Todd English opens a new version of Olives in Las Vegas

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Fans will remember the long time Todd English’s Olives spent at the Bellagio from 1998 to 2018 and can now look forward to seeing his new take on Olives return to the new Virgin Hotels Las Vegas with its time-honored Mediterranean cuisine.

This new incarnation re-introduces the original Olives (which premiered in Boston in 1989), with an intimate 185-seat dining room and an open kitchen with a wood-burning stove. Decor includes sleek tile and hardwood floors, dark wood paneling, olive green benches and chairs, Renaissance-inspired art, and large windows overlooking the resort’s pool.

The wine program is led by the exceptional sommelier Bernard Erpicum, whose résumé spans several years as wine director at the original Spago in Beverly Hills and at illustrious establishments such as Guy Savoy at Caesars Palace. His list includes 185 labels from predominantly Mediterranean countries in France (particularly Bourdeaux, Burgundy and Provence), Italy, Portugal and Spain. 24 are offered by the glass, such as the Il Fauno di Arcanum Super Tuscan from Toscana, Italy.

The menu also evokes the first iteration of Olives, with many of the same dishes served more than 30 years ago. Your meal begins with a pizza bread basket, served with green and black olive tapenades and a wonderful basil, herb and ricotta spread. You will be tempted to overdo yourself, but save space for more size.

Several dishes are meant to be shared, such as the beef carpaccio with gorgonzola polenta, balsamic onions, spring onion cream and shaved parmigiano; and pasta including tortelli, a mix of sweet and savory consisting of butternut squash and brown sage butter; and agnolotti, filled with slowly cooked veal breast, served with basil and lemon ricotta. Entrées present themselves as works of art with an array of colors, like the 12-ounce wood-grilled sirloin block served with Tuscan croutons, balsamic onions with a rich Gorgonzola cheese sauce; Shawarma-flavored salmon with red quinoa tabouli and cherry raita; Sea bass in salt crust with miso glaze and asparagus; and classic Chicken Milanese with rocket, tomato, reggiano and lemon vinaigrette.

The stars of the dessert menu are the Very Vanilla Souffle, served with vanilla ice cream and vanilla crème anglaise, a nice change from the ubiquitous chocolate variants; and mascarpone panna cotta with blackberries, balsamic vinegar and sweet basil.

The four-time James Beard Award winner English is expanding its local culinary mainstay with this opening and recently also opened The Beast in Area15. We can expect more to come in the near future (especially since he now lives in Las Vegas), including the opening of The English Hotel and Pepper Club Restaurant in a newly constructed four-story building in the Downtown Arts District.

Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, 702,693,500

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