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Wynn Magazine - - FOOD SPOTLIGHT -

he restau­rants at Wynn and Encore were de­signed to of­fer guests a va­ri­ety of ways to in­dulge their palates. An abun­dance of rare, hardto-find—in­deed, al­most im­pos­si­ble to ac­quire—del­i­ca­cies and deca­dent of­fer­ings re­veal an un­matched level of at­ten­tion to the sourc­ing of in­gre­di­ents, pre­sen­ta­tion, and guest ex­pe­ri­ence. Nowhere is that care more ev­i­dent than at Bar­tolotta Ris­torante di Mare. With more than 20 years’ ex­pe­ri­ence, Chef Paul Bar­tolotta is re­garded as an am­bas­sador of au­then­tic Ital­ian cui­sine. The chef is known to scour the globe for the most im­pec­ca­ble ex­pres­sions of his fa­vored in­gre­di­ents, which is key to why his lan­goustines are with­out equal in this part of the world. “I use only species that are in­dige­nous to the Mediter­ranean,” Bar­tolotta says. In­deed, the chef fell in love with lan­goustines in Italy, where they are a din­ner­time sta­ple. “I dis­cov­ered early on that lan­goustines are the di­a­monds of crus­taceans,” he says. “There are many that are beau­ti­ful and de­li­cious, but there’s some­thing in­her­ently mag­i­cal about a lan­gous­tine.” But seek­ing out the very best lan­goustines—and fig­ur­ing out how to keep them at their peak—turned into what is now a well-doc­u­mented (and well worth it) quest. “All lan­goustines are sweet,” ex­plains the chef. But the an­swer to what dis­tin­guishes his choice lies in an undis­closed un­der­sea lo­ca­tion that im­parts the per­fect bal­ance of sweet, salty, crus­tacean fla­vor. “It’s like a great white wine,” Bar­tolotta says. “You want fruit, you want oak, and you want acid­ity, and the bal­ance is what makes a beau­ti­ful white wine.” So where does Bar­tolotta find these mag­i­cal crea­tures? He’s not say­ing. “Any­body can find them. But I think I’ve done a pretty re­spectable job of keep­ing it the last se­cret in­gre­di­ent.” Af­ter find­ing the best lan­goustines in the world, the next puz­zle for Bar­tolotta to solve was, of course, how to trans­port them to Las Ve­gas. “Lan­goustines have a very short shelf life. So we ship live ones. The prob­lem is that these amaz­ing or­ange crea­tures are del­i­cate lit­tle be­ings, and un­less you un­der­stand them, they are not go­ing to make the

Lan­goustines at Bar­tolotta Ris­torante di Mare. 62

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