A float worth dating

That’s no ordinary float.
Photo: Beverly Poppe
Jim Begley

Restaurant Guide

Otto Las Vegas
At Venetian, 677-3390.
Daily, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.

Mario Batali’s executive pastry chef, Doug Taylor, recently had an epiphany: The Las Vegas Valley doesn’t have enough dishes with dates in them. So Taylor concocted the 134°F Float ($12). The adult beverage combines housemade China Ranch date gelato (dates grown in Tecopa, California, some 80 miles to the west), almond ice milk, Death Valley Cream Soda (bottled by Indian Wells Brewing Company) and Averna, an Italian digestif that’s like Fernet but far more palatable. The dessert has hints of sweetness but isn’t overpowering. I wish I had Taylor poolside at my house all summer, making these for my friends and me. Hopefully it won’t ever hit 134 degrees here, but if it does in Death Valley, mention that at Otto and you’ll get this treat at no charge. It last happened in 1913, but with climate change coming on fast, one can only hope the melting of our ice caps comes with free date floats!


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