steak @ Carnevino
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Carnevino (Las Vegas, NV) [2]

Carnevino has been a steakhouse favorite in Las Vegas since opening over ten years ago. Along with Bazaar Meat, I’ve regarded these two steakhouses as some of the best I’ve been to. This was my third visit to the restaurant, and second for my parents.

Subsequent to this meal, it was announced that Carnevino (and Batali & Bastianich’s two other restaurants in Las Vegas) would be closing at the end of July. While the restaurant tried to distance itself from Mario Batali, it couldn’t escape the fact that he was one its primary co-creators/co-owners. As such, this ended up likely being my last meal here.

tagliatelle @ Masso
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Masso Osteria (Las Vegas, NV)

Masso Osteria is the latest in a string of restaurants Scott Conant has been opening across the country. Famous for his Food Network appearances and Scarpetta restaurants, Conant opened this restaurant in February of this year at the Red Rock Casino.

The food at Masso Osteria has a lot of Conant’s signature dishes made famous at Scarpetta including his spaghetti, polenta, and tuna crudo. Our party of three ordered the spaghetti along with a few other dishes.

ribeye cap @ Felix
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Felix Trattoria (Venice, CA)

Felix has been one of the most popular restaurants in the city since opening almost a year ago. Here, Evan Funke (Rustic Canyon, Bucato) is getting a lot of attention for his pasta program which is regarded as one of the best in the city. The pasta making room is showcased with a direct view from the dining room, where diners can see the exacting precision and attention to detail that goes into each and every bite.

cosa buona meatballs
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Cosa Buona (Los Angeles, CA)

Cosa Buona is one of the most talked about restaurants openings in LA this summer. The restaurant is from Zach Pollack, who first opened Sotto with co-chef Steve Samson then opened Alimento. Cosa Buona is the most casual and simple of his restaurants so far, meant to be a neighborhood pizza joint. In fact, the restaurant replaces a similarly-named pizza joint (Pizza Buona) which had been at this location for over 50 years.

gnocchi barbuzzo
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Barbuzzo (Philadelphia, PA)

Barbuzzo is one of the more popular restaurants in Philadelphia. It’s part of a restaurant group that operates a number of other restaurants in the neighborhood, even a chocolate shop and jewelry store. Barbuzzo serves Mediterranean cuisine with a concentration towards Italian, including pastas, pizzas, housemade charcuterie and a variety of both small and large plates. We stopped in for dinner on a busy Wednesday evening – the small restaurant was packed when we got there and packed when we left.

SEMIFREDDO TROPICALE coconut semifreddo, passion fruit, kiwi, mango, basil
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Marea (New York, NY) [2]

I’ve been to Michael White’s seafood-focused Italian restaurant once a couple of years ago. I recall having a good meal there; in particular, there were some memorable pastas. The restaurant is known to have some of the best pastas in town, which was one of the primary reasons for returning (another was that it was so close to the hotel on an evening with scattered thunderstorms). The restaurant still holds two Michelin stars and is still one of the busiest fine dining establishments in the city.

rossoblu
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Rossoblu (Los Angeles, CA)

Rossoblu opened last month, Steve Samson’s second restaurant after opening Sotto six years ago. Like Sotto, Rossoblu is serving Italian cuisine but the menu and style is a bit different. For example, much was made about Sotto’s pizza oven (imported from Italy brick-by-brick) and the pizzas have been a cornerstone on Sotto’s menu. However, there there are no pizzas here. There are pastas are on the menu though, accompanied by a number of small plate antipasti and large format protein-heavy dishes.

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