It is always difficult when there is a large group involved. The task of getting everyone to agree on where to eat is a daunting one. Over the weekend, I was in Vegas for a reunion, and on the last night, we visited Fiamma Trattoria & Bar at the MGM Grand. A friend of a friend knows someone and that’s how we ended up here.
We are seated in the bar area, and since there were so many of us, it took at while for all the orders to go in. Once that was done, I walked down the length of the table and ask everyone not to touch their food when it arrives until I’ve photographed the plates.
After everyone settled in with drinks, the first of our appetizers arrive. My Grilled Mediterranean Octopus ($17) is tender and flavorful, however, the ends of the tentacles are a little over charred. Still, it is tasty and I pass it down the table so those around me may try. The accompanying potatoes have soaked up the lemon olive oil, while the roasted black olives add an umami-filled salty element to the plate. There is also heirloom cherry tomatoes and frisee. Being absolutely crazy about octopus, I enjoy this immensely and would definitely order it again.
Beef Carpaccio ($16) with shaved fennel and celery heart salad is beautiful, drizzled with a classic cipriani dressing and topped with flakes of Parmesan cheese.
I try my friend’s Traditional Minestrone ($10) but it is disappointing. It is one dimensional in flavor and on the bland side. Needless to say, he didn’t finish it.
Several of us order Burrata Bar ($14). A choice of topping is offered — I choose pesto, while another chooses aged balsamic. The ball of creamy luscious burrata is decadent and strikingly different when eaten with the pesto as opposed to the balsamic.
When it came time for entrees, I taste quite a few of the pasta offerings — all made in house — starting with Raviolini ($29), little pockets of short rib-stuffed ravioli. Served in a black truffle cream sauce, it is sprinkled with bits of vegetable “confetti” and drizzled with red wine demi glace. It is rich, and robust in flavor. Even this non-ravioli lover thought it stellar.
I’m a huge fan of Orecchiette ($22) and this one appealed to me on paper. However, although the pasta itself is perfectly al dente, I’m a bit disappointed with the meager specks of broccoli. The hot pepper flakes and cherry tomatoes help enhance the flavor some, but the spiced sausage it is tossed with could have been better. The flavors did not meld together well.
I take a taste of my friend’s Parmesan Risotto ($24) — which you may add protein to: meatballs ($6), chicken ($6) or large prawns ($9). It is seasoned well and possesses the right creaminess, creating a nice toothsome consistency. The umami from the mushrooms is an added bonus. Very nice!
However, the best dish of the night is Lobster Gnocchi ($32). The pasta is sublime, with a pillowy texture you can’t get enough of. The chunks of Maine lobster is sweet, never overpowered by the black truffle cream sauce. In fact, the truffle is so subtle I am not sure I even detect it at times. I love the wild mushrooms and leeks in this dish, and especially the fried parsley, adding textural contrast — THE piece de resistance at Fiamma.
Our server Kerry was amazingly patient with us and provided excellent service to a sometimes challenging group. If you’re in Vegas and looking for a stellar Italian meal, Fiamma is as good a spot to stop by as any.
Fiamma Trattoria & Bar
at MGM Grand
3799 Las Vegas Blvd
Las Vegas, NV 89109