on December 22, 2008
The Venetian Hotel & Casino is an amazing place. It is beautifully put together and extremely well run, offering its customers a palatial setting right in the heart of the Las Vegas Strip. One of the most stunning parts of the whole hotel is the shopping precinct. It offers a wide variety of shops and galleries - most of them very expensive - interwoven with indoor canals that offer gondola rides with classically trained, opera singing gondoliers. All of this underneath the perfectly rendered blue cloud-scattered skies that arch between the 'streets'. In amongst these extravagant surroundings you could be forgiven for thinking that all of the eateries are going to be black tie, high cost affairs but this is thankfully not the case. Nearly all the restaraunts are Italian themed, as you would expect, and in the central Square area there are several to choose from. I recommend Canaletto. It is beautifully decorated and staffed with actual Italian people, all adding to a fine dining atmosphere but without the stiffness. There's no dress code, you rarely need reservations and you have the choice of eating out in the Square or inside. Once seated, the menu is refreshingly simple and straighforward, but with an excellent selection of find Italian dishes that should cater for most diners. What really surprised me about this place though was the price. I ordered a beautiful fettucine dish and my wife opted to create her own meal. This is a really good option - you select the sauce and you select the pasta, so you can tailor your meal to whatever you wish. With each of these mains coming in at under $16, at dinner no less, this represents excellent value for money. And being next to the Square outside you stand a good chance of being able to listen to live music while you eat. With an ample, decent wine list, great coffees and some wonderful sounding desserts to round things off, Canaletto gets the nod of approval from this reviewer.
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