Earth Cucina Italiana — the name suggests a sensory feast on Italy’s
coast looking down from an oversized window to a raging sea, or
perhaps a view of a rolling hillside in Tuscany.
designed by chef Audrey Vandenburgh and sous chef Maggie Haller,
features Italy’s diverse regional specialties, including our dinner
choices, Laughing Bird Shrimp Flatbread and Bell and Evans Chicken.
With the flatbread, Vandenburgh took bits and pieces of classic
Italian dishes to make something that celebrated the sum of its parts.
She layered shrimp, pesto, pancetta, fresh mozzarella and arugula on
crisp flatbread and finished it under the grill. Arugula or
"rocket," as its known in Italy, grows wild everywhere there
and adds zing to any dish. It’s also a player in the Roasted Beet
Salad along with Gorgonzola cheese, toasted pine nuts, dried cherries
and red wine vinaigrette.
herb-marinated rotisserie half-chicken (tender, juicy) came with
garlic-grilled escarole, spinach and delicious creamy, cheesy polenta.
Chef serves the chicken three ways, as the aforementioned entrée, on
flatbread or in Chicken Carbonara: spaghetti with asparagus, mushrooms
and pancetta in a Parmesan cream sauce.
Italian-inspired dishes include Calamari Fritti and risotto fritters
with sweet pepper aioli from the appetizer menu and Caprese salad
(tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and pesto), a house signature dish.
Another signature dish, Frutti di mare on the pasta menu, combines
linguini with shrimp, scallops, calamari, clams and mussels in a white
wine broth with fennel and tomatoes.
Because of its
location inside the casino, we wouldn’t call Wild Earth a
destination restaurant, but for a quick, delicious, reasonably priced
dinner, it’s a go. It’s also tastefully decorated with
stone-infused pillars to inject a touch of wild; quiet, with soft jazz
in the background; and for winners and/or losers, a respite from the