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.
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.
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 and visit the website at www.casinomontelago.com.
CSN rates Portofino Italian Steakhouse a 9.