Monday, January 19, 2009


According to some publications, Italian cuisine is at its worst right here in the United States. Sinatra does very little to dissuade me in regards to this statement. While not even near the worst representations of the oft misrepresented cuisine (see Olive Garden, Macaroni Grill, Maggianos, and, my least favorite in town Zeffirino), for the dollars you spend here you would be better off in at least three other Italian restaurants within a mile of this one.

About a month ago I made some "fearless predictions" on a certain other Las Vegas food blog about the Encore restaurants, and I am sticking to my prediction (here among the comments) that Sinatra will be the first of the five to change its stripes (not including Switch, which changes its decor more often than anyone changes underwear).

Among the failings of Sinatra are a pedestrian menu and a dining room which feels more like that of a cruise ship than any cozy Italian place that old blue eyes himself would frequent. The food itself could use a little more attention also, my lobster risotto was all a touch overcooked and under-flavorful, the Osso Bucco "My Way" was sOsso, and the New York Steak was lacking in everything but proper temperature. The black cod was, overall, the best of the bunch and the only thing worth the freight. Appetizers were good, but very little wowed anyone at the table, and at these prices nearly every bite should wow you. The service seems average, but it is really too early to judge wholly because the training hasn't sunk in yet for most of the staff and there will be a great deal of turnover in the coming months (this is normal for a new restaurant).

Unless they take the shackles off of Chef Theo Schoenegger and let him do his own thing, I'll be absent from Sinatra, unless dragged there, for the remainder of its time in that space. I do believe this is a chef that can do much more than this place allows.

Brian William Waddell is a foodie, beer geek, and author. His numerous blog posts range from food to politics. He also has a book of poetry, Fractured Prose, available here, and is ready to publish his second poetic endeavor.

Sinatra (Encore) on Urbanspoon

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