. This Italian steakhouse, from the dynamic duo of Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich of the B&B Hospitality Group, takes its steaks very seriously, catering to the serious carnivore. Surpassing normal industry standards for aging meat, their porterhouse steaks and ribeyes are aged a minimum of 90 days to 120 days, and then are rubbed with sea salt, fresh pepper, and rosemary to achieve a tender cut and aromatic flavor. Antibiotic and hormone free, their certified Angus beef meats are from family-owned farms and ranches throughout the country, and the aging process is done by the restaurant itself, at an off-site location.
Every detail in this restaurant is on a grand scale, much like the city in which it resides. The space welcomes you with a life-size statue of “Bodacious,” the world’s most dangerous rodeo bull, perhaps as an indication of the fierce meal you are about to enjoy. The oversized windows, Italian marble, and antique furnishings are beautiful and dramatic, much like the presentation of the food itself. And, as the restaurant’s name implies, the multi-page wine list plays a dominating role in entire dining experience (as it should). Personally curated by Bastianich, the list will dazzle and overwhelm you; but don’t worry, the sommelier ensures your paring is as well thought-out as your meal.
At the helm is Nicole Brisson, the culinary director for B&B Hospitality Group’s Las Vegas operations. Brisson oversees the preparation of all dishes, including the aging process and rub for the steaks. One of just a few female chefs to grace the Vegas strip, she began her stint in Sin City with the opening of Wynn Las Vegas. Originally serving as Carnevino’s executive chef, she was appointed their culinary director in 2016. Born and raised in upstate New York, Brisson was introduced to the culinary industry early at her grandfather’s restaurant in Saratoga, New York. Inspired by her family’s dedication to creating meals from scratch with harvests from their garden, she continues to hold onto these practices in her career. After graduating from Johnson & Wales University, Brisson studied and learned with food writers Molly O’Neill and Faith Willinger, taking the knowledge and traditions she acquired from her grandfather’s restaurant and developing them into a love for locally sourced produce and meats.
Carnevino is a must visit during a trip to Las Vegas, ensuring a dining experience you’ll be hard pressed to duplicate.
For more information, visit Carnevino.com.