Locale Italian Kitchen
Focaccia – Olive Oil, Balsamic Vinegar
Pane Frattau Pizza – Sunnyside Up Eggs, Fior di Latte, Guanciale, Chili
Baccala Fritters – Housemade Salt Cod, Lemon
Milanese Sandwich – Breaded Veal, Tomato, Pepperonata, Basil Aioli, Arugula, Cacio e Pepe Chips
Potato & Caramelized Onion Crepes – Bacon, Dijon Crème Fraiche
Spaghetti Bolognese – Veal, Pork & Beef Ragu, Di Napoli Tomatoes, Parmigiano Reggiano
Nutella Crepes – Housemade Whipped Cream, Powdered Sugar, Bananas
Baked French Toast – Apples, Housemade Whipped Cream, Caramel
Plantation Rum Budino – Caramel, Sea Salt, Rosemary
Sicilian Cannoli – Italian Chocolate, Dried Orange, Toasted Pistachio
Now a part of Las Vegas’ neighborhood evolution for six months, it was during Saturday Brunch that guests sat down at Locale Italian Kitchen, Chef Nicole Brisson’s ode to regional Italian cooking now more focused and even plates that could be “simple” given the same sort of attention they were when she was leading a brigade at The Palazzo.
Quiet at 10:30am on the weekend before Christmas, several staff members taking vacation but Chef Brisson and Andy Hooper on-site as modern rock played lightly overhead, it was after greetings from the hostess that a four-top was offered, Iced Tea from a national brand unexpected considering Locale’s concept though Bottomless Mimosas for just $19 are likely a more popular option.
Featuring artisan imports alongside locally-sourced Meats and Produce to build a menu that is accessible yet interesting, it was after brief debate that nine plates were requested, deference on their order left to the kitchen with an oblong Pizza topped in fresh Mozzarella, Pork, Peppers and Eggs following slices of Focaccia that were arguably a little dry along the edges.
Seated beneath high ceilings, the dining room dim even as the bar area was bathed in sunlight, it was by special request that “Fritelle di Bacala” from Locale’s Feast of Seven Fishes were presented, Nicole’s description of salting, drying and reconstituting her own Cod nearly laborious as the Bolognese Sauce made from four types of Meat braised individually before being ground and slowly simmered with Tomatoes and Offal.
A combination Brunch-Lunch also available on weekdays, additional savories included Locale’s “Milanese Sandwich” which unfortunately contained a fairly tough patch at the center, though otherwise both it and housemade Chips were delicious, as too were springy Crepes wrapped around Potatoes and Onions with Bacon and fragrant Crème Fraiche on top.
Served at a good pace, with share-plates and utensils reset as needed, those seeking something sweet will be happy to know that both Nutella Crepes and Baked French Toast are offered daily, the latter fully saturated with Custard and all the better for it while true “Desserts” include flourless Chocolate Cake, creamy Plantation Rum Pudding and housemade Sicilian Cannolis with toppings on the side so that each guest may customize the Nutmeg-tinged filling to her or his liking.
FOUR AND A HALF STARS: Open for Brunch, Lunch and Dinner one need only listen to Chef Nicole Brisson’s description of her laborious Bolognese to know how much care has been poured into Locale – and that is just the start. From drying and reconstituting her own Baccala to hand-whipping Cannoli filling no task goes overlooked. Sure its location may dissuade the sort of aged curmudgeon who still feels the need to shout about past glory, but what Andy Hooper and Nicole have created at Mountain’s Edge is only getting better by the day.
RECOMMENDED: Pane Frattau Pizza, Baccala Fritters, Potato & Caramelized Onion Crepes, Spaghetti Bolognese, Baked French Toast, Plantation Rum Budino, Sicilian Cannoli.
AVOID: If the Focaccia is made on-site it needs to be stored better to keep from drying out, and enough with the bottled Tea from places doing everything else from scratch.
TIP: Lunch Monday through Friday from 11:00am-2:30pm, Brunch beginning 10:30am Weekends, and Dinner Daily from 4:30-10:00pm
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.