When I plan a trip to Vegas, my number one concern is always restaurants. Vegas is now home to some of the greatest chefs in the world and with a little effort meals in Vegas can be quite remarkable (and expensive). On my most recent trip, I was there with group of about 10 friends celebrating a belated birthday. Since I was with a large group the high end fine dinning restaurants were out of the question. No one wants a group of 10 rowdy 24 year-olds being loud as they pay for their $200 per person meal.
Instead I choose places that would have a fun atmosphere with what I hoped would be good food. Our first night we went to Tao. I've eaten at Tao several times now and am usually quite happy with the experience. Good food, good drinks and a great atmosphere. There is something for everyone on their Japan meets China menu and prices are high but not outrageously so.
My second night I made reservations at Fiamma. I asked several concierge and locals and read up reviews and overall all I heard was positive feedback. We showed up, a party of 9, hungry and ready for a great meal. The restaurant is located off a dimly lit corridor in the MGM grand. It has the feel of a mall restaurant with a cheap modern design.
We started with a few cocktails and eased our way into standard Italian appetizers of burrata, fried calamari and grilled octopus. All the starters were decent enough and we ordered our entrees. All the reviews raved about the lobster gnocchi --finished with a black truffle crema, roasted leeks and baby portobello, it sounded wonderful. At least 5 of us ordered this dish, especially when I mentioned that it was supposedly so well regarded.
What a let down!! It wasn't the worst thing I've ever tasted, but it sure wasn't worth the thirty some dollars I paid for it. It was bland and had too many mushy textures in it.
The other dishes I tasted didn't fare much better. The short rib raviolini with barbera wine, melted butter and black truffle was just as disappointing as the gnocchi.
It was as if the ingredients weren't fresh and thus no real flavors stood out.
The worst were the pan seared diver sea scallops. They tasted like a saline solution and were actually so inedible that we sent them back.
Dinner cost around $60 per person. No one left happy and we all wished we'd spent $80 for a better meal. I hate the feeling of wasting a good meal and we definitely wasted a meal here.
I don't know if maybe they were having an off night or if their food is just generally bad. I know that with all the stiff competition in Las Vegas, I would never recommend or return to Fiamma again.