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By Jacqueline Monahan
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Encore’s Sinatra: Something to Sing About

You don’t have to dine at Encore Resort’s new ristorante, Sinatra, to view the late icon’s illustrious awards - but you’ll want to.  The Academy Award (Best Supporting Actor, From Here to Eternity, 1953) Grammy (Strangers in the Night, 1967) and Emmy (Frank Sinatra: A Man and His Music, 1965) share a glass case at the entrance of the singer’s namesake eatery.  Step in a little further and you’ll notice that the bar area is flanked with a pair of nine-foot tall crystal beaded obelisks made in Sicily in the 1920’s;  these set the light and airy tone of the place.

sinatra sign

The wooden walls are inset with mirrors, and olive-green chandeliers descend from the ceiling.  Browns, greens and warm orange tones cover the carpeting, tables and chairs.  A patio sits invitingly in the middle of a Tuscan Garden on the other side of the large windows, which seem to bring the outside in, adding to the feeling of open space.  A perpetual soundtrack features Ol’ Blue Eyes himself (along with pals Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., Tony Bennett and Nat King Cole once in a while). All this, and the food hasn’t even arrived yet.

sinatras-encore

When it does, you may want to thank a man you’ve never met.   Executive Chef Theo Schoenegger, born and raised in Italy was already acclaimed for his creative innovation at the four-star restaurant Patina in Los Angeles.  Here he puts a modern twist on classic Italian cuisine like Cioppino – mussels, lobster, scallops, clams, and fennel, in a tomato saffron broth, or Ossobuco “My Way” – braised veal ossobuco, risotto cannelloni, and gremolata (lemon peel, parsley and garlic garnish).

A solicitous, multi-server team is knowledgeable and polite, changing place settings between courses or clearing a table with a charming “Pardon my reach.”  You won’t mind the reach when you see what it brings you.

Patrons may create a quartet of appetizers (assaggini) from land or sea before ordering an entrée, and our server informed us that these changed daily, depending on the freshest ingredients available.  The Assaggini Di Mare (sea) may include an octopus salad and prawns, while the Assaggini Di Terra (land) could yield Prosciutto with Persimmon and a Carpaccio with Salsa Verde.  Other antipasti features Tonnato (blue fin tuna) and Cappesante (seared Maine Diver Scallop served with celery and kumquats).  A Biete E Arance Salad (baby beets, goat cheese, and blood orange) was an exquisitely edible art form in itself.

Guests in our party ordered the Ossobuco “My Way,” and the San Pietro, a John Dory filet, delicate white fish resting on a bed of gnocchetti (tiny potato dumplings), with asparagus and mushrooms.  Our Contorni (side dishes) included Capponatina, a vegetable ratatouille; a rich Polenta Mantecata with mascarpone and parmesan cheese; and Funghi Trifolati, a wild mushroom sauté.  An order of Chitarra was sampled by all, as Sinatra’s is already famous for their hand-rolled spaghetti, served al dente with a mushroom sauté and chive essence.

Desserts featured Zeppolini, warm pastry filled with lemon raspberry and zabaglione; Torta di Ricotta, a lemon ricotta cheesecake with raspberry sorbet; and a daily selection of homemade gelato and sorbet.  Sharing such dolci could result in a mini fencing match, with dueling forks sparring over a final morsel.

Additionally, guests seated at the chef’s table may have a special menu created for them by Schoenegger, who will design a custom tasting to reflect their favorite Italian dishes.  Wine pairings for each dish may also be incorporated by customer request. The table accommodates 10 people and is located in the elegant wine room, with its 500-bottle selection on display.

The cocktail list includes Italian-inspired, whimsical creations such as the Bellisima, made from Stoli Peachik Vodka, white peach puree and prosecco with freshly muddled raspberries; or the tri-layered Tiramisu, made of Three Olives Triple Espresso Vodka and Navan Liqueur.   While they look visually arresting in their presentation, these libations don’t get to remain in the glass very long, especially after the first taste.

Sinatra’s is open daily from 5:30 p.m. - 10:30 p.m. and reservations are suggested.

Casual business attire is recommended, and guests should feel free to dress up, but not down to enjoy the ambience.

Frank Sinatra was a personal friend of Steve Wynn’s, and the Sinatra family itself has endorsed the establishment that honors his larger than life legend.  Says Wynn proudly when speaking of the man, “I think he would dig the place.”

Odds are you will, too.

For further information:

Sinatra's
Encore - 3131 S. Las Vegas Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV, 89109
(702) 770-3463
http://www.encorelasvegas.com

 

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