Ferraro’s Italian Restaurant and Wine Bar
Garlic Focaccia and White Roll – Pesto Olive Oil
Baccala Mantecato – Poached and Whipped Cod, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Potato Mousse, Olives, Capers
Burrata – Apulia Cheese, Roasted and Shaved Spicy Carrot Salad, Almond-Sorrel Pesto / Polipo – Marinated Mediterranean Octopus, Potatoes, Black Olives, Capers / Carpaccio di Manzo – Thinly Sliced Prime Sirloin, Arugula Salad, Shaved Parmigiano Reggiano, Truffle Oil
Spaghetti Freddi – Caviar, Lemon, Onion, Chives
2010 San Lorenzo Montepulciano d’Abruzzo
Risotto Cacio e Pepe – Pecorino Romano, Black Pepper, King Crab
Gnocchi Pomodoro – Potato Dumplings, Campari Tomato Sauce, Basil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Spaghetti al Nero – Natural Black Ink Spaghetti, Squid, Baby Shrimp, Tomato Fondue
Bucatini Corti Amatriciana – Thick Short Spaghetti, Traditional Roman Sauce, Guanciale, Tomato, Pecorino Cheese, Red Pepper Flakes
Casonzei – Potato-Red Beet Ravioli, Grana Padano Cheese, Sage, Black Sesame Seed
2009 Arcanum Il Fauno Super Tuscan
Moscardini in Umido – Baby Octopus Stew, Peas, Soft Polenta
Ossobuco – Veal Shank Braised in Red Wine Reduction, Farro
Agnello – Seared Colorado Superior Lamb Chop, Eggplant-Tomato Overlap, Lamb Demi
Lavazza Double Espresso, Ice
Tiramisu – Lady fingers, Mascarpone Cheese, Espresso / Crepe – Nutella, Mascarpone Cheese / Cannoli – Mascarpone and Ricotta, Orange Zest
Rosalba’s Cookies – Lemon, Amaretto, Chocolate, Hazelnut, Wedding Cookies
Pistachio Passion – Layered Pistachio Cream, Cream Cheese Custard, Whipped Cream on Walnut Crust
Verde Capra Cheese – Balsamic-Fig Gelato, Caramelized Nut Streusel
A firm believer that eating in the right place can be one of life’s great catharses it was after a particularly difficult week that three guests sat down to dinner at Ferraro’s Italian Restaurant and Wine Bar, Gino and son Mimmo greeting each patron at the door of a place that has survived the test of time by doing things the right way and making each guest feel as though they are family.
Serving Las Vegas for thirty-three years when many would-be Restaurateurs cannot survive six months, this alone a testament to what Ferraro’s offers even before taking a look at the Menu or Wine list, it was in a rounded booth bridging Restaurant and Bar that the party was sat before a familiar server appeared tableside, deference to Chef Francesco Di Caudo the only way to order for those to whom only the best will suffice.
Busy for an August night off-Strip, a time when even the best see books bleed Red, it was in traditional fashion that dinner began with a brisk glass of Bubbles plus housemade Bread and Olive Oil, an opening trio offering three familiar dishes to each guest in individual portions while a shared plate from the seasonal menu celebrating Veneto was a marvelous one not frequently featured in Vegas featuring tender Salt Cod in creamy Potatoes.
Always impressed by Ferraro’s Burrata and Octopus, the rolled Carpaccio surprisingly also gathering praise from one diner who is not fond of Arugula, it was while Primi were being prepared that a bonus dish of chilled Noodles topped in Lemon and Caviar refreshed the palate, bold flavors all in harmonious balance and absolutely dazzling when paired to Prosecco.
Next pouring 2010 San Lorenzo Montepulciano d’Abruzzo to drink with four Pastas and a Risotto, the Oak at times a little overwhelming but pleasant with Tomato-topped Potato Dumplings and hollow Spaghetti lent a lot of heat by Red Pepper, suffice it to say that Di Caudo’s skills are best displayed by subtle dishes including Ravioli matching Beet to Sesame or an impeccable off-menu Risotto featuring Rice with just a bit of bite amidst Cheese, Black Pepper and nearly raw King Crab Meat.
Diving deep with Spaghetti al Nero from the Veneto Menu, every diner left with blackened teeth but bright smiles thanks to the impressive balance achieved by way of Tomato Fondue mixed with tender rings of Squid and beautifully cooked Shrimp, it was after a brief but welcomed pause that three entrees joined juicy 2009 Arcanum Il Fauno, a bowl of “Moscardini in Umido” also featuring Cephalopod offering a lot of brine that finds its foil in fresh Peas and Polenta.
Unable to let two first-timers leave Ferraro’s without tasting the Ossobuco, one of those rare dishes that earns a title of “World Famous” thanks to spoon-tender Veal melting from the bone into Farro bathed in Red Wine and rendered Juices, it was already well sated that additional space was found for medium-rare Lamb Chops served alongside a stack of tender Eggplant, though admittedly one was left over in order to save room for Dolci.
Taking Espresso alongside Dessert and following with Ferraro’s Limoncello, as traditional an Italian end as any, it was again with a trio of classics that the finale got underway, an off-menu Cannoli particularly impressive thanks to subtle notes of Citrus though for those with limited capacity after such a meal the best choice remains a sampling of Rosalba’s Italian Cookies or the almost impossibly light Pistachio Passion.
Relaxing for a bit after settling the tab, the crowd now died down and music lightly playing overhead, it was with a final gift from Chef Di Caudo that slices of funky Sheep’s Milk Cheese played off housemade Gelato and Streusel, another off-menu inspiration that further attests to why Ferraro’s remains relevant after three decades and shows no signs of slowing.
FIVE STARS: It seems fairly safe to say that when Gino Ferraro opened the doors in 1985 he never anticipated a time when unscrupulous and un-traveled kids with camera-phones would supposedly decide what was good, but still here 33 years later with Mimmo and his family close plus Chef Francesco Di Caudo in the kitchen Ferraro’s Italian Restaurant and Wine Bar remains as destination-worthy as ever by sticking to what has always mattered most – quality ingredients, excellent technique, superlative service and hard work.
RECOMMENDED: Burrata, Spaghetti Freddi, Risotto Cacio e Pepe, Casonzei, Ossobuco, Rosalba’s Cookies, Pistachio Passion.
TIP: Following Veneto, the last region to be featured during the Summer Regional Menu Series will be Campania (Aug. 24 – Sept. 7).
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.