Updated: Jun 20
Las Vegas offers some of the finest dining that a person can experience. Celebrity chefs such as Gordon Ramsay, Wolfgang Puck, Jose Andres, Guy Fieri, and others have quite a lineup of restaurants. On our most recent trip to Vegas, we decided to try Amalfi by Bobby Flay. I had high hopes for this dining experience, it is in the same location as Bobby Flay’s previous restaurant, Mesa Grill. We ate at Mesa Grill many years ago, and I enjoyed one of my all-time favorite dishes: the roasted brussel sprouts with walnuts and pomegranate glaze. It was my first Culinary Erection... but I digress, this is our review of Amalfi Las Vegas
We started things off with some really f--king expensive $9 a bottle Acqua Panna water. But after one sip, we instantly knew why they had to charge so much for water.... it was a zen-like experience...
JUST KIDDING, it tasted exactly like every other glass of water I've had in my life. I could taste a hint of the giant balls it takes to charge someone $9 for a bottle of tap water. You slap a fancy label on it and misspell Aqua and everyone thinks native villagers in the Alps hiked down the mountain with this shit in their backpacks so you could enjoy its natural spring water deliciousness. I don't care if the water is made from distilled Pope Piss, it's not worth $9 a bottle. Luckily, we were blissfully unaware of the price of the water we were thirstily gulping it down the entire meal. If you have to ask the price of the water, then you shouldn't be drinking it. $40 for the table to enjoy water for the entire meal.... now we are living like a Kardashian.
Our waiter seemed like he was sure our group was not worthy of his restaurant. He did take the time to explain the menu, and further told us that Amalfi specializes in fish entrees (pesce). This was not really a surprise, with the heavy Mediterranean influence of the restaurant. He described the appetizers, pasta (which he described as a light dish), and fish options. They also had filet mignon and chicken parmigiano. He reminded us that this was Restaurant Week in Las Vegas, so they were offering a special three course meal for $80 per person.
It took a bit for everyone in our party to decide what they wanted. The place is kind of dark. I had a hard time reading the menu. The restaurant has an uppity "we are better than you" feel to it. Maybe it was by design, but I did not feel overly comfortable from the outset. I am not fond of menus that don’t list prices but only state “market price.” I understand it.... fish are not of a uniform size so pricing can vary, but I feel like a cheapskate asking what the “market price” of an item is. On this night, the market price of the fish on the menu ranged from $55 to almost $75 per pound. One thing that is cool, though, is you get to personally select your fish, if that is what you order.
So after finally figuring out the menu, we were ready to order. This is where our waiter seemed to get a bit grouchy, as Amalfi does NOT allow for substitutions on menu items, even in allergy situations. This did not sit well with members of our group who have said allergy situations. However, the waiter, and Amalfi, didn’t give a f--- what we thought. Don't expect any free bread at this "Italian" restaurant. And if you ask to split the check, the waiter might just split your head.
Our orders were quite varied and included burrata, branzino, orecchiette, scialatielli, and chicken parmigiano (with and without sauce). Around the table, the reviews of the main courses and appetizers ranged from underwhelming to very good. The chicken parmiagiano was described as dry and like a TV dinner. The Burrata looked delicious, and by all accounts was fantastic, as was the Branzino. The Scialatielle was very good, but for $32 dollars, was pretty low on value. To be completely honest... the best part of the meal was the desserts: Caramel Espresso Tiramisu and Bobby’s Pistachio Sundae. Both were fantastic and at least left ended the meal on a high note.... until we got the bill. Then the good vibes left rather quickly. Over $600 for six people. Not unexpected, but still kind of shocking.
Overall, I would say the experience was average, and made me miss the former Mesa Grill even more. Maybe my expectations were too high, based on that previous food boner. But let’s just put it this way... when a person is looking forward to a $2.99 footlong hot dog from Casino Royale right after leaving Amalfi, that is not really a ringing endorsement of an upscale restaurant. But it IS a damn good hot dog!!