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Vegas Eats: Carbone at Aria

By Chuckmonster on Thursday, 12th November 2015 11:30am
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 13


Long time VT reader Dorian dined at Carbone restaurant at Aria on opening night and brought back this once in a lifetime report. Thank you Dorian! Take it away... -Chuck Aria Carbone Sign

One of my earliest Las Vegas influences was my Aunt Ann. She had married an owner of a car dealership in Alabama whose favorite thing in the world to do was hit the tables in Las Vegas. Together, they visited Las Vegas dozens of times in the 1960's and 70's - a great time to be high rolling in Vegas. Aunt Ann regaled me with many stories - seeing Sinatra at the Sands and Elvis at the International as well as dining at the Golden Steer and The Bacchanal Room at Caesars Palace, where the "wine goddesses" would pour wine and massage the necks of male patrons right at the dinner table!

Sadly, those vintage 'only in Vegas' experiences no longer exist. Or do they?

Aria Carbone Door

Ladies and gentleman, I give you Carbone Las Vegas, which located in Aria's 2nd floor dining district, just across from Bardot Brasserie. The original Carbone is in New York City, with a second outpost in Hong Kong.

On October 19th I was given a behind the scenes tour of the latest location in Las Vegas just before opening night. The restaurant is stunning to say the least and much larger than the New York branch. The bar area dining room is beautiful and clubby, done in palm fronds and blue similar to that of Bouchon at the Venetian. The Main dining room, detailed in crushed red velvet and gold, is simply stunning.

Aria Carbone Walken

As you walk in to the foyer you are greeted by three exceptionally beautiful hostesses and a large portrait of Christopher Walken behind the reservation desk. Aria Carbone Private Dining

The private dining rooms are elegant and inviting.

Aria Carbone Bar

At 5:00 on opening night, guest number one was yours truly. I was held at the door because they couldn't get the music to play in the dining room. The music was powered by an Aria issued iPad that didn't want to work. At 5:10 the music finally started to play. The first song was Banana Boat Song (Day O) by Harry Belafonte.

I was escorted to the bar as the ceremonial first bottle of champagne was popped. The bubbly was poured into a wine glass as they could not locate the champagne flutes as of yet.

Aria Carbone Firstplate

My companion had a business function at The Mirage so I thought I would experience Carbone by myself, but I wasn't alone for very long as Louie Carbone, cousin of founder Mario Carbone greeted and congratulated me on being customer number one. He presented me with a hand made Italian dinner plate just like the ones they use in the restaurant as a memento.

Aria Carbone Murano Chandel

The star of the dining room is an over-the-top Murano crystal chandelier repurposed from a now-defunct Ferrari dealership.

Aria Carbone Booth

Carbone is like a scene out of Casino, The Godfather, or Goodfellas - glamorous, retro, Rat Pack Italian steakhouse style.

Aria Carbone Dining

Aria Carbone Chandelier

The food was outstanding in every way. Dinner starts with some complimentary items that hit the table quickly. A few chunks of the best Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese I had ever tasted, a bowl of Giardiniera, imported salami and Italian bread. All this before you order anything!

Aria Carbone Cheese

Aria Carbone Amuse Salami

Aria Carbone Amuse Caul

Aria Carbone Bread

The service at Carbone is like none I have ever experienced before, except through the stories told by my Aunt.

Aria Carbone Proscuittoprep

It started with the table side preparation of buffalo mozzarella and prosciutto. Louis Carbone made mine, cutting the mozzarella with scissors. He hit it with some oil and and it became heaven on a plate.

Aria Carbone Proscuitto

Aria Carbone Rigatoni

The pasta course was next and it was another star in a star studded show. A simple, house made spicy Rigatoni a la Vodka that was best pasta I've ever had.

Aria Carbone 64 Dollar Veal

The main course was next and it was grand indeed, a bone in Veal Parmesan, terrific from the first bite. And massive too. I was only able to get through about a quarter of it before my stomach said "enough!"

Aria Carbone Coffeeservice

My usual end of meal Irish Coffee was in order but this one arrived deconstructed - just the ingredients for me to mix myself.

Aria Carbone Dessert Cart

Evidently, deciding that you are done eating at Carbone isn't an option. "Mr. Oldham, you cannot leave until you have had the Bananas Foster." I figured if I didn't get it I would be escorted to a private room in the back where my kneecaps may be pummeled. "Ok! Bring the dessert cart!"

Aria Carbone Bananas Flamin

Yes, it was better than the version that I had at Brennans in New Orleans and they invented the dish. Unfortunately, two bites in I was through. Just couldn't handle another bite.

Aria Carbone Bananasfoster

You think dinner is over? It ain't over until they say it's over. Complimentary bottles of house made Grappa and Limoncello? All you can drink? They certainly know when to bring it, and only stop when you become a pickled toad.

They put me in their record book, (yes, they keep a customer log) as customer number one and listed all of my likes and preferences. Pretty cool huh? You need to knock over a 7-11 before you eat at Carbone because it ain't cheap. The Veal Parm alone is priced at $64.00.

Aria Carbone Check

Carbone is a quintessential retro Vegas dining experience with all of the trimmings and hoopla that nobody else does anymore. Aren't these one-of-a-kind experiences the reason why we go to Las Vegas? Go, make a reservation, have fun and enjoy.

Tagged: vegas eats   carbone   aria   italian food   


Comments & Discussion:

Not sure if I could stomach $64 for a veal parm, but if I were, this would be the place to do it. Next time, I'll be sure to order Bananas George Foster, which is served on a flaming Louisville slugger.

Great Review! I can't wait to try this place on my next visit to Aria in December.

I will definitely try it soon. Menu looks very expensive, even for Vegas. Looks like the foyer and bar are the same as Sirio's. They borrowed the Walken portrait from the Deuces hallway downstairs. The blue room is the former bar seating area and the red room is the former main dining area. Those red room seating alcoves look very small, like the Scarpetta bar booths. It looks like the best seating is the gold booths in the middle of the red room.

Is this the only neon inside of Aria?

VegasMate > Dining > Search > Carbone > Add to trip. Done.

That dining room is gorgeous!

I'm going just for the Bananas Foster!

The dining room reminds me in some ways of Andiamo, but nicer.

What's funny it wasn't until about three years ago and over a dozen trips before I even ate at an Italian place in Vegas. I've still only been to handful of places (Grotto, D.O.C.G. and Andiamo) and really need to make an effort to start hitting more of these places. Rao's has been on my to dine list pretty much since it opened at Caesars (Even staying at Caesars I never got around to dining there.) and Carbone does have my attention. Yeah the prices are steep, but one should have at least one splurge meal during a Vegas trip. This one will definitely be on my list for my next trip (which won't be a 20 hour visit like the last one.).

Now,this is Vegas!

Just a few notes...I was told that absolutely nothing remained from Sirio, that it was a completely new build out. The burgundy tuxedos are designed exclusively for Carbone by Zac Posen. In my opinion this restaurant belongs on the lake at Bellagio. I would have placed Carbone in the spot that just housed Lago and moved that to Aria. A view of the fountains in that dining room with Sinatra's music wafting through the air....pure Vegas nirvana.

@dorian the question came up during the recording of the Vegas Gang last night about how you managed to finagle being customer number one?

Chuck, I simply called and asked. They were so flattered that I would care enough to ask, that they invited me in early. That's it...

More reviews from Dorian. Fantastic.

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