It was time for a change. Just last year, Bobby Flay turned his long-running Mesa Grill into Amalfi, where fresh seafood and coastal Italian cuisine is served within a dining room of gray stone walls and curtains to block out the chaos of the Caesars Palace casino floor. The restaurant welcomes up to five deliveries of fresh fish a week with the latest catch on display in the dining room. Branzino (a common sight on Las Vegas dinner menus) is the most popular, but the nuttiness of the golden snapper is a welcome change of pace. The fish is grilled whole or filleted with light seasoning and a choice of sauces on the side. Eight pasta dishes are robust in flavor with even the caramelle (stuffed with sweet potato and topped with brown butter) packing subtle heat. The squash blossoms are the most rewarding appetizer, balancing sweet ricotta with a salty anchovy sauce. The cocktail menu smartly avoids trying to cover too much ground—no Mules, for example—while focusing on Italian-inspired libations like two Negronis and five takes on a Spritz.
How to order: Book a reservation.
La Strega translates to "the witch" in Italian, following a theme that honors mystical female figures (so don't be surprised if you see a cocktail named after a Salem witch or maybe Sophia Loren). The cuisine is inspired by chef Gina Marinelli's affection for the varied regions of Italy, with recipes that allow simple ingredients to shine without being overwhelmed by house-made sauces. Welcome touches include the earthy dandelions in the pesto bucatini and subtle sweetness of honey in the pizza crust. Marinelli also ensures seafood is well represented on the menu, especially the evolving hamachi appetizers. The hard part is choosing between two distinctively different dining rooms: one is dark and seductive, the other is bright and open with the energy of an open kitchen on display.
How to book: Call 702-722-2099 or visit the website to book a reservation.
Ever since Al Solito Posto replaced Brio at Tivoli VIllage in early 2021, the space has only gotten better, striking the perfect balance between sophistication and warmth in a large dining room. The restaurant is part of James Trees' growing culinary empire, but operates under the day-to-day guidance of executive chef Steve Young. Familiar dishes are given fresh makeovers, from the minestrone (with the broth poured over other ingredients tableside) to the chicken parm (coated with house-made focaccia bread crumbs). Even the seafood cioppino was given a recent upgrade with Maine lobster added to the mix of mussels, clams, scallop, and shrimp. You may spot a few bonus items when enjoying happy hour in the bar area, although it's hard to resist the spacious outdoor patio overlooking the Tivoli Village fountain.
How to book: Place a reservation online.
Brezza follows the vision of executive chef Nicole Brisson, whose pursuit of fresh local and regional ingredients is rare for a restaurant inside a big new hotel like Resorts World. The salads are uniquely flavorful and pastas are prepared with a delicate touch, including a perfectly cooked al dente squash ravioli brightened by a restrained sage and brown butter sauce. And you won't find an Italian restaurant with better steaks in Las Vegas. Brisson oversees her own dry-aging program with Creekstone Farms cuts grilled over wood and served with a sprig of rosemary. The lineup of negronis is intriguing, but don't hesitate to discuss the Old World wines (with a remarkable selection available by the glass) with the somm on duty. The dining room is complemented by a spacious outdoor patio, framed by the glow of mid-Strip marquees.
How to book: Book a reservation via Seven Rooms.
Scarpetta's combination of Italian cuisine and killer Strip views has only gotten better under the direction of executive chef Michael Vitangeli. The main dining room has a sleek and contemporary design that matches the stylish image of the Cosmopolitan, but the best experience is at the Chef's Table—a quiet, private dining room in the corner of the restaurant. Watch the kitchen team in action through a large window or just keep your eyes on the Bellagio fountains next door. The best part—you get a ridiculous amount of food inspired by the Italian family dinners Vitangeli enjoyed from his grandmother growing up. The "Sunday Gravy" of pasta (with meatballs, sausage, and even pork ribs) buried in a date and pine nut tomato sauce is the main course, but the parade of seafood is the most welcome surprise. Between prawn scampi, baked whole branzino, octopus, and mussels, the hard part is finding room for it all.
How to book: Book a reservation online via Seven Rooms or call 877-893-2001 to inquire about the Chef's Table experience.
Piero Broglia was born in Rome, but has been a Las Vegas favorite for decades, earning praise from Frank Sinatra and Steve Wynn while running kitchens at iconic restaurants like Pasta Mia and Piero's (which still bears his name, if not his presence). He's now running his own small operation in Henderson with the same recipes that helped define Italian dining on the Strip. Broglia tends to favor pomodoro in his pasta dishes, although he'll whip out a spicy marinara for the rigatoni puttanesca and even a few fish entrees. Ask about the semoi-regular rack of lamb special, served Roman-style with garlic, red wine vinegar, and anchovies.
How to book: Call 702-331-6300 to inquire about reservations or pickup orders.