on November 24, 2009
Though it's true, this Italian restaurant is not of the same style or quality you will find at the big, luxurious Italian-styled casinos, it is nice to know that you can get a bit of the Italian food experience at the other end of the strip. The Excalibur, once one of the many brilliantly designed casinos that was a bit more kid friendly than the others, now seems to be the 'family' casino. (Though I find it hard still to connect those two words in my head) Though there is still a lot to offer here, the prices are now outrageous for anything but the rooms, the entire place seems run down and badly staffed, and you are accosted at every corner with in your hotel by the new gangs of time-share salesmen. (Read my review on Excalibur in my 'Las Vegas Thanksgiving' journal for more information.) For me, what was once a hotel I had a very soft spot for - the first I ever stayed at in Last Vegas - is now a hotel I will never stay at again. However, the dining is something that still has its place, and even though a lot of the restaurants in the Excalibur are swamped with large, loud families with kids - the little Italian restaurant upstairs seems to have somehow avoided this. While we were there, at least, this was a quiet - more adult restaurant where you could go to get a little bit of peace and quiet. There are some very good points and some not so good points about Regale Ristorante. The good aspects were largely to do with the staff. They seemed almost like they had been forgotten in all the big changes, and they were very keen to please - unlike ANY other staff I came in contact with in the week I stayed at the Excalibur. The restaurant was all but empty when we went - something that surprised us given the hectic atmosphere always outside, and we wondered if we had made a big mistake. The problem with this restaurant is symblomatic of the rest of the Excalibur. It was a little bit shabby and dated - especially from what you would expect of a big Vegas hotel. It was like going to a little Italian run diner that thought it was still up class but hadn't redecorated in about 15 years. It was a little bit stuffy, for me - and if it had been expensive or if I had gone in for a very intimate fine dining experience (as I think it kind of portrays itself to offer) then I would have been very disappointing. However - for a quiet evening meal in a busy casino hotel that's a little bit nicer and more adult with out being pricey it was very satisfying. The service was good. It wasn't spectacular, but it was very attentive and kind and pleasant despite how empty it was. The atmosphere wasn't bad - and we actually thoroughly enjoyed our little meal there. But most importantly the food was good. Very good. Again, you wouldn't be happy if you had expected fine dining finesse, but for an average priced meal it was very, very good. And the portions were enormous. If you've been out walking and gambling all day and haven't yet stopped to eat and want a really hearty meal that isn't a buffet - this is the place to go. My husband ordered a calzone and it was massive. It was a struggle for him to finish it - and that rarely happens. My own pasta again was ample in size, and very tasty. It's a little bit pricey given what you may be able to get elsewhere, but much cheaper than some of the big flashy restaurants elsewhere.
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