Todd English’s Olives (Bellagio) – A Little Sweet, A Little Salty, In The Best Way Possible

by Franklin on January 23, 2012

It seems to be that a lot of my favorite restaurants in Vegas converge around the Bellagio Fountain.  I don’t see why not.  The Fountain alone is amazing to have as a background of a great meal. Todd English’s Olives in Bellagio has class and taste, and won’t hurt your wallet.  From the interior design, to the food on the plate, everything was balanced and cohesive — it all felt like they belonged.

Upon making reservations, I was happy to be seated next to the window facing the fountains.  I asked for the tables outside, but there were none available.  In hind sight, eating inside was a better decision. It was warmer, the decor was nice, and I still sat directly next to the fountain.

Complimentary bread and olives (how fitting) was given before our meal.  The bread varied from chiabata and flat breads, and eating it with the olives was tasty.  It was a bit salty, probably because I used too much, but the taste was very clean and pure. It isn’t your normal bread and butter — that’s a good thing.

To go along with our bread, we opted for the Beef carpaccio to compliment our appetizer.  Yes, beef carpaccio is raw beef. Never having it before, and knowing they are known for this dish, I was excited.  The beef was fresh and of high quality, as it should be.  The polenta and gagonzola, and scallion cream gave it a nice creamy texture.  My favorite was the balsamic reduction.  It was sweet and acidic, which helped break up the richness of the beef. The parmesan, cipolini onions, and garlic aioli rounded out the flavors nicely.  It was a great first experience.

Of course, I love prosciutto.  Salted cured meats?  Fatty and buttery deliciousness?  I am there! Their Fig and Prosciutto flat bread is a must order for sweet and salty lovers.  The fig jam was a bit sweet for me and overpowered the Gorgonzola.  Gorgonzola is a pretty salty and strong cheese — the rosemary crust and the prosciutto di parma was savory.  Maybe a bit more prosciutto, and a bit less figs would have made this perfect.

The butternut squash tortelli was a great dish as well.  The filling was a mixture of amereto cookie and butternut squash.  A bit sweet, but I guess that is the theme of the meal.  The sage and brown butter, with parmasan cheese made a sweet yet savory sauce. It was a perfect balance of sweet and savory.  The outer layer pasta was freshly made and perfectly cooked.  This was one of their signature dishes as well.

For dessert, we got the truffles.  It came in a trio on top of some of the best caramel I have ever had. One truffle in particular had a dark chocolate, coffee filling that was so rich in flavor.  It was a perfect truffle.

Eating all this good food, watching the fountain show, and enjoying it in the comforts of Todd English’s Olives was a pleasure.  Yes, the food had a theme of sweet and savory going on, and we did risk the dangers of eating raw beef, but it was all worth it. All that goodness, and to top it with complimentary dessert truffles was a display of exceptional service. Things like this make me happy. Good food with good people in a restaurant with great food. What more can I ask for?

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Britton January 25, 2012 at 11:26 AM

Love this post. I also think Todd has some of the best food on the planet, sooo. The Beef carpaccio looks tremendous. Great post.

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