Quite M-pressed

Veloce Cibo: a cool space with an interesting menu

Veloce Cibo’s mixed grill.
Photo: Beverly Poppe

Maybe it's because my restaurant loop doesn't include St. Rose Parkway, or maybe I just don't drive in from California very much, but I have this feeling that the M Resort has been forgotten. It opened last spring, a sleek and shiny desert resort, and maybe we were so caught up in the CityCenter hype that M's novelty of newness didn't last long. But it's a very nice place, and there are nice restaurants inside.

Despite hosting the Vegas season of Top Chef, M hasn't developed a tremendous food buzz; an interactive cooking show called "Martini Time" and a big, popular buffet are the spotlights so far. It makes me think of a newer, nicer version of the Rio, another resort designed and built by the Marnell family where the buffet seems to take center stage.

Restaurant Guide

Veloce Cibo
At M Resort, 797-1000.
Sunday-Thursday, 5 p.m.-11 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 5 p.m.-1 a.m.
Recommended dishes: Mini lobster tacos, $21; Veloce mixed grill, $48; pistachio crème brûlée, $4.
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But there has to be more, and there is: a bakery, Italian food, a deli, a café, a wine bar and a steak/seafood house, and then something a little more quirky, resting calmly on the 16th floor. Oddly, it's called Veloce Cibo, which kinda means "fast food" in Italian. It's a very cool room, stretching out along floor-to-ceiling windows for a unique view of the Strip from the south, done in earthy golden-brown tones with glass-encased lemon trees. In the pantheon of Vegas restaurants with views from above, this place is the most relaxed, and I recommend it.

Veloce's menu is different. There is quite a bit of sushi, sashimi and rolls to start on, "sharing plates" that can range from salad to sliders, and then a selection of entrees with multiple-personality disorder. There are five steaks, headed by a porterhouse with Tuscan herbs and grilled artichokes. There are three fishes, including king salmon marinated in pesto. There's a giant portion of delicious penne in parmesan cream sauce with peas, prosciutto and shreds of black truffle on top. And then there's a bunch of Asian-influenced dishes: sesame-crusted Ahi tuna with baby bok choy, a Thai roti pancake with roasted duck and peanut sauce, chicken lettuce wraps, and fried rice, spicy stir-fried eggplant or ginger-garlic wok'd vegetables on the side. Interesting.

Mini lobster tacos at M Resort's Veloce Cibo.

Saving room for the big stuff, I opted out of the Screaming Veloce sushi roll and had three bites of great sashimi. (Please don't tell Rick Moonen that I had bluefin tuna.) I also loved mini lobster tacos — sweet and meaty lobster salad tucked into ultra-crispy corn shells with a bit of carrot and cucumber. They came with a shot glass of avocado puree with a little plastic straw; it was like a zesty guacamole milkshake. Does that sound gross? It was good. If you want to follow along with the menu's all-over-the-place theme, the Veloce Mixed Grill offers a petite lamb chop in natural jus, a small and tender filet mignon with béarnaise, and a spicy grilled tiger shrimp.

British critic and snarky Top Chef Masters judge Jay Rayner wrote, "there is nothing you can introduce to a crème brûlée that will improve it," but he's wrong. Veloce adds pistachio to this beloved dessert, bringing a new, clean dimension of sweetness that renders the candied pistachios on top completely unnecessary. It was a pleasant surprise, much like the restaurant itself. Maybe I need to think about the M Resort a little more.

Photo of Brock Radke

Brock is an award-winning writer who has been documenting life in Las Vegas for 20 years. He currently leads entertainment ...

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