Once on a trip to Las Vegas for business, I was taken by a salesman to Fellini’s Ristorante Italiano at the Stratosphere Hotel and Tower for dinner. The hotel is at the other end of the strip where I usually stay, but I was with a group and I was a guest. It was the only time I had been at this hotel, and since I am not a gambler, I did not pay attention to the casino area.
The restaurant itself has that Italian look and feel of any quality restaurant, especially in Las Vegas. There were several rooms that had different themes with beautiful murals painted as backgrounds. We were seated in an area that had the appearance of Venice with a view of one of the canals.
Our host for the evening ordered several plates of appetizers and salads that circled the table several times. This way everyone had a chance to try several different offerings, and since most were of the classic dishes it worked out well. I thought we were going to be doing an Italian dinner, but after the appetizers we morphed into the “steakhouse” menu, which is fine. I had the “bone in rib eye” steak, which is not a selection that I would normally make, but my host raved about this steak, so I agreed. While the steak was prepared and served very well, it is still not my first choice in a steak, but I know that a lot of people would argue with me.
Our host asked me to select a wine that I thought would go well with the meal, when we started, as I had somewhat of a reputation as a “wino.” I really did not want to order something extravagant in a wine, since I was not paying and I did not want my host to think that I was trying to gouge him. I saw an interesting bottle of La Braccesca 1998, which was a Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. While this wine sounds like it should be made from the Montepulciano varietal, as in Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, this wine is made from the Sangiovese varietal (minimum of 70%) and then usually blended with Canailo Nero and Mammolo varietals and aged for two years in oak barrels (three years when it is a Riserva designation). This is a very hearty wine and I think it goes very well with steaks.