I travel to Las Vegas on a monthly basis for business and generally like to enjoy a good meal when I’m there. I try to avoid staying at casinos that require navigating the strip. The Mirage and Mandalay Bay tend to be my go-to hotels because they’re easy to get to off the highway. In a recent Mirage stay, I got to try out their new Italian restaurant.
Osteria Costa, billed as a taste of the Amalfi Coast, replaces Samba Steakhouse. The Brazilian restaurant had definitely seen better days. Italian is one of my favorite cuisines, so I was eager to give Osteria Costa a shot. It’s located near the guest elevators in the rear of the casino.
There are a number of different seating options. The front of the restaurant has lounge seating. There’s a bar off to the left and a counter in front of the pizza oven on the right. In the rear of the restaurant is a more formal dining area in front of an open kitchen. I definitely liked the variety of seating options. I chose to sit at the bar and catch part of a basketball game while working on my laptop.
The menu contains typical Italian fare. Here’s a quick peek at what was on offer during my visit.
The bartender who started waiting on me was friendly and very helpful. We walked through the wine menu together and selected a Nero D’Avola. My wife and I discovered Nero D’Avola on a trip to Italy 15 years ago. Native to the Sicilian region, I see it pop up here and there on wine lists nowadays a bit more than it used to. You still won’t find it on too many wine lists. The Zisola Nero I tried was as expected, not overly fruity or oaky with a hint of pepper. Think of something with characteristics of Zinfandel and Malbec.
For dinner I chose the meatballs and lasagna. Both were recommendations from the bartender. The meatballs were excellent. Unfortunately, the lasagna was disappointing. For starters, I like an ooey-gooey lasagne. This was very firm. There wasn’t a ton of flavor, maybe due to the fact that there wasn’t a lot of meat in it? At any rate, if this is the standard, I’d pass on it in to try the Agnolotti or the Branzino.
I was going to pass on dessert but in the end decided to try the Neapolitan Cookie Gelato. Again, I was underwhelmed. It was vanilla gelato with some cookie squares. That was mostly what I expected, though I thought the cookies would be crushed up. They were a bit on the soggy side.
The Final Two Pennies
Near the end of my meal the bartender who had been taking care of me either went on break or went home. Another bartender was working elsewhere so that left just one. She was handling the bar as well as making drinks for the rest of the dining room. She was clearly overwhelmed, but her attitude was really poor. It took me over 10 minutes to get my check after I asked for it. Clearly understandable, given her workload. But, hearing her complain openly to the staff in front of me along with the delay left me with a bit of a negative ending.
I don’t think the service at the end influenced my opinions on the food. The meatballs and wine were quite good. I really wanted to like the restaurant. I think I’d give it one more try to make sure to sample a pizza. It didn’t look as authentic as might be expected with the money invested in the pizza oven. But, I’d want to give it a try myself before passing judgment.
I liked the ambience. The difference seating areas meant you could have a casual or more formal meal depending on your mood. They did a good job with comfortable seating and lighting.
In the end, I’d categorize Osteria Costa as “Italian you should sample if you happen to be at the Mirage”. I wouldn’t be going out of my way to give it a try.
The post New Italian Restaurant At Mirage, Las Vegas: Osteria Costa Review was published first on Pizza in Motion