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VegasEats: Bacio at Tropicana

By Chuckmonster on Monday, 29th November 2010 2:11pm
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 9


Bacio Tropicana

Nestled on the second floor walkway that leads to the Tropicana's Island tower is their brand new steakhouse Biscayne and their all purpose Italian eatery Bacio, both of which are part of the Tropicana's renewed lease on life. When we arrived, the hostess told us that there would be ate least a 10 minute wait before we could be seated despite there being 6 open tables available. Usually, when you see open tables but are asked to wait, it means that the kitchen and/or servers are having trouble serving the customers they have and need some time to catch up. Ok, we'll read the menu while we wait. Two minutes later, the hostess motions for us to be seated, out on the tiles right underneath a giant puckering set of lips painted on the wall. I mention to the hostess that it reminds me of a Right Said Fred album cover and she fakes a smile and walks off. I don't blame her, she's 22 years old and I'm Too Sexy.

A few minutes later our server, Lloyd arrives and promptly tells us what his favorite items are on the menu, then gives us a run down on the specials for this evening. Lloyd is a chatty one. He takes our drink order and vanishes into the ether, promising to return to take our order. The atmosphere at Bacio is a slight bit cold. The design is supposed to be an Italian sidewalk cafe with classic 1930's octagonal tile floor, wrought iron handrails, metal chairs and three tone color scheme - black, white and red. Compared to what the Tropicana looked like beforehand, this joint is a Michelin star winner, compared to the 3 - 4 star properties that Tropicana aspires to compete with, it doesn't exactly make the grade. Some simple softening of the edges will work wonders here, some drapes, plants, warmer lower lighting, some music that isn't coming from the casino... that kind of thing.

Lloyd, null and void, arrives to take our our order and brings us a bag of bread and bowl of freshly made gravy. The bread is tasty, but the real star here is the tomato sauce... a little saltyspicy, with a tangy finish. Before you could say "Abbondanza!" our starters arrived.

Bacio Tropicana

Mrs. Mo ordered a Caesar salad, which arrived looking incredibly lonely. An inquiry to the drink faerie revealed that someone (Lloyd?) forgot to put the piece of rectangular toasted bread on top. The menu says "herb croutons." Oh and about the "new toast" where they blow torch widely spaced lines into bread... it might look cool, but it a) doesn't toast or heat the bread b) makes the 2% of the bread taste like burnt bread, which is 2% too much. Wynn Las Vegas does this to their room service too... definitely a bad food fad. What a lonely looking salad.

Caesar Salad Bacio Tropicana

I threw the dice and ordered the Lasagna Bites, which inspired quite a bit of discussion before they arrived. Would they be crunchy, overcooked rectangles of lasagna or lasagna filled mozzarella sticks? As it turned out, the latter proved to be a pretty good guess. Take the sludgy ricotta, parmesan, mozzarella and sauce that squirts out the side of a lasagna and slather it between two pieces of pasta, bread it and throw it in a deep fryer. I seem to recall that these bites were "for dipping" but no dips came with, unless you count the sauce at the bottom of the plate. That is schmearing, if you want to be technical about it. Lasagna Bites = awesome.

Lasagna Bites Bacio Tropicana

Entrees arrives shortly thereafter, Mrs. Mo got the Rigatoni which came in a balsamic infused, beef, pork and veal tomato sauce that was eye droopingly rich and flavorful. The rigatoni was a bit al dente for my tastes, but Mrs. Mo didn't second my silent assessment. Delicious.

Lasagna Bites Bacio Tropicana

I ordered the Spaghetti and Meatball, which is one of my all time favorite things to eat AND cook. Yes, meatball. Only one. In the case of Bacio, a half-pound meatball sitting on top of a plate of spaghetti. The spaghetti and sauce were perfectly cooked and incredibly tasty. The mixture in the meatball seemed a little bit off to me. To make a proper meatball, one that completely melts in your mouth requires that you cut the toughness of the beef with pork (60%-40%) and mix in a bunch of yesterdays leftover bread into the meatball mix. There was little, if any pork in this meatball. It was still good, just not 'someone call the cops' holy moly awesome.

Lasagna Bites Bacio Tropicana

For dessert we ordered the Cheesecake Bombe which came with gold flakes, chocolate straws and an array of minted fresh berries. Unfortunately someone forgot the mint, but otherwise the Bombe was the bomb.

Lasagna Bites Bacio Tropicana

Dinner for two came to $78.91 including tip, which seems a little high considering we didn't order anything from the bar.

Tagged: tropicana   dining   bacio   


Comments & Discussion:

Seriously, how in this day and age can someone fuck up a Caesar salad? But the rest looks and sounds yummy, if a bit overpriced. Brava.

You're not Paulie Walnuts, stop calling it "gravy". $78.91 for pasta and ground beef with parsley garnish seems a bit high.

"out on the tiles"

Awesome. Just another example of the Mad Magazine-doodles-in-the-margin fantasticness that makes VT so much fun.

Note: The prices on the Bacio menu on the troplv website are lower than the prices on the menu handed to us when we sat down. A couple of bucks here and there, but hey, it's a misrepresentation.

Also, the meatball was described at a 'half-pounder' but honestly, it looked more like a quarter.

Lastly, SandyAstroglide - Chuck's dad calls the sauce 'gravy' which is how he ended up with his Pauly Walnuts schtick. To which I deem acceptable, even though it sounds weird. Damn New Yorkers.

As much as I like your room reviews, your food reviews really shine, no other reviews make me feel like I'm enjoying the meal as well, yours do. Thanks for them.

I'd say the spaghetti and meatball dish is a miss then if the meatball didn't blow you away, I'd think it have to for a dish like that, although I'm not sure as I'm not a big spaghetti and meatball person. The lasagna bites look like a great app, and I do agree with most so far, that Caesar salad looks a little rough, although I'm holding most of them now up against Bradley Ogden's which I think is as close to perfect as it gets.

Great note too from Miss Mo, on the menu onsite being higher then online, a huge mistake in my opinion as previously looking at the Trops menus online, seemed like they were offering some nice dining options that didn't break the bank. I can't fault the $70 price tag though for 2 apps and dinners it's not a bad price considering similar options on the strip.

Its still just friggin' PASTA! The worlds cheapest food- water and flour mixed into dough and squished through play-doh mold into funny shapes and boiled! I dont care if the Pope himself was selling it at the Vatican, its not worth more than $1.49. There's my rant!

I walked past Bacio every time i went to and from my room and thought it was weird that the place was closed sunday nights and all day monday. I didnt eat there but a friend did a month ago and he saved money by going to the Hot Tix booth. The outdoor look would be helped a lot if people going to and from their rooms werent wandering by.

Yeah, I am on the fence regarding the price. All in all, it seemed just a wee high honestly. However, caesar salads in general are overpriced - and I tend to avoid them, but it was the only salad option that appealed to me.

I'd say this meal was worth about $55, including tip.

Miss Mo: $10 says that "half-pounder" referred to pre-cooked weight...

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