Garlic Focaccia, Bread Stick, Roll with herbs and Olive Oil
Borgoluce Valdobiadene Brut Prosecco Superiore DOCG
Ricotta with Langoustine and Blood Orange
Arancino di Carne e Caciocavallo
Tartare di Avocado – Pomodoro – Melanzana
Venica Ronco del Cero Collio Sauvignon Blanc
Polipo Siciliano – Marinated Octopus, Capers, Black Olive, Potato
Vitello Tonnato – Seared Beef Tenderloin “Fagottino,” Light Tuna Mousse, Pepper Coutons, Mini Lettuce
2013 Terlan Pinot Grigio DOCG
Risotto di Animelle – Spinach Risotto, Garlic Sauce, Marsala Glazed Veal Sweetbread
Raviolini di Ricotta – Housemade Small Pocket Ravioli with Sheep’s Ricotta, Zucchini, Guanciale
2009 Librandi Dulca Sanfelice DOCG
Lasagna alla Gino – Housemade Pasta Sheets, Bolognese Sauce, Bechamel, Ricotta Cheese, Tomato Sauce
Taglitelle N’duja – Smoked Calabrian Sausage, Fresh Sea Urchin, Caciocavallo Cheese
2010 Bruna Grimaldi Camilla Barolo DOCG
Trippa Satriano – Tripe in Spicy Tomato Sauce
Brasato – Braised Prime Short Ribs, Soft Polenta, Hen of the Wood Mushrooms, Castelmagno Fondue
Osso Bucco – Veal Shank Braised in Red Wine Reduction with Farro
Polpettine – Housemade Meatballs, Finger Fried Polenta, Red Sauce, Parmigiano
2007 Castello di Meleto Vin Santo del Chianti Classico DOCG
Rosalba’s Cookies – Lemon, Amaretto, Chocolate, etc.
Pastiera Napoletana – Warm Italian Ricotta Cheese and Rice Cake, Orange Marmalade, Crème Anglaise, Ricotta and Candied Fruit Ice Cream
Pistacchio Passion – Layered Pistacchio Cream, Cream Cheese Custard, Whipped Cream on Walnut Crust
Family owned and operated since 1985 it would be difficult to call Gino Ferraro’s family legacy anything less than iconic in Las Vegas, and sustaining three decades in a city where implosion and reconstruction are common both locals and tourists should be happy to know that much like the many fine wines in their cellar Ferraro’s Italian Restaurant has only gotten better with time.
Now operating under the toque of Francesco Di Caudo, Gino’s son Mimmo involved in the day-to-day operations of two Pizzeria Forte locations on the East side of The Strip, it was at the invitation of the family’s patriarch that I sat in the same chair I’d visited during the summer of 2015 and joined by a native Las Vegan Chef and an Italian-American server from New York a carte blanche four-course menu was offered, the sixteen plates ranging from time-honored classics to those just recently launched.
Greeted by Gino at the door and later shown the planned menu to which additions were graciously allowed it was at the suggestion of a longtime Sommelier that wine pairings were offered, a dry Prosecco proving brilliant alongside light opening bites amongst which the shrimp with housemade ricotta and parcels of veal with creamy tuna were elegantly executed standouts.
Talked through each presentation by servers that make the faux-Italian display of hospitality at Carbone seem borderline offensive it was with the taste of tender octopus tossed in briny accoutrements still lingering on the lips that crisp Pinot Grigio made way for the first of two pasta duos, and beginning with a Grinch-green risotto the results of top tier ingredients and careful attention were readily apparent, a sliced sweetbread both supple and rich offering a lovely bridge to the poignant pork flavor imbued in a light broth surrounding hand formed pockets of cheese.
Offered another white along with Gino’s famous family lasagna recipe before raising eyebrows skyward to the thrilling presentation of pasta ribbons slicked in spicy spreadable sausage with creamy urchin and Caciocavallo cheese each adding to form a flavor even more complex than the sum of its parts those fancying bread will no doubt find themselves requesting a second basket for requisite sopping, spotless plates returning to the kitchen without a drop of sauce going untouched.
Switching to Red with entrees, the first simply not my style while the 2010 Barolo proved to be the best I’ve tasted of its kind, suffice it to say that there is a reason Ferraro’s Osso Buco is ordered at almost every table and although perhaps not *quite* as tender, those desiring something a little less hearty would be well advised to take a look at the braised short ribs over polenta with mushrooms, the best Tripe in Sin City and Meatballs with crisp polenta fries no less compelling.
Still rooted in tradition in the desserts department, many of the offerings predating the restaurant and served with anecdotes about Gino’s mother and his children’s enjoyment of the cakes and cookies during their youth one would be hard pressed to name one dish “best” amongst the trio offered, the chef at our table particularly fond of Rosalba’s Amaretto and Lemon Cookies while I was particularly taken by the hybrid cheesecake/rice pudding/tres leches reminiscent Pastiera Napoletana with ice cream and orange marmalade, all three of us also smiling at the forgivingly light Pistachio Passion that tasted as rich as a cannoli with a fraction of the weight.
FOUR AND A HALF STARS: As time tested an experience as one will find in Sin City, Ferraro’s is perhaps even more relevant today than when it first opened its doors, and limited only by the fact that a menu rooted in tradition is less flexible than some may like it seems that Chef Francesco Di Caudo may be just the man to shake things and make the restaurant worthy of frequent repeat visits rather than just special occasions, even though the service and classics continue to show well.
RECOMMENDED: Osso Bucco, Vitello Tonnato, Taglitelle N’duja, Trippa Satriano, Rosalba’s Cookie Plate, Pistachio Passion.
AVOID: If one were to offer any critique of this meal, the avocado tartare would have benefited from a bit more seasoning while the white dinner rolls could be replaced by something housemade with a better surface area for dipping.
TIP: Those looking for a bargain would be well advised to investigate the Happy Hour menu offered from 4-7pm seven days per week, or the late night menu that is similarly priced. Daily specials are also offered, but available only in the dining room on a supplemental menu not found on the restaurant Website.
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.