Venetian (last visit: November 2008).
Las Vegas food critic John Curtas (KNPR) picked Postrio as restaurant of the year for 2004, and named one of Postrio's dishes the best entrée of 2005. A member of the Wolfgang Puck stable, Postrio says it serves contemporary American cuisine, such as steaks, seafood, and those most quintessential of American foods: Italian pastas and pizzas. Dinner is available in the informal café or the more formal dining room; lunch is available only in the café. I've eaten lunch at the café twice.
The menu varies according to location (dining room or café) and meal (lunch or dinner). The lunch menu offers such choices as pork wiener schnitzel, Hungarian goulash, and a lobster club sandwich, as well as pizza and pasta.
Human statue leaving St. Mark's Square
Lunch is served in the "outdoor" café portion of the restaurant. It's open to the shopping area and trompe l'oeil sky. The background noise level is generally not bad, but it gets a bit much when nearby performers start singing.
I ordered pork wiener schnitzel, Austrian potato salad, and whole grain mustard sauce. It was a thin but obscenely large piece of pork - about 7" by 10" - crisp and not greasy. A lemon provided needed acidity, and the mustard sauce was mild but had good flavor. All in all, a good combination. On the other hand, the potato salad was bland.
The lobster club sandwich is a signature dish. Consisting of lobster, bacon, tomato, arugula and mayonnaise, on toasted multi-grain bread, it's a pretty substantial meal. There were a number of chunks of sweet lobster, and arugula with its slight bitterness was a good foil. However, there was so much bacon that it tended to overwhelm the more delicate lobster. I thought it was a good sandwich, but not great. The accompanying shoestring fries were crisp and very good.
For dessert, I tried burnt caramel gelato. Almost all caramel gelato and ice cream is what I call kiddie caramel: very sweet, with only a mild caramel flavor, and no character to speak of. The only exception that comes to mind was at Miami Beach's Frieze, where I once had the caramel flavor of my dreams: not too sweet, with a pronounced burnt flavor. Postrio's version was just as heavenly - a small scoop of good quality gelato, strongly flavored, with the burnt taste of true caramel competing with a small amount of sugar. If it's on the menu when you're there, order it!
My first lunch was reasonably good; my second lunch was a bit better. However, with with the exception of gelato neither meal was spectacular. Perhaps I'll need to give it another try at dinner time.
My meals were about $30, plus drinks, tax and tip. Most lunches are somewhat cheaper.
Index of Restaurants