The newest gem in the Wynn Las Vegas crown, Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare, is truly one of a kind. Steve Wynn's influence in the transformation of Las Vegas casinos and night-life since the 1970's did not stop with his hallmark gold standard of hotels and casinos with fabulous destination restaurants. This same drive for perfection and luxury that is the hallmark of Wynn establishments led him to add a one-of-a-kind world-class dining experience to Wynn Las Vegas by bringing in award-winning Chef Paul Bartolotta to from Chicago's Spiaggia, where he was previously Chef and Managing Partner. Under Chef Bartolotta's direction Spiaggia earned every major national fine dining award including four-star ratings from both the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Magazine. This was the first time an Italian chef was awarded four stars in any major U.S. market. While at San Domenico in New York City, Bartolotta was also awarded an unprecedented three-star review for the restaurant from Bryan Miller of the New York Times. This bold move by Steve Wynn brought a rustic, yet refined Italian menu to the Wynn Las Vegas dining repertoire that re-defines traditional American notions of Italian dining.
Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare cuisine highlights food that is simply, but elegantly prepared to bring out the subtleties of flavor of the finest and freshest ingredients. Chef Bartolotta's philosophy encompasses a view of Italian cuisine as divided into three categories Cucina tradizionale (traditional Italian cooking), cucina d'ispirazionale regionale (food inspired by regional specialties) and cucina creativo (inventive cuisine). Sounds lovely you say, but what is so unique about Chef Bartolotta's approach? Chef Bartolotta insists on serving only fish that are indigenous to the regions in Italy whose cuisine he creates for his guests, the Italian Mediterranean seas, the Ligure, Ionio, Tirreno and Adriatico. These freshly caught fish are flown in daily to Wynn Las Vegas from the Mediterranean for Chef Bartolotta to serve to his guests. These selections include sarago (black striped bream), mormora (striped grey bass) and rombo (turbot) and crustaceans such as aragosta (spiny lobster), scamponi reali (royal langoustines) and cicale di mare (slipper lobster).
Bartolotta was raised in an Italian-American family, where life centered around the kitchen. Inspired by his parents' and his grandmother's cooking, Bartolotta started working in restaurant kitchens at the age of 15. In 1980 he graduated from the Restaurant and Hotel Management Program at Milwaukee Area Technical College. While working for Tony May, then owner of the Rainbow Room and founder of Gruppos Ristoratori Italiani, May made arrangements for Bartolotta to study in Italy for six months which turned into an extended seven-year education working in some of Italy's most prestigious restaurants.
By age 24, Bartolotta had earned the title of Chef di Cucina of Ristorante San Domenico a two-star Michelin restaurant. In this respect, Bartolotta shares a similar work history with Steve Wynn. Both men began their impressive careers at the entry level in their respective businesses, learning all there was to learn about each phase of their chosen careers. Wynn learned the basics by working for his father in bingo establishments and worked as a slot and keno manager in his early days. Bartolotta apprenticed in more than a dozen restaurants from Sicily to the Alps. He hunted with dogs for white truffles, cleaned game while it was still warm from the hunt, fished off the Mediterranean coast and dined in almost every prominent restaurant while in Italy. During his travels, Bartolotta worked at an olive pressing mill, a cheese-making farm, bakeries, a butcher shop and participated in the harvesting of grapes in some of Italy's greatest wineries.
This intense education and experience led Bartolotta to create delicacies for Wynn's Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare. With fresh caught fish from the Mediterranean, Bartolotta prepares such delicacies as Antipasti di mare, with selections of red mullet with taggiasche olives, capers and toasted bell peppers, a grilled cuttlefish with chickpeas or langoustines and zucchini in a light tomato broth scented with mint. Alternatives to seafood are also available as antipasti. Bartolotta also offers warm parmiagiano-reggiano custard with basil puree, leeks and asparagus or loin of rabbit with crispy artichokes and balsamic vinegar from Reggio-Emilia.
These freshest of the fresh seafood entrees include oven baked pink snapper with artichokes and fresh oregano and a light and tender sauteed John Dory in a white wine broth with clams and leeks. Rounding out the menu is a Ligurian style roast organic free-range chicken or guinea hen with artichokes, asparagus, porcini and taggiasca olives with a lemon-herb sauce and roast rack of lamb in a sweet roasted garlic sauce scented with savory.
For lunch, Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare offers a slightly different menu selection with savory supplements to the dinner menu such as poached white shrimp with tomato, orange and mint sauce, Borlotti soup with tubetti pasta, along with hand-rolled thick spaghetti with tomato sauce and basil. Oven roasted pork chop scented with rosemary and juniper also makes for a perfect midday meal.
One has only to look at the first-class accommodations and other dining experiences at Wynn Las Vegas to know that Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare was designed with the same high standards. Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare's cutting-edge design treats guests to an authentic taste of the Italian sea within a beautiful desert setting. Colorful and playful, yet reminiscent of 400 year-old Roman and marine motifs, Italian influences are evident throughout the restaurant. Consoles based upon roman columns complete with capitals, ball molding and feet and rich Pompeian red, Roman frescoes, and straw yellow gold that capture the colors of the Italian countryside in fall complimented by periwinkle blue, the color of the sea in Positano play on the theme of an ancient Italian seaside. The addition of inverted 'pseudo-Baroque' chandeliers and vivid diagonally patterned carpeting combine to create a true sense of sophisticated whimsy punctuated by a sense of fine art and luxury.
Wynn Las Vegas offers 19 food and beverage choices, including 9 destination restaurants, each stunningly designed and furnished to provide guests with a complete experience from the decor, food and service to flawless outdoor landscaping. Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare may be the most lavish example of Wynn Las Vegas opulence. Dining with Chef Bartolotta is reminiscent of dining al fresco on the Italian coast. Surround walls of rustic tiles are accented with collections of seashells bleached from the sun. A tranquil lake dotted with lily pads is accented where the sparkling surface of the water reflects the light from shiny metallic spheres tethered across its surface. Tented loges, a semi-circle of colorful cabanas, each centered with a Murano glass chandelier curve in a gentle arc around the lake.
Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare at Wynn Las Vegas