Looking to conjure Italy during your time on the Las Vegas Strip? Then Portofino is your best bet. While the cavernous yet elegant dining room, found within The Mirage, may not scream trattoria per se, the menu at Portofino is sure to have you hallucinating your nonna in no time. If your nonna had the culinary chops of Executive Chef Michael LaPlaca, that is.
LaPlaca takes classic Italian dishes and gives them a modern spin. There’s a Veal Osso Buco, served with saffron risotto, bone marrow and gremolata, that’ll give your tastebuds a run for their money. And the burrata-filled agnolotti, which comes with lobster and chanterelle mushrooms in a roasted corn butter, has rightfully had its praises sung to the restaurant’s Tuscan-style-chandelier bedecked rafters.
In fact, all of the handmade pastas here are knockouts, from their signature Ripatelli noodles with wild boar bolognese, roasted tomato sauce, and goat cheese pesto, to the Pappardella alla Vodka, which comes with butter poached langoustines and wild market spinach luxuriating in an Absolut Elyx vodka sauce. But there are plenty of meat and seafood options as well, like scallops with roasted cauliflower and the braised pork shank with bacon and bean ragu. Not to mention appetizers. The meatballs in particular are a great choice. Bobbing in a rich San Marzano tomato sauce and accompanied by a goat cheese-stuffed squash blossom, this dish is sure to get your meal here off to a roaring start.