By: Danica Serena Stockton By: Danica Serena Stockton | June 2, 2022 | Food & Drink
Eataly at Park MGM has an array of quality restaurants and market shops to purchase and consume fresh and imported goods. Las Vegas and the collection of authentic Italian products and eateries have just gained a slice of the Tuscan countryside with Eataly’s newest edition, Toscana Ristorante & Bar.
Careful preparation is paramount to the eatery's meat dishes. The Peposo is a butter soft tender short rib dish that is bathed and braised in a chianti wine based sauce. The generous Fiorentina porterhouse steak is slathered with the Franci Extra Virgin Olive Oil and just before the dish is set on the table the oil is brushed over the cut with a rosemary and herb bundle again.
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With special attention to the meat preparations, vegetables are used to add fresh flavor and depth. Oyster mushrooms add earthy notes to the hearty and savory Filetto bringing a layered flavor profile to each bite. Tomatoes, pea tendrils, celery root and other vegetables are utilized in strategic ways to compliment the pasta, meat and fish dishes.
The chianti classico wine options pair beautifully with the Filetto. Toscana Ristorante & Bar combines classic and authentic dishes, expert-selected wines native to the region and cocktails traditionally found in Central Italy with a modern Las Vegas twist.
A firewood oven fills the dining area with a smokey campfire scent as certain entrees are freshly baked over the fire’s flames. The open kitchen concept invites guests to observe and witness some of the hard work that Chef Juan Castillo and the kitchen put into the specially prepared foods. The scents, visuals, design and tastes all make for an immersive experience that transports guests to Central Italy.
Though the cuisine prepared and served at Toscana Ristorante & Bar is paramount to the concept and purpose of the dining space, the wine list and the cocktail menu influence the eatery’s Central Italian experience as well. The Fashionista cocktail combines a campari syrup that is made in-house with Frey Ranch Bourbon, bitters and a tableside smoking that brings it all together.
Chef Castillo and the Toscana Ristorante & Bar team offer guests food, drink, culture and carefully curated interior design to leave lasting impressions on all who visit the establishment. Guests indulge in intimate dining experiences that mirror those to be had in the Tuscan countryside.
“Every single dish for us is really loved and exciting to present to our guests. We put a lot of heart and time into each dish,” chef Castillo shares. He continues, "We want to premier the history, flavors, traditions and food from this specific region in Italy."
Toscana Ristorante & Bar prioritizes the quality of their ingredients to elevate their dishes. “[Ingredients] in our restaurant come from Italy. 75% of the produce is from Italy and the rest from local farms…We always have four to five ingredients in each dish. We don’t do more than that,” Castillo mentions. "Tomatoes, olives, pasta, most of these things come from Italy," he says.
When speaking on the Toscana Menu, Castillo says, “It’s like a tour of Tuscany and you get everything at once…We have three different options for each of the three courses with a bottle of wine [like] ribollita, ravioli, fettucini and bistecca di fiorentina.”
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The Ravioli Maremmani is one of the most complicated dishes to prepare on the menu. Castillo shares the process, "Every single [portion] of it is handmade. Our filling is spinach ricotta. We have to blanch the spinach, press it, and do the same with ricotta."
The following day, the spinach and ricotta are combined and the focus is shifted towards the pasta. "We make the pasta by hand in the kitchen. Then we stretch it and form the raviolis one by one. It's made daily. The process takes three to four hours a day," he informs.
With a variety of classic Tuscan dishes prepared with ingredients sourced from the region, the food is transcendental. The cocktails and wine selection compliment the varietal tastes of the Central Italian dishes made from handmade and Italian sourced ingredients. Experience each bite at Eataly's Toscana Ristorante & Bar.
Photography by: unsplash.com Flo P; unsplash.com Ty Finck; unsplash.com
Emre; unsplash.com Louis Hansel; unsplash.com Davide Ragusa