We knew Osteria Costa was the newest offering at the Mirage but we were not quite sure of exactly where it was. As we walked through the casino, we were drawn to a clean crisp awning suspended over the perimeter of the restaurant. Realizing the location was formerly Samba, we had officially arrived at our destination. We were no longer in Las Vegas but on the Amalfi coast, dazzled by the bright and airy shades of blues and teals that filled the restaurant. Walking in, Osteria Costa has an open area bar and lounge that looks over the casino and is a spot we could both imagine having a cocktail and people watching.
We ascended the staircase, passing a traditional Neapolitan style hearth oven adorned with the same the aqua tiles that can be found throughout the restaurant. We liked the fact that there were plenty of bar stools surrounding the oven so you can enjoy dinner and a show, watching the chef’s prepare the pizza to order. We chose to have our dinner in the main dining room, which was just as lovely.
One of us started with an Italian classic, the Negroni, and Osteria Costa’s did not disappoint, as it was balanced and simple.
Both of us are fans of anything beet. In our opinion, beets are the new Brussel sprouts and are found on many a restaurant menu in the valley these days.
The beet salad was a home run for both of us. Supremes of citrus, fresh arugula, and pistachios elevated this salad to the next level. It was dressed with vincotta pesto, made from a white balsamic reduction and shaved ricotta cheese.
One of us enjoyed the meatballs made with pork, beef, and veal. Served with whipped ricotta, grilled bread, and a Pomodoro Sauce that offered the perfect amount of acid. Not only were they delicate and moist, but the sweetness of the whipped ricotta made them down right indulgent.
The next course included a margherita pizza topped with hand handcrafted mozzarella and torn basil. One of us thought the pizza had the right amount of salt and the other thought that the crust was impeccably light and airy with exquisitely crisp edges.
The name says it all for the Spaghetti with shrimp, garlic, olive oil, chiles, and mint. One of us thought the mint added an unexpected freshness and there was a good bite from the chiles and the other thought adding a few fresh tomatoes and zucchini ribbons created a beautiful kaleidoscope of color and flavor.
Branzino is a Mediterranean Sea Bass simply grilled with lemon and oregano and this one is served whole, stuffed with lemon, herbs and kissed with just the right amount of olive oil. One of us was delighted with how crispy the skin was and the other, while not a fan of fennel, thought it complemented the dish perfectly.
The Chef told us that the Fettuccine with neopolitan beef ragu and pecorino was made to the exact specifications to be a traditional pasta using sofrito as the sauce, which evoked spices like clove and nutmeg. This dish was hearty and a flawless transition from the lighter first courses into the pièce de résistance, the Pollo Parmigiana.
Anyone can make a chicken parmigiana but this was something special. Breaded chicken breast, pan-fried to perfection, created the perfect canvas for the rest of the dish to shine. Pomodoro and handcrafted mozzarella had been a steady theme throughout the meal, and this was no exception. We both thought it was the perfect bit of crunch, salt, sweet, and herbs.
We would be remiss if we did not mention the outstanding service, from the time we walked in and the hostess escorted us to our table, walking at a perfect pace and engaging us in conversation; to the Sommelier who guided us towards the perfect sip; to the back server, Manuel, who consistently kept smiles on our faces throughout the entire dining experience. He and our server did not miss a beat.
Our sweet finish came in the form of lemon ricotta cheesecake and olive oil cake. One of us can never get enough lemon or cheese so this was a highlight and the other had her first experience with olive oil cake and it will not be her last. And that’s what she said.