Italian food will forever be a topic for debate. Much like barbecue is to the South, Italian food is subject to many interpretations, tastes and regions. Arguments on topics such as garlic or no garlic, Neopolitan-style crust or Sicilian-style crust and what kind of tomatoes go in your sauce have been going on for ages.
Here are a few of our favorites — for different reasons. From the very best in fine dining and authenticity, to a casual family-style place that offers great value to families on a budget.
Scott Conant’s Scarpetta in The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas is a culinary gem. The restaurant serves modern Italian food while overlooking the Bellagio Fountains.
Scarpetta is known for their spaghetti with tomato and basil — a simple but perfected dish. Other excellent offerings include mushroom polenta, duck foie gras ravioli and short rib agnolotti.
Bartolotta, Ristorante di Mare at Wynn is the place to go for seafood from Italy in Las Vegas. Bartolotta serves seafood flown in from the Mediterranean and can be served on your table in as little as 24 hours. Now that’s service.
Bartolotta’s signature dishes include savory Ligurian octopus salad and red mullet with taggiasche. A large rolling fish cart comes to your table so you can choose the fresh catch of the day.
While I’m hesitant to put two chain restaurants on our list, Maggiano’s is the first of two that serves steady and consistent Italian-American fare on the second floor of the Fashion Show mall, overlooking the Las Vegas Strip. This restaurant has multiple private dining rooms for larger parties, celebrations and events. But, if you’re doing some shopping and need to stop for a quick lunch or dinner, Maggiano’s can do that too.
Bratalian is a locals restaurant in Henderson. The bistro-style restaurant serves delicious Italian fare from sister chefs Carla Pellegrino and Allesandra Madeira, and is worth the trip.
The restaurant features dishes like tender meatballs, seafood salad, chicken Milanese and ricotta cheesecake for dessert.
Sure, it’s a chain restaurant. But the extra-large portions at Buca di Beppo inside the Excalibur make this Italian restaurant a great value. Not only can you have dinner, but chances are, you’ll be taking home lunch for the next day— and the day after that.
Sirio at Aria Las Vegas serves traditional Italian food from famed restaurateur Sirio Maccioni. The Maccioni family is already known for their other restaurants, including Le Cirque in Manhattan and Bellagio. The restaurant features a large selection of cured meats like rosemary roasted ham and Italian cheeses like Grana Padano. More substantial dishes include lobster ravioli, veal agnolotti and pork three ways.
The legendary New York restaurant landed in Las Vegas a little more than five years ago — and we’re so glad it did. While it’s nearly impossible to get a table at Rao’s New York, the restaurant at Caesars Palace has plenty of space for everyone.
Festive holiday decorations are throughout the restaurant, as are photos of famous celebrities and notable guests from years past.
In addition to giant meatballs, Rao’s offers a selection of Italian fare from antipasto to osso bucco.
Settebello located at The District at Green Valley Ranch in Henderson is an authentic Neopolitan-style pizza restaurant that consistently offers delicious pizzas. The key is in fresh ingredients and the dough, which is made from imported flour and cooked in a wood-fueled oven. Settebello is part of a group of elite pizza makers, The Vera Pizza Napoletana (VPN.) The group was established to protect the integrity of Neopolitan pizza making and preserve the more than 200 years of tradition.
Nove Italiano offers delicious Italian fare, 51 stories up. The restaurant, high atop The Palms Fantasy Tower, offers views of the Las Vegas Strip in multiple rooms. A few highlights include 12-foot topiaries shaped like women, an LED-lit wine room and animated art on the walls.
Of course, the food is amazing as well. Chef Geno Bernardo offers dishes like home made raviolo — one big ravioli filled with egg yolk, ricotta cheese and truffle butter.
B & B Ristorante is the Italian restaurant from celebrity chef Mario Batali and Joseph Bastianich. The restaurant offers traditional Italian cuisine, but also features adventurous dishes including beef cheek ravioli and crushed duck liver. So, if you want to try something new like lamb’s brain francoboli or rabbit porchetta with dandelion greens, this is the place for you.