This Todd English's Olives restaurant review is part of a Las Vegas trip report for Virtuoso Travel Week. For the prior posts please see:
There IS a free lunch, at least at Todd English's Olives restaurant at The Bellagio, at least when you book The Bellagio with a Virtuoso Travel Advisor such as TravelSort (see How to Become a TravelSort Client) and choose lunch at Olives as your amenity. The lunch credit is up to , not including alcohol or gratuity, and in my view is by far the better choice, rather than 4 passes to the Bellagio Spa.
To get to Todd English's Olives, you walk through the casino and continue on through an atrium-like shopping area with high end boutiques; Olives is on the right, with the hosts to the left of the entrance.
I was led to my table inside the restaurant, which is a bit on the dark side, with all the dark wood.
That said, if you reserve early enough, you could likely secure a table on the small outside terrace, with a beautiful view of the Bellagio pool and fountain (see first photo for view):
The friendly server provided a lunch menu, including a Summer Prix Fixe offering:
There was also an iPad with the wine list and other menus on it:
The bread was decent, and some will especially enjoy the crispy lavosh style crackers. The bread, of course, comes with a trio of olive dips. They're quite intense, so a little bit goes a long way.
When I'd asked for recommendations, the server had mentioned the tuna tartare and beef tartare, among the appetizers, but I was in the mood for grilled octopus so I ordered that. While the chickpea stew that it came with didn't do much for me, the squid and octopus were grilled perfectly, tender and not rubbery at all, so I was very pleased with the dish.
For mains, the server recommended the Scallops and Prosciutto with Truffle Parmesan Risotto, so I took him up on that, and it was a fantastic, if quite rich choice. Scallops and prosciutto are a perfect combination anyway, and these were enormous, perfectly cooked scallops still slightly transluscent in the center, with very crispy bits of prosciutto, served atop a heady, earth truffle parmesan risotto. Yum!
Dessert was pretty much out of the question after two such filling courses, but I did look at the dessert menu, again available in both regular menu form and via iPad:
And since I still had credit lift, I ended up ordering some cookies to take with me. My favorite of these was the chewy white chocolate macadamia nut cookie, although the peanut butter and chocolate chips cookies were good as well.
The Verdict: While I'm often rather wary of celebrity chef restaurants, Todd English's Olives was a pleasant surprise, in terms of the quality of food. And service was excellent during my visit. As the inside decor is nothing special, however, I'd make a point of booking well in advance to secure outdoor terrace seating. Also note that the Virtuoso $85 voucher is valid for lunch only.