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Enoteca San Marco at The Venetian

san-marcoMario Batali may not cook at Enoteca San Marco,the restaurant he owns with Joe Bastianich in The Venetian, but his style, service and appreciation to detail can definitely be found here, whether you choose to stop for lunch or dinner.

Enoteca San Marco offers one menu, which is thick with pizzas, pasta, sandwiches and an extensive list of wines. As a certified green restaurant, you can count on fresh and local ingredients to make up your meal, but if there’s one thing for certain, it’s this: Batali loves his Italian wines. The long wine list is split by regions in Italy, and, in fact, many people come for the wine first and foremost with the food as an afterthought. If you aren’t a wine connoisseur, wait staff will help advise of an appropriate match for your meal choice. At lunchtime, check out the lunch specials on the back page of the menu.

Regardless of when you decide to dine at Enoteca San Marco, come hungry and make a meal of it. Start with one of the many appetizers on the menu. One of the most popular is the cheese plate, which comes with a number of sweet and savory dipping sauces. A side of prosciutto helps balance out the rich cheese selections.

And once that meal arrives, prepare to enjoy one of the more carefully prepared and flavorful dishes you’ll find in a casual, mid-priced restaurant in Las Vegas. Rigatoni, gemelli and cavatappi dishes are among the pastas served at Enoteca San Marco.  Among the carefully crafted carnivore-friendly meals are lamb ribs, pork chops, steak and duck. Salads, vegetables and pizza round out the menu. The portions are generous but not huge, and the atmosphere is welcoming, so don’t feel the need to finish in a rush.

If you’d like just one more glass of wine or a cup of coffee before you continue on your way, go ahead and order a dessert as well. The dessert menu consists of several specialty dishes including the local apple, which consists of fresh apple slices, apple sorbetto and cinnamon oatmeal gelato. For those who’d like to skip the fancy desserts and go right to the Italian favorites, there is also a lengthy selection of gelato and sorbet. Flavors include lemon curd, dark chocolate malt, salted caramel and, of course, the classic vanilla bean.

Enoteca San Marco is relatively casual, considering the high-end meals and attentive wait staff that you’ll find here. The restaurant sits in The Venetian’s St. Mark’s Square, and “outside” as well as inside seating is available. If you choose a table outside, you’ll be treated to plenty of open space and a great seat from which to enjoy the performers that sing, juggle and otherwise entertain audiences.

The restaurant is open daily from 11:00 a.m.-11:00 p.m. Reservations are not required but they are recommended.

Photo credit: Cory Haugen (may not be used without permission)