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VegasEats: Five50 at ARIA

By Blackjacker1979 on Tuesday, 16th July 2013 5:20pm
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 10


ARIA Five50 Pizza

I may have been one of the only people in Vegas who was a major fan of SkyBox, the former restaurant masquerading as sports bar/grill adjacent to the sports book at Aria. Between it and its little brother SkyBox To Go, it was a handy place to grab decent quick bites to either satiate your appetite or take back to your room at a fraction of the cost of room service.

But just like Viva Elvis and most recently Cafe Vettro, SkyBox underperformed and so out it went. In its place comes Five50, a pizza joint from Chef Shawn McClain who is already known for his fabulous farm to table dining at Sage. With such a name, and the pizza needs that had been ingrained into me by Secret Pizza (in case you're wondering Five50 does late night slices all the same) I was delighted to try the joint when its opening just happened to coincide with my most recent trip.

From the outside, the space really has only been redressed to suit the needs of the new pizza joint, adding a central bar, an outside to go/prep area, and some scattered tables for you to snag a slice and eat in peace. There was a crush to get tables, but a reservation was easy to snag, and my companion and I were seated promptly with menus and our choice of water. Choice of water at a pizza joint? I think this might get interesting.

ARIA Five50 Pizza

Scanning the offerings, there are snacks and appetizers, charcuterie, assorted pastas, and of course pizza. After wincing at the price a bit, I decided to suck it up as I would still earn points off the purchase by charging to my room via Mlife, something that made the price points a bit easier to swallow. We delivered our order to the waiter who asked if we needed to finished with our dinner before showtime. Thoughtful.

ARIA Five50 Pizza

On the back side of the menu is also a fantastic beer/wine list, and there is a selection of speciality as well as daily cocktails for those who want to go straight to the liquor side of the equation. I opted for a Chimay Red while we waited for the first course. It was a hard decision considering that Arrogant Bastard was just down the list.

ARIA Five50 Pizza

The first arrival was the Garlic Bread served up into 6 larger than bite size pieces. To say they were tasty is an understatement, with the reggiano and a filling of garlic-hued mascarpone making each bite crunch then melt just a bit in your mouth. Majorly approved.

ARIA Five50 Pizza

Second up was the charcuterie, a course that's hard to resist no matter where you are. As Chef McClain was in the house that night, we opted for the Chef's Choice of 3 and 3. For certain we had the prosciutto, the chorizo, and the Rogue River bleu, along with what I believe was the Invierno, the camembert style Angel Food, and a helping of Cotto. Accompaniments included house-made mustard, honeycomb and plum jam, pickled veggies and candied cashews. The pairings were perfect and each last bite was demolished with expedited haste.

ARIA Five50 Pizza

Because we weren't sure what to expect, we decided to go with a pizza each, not only in case the size was too small, but so we could sample a couple of options. The first to arrive was my companion's traditional Margherita pie, completely with fresh basil topping. The crust was a bit soggy on his pie, but the sauce was bright without being acidic, and married perfectly with the mozzarella and basil. Easily one of the best I've had outside of Roma, unfortunate crust aside.

ARIA Five50 Pizza

I decided to be a bit more adventurous and went with the Truffle pie. It arrived cooked to perfection, topped with a creamy bechamel, potatoes (which could be a hair thinner in my opinion) and truffle salami, truffle shavings, thyme, and parmesan cheese. It was a nice blend of hearty yet light, and despite the loaded toppings the crust held up nicely having been cooked to a crisp yet light perfection. I ate until I couldn't eat anymore.

The damage for two, including two servings of Chimay? $122.15. This is definitely a bit pricier than Secret Pizza, but with the take out and the by the slice options for later at night, its no secret that Five50 is taking aim at what some see as overpriced mediocre pizza. (Just ask a few of my friends.) But for that price we ended up full, with enough pizza to last for a few meals over. All in all, Five50 is yet another in a line of great changes to happen to Aria, and McClain lives up to the standards he's set with Sage in his newest venture. Look out Secret Pizza, you may have just lost a customer.

Tagged: vegaseats   aria   five50   shawn mcclain   sage   pizza   dining   reviews   


Comments & Discussion:

now i'm hungry.

Using potatoes on a pizza can be a dicey proposition at times. There used to be a pizza place here in Atlanta years ago that had a pizza in which sliced potatoes were one of the toppings and some of them were on the thick side and didn't get as fully cooked as the thinner slices.

Now my problem is trying to fit in a visit to Five50 during VIMFP weekend.....

I just cannot see myself paying that much for a pizza of that size.

Thanks for the review and pictures! Chimay and pizza...Mmmmmm!

Jesus Fucking Christ with that price!!!!!

At that price, I'm gonna have to say Fuck, and no. Pizza meals shouldn't cost as much as that. Downright highway robbery.

Remember, we did a large meal for 112, and a lot of that was the Chimay and Charcuterie. The pizzas are high, but are splittable in size, hence all the leftovers we had, well, leftover. And the by the slice option is not much more than Cosmo for what I think is MUCH better quality pizza.

But to each his own.

Man, that looks good. And I guess I'm not understanding the hang-up about price, especially if you're splitting a pizza with someone -- every restaurant on the Strip costs more than what you'd pay back home, just like every Miller Lite costs $5 on the Strip. Then again, I can't get pizza this good within 1000 miles of where I live and I only go to Vegas once or twice a year, so I'm happy to pay the markup.

From yesterday's Vegas Weekly:

The garlic bread rocks.

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