ML - Vegas Magazine

2012 - Issue 7 - November

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.

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Page 65 of 127

SO MANY DINNERS... SO LITTLE TIME Verandah's Il Mare Ligure—shrimp, calamari, and scallops, with fig sorbet and Earl Grey foam—is a crowd pleaser. Caption will go here tk xerit lore del utpatisit velisl Verandah sits in the lobby of the Four Seasons Hotel, overlooking the pool. tour de force REGIONS OF ITALY TO WOO US FOR DINNER. BY JOHN CURTAS | PHOTOGRAPHY BY BEVERLY POPPE B POWER-LUNCH SPOT VERANDAH IS USING A NEAPOLITAN CHEF'S JOURNEY THROUGH THE etween the power lunches and famously spectacular brunches, it's sometimes easy to forget what a delightful dining room Verandah is. The fact that it's been dishing great chow for more than 13 years means it's one of those places that's so good, people tend to take it for granted, making it a perfect candidate for Yogi Berra's paradox: "Nobody goes there anymore—it's too crowded." During daylight hours anyway: This stylish, poolside retreat off the lobby of the Four Seasons Hotel suffers from a reputa- tion for being so expert at the first two meals of the day that people may forget about it when it comes to the third. Thankfully, a young Neapolitan chef with a classicist's heart and a modernist's touch is about to change all that. Antonio Minichiello has been cooking in the Verandah kitchen for a couple of years—the only two years, by the way, this 29-year-old has lived in the United States. Prior to that, he honed his craft in Michelin-starred restaurants in Italy before catching on with the Four Seasons chain of luxury resorts—first in Prague, then in London. In Vegas, under the tutelage of Executive Chef Michael Goodman, he has been allowed to flex his wings and play with the authentic recipes of his homeland—by creating a seasonal menu every three months featuring the cuisine of various 64 VEGASMAGAZINE.COM " I want to do real Italian food, not fake Italian food. " —CHEF ANTONIO MINICHIELLO Executive Chef Antonio Minichiello regions known for their bold and beautiful flavors. And the many ways he's tweaking those recipes and traditions are fascinating, indeed. Italians tend to identify themselves by specific regions, in part because the customs, dialects, and food of each part of Italy are so distinctive. Asking a Venetian to drown his pasta in tomato sauce is as verboten as ask- ing a Sicilian to subsist on risotto. Ask Minichiello where he's from and unhesitatingly he will say he's a Neapolitan. But press him a bit, and he will regale you with his passion for the foods of all of Italy. He finished summer and moved into fall with a concentration on the lusciousness of Liguria and its delectable seafood, such as Il Mare Ligure—traditional grilled shrimp, calamari, and scallops—given an au courant touch with accents of black-fig sorbet and Earl Grey foam deliciously composed over finely diced summer vegetables. For late fall he moves to Lombardia and the denser, more meat- and rice-centric food of the north. When even colder weather is upon us, expect the spiciness of Calabria to hold forth on his tables. "I want to do real Italian food, not fake Italian food," is how he puts it. In doing so, Minichiello has changed Verandah's nighttime dining room from a "something for everybody" joint to one that now beckons lovers of authentic Italian eats, like the first slice of prosciutto di Parma or the trembling silkiness of a ripe burrata. And he shows his modern chops by injecting that buttery cheese (made by adding cream to mozzarella curds) into the center of a hearty monkfish filet, then slowly deep-frying the continued on page 66

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