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Jun 23 2009

New at Casino MonteLago: Portofino Italian Steakhouse Posted By Pete Allman - 06/23/09
Casino MonteLago at Lake Las Vegas has a new steakhouse. Portofino Italian Steakhouse, as it is appropriately named, is the new addition. It has a contemporary setting with the old-world charm of Italy. Upon entering the casino, which has a wine cellar décor, Portofino Italian Steakhouse is on the lower level and overlooks the English Village shopping and special events area in the picturesque MonteLago Village.
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The restaurant is headed by Executive Chef Rodney Ignacio. Chef Rodney has been cooking up tantalizing dishes for about a decade in various fine restaurants throughout Las Vegas and on the Strip. I hadn’t seen him for quite a while, and it was a pleasant surprise.

This particular culinary journey on this occasion included several of my guests: Victoria Boone, real estate executive and former professional singer; Jonus Ullman, TV and video producer, and his wife, Fabiana, and their two lovely children.

We started our meal with the chef’s recommended appetizers: Iceberg Wedge Salad topped with crumbled Gorgonzola, bacon bits, dressing, diced tomatoes and chopped eggs; Fresh Maine Lobster Bisque with cognac and chive crème fraîche, and Beggar’s Purse of Escargots in garlic butter with vermouth demi-glace. They were all very good, but the Escargots was like no other I’ve tasted, and the presentation was attractive.

The steakhouse is becoming known for its “40/40” Wine List: patrons can order a bottle of wine selected from many regions — France, Italy, California vineyards and others — and it costs only $40.

The entrées were served family style, and we chose the 24 oz. bone-in Ribeye, along with 1855 Black Angus, a 28-day, wet/dry process aged beef, served with a combination of peppercorn and béarnaise sauces and teriyaki glaze. In addition, we ordered Pasta a la Becco, three homemade, authentic all-you-can-eat pasta dishes, and the Atlantic Salmon. portofinostkhscheeseck96s_300

In America, most of us have a hearty appetite, as did everyone in our party, so we supplemented our main dishes with side dishes. We tried several: Creamed Spinach au Gratin, Sautéed Broccoli with garlic and extra virgin olive oil, Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Sautéed Button Mushrooms.

Unless you have a hole in your stomach, the side dish portions alone could feed an army. Well, I might be exaggerating a little. But, seriously, the portions are large, and I should add that the side dishes cost only $8. The main entrées range from $19-$38, and the appetizers from $6-$15.

We managed to squeeze in several desserts to top off our journey. All are freshly made on the premises and cost $7. We had the old-world, Italian-style, Etruscan Cheesecake; the Warm Five-Nut Brownie, served with vanilla ice cream and hot fudge; Crème Brulée, a traditional sugar-crust custard, and Tiramisu, a classic Veneto recipe.

The Portofino Italian Steakhouse is open Wednesday through Sunday from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. For more information and reservations, please call (702) 939-8918.

CSN rates Portofino Italian Steakhouse a 9.

Tags for this post: steakhouse casino cheesecake italian lake las vegas
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