Maybe this is a little more Mario than you can handle today, but please bear with us. Carnevino at the Palazzo is one of only four restaurants open in the resort so far. There's still construction around the property, things seem quieter here than at the long-standing resorts on the Strip, but you wouldn't know it by the crowd at the restaurant last night. Full house. There were so many white-shirted servers and suited managers it made our head spin (no, it wasn't the three glasses of wine). The menu has Batali classics (gnocchi bolognese, the raviolo, orecchiette with sausage and broccoli rabe), but also steaks, lamb and pork chops, and a smattering of sides all served in Mario-branded cookware. The bomboloni make an appearance, currently chestnut. We poked our head in one of three private rooms (closed now, as is the bathroom)---low ceilings, wine-filled cabintets, very clubby, intimate, and totally opposite the soaring ceilings of the main dining room. Huge bar for solo diners or those who just want to grab a quick drink and/or snack. We suggest the fried calamari with fiery roasted tomato sauce and a glass of gewurtz. Overheard: Batali and Bastianich are currently in town, but we didn't catch a glimpse.
How much liquor would it take to get Mario on that bull out front? Just a thought. Please let someone have a camera when it happens.
Leaving no doubt who owns this joint. His MO.
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