Industry Weekly

[First Sip]

Sweet surprise: Limoncello is only the beginning at B&B

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B&B Ristorante boasts a line of cellos, from lemon and lime to grapefruit and blood orange.
Photo: Anthony Mair

A common after-dinner tradition in Italy is to chase dessert with a shot of limoncello, a liqueur made by steeping the zest of lemon in alcohol and adding sugary simple syrup. Leave it to the Italians to make la dolce vita even sweeter.

You can get a fresh taste of that sweet life at B&B Ristorante, where bartender Jason Sapone has been busy crafting a line of cellos. Each batch takes around two months to complete, using New Amsterdam vodka as the base spirit. “You have to find that perfect point of when to pull it,” Sapone says.

The timing is right with his limoncello, a beautiful balance between tart and sweet and the perfect counterpart to B&B’s delicious lime bruciato, with the cello’s lemony sweetness pairing well with the dessert’s tart lime filling and graham cracker crust. A bit bolder are the limecello and pompelmocello (grapefruit) varieties, the lime providing a sharper citrus bite and the grapefruit tasting surprisingly—and pleasingly—floral.

All of Sapone’s cellos are worthy finales to any meal, and the piece de resistance might be his bay leaf variety. Savory yet slightly sweet, peppery and herbaceous, this elixir is one of the most uniquely delicious sippers in town. Sapone, who also has experimented with amaros at B&B, says more seasonal cello flavors might be on the way. And what about cello cocktails? Though none have made it to the menu yet, Sapone says he’s happy to craft something off the cuff. “That’s part of the fun.” B&B Ristorante at Venetian, 702-266-9977; Daily 5-11 p.m.

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