Review of Todd English’s Olives at Bellagio

Ever since I started working on this website, putting up restaurant reviews was always next on my to do list.  After all, eating is one of the most important activities in Las Vegas.  Seeing how this is my first official review, I figured I would start with my favorite location on the Strip, Olives at Bellagio.

Olives is my favorite restaurant on the Strip because of the whole package.  They have great food, wonderful service, and a perfect atmosphere to boot.  What can beat eating and drinking overlooking the Bellagio fountains going off?  Now you are certainly not guaranteed to sit outside on the patio, but I will go over tips to get the best seat below.  It is located on the Caesars Palace side of Bellagio so if you hit the casino you  have gone too far.

Don’t go to Olives if you are in a hurry.  Normally I do not like dinners that drag on to long, but enjoying everything is worth it here.  The night will start with  tap water or bottled water?  After that tough decision your server will stop by to ask you if you need help with the drink menu.  After you order drinks you will get a delicious basket of bread with crushed olives to spread on it.  I don’t really like olives so I stick to the green olive spread which tastes pretty close to solid olive oil.

Olives starter bread with crushed olives

After the bread and drinks, your server will come back for your order.  I have tried the short rib, veal pasta, rabbit, and the roast beef slides.  All the food was good to amazing.  My favorite so far is the veal pasta, but I would have to say the Foie Gras starter is the best food I have tasted in Vegas.  For context here is  little information about my tastes.  I will not eat expensive food just because it is expensive and I enjoy a great pasta dish over a great steak any day so I am not a traditional foodie.

Olives Veal & Fontina Fazzoletti

Now for the tricks about the patio because a reservation does not guarantee you eating outside.  Part of the experience is sitting outside and watching the fountains.  I am 4 for 4 sitting outside and if I wasn’t sitting outside I would most likely pick another restaurant as my favorite.  The best pointer is to eat at off times or at lunch.  Lunchtime is much less popular than dinner.  Of course it is hot and not dark, which takes the experience away a little bit but it is still a good time.  Just make sure to eat at noon or later because the fountains do not start until then.  The next option is to get an earlier reservation around 6 PM and ask to eat on the patio.  If they say they are full offer to wait for a table outside.  Last time I tried this I waited until 6:45, which was well worth it.  Lastly, even though they say they do not guarantee outside tables, if your party is big enough they seem to allow it.  If you have a group of 10 or larger and are celebrating something there is a good chance they will set you up outside.

Olives Ravioli

Prices start around $30 a plate and go up to about $55 a plate.  Considering the quality of food I think these prices are not unreasonable.  I can’t count how many $20 burgers there are in Vegas so plunking down $36 for some great pasta is not  a problem for  me.  There are more expensive restaurants too that I have not enjoyed as much as Olives so do yourself a favor and give it a try.