WHAT: Scarpetta Chef’s Table Menu
IT’S: An intimate, exclusive dining experience for 2-4 people
OPENED: Nov. 1, 2020
WHO’S BEHIND IT: The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas Executive Chef Michael Vitangeli and General Manager Mario Disi
FUN FACT: The house-made ice cream that accompanies the torta della nonna dessert is enhanced with vin santo, a sweet Italian wine.
LOCATION: The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas (3708 Las Vegas Blvd. South)
HOURS: 5:30-10 p.m. Sundays through Tuesdays and 5:30-11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Closed Wednesdays and Thursdays.
WEBSITE: Make a reservation for the Chef’s Table.
Italian-American Heritage and Inspiration
Scarpetta has long been a hot destination for Italian dining on the Las Vegas Strip. One of the best ways to experience a meal is at the Chef’s Table, hidden in plain sight in an intimate private dining room with sweeping views of the Strip—including The Bellagio Fountains next door—and the energy of the kitchen team in action through a floor-to-ceiling window.
For the first time, Scarpetta is introducing a tasting menu exclusive to the Chef’s Table: an elaborate, multi-course and family-style meal that combines classic Italian-American flavor profiles with sophisticated culinary touches.
Executive Chef Michael Vitangeli, whose resume includes Vintner Grill, Osteria del Circo and now three years at Scarpetta, created the menu with inspiration from his Italian-American heritage. Many of the recipes were modeled after the Sunday afternoon meals his grandmother would often prepare for dozens of family members after church.
Come Hungry and Pace Yourself
The meal is, quite literally, a journey that begins with snacks in the bar area (mini crab cakes, spiced almonds and hard-to-resist brioche bread with a chocolate foie gras dipping sauce), followed by a walk through the kitchen where Chef Vitangeli is introduced and oysters are sampled with an apple mignonette.
From there, it’s game on. The party of two to four people (or six once coronavirus restrictions are lifted) settles in at the table for an evening of four courses, each with multiple dishes. Guests are encouraged to enjoy the sommelier’s selection of Italian wines, which aren’t “pairings” for individual dishes as much as expertly chosen pourings to match the overall flow of the meal.
Sunday Gravy Any Night of the Week
It’s clear Vitangeli puts his heart into every dish. The meal reaches its peak with a “Sunday Gravy” of Sicilian-style meatballs, pork ribs and sausage in a tomato sauce sweetened with raisins and pine nuts—just like his grandmother used to make.
It’s served with spaghetti that’s already smothered in butter, parmesan, parsley and garlic. It sounds heavy, but the combination actually makes the sauce lighter in texture. Almost fluffy. It arrives with three side dishes and an imposing pork belly porchetta with apple mostarda.
The most welcome surprise is all the seafood leading up to the main courses, including octopus, prawn scampi and sauteed mussels. One of the highlights of the entire meal is a whole fish—usually orata or branzino—baked with white wine, garlic, fennel, olives, capers and tomatoes with the bones removed before serving.
Throughout the evening, the chef and service team provide welcome interactive touches in presenting the food. Vitangeli even makes a point to personally top the burrata appetizer with fresh pepper and olive oil at the table to make sure everything is just right. No matter how much you eat, save room for the cannoli and torta della nonna (orange cream tart) desserts.
It is $200 per person, with an additional $105 per person for wine pairings.
As the price suggests, a meal at the Scarpetta Chef’s Table is definitely a special occasion but one that offers plenty of bang for your buck. (Expect to take home a few leftovers.) Despite the emphasis on classic Italian Sunday Gravy recipes, the meal feels far from ordinary or even traditional.
It’s a sophisticated, contemporary dining experience worthy of a romantic date night or small gathering of friends. And you can’t beat those Las Vegas Strip views.