Saturday, February 26, 2011

d.vino Italian Food & Wine Bar Is a pleasant surprise of Classic Italian Cuisine and wine.

It is no secret that Las Vegas is home to some of the world best dining venues with several Michelin award winning restaurants located on the famed Las Vegas Strip. In addition to those high profile, renown dining palaces, Las Vegas is also home to some lovely restaurants that fly “under the radar” and provide mouthwatering delicious cuisine. One of these nice finds is d.vino Italian Food and Wine located in the Monte Carlo Resort and Casino.

Walking into d.vino you are first struck by a Vespa and Enomatic machines that start your wine journey off on the right foot. The bar area is casual and bright giving the feel of an Italian diner with the Enomtaics offering a touch of sophistication. A quick look at menu showed a nice selection of meat , fish , vegetables , pasta and breads. There is even an authentic formaggio and salami bar and a wood-fired Pizza oven where you can enjoy a custom Pizza. Executive Chef Jose M. Navarro turns seasonal and classic Italian dishes into palate pleasing delights. Chef Navarro wants his guests to be as involved in the creation of the meal or one can just sit back and let his attentive staff take care of the details. And that is exactly what we did as we headed off to the fine dining area in the quite rear of the restaurant.

After being greeted by Chef Navarro we were introduced to General Manager Iginio Pignatelli, our host for the evening. Iginio is a true Italian, and his knowledge of the country and it’s rich culinary background would bring us many insights for the evening. Sipping on a nice Procecco , Chef Navarro and Iginio explained the composition of each course.

Golden and Chioggia Beet salad with Frisee,
Golden and Chioggia Beet Salad

Candied pecans and gorgonzola with a tangy sherry vinergarette. This salad was sweet and savory with the assertive gorgonzola mixed with the crunchy bites of beets, and candied pecans, all nicely topped with the delicately dressed Frisee.


Roasted Diver Scallops

Soft Polenta , Braised Mushrooms. The perfectly cook Scallops melted in our mouths combining with lovely , earthy flavors of the Braised Mushrooms. This dish was paired with a DE FORVILLE CHARDONNAY PIEMONTE that was well balanced and brought out the layers of flavor components of the Beet Salad and Diver Scallops.

Pasta Trio Tasting

The gnocchi Pomodoroi

The pasta trio tasting was an excellent way to sample their signature pasta dishes without having to indulge in one big bowl of pasta. The gnocchi Pomodoroi was baked with a ratio of 50% pasta to potato filling. It was plump, soft and yet, had a semi firm texture layered with a tomato sauce. The Ravioli was our favorite filled with mushrooms and topped with a lovely bolognaise sauce. The rigatoni with sausage was also tasty, with roasted green pepper to help enhance the flavor


Grilled Branzino

Grilled Lemon  Branzino on a bed of Sautéed Spinach . This was our Favorite dish of the night. This was a work of art with layers of contrasting flavors and sautéed spinach bringing heartiness to the delicate fish that helped this dish to stand up to the bold flavors of the PARCELL 41 MERLOT NAPA VALLEY 2007. This was the best wine pairing of the night and left us impressed and earning for more.

Lemon, polenta cake.

A rustic type of lemony corn cake. This was a nice simple, and satisfying way to end our dining experience. This cake was rich, but not overly sweet after such a wonderful meal. Igino was not done yet with his wine pairing and brought a luscious BEN RYE PASSITO DI PANTELLERIA DONNA FUGATA 2007 for the grand finish of this very nicely paired dining experience.

Cuisineist Editor-In-Chief Elaine Harris

Dining at d.vino was much more than we expected and we were pleasantly surprised with all aspects of the restaurant from the time we entered until we departed hours later very satisfied. We will be back to d.vino to experience more of what this very special venue has to offer and know we will not be disappointed.

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