[Las Vegas, NV] Carbone

Carbone, in the Aria, is an Italian restaurant imported to Vegas from NYC, serving elevated mid-century inspired Italian-American red sauce style dishes. They also have a location in Hong Kong. I was seated in an impressive circular dining room with lots of red velvet on the walls and a chandelier in the middle.

I had:

Parmigiano-Reggiano, Salami, Giardiniera, Breads (Garlic Bread, Bread, Tomato Bread)
Some free starters. Some chunks of Parmigiano-Reggiano to nibble on, some nicely presented salami, an olive oil and vinegar soaked giardiniera, and assorted breads. The garlic bread was ok. I liked the tomato bread better, which was on something like a focaccia.

Caesar alla ZZ ($22)
An excellent caesar salad. The salad was prepared tableside in a cart. Very well dressed salad with a nice rich eggy caesar dressing with a bit of garlicky bite to it. Generously topped with strands of parmagiano cheese, and mixed in with some well seasoned croutons that were soaked in a good amount of olive oil. The anchovies were not mixed into the dressing though but rather served in a ramekin on the side. Two types of anchovies were in the ramekin - the regular salted anchovies and vinegar cured boquerones. It was a pretty large salad, probably meant for sharing.

Meatballs ($17)
Off-menu meatballs, which come three large meatballs to an order. Very good, quite tender and meaty. I think I could taste some sausage in there as well as the beef and maybe pork. Interior was a little pink. It was served with a nice simple tomato sauce and basil.

Spicy Rigatoni Vodka ($28)
Along with the meatballs, I ordered their spicy rigatoni in vodka sauce. This was very good. Nice rich creamy tomatoey sauce that also had some sweet soft sautéed onion. Slightly spicy. Perfectly al dente rigatoni.

Way too much food for one person, I think I should have just went with the salad and either the meatballs or the pasta. No room for dessert (they wheel a cart around laden with various sweets), but they give you one anyway. A small slice of tricolor cake that was quite nice, and a glass of their house limoncello as a digestif, which was also quite nice. They leave the bottle too so I guess you can drink what you want. I only had room for a glassful.

Overall, a very good meal, everything was well executed. A bit expensive though, and I didn’t even dip into their mains which start in the high $30’s.

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Do you recommend this place? I have yet to go, it’s on my “avoid” list for many reasons, but recent reviews have made me curious. Is it worth the price?

Yes I recommend it. Italian American food executed well, and with a bit of a show if you order something like the Caesar which is prepared table-side. As for worth the price, well the prices were quite high, with pastas approaching $30 and looking at Yelp pics of the menu, main courses from the high $30’s to $64 for a veal marsala which is pretty expensive even by Vegas standards I think. I didn’t try any of the mains though so don’t know if those are worth the high price or how large they are. Portion sizes for what I had were quite large though - my meal probably could have been shared by two people.

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