ML - Vegas Magazine

2013 - Issue 6 - October

Vegas Magazine - Niche Media - There is a place beyond the crowds, beyond the ropes, where dreams are realized and success is celebrated. You are invited.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 75 of 131

TASTE Vodka-Flavored Vodka UNFILTERED AND LIGHTLY FILTERED VODKAS ARE TURNING EVEN WHISKEY DRINKERS' HEADS. BY ROBERT HAYNES-PETERSON ABOVE: The char-grilled octopus appetizer. LEFT: The bronze statue of the bull Bodacious. BELOW: Carnevino regular Luke Wilson. continued from page 72 Char-grilled octopus, kissed with chilies and a limoncello glaze, is a favorite way to start a meal here. But the house-cured salumi— lonza, coppa, and bresaola in the affettati misti—and the homemade pastas showcase the artisanal talents of the kitchen. Rich agnolotti stuffed with braised dry-aged beef and ricotta cheese are topped with sweet onion ragu, while the porcini trifolati pairs the earthy mushroom with tagliatelle. "Where else in town," Brisson asks, "can you get beautiful greens from Kerry Clasby, move on to orecchiette handmade that morning, and finish with the best steak of your life?" Nothing is an afterthought at Carnevino, including the décor. The voluminous space, with soaring ceilings, oversize windows, and antique furnishings (many sourced from Italy), is reminiscent of an Italian villa. But it's the life-size statue of the legendary Bodacious, the world's most dangerous rodeo bull, greeting diners at the entrance that lets you know what you're in for: big steaks, big wines, big space. And when in Vegas, it's go big or go home. Palazzo, 702-7894141; V 74 PHOTOGRAPHY BY KELLY CAMPBELL (BODACIOUS); SABIN ORR (OCTOPUS); ALBERTO E. RODRIGUEZ/GETTY IMAGES (WILSON); LEILA NAVIDI (VORSANGER, COCKTAIL) I t's something of a cliché among whiskey and gin fans that while vodka is fine for partying, the flavorless, colorless, odorless spirit is unsuitable for serious drinking. In reality, rather than distilling and filtering their vodkas to the point of sameness, a slew of brands are producing super-premium expressions with a surprising amount of character and, dare we say it, flavor. To that end, Belvedere has gone full bore with Belvedere Unfiltered, which the company dubs "the whiskey drinker's vodka." Distilled four times from a rare baker's-grade rye found in Poland, it is full-bodied and complex (as vodkas go). Aromatic notes of toasted nuts and baked bread are followed on the palate by hints of salted caramel and white pepper. In Las Vegas, you'll find Belvedere Unfiltered at STK, Bar Vdara, Tao, and Lavo. Denmark's Frïs and Sweden's Purity also produce unfiltered vodkas—Frïs opts for a proprietary "freeze distillation" technique, dropping impurities out of solution—as does Absolut with its new Elyx, currently found behind LEFT: Vdara's the bar at Hakkasan and Rx Boiler Michael Vorsanger. Room. Other brands take a different tack. BELOW: A The bartender favorite Tito's Handmade refreshing cocktail with Vodka, an indy product out of Austin, Belvedere Texas, is made from corn and cooked in a Unfiltered. copper pot still instead of steel columns, adding loads of flavor and mouth feel to the original distillate (it's filtered once through charcoal). What makes these elixirs so compelling? While vodka is often distilled and filtered several times to remove congeners (the by-products of distillation that might be the source of those instant hangovers), "It's often what we're able to leave in the vodka, rather than what we take out, that makes a great drink," says Las Vegan Tony AbouGanim, author of Vodka Distilled: The Modern Mixologist on Vodka and Vodka Cocktails. He suggests that common filtration techniques "often take out the bad and the good." For some aficionados, these new spirits possess enough character to drink them neat or on ice. In fact, these idiosyncratic vodkas could throw off a traditional vodka tonic. Sweden's unfiltered Karlsson's Gold smells and tastes distinctly of its potato origins (it's best sipped chilled with a pinch of pepper). For most, however, the added flavor notes are subtle enough to enhance, rather than skew, your cocktail. "We believe in the current trend of taking away artificial flavors and additives that don't showcase the true flavor of each spirit," says Michael Vorsanger, director of food and beverage at Vdara Hotel & Spa. Hence, on his menu you'll find the Well Manner martini, featuring Belvedere Unfiltered, just a whiff of vermouth, and housemade blue cheese– stuffed olives. V VEGASMAGAZINE.COM 070-074_V_ST_SurfTurf_Opener_Oct13.indd 74 9/17/13 5:40 PM

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of ML - Vegas Magazine - 2013 - Issue 6 - October