Sartarelli Classico 2014
Chef’s Platter – 24-Month Parmesan, Smoked Blue Cheese, Truffle Tremor, Prosciutto, Wild Boar Sausage, Olives, Tapenade, Bread
Housemade Blood Sausage – Piquillo Pepper Puree, Calabrian Pepper, Basil, Garlic, Onion
Wadleith Chardonnay 2013
Carpaccio – Thin Sliced Prime Beef, Arugula, Pine Nuts, Parmesan, Cremini Mushrooms, Truffle Vinaigrette
Spinach Salad – Duck Breast, Apples, Warm Dijon Vinaigrette, Pecans
Sonoma Coma Pinot Noir 2013
Bucatini – Braised Short Rib, Sweet Onion, Spicy Tomato, Caciocavallo
Semolina Gnocchi – Smoked Nueske’s Bacon, Peas, Black Truffle Crema, Parmigiano Reggiano
Tortellini – Ricotta and Mozzarella Tortellini, Parmegiano Broth, Fresh Oregano
Lasagna with Spinach and Red Peppers
Mailale Roman – Pork Ragu, San Marzano, Bufala Mozarella, Basil, Caramelized Onions, Calabrian Peppers
Tartufo Neapolitan – Truffle Parmesan Crema, Fontina Fontal, Roasted Cremini, Over Easy Baked Egg
Oddero Barolo 2014
NY Steak – Truffle Tremor, Root Vegetables, Brown Butter
Double Espresso on Ice
Hexxcello – Hexx Single Origin Chocolate Mixed with Housemade Orangecello
Sweet Bufala Ricotta – Imported Bufala Ricotta, Organic Honey, Toasted Pistachio
Apple Pie Cannoli
Sweet Potato Pie Bread Pudding
Originally visited as a tourist in December 2012, the restaurant only two miles from my current home since passed by hundreds of times despite a favorable first meal, it was finally on the recommendation of Metro Pizza’s John Arena that an overdue return visit was paid to Due Forni, Chef Carlos Buscaglia organizing a five course experience that showed both the cuisine and space to be even better than I’d recalled.
At this point sort of a Summerlin “Classic,” the constant turnover at Red Rock and year-old Downtown seeing dozens of restaurants open since the wood-fired pizzeria first sprung onto the scene, those unfamiliar with the concept will find Due Forni’s dual ovens ready to greet patrons of all ages, the sort of place where serious diners can stop by the bar for charcuterie paired to a good glass while families simultaneously fill the corner booths for pizza as children pass the time playing with raw balls of dough.
Half-Roman and Half-Neapolitan in front of the fire, a tiny kitchen yielding a surprisingly large number of antipasti, primi, secondi, and dolci from the rear, it was to attentive service that our party of three was treated throughout the course of the evening and offering to pair wines with the meal a small splash of each was accepted, the crisp white from Sartarelli pleasantly washing the palate between bites of cheese and cured meats while equally cutting through the piquant puree beneath creamy black Morcilla.
Delighted to see an off-Strip chef attempting something as bold as blood sausage it was onward to antipasti that the meal marched on and opting to continue in a similar vein with two salads the only question was in which to invest the most appetite, the rolls of carpaccio wound loosely around nuts and mushrooms beneath a fragrant vinaigrette versus succulent slices of duck atop spinach that paired very nicely with a buttery Chardonnay.
Told that Buscaglia’s pastas outperform what might be expected from a pizzeria tucked away in the ‘burbs course three featured demi-portions of three styles of noodles topped in compelling sauces alongside a cast-iron crock of Lasanga reformulated each day, and although the version served was a bit too heavy in peppers for myself the others seemed to enjoy it plenty, the creamy rings far more befitting my palate in a light broth tinged with cheese while the gnocchi offered soft nuggets beneath rich cream and bacon lightened by peas.
Not particularly thrilled by Bucatini that came off starchy alongside shortrib that would have benefitted from a finer shred it was with lights from a nearby television flickering to my left that the second of two glasses of Red were brought forth, the hefty Barolo not particularly ideal in the setting of a springy Neapolitan covered in Fontina, Cremini Mushrooms, and Truffle Crema with a Baked Egg but far more appropriate when sipped between bites of crisp Mailale Roman enriched by pork and onions amidst bright tomatoes, not to mention a medium-rare cut of steak lent further complexity by brown butter and crumbled goat’s cheese.
Light music chiming overhead as the restaurant filled up with the hour passed eight it was in a small glass of Carlo’s 30+ day “Hexxcello” that meal transitioned to sweets, and although capacity was certainly reaching a limit at this point there was simply no way to abstain from the light-as-air ricotta drizzled with honey, let alone the tiny trio of cannoli that riffed on apple pie complete with crushed pie crust or a cast iron pan filled with piping hot seasonal bread pudding from which I was remiss to leave bites behind.
FOUR STARS: Taking far more chances than most Italian places off – or even on – Las Vegas Boulevard despite the limitations of a kitchen smaller than that of most Summerlin homes, Carlos Buscaglia’s Due Forni remains a sort of ‘secret’ in the growing shadow of an area increasingly marred by chains and shopping centers, a destination too long overlooked by myself and one that deserves more attention from those contemplating another overpriced burger, imported ‘concept,’ or feed-the-masses “dog friendly patio” sort of space. .
RECOMMENDED: Carpaccio, Blood Sausage, Spinach Salad, Tortellini, Roman Style Pizza, Desserts (plural.)
AVOID: Bucatini could have used a bit more time in the water and more attention to the chunks of meat, Lasagna was enormous and well made but simply not my style as a result of all the Bell peppers.
TIP: Open from 11a-10p Su-Th and till eleven o’clock on weekends, those looking for a deal would be well advised to check out Lunch and Happy Hour Specials while Groupon users may also wish to perform a search for offers available.
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.