Las Vegas Blog

Everything Las Vegas

Mob Movies, Meatballs & Marinara: The 4 Best Italian Restaurants in Las Vegas

Last updated: August 5, 2014 at 5:35 pm. Posted by in Caesars Palace, Celebrities, Las Vegas Restaurants, Rio Las Vegas, The Cromwell. Comments Off on Mob Movies, Meatballs & Marinara: The 4 Best Italian Restaurants in Las Vegas.

Move over steakhouses: Authentic Italian restaurants are taking over the popularity of this longtime Vegas favorite, one eggplant Parmesan at a time. A slew of East Coast favorites has made their way here, bringing some authentic, old-world Italian dishes to town, while Giada De Laurentiis opened her very first restaurant concept at The Cromwell.

Whether you’re looking for a romantic Italian restaurant for date night or need somewhere to take friends before a show, these delicious Las Vegas Italian restaurants hit the spot every time. Mangia!

The vegetable antipasti platter at Giada.

The vegetable antipasti platter at Giada.

Giada at The Cromwell: The Lighter Side

Giada De Laurentiis is the new kid on the block when it comes to celebrity chef restaurants, and her first (and namesake) restaurant, Giada, is booked weeks in advance. Housed at The Cromwell, Giada is a blend of impeccable service and food that’s so dreamy, you’ll be telling your friends about it for weeks. De Laurentiis lightens up Italian dishes here, infusing a lot of citrus, herbs and light sauces in favor of anything heavy.

Often spotted circulating the dining room talking to guests, she encourages them to share and eat a few bites of everything, so as not to get full too fast. Her antipasti dishes are small and crafted savory bites while pizettes, pastas and entrees are all rich portions with tasty sauces and toppings. The Food Network beauty took every detail in to consideration, from vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options to a tasting menu of her greatest hits.

Top picks: Risotto with crab and scallops, vegetable Bolognese, bucatini, lemon ricotta cookies

Martorano’s at Rio: Great Date Night

If it’s good enough for the cast of “The Sopranos,” it’s good enough to bring that date you’re trying to impress. Tough talking, tattooed celebrity chef Steve Martorano not only puts edgy twists on his old-school Italian dishes, but definitely knows how to set the scene. Martorano’s at Rio is an ideal date spot, being that its dimly lit but with a trendy atmosphere that leans more toward a lounge the later it gets. (Notorious mob films such as “Casino” plays on a loop in the background and music gets turned up as the evening progresses.) Martorano is also quite clear that changes and modifications cannot be made to his creations, meaning you can’t mess with perfection of his specialties such as South Philly Cheesesteak and chicken marsala.

Martorano’s is so popular that a second one is set to open at Paris Las Vegas hotel in early September. While the menu won’t be different, an additional lounge space will make this a hot new center-Strip nighttime destination with a late-night menu.

Top picks: Eggplant stack, penne alla vodka, risotto, spaghetti carbonara, Rigatoni Sunday Pork

Uncle Vincent's Lemon Chicken may be the most famous dish on the menu at Las Vegas Italian restaurant Rao's.

Uncle Vincent’s Lemon Chicken may be the most famous dish on the menu at Las Vegas Italian restaurant Rao’s.

Rao’s at Caesars Palace: Tasty New York-style Traditions

The restaurant Gods were smiling the day New York-based Rao’s decided to open a second location in Las Vegas. The iconic, East Harlem-area restaurant was practically invite-only for decades with only 10 coveted tables, and was a hard invite to get for mainstream folks. Naturally, Rao’s went grand for its Vegas outpost at Caesars Palace, and about quadrupled its size so that everyone could get their hands on its famous meatballs and Southern Italian specialties. It’s still a popular choice for its century-old recipes, fused with an old-school New York Italian flair and ambience. In Vegas, there’s even two mini dining rooms modeled after the 10-table original that features pictures of the Rao and Pellegrino families throughout the years. Everything is served Italian-style, with pasta being the second course before entrees.

Top picks: Veal picatta, rigatoni filetto di pomodoro, Uncle Vincent’s Lemon Chicken, Osso Bucco

Carmine’s NYC at The Forum Shops at Caesars: Family-Style Feast

Sitting down at Carmine’s will inspire a family-style meal whether you’re with them or not. Operating in its original New York City location since 1990, Carmine’s has become renowned for its hospitality and family-friend environment. Think huge, oversized portions for sharing, modifications for every type of diet imaginable and plenty of the classics like penne alla vodka, veal scaloppini marsala and chicken parmigiana. The Forum Shops at Caesars location, which just celebrated its one year anniversary, was practically built for celebrating. In addition to huge tables, it has several private rooms and moving walls to make the custom event space or private dining room of your dreams.

The “pasta” section is our favorite, as it lists every type of pasta sauce and mixer of your dreams (think manicotti, rigatoni with sausage and broccoli, clam sauce and pomodoro) plus your choice of noodles. Despite the indulgent dishes here, dessert just may be the most impressive. The Titanic sundae can easily feed 10 people—and you can bet everyone will get off their cell phone once it hits the table.

Top picks: Pineapple mojitos, chicken wings (for real), lasagna, chicken Parmesan



About The Author

A 15-year Las Vegas resident, Emma Trotter has worked in the media industry since 2006, with a focus on entertainment journalism and celebrity news. Holding a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism & Media Studies from University of Nevada, Las Vegas, she has worked as a copywriter, editor, writer, reporter, blogger and produced several photo shoots for local lifestyle magazines. A true advocate of the city's diverse offerings and glitzy lifestyle, Emma has promoted Las Vegas extensively, whether writing about its top hidden gems, to exploring its rich, fascinating history or covering Las Vegas’s social scene and real estate, fashion, beauty, nightlife, dining and profiling the top influential executives.

View Posts


Comments are closed.