the spot: Brera Osteria 3355 S. Las Vegas Blvd Las Vegas NV 89109
the eats: Grilled Octopus, Chilled Asparagus course, Pappardelle with wild boar, Cascarelle pasta with lamb, Garganelli pasta
the bucks: $$$ but worth it. Plan on $40-$70 a person depending on entrees and wine
the full nelson: My fav restaurant on the strip. Really.
You do it up for lunch. If you caught my last post, we blew the budget on a lux hot pot experience the night before. That was a fun experience but now get ready for a far superior meal. Brera Osteria is my fav restaurant on the Vegas Strip.
I mean, assuming you drink alcohol of course. My Podcast, Eat This Drink That did an episode about Italian wines, and as a result I have been getting into wines like this Barbera D’Alba. Not only are these wines relatively affordable but they absolutely elevate Italian food.
This might some squeamish and yes, I saw “My Octopus Teacher” on Netflix. I don’t go out of my way to eat these intelligent creatures but every now and then, I will. When Octopus is prepared right, it delivers a sea driven meaty satisfaction that no other seafood can. Underneath the grilled Octopus you will find a chickpea puree that’s beefed up with ‘Nduja, spreadable salami. Yeah, this was an extra hearty dish.
As much as I loved the Octopus, this dish was flat out better. Yes, a damn salad was flat out better. Perfect al dente chilled asparagus tossed with frisee and breadcrumbs in a luscious olive oil +champagne vinaigrette, chilled just right blew me away. Don’t even think you can make this at home unless you are tight with the best Farmer’s markets in your state.
The quality of produce and really all the ingredients at Brera take the food to another level. Too often vegetables are treated like an afterthought. Brera is a perfect example of how fine dining can turn you into a veggie lover. Now a fat dollop of burrata don’t hurt either. Regardless, everything on this plate was of top quality and this dish was a reminder of what happens when you do pull the trigger on the $60 bottle of olive oil.
I can be a bit of a dictator at the dining table. I pretty much told my family we are here for pasta. I wouldn’t even look at the entrees because . . . great pasta just ain’t something we do at home. I can grill just about anything but I have never been remotely inclined to make my own pasta at home. And frankly I’m happy to let the experts take the wheel.
She ain’t a looker but damn if she doesn’t pull her weight in flavor. Pappardelle might be the first pasta I ever fell in love with. Maybe it’s because of the rule that says the wider the pasta, the heartier the sauce. Pappardelle is almost always paired with a hearty meat sauce and this wild boar ragu was certainly no exception. I ordered this for my kid as it relies on familiarity; meat simmered in tomatoes is certifiably kid friendly.
This pasta is a looker but it’s actually even tastier than it looks. It should trigger alarms when a diehard carnivore like myself is raving about a vegetarian dish. So consider this pasta touched by the hand of God. The pasta shape is called Garganelli, the sauce is definitely tomato driven but also creamier than the Wild Boar ragu. This is probably the best tasting Insta worthy dish I have ever had.
Casarecce is a short twisted pasta originating from Sicily. Here it’s paired with lamb sugo, sugo being another word for ragu. It translates into “juices” per the interwebs. So my wife, aka the birthday girl, is not a fan of the lamb but our excellent waitress suggested we try it because it possessed none of the gaminess or funk one finds with lamb(I love that funk too fwiw). The mint was a lovely touch. If you’re wanting to try something a touch more daring than the Pappardelle, try this.
I could spend a week eating at Brera. I have no doubt that the menu is as deep as they come. But I will say that while this is a splurge, the pastas are a relative bargain as they are not only delicious but also substantial portions. Pizzas looked good too. Do yourself a solid and try this place out for a pasta and a glass of wine. It is so worth it. My fav place on the strip and worth every penny.
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