Updated May 13, 2021 - 9:13 pm
If you walk past Bobby Flay’s new Caesars Palace restaurant, Amalfi, you’ll probably notice some customers enjoying the restaurant’s Coastal Italian cuisine. Crane your neck and peek through one of the windows, and you might catch a glimpse of the celebrity chef working in the open kitchen, or occasionally walking through the dining room. If you’re hoping to get a table, however, you’re going to need a little luck — at least for the immediate future.
Amalfi quietly began serving a limited number of customers on Wednesday night. The vast majority of tables were intentionally left empty, however, as Flay personally oversaw the restaurant’s “soft” opening.
While many of the opening-night spots were occupied by casino executives and friends of the team (celebrity chef Scott Conant was among Wednesday’s guests), managers said more tables will be offered to the public as the restaurant slowly ramps up toward normalcy, starting as early as Thursday. Spaces will be limited until an official grand opening in June, with Flay and his team opening up spots on a night-by-night, or even hour-by-hour basis, as they become comfortable that the menu and service are executed in the way Flay envisions.
That menu is heavy on seafood, inspired by Flay’s travels on Italy’s Amalfi Coast. The appetizer sections includes dishes such as salmon carpaccio with pistachio breadcrumbs ($27), scrambled eggs with tomato toast and cured fish roe ($19) and a trio of roasted butterfly prawns ($32). The “primi” section includes eight pastas ($28 to $38), three of which come with seafood. For the carnivores, Flay offers a trio of steaks ($58 to $78) as well as jidori chicken al forno ($38).
The centerpiece of the menu, however, is the fish section (priced by weight). Guests are encouraged to visit a “market” area toward the rear of the restaurant where they can select a whole fish to be prepared one of three ways. On Wednesday, the seafood offerings included golden snapper, red snapper, robin fish, black bass, striped bass, branzino, dorade, Carabineros shrimp and swordfish steak.
Amalfi is located in the space at Caesars Palace that housed Flay’s Mesa Grill for 16 years. Guests hoping to score a reservation are encouraged to try OpenTable first. If that fails, call or stop by the reservation stand to see if any spaces have opened up.