Ferraro’s Restaurant & Wine Bar
Garlic Focaccia, White Roll, and Herb Olive Oil
2011 Damilano Barolo Lecinquevigne
2011 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico
Romani – Roman Style Truffle Gnocchi, Roasted Royal Trumpet Mushroom, Parmigiano
Paninio Calabrese – Housemade Sausage, Caciocavallo Cheese, Rosalba’s Pickled Eggplant and French Fries
2015 Sella & Mosca La Cala Vermentino di Sardegna
Fresh Burrata – Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Pickled Peppers, Mushrooms, Rosalba’s Pickled Eggplant / Lardo – Pickled Onions and Fennel
Polipo Siciliano – Marinated Octopus, Capers, Black Olive, Potato
Polenta Aosta – Creamy Polenta, Truffle Pulled Short Ribs, Mixed Exotic Mushrooms
Trippa Satriano – Tripe in Spicy Tomato Sauce
2014 Rivera Preludio No 1 Chardonnay Castel del Monte
2011 Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona Brunello di Montalcino
Spaghettini Aglio e Olio – Olive Oil, Roasted Garlic, Red Pepper, Parmigiano
Risotto Lombardo – Mascarpone Cheese Risotto, Chestnut Honey, Arabica Coffee Powder
Bucatini Corti Amatrice – Thick Short Spaghetti, Traditional Roman Sauce, Guanciale, Tomato, Pecorino, Red Pepper Flakes
Cappelletti Vaccinara – Filled Housemade Pasta with Braised Oxtail, Celery, Sunchokes, Roasted Onion Reduction
Pappardelle Mimmo – Long Wide Pasta with Scallops, Lobster, Asparagus, Butter, Sage, Truffle
Pappardelle Cinghiale – Long Wide Pasta, Wild Boar Ragu
2014 Malvira Roero Arneis D.O.C.G.
2014 Le Macchiole Bolgheri Rosso
Brasato – Braised Short Ribs, Truffle Roman Gnocchi, King Mushroom, Castelmagno Cheese Fondue
Polletto Arrosto – Herb Marinated, Pan-Roasted Chicken, N’duja, Potatoes, Sweet Peppers, Lemon-Almond Gremolata
Paleo Pasta Pomodoro – Housemade Almond Flour, Arrowroot, Tapioca and Egg Pasta, Tomato Sauce
2008 Castello di Meleto Vin Santo del Chianti
Double Espresso on Ice
Tiramisu – Lady Fingers, Mascarpone Cheese, Espresso
Rosalba’s Cookies – Lemon, Amaretto, Chocolate, Hazelnut, Wedding Cookies
Pistacchio Passion – Layered Pistacchio Cream, Cream Cheese Custard, Whipped Cream on Walnut Crust
Sfogliatella – Crisp Pastry, Citrus Ricotta
In a city happier to implode and rebuild than to invest in the future there are few Icons, those classic places from which locals reminisce of great times that can still be visited today, yet even as tourists willingly spend $70 for burned Lasagna and a lot of theatrics imported from New York on the Strip the name Ferraro remains relevant, a look at the new menu from Chef Francesco Di Caudo adding modernity to the classics and keeping the restaurant vibrant after more than thirty years in the business.
Originally visited in 2015, a longtime omission from visits to Las Vegas based on rumors that the food had become dated, visit number three to the storied Restaurant and Wine Bar on Paradise came several months after the last, including a trip to Italy, little having changed in terms of the décor or top-tier service while Chef Di Caudo has now had nearly eighteen months to hone in on local’s expectations, the tasting served in four courses ranging from Happy Hour bites to elegant handmade Pastas and perfectly cooked Proteins plus Desserts that provided a truly unexpected treat.
Admittedly friendly with the ownership, both Gino and Mimmo stopping by to say hello during the course of the night, it was with deference to the kitchen plus a few requested plates that the meal began just past 5:30pm on a Friday, four tender morsels of Gnocchi arriving with the fragrance of Truffles beneath roasted Mushrooms as a welcome from the kitchen and followed by an ‘Ora Sociale’ Sandwich worthy of worth seeking out as crusty Bread is pressed around Spicy housemade Sausage, piquant Cheese, and the Ferraro family’s famous Pickled Eggplant.
Gifted complimentary Wine pairings throughout the evening, many of the Vintages unfamiliar to the table but nicely explained and obviously well thought-out, the first proper course of the evening was a collection of Antipasti including the classic Octopus, Olive and Caper dish that had impressed on a prior visit plus Fresh Burrata, Sliced Lardo and pickled Condiments – the Eggplant again a highlight though the Mushrooms and Peppers were no slouch either for refreshing the palate between bites.
Enjoying the Sardinian White with Meat, Cheese nd Octopus while both Barolo and the fruitier Amarone were well suited to Ferraro’s unparalleled Tripe and a plate of Polenta topped with shredded Short Rib and Mushrooms, Chef Di Caudo’s Primi course was a true embarrassment of riches with six tasting portions sent out simultaneously, a sip of Chardonnay refreshing the palate in anticipation of the al dente Spaghettini Aglio e Olio that found greatness in simplicity while the “Pappardelle Mimmo” delivers a whole lot of Seafood per bite, including both a nicely caramelized Scallop and snappy chunks of Lobster.
Offering up more wide ribbons of Pasta beneath a chunky Ragu of Wild Boar alongside another meaty plate of tender tubes filled with Oxtail in a pool of Onion Juice with Sunchokes in various forms, Di Caudo raises the bar for Rice in Sin City by way of “Risotto Lombardo” that sees the grains softened slightly in Mascarpone and Chestnut Honey with a dusting of Coffee Powder while the Bucatini Corti Amatrice presents Pasta with a good tooth but proper ‘give’ mixed with Pork Jowl, Tomatoes and Red Pepper Flakes.
Already feeling the effects of so many bold flavors and a bit too much wine, Secondi did not slow down in terms of the quality of the food or the portion of the pours, a 2014 Malvira Roero Arneis proving to be one of the most memorable Whites in recent memory and a perfect complement to the pan-toasted Chicken bolstered by Calabrian Sausage, Sweet Peppers and Lemon while the Brasato featured elements from two prior plates in bold combination, the Gluten-free Pasta sent out merely to show off a texture that is virtually indistinguishable from the Pappardelle and available with one of three choices of Sauce.
Not really the sort of place to reinvent the wheel in terms of dessert, everything from the classic Tiramisu to the Ricotta Cake setting a city-wide standard for classic quality, it was as a great surprise that the table was treated to two oven-fresh Sfogliatelle with crisp coils shattering around creamy Citrus, Mimmo’s favorite Pistacchio Passion as light and creamy as it was the last time while Rosalba’s Cookie Plate should be required eating on every guest’s agenda.
FIVE STARS: Always good, but now climbing to the upper echelon of Las Vegas Italian food with the likes of Portofino and Fiamma, Ferraro’s continues to prove that the best don’t remain great by doing the same thing over and over or by blowing things up to reinvent, but rather by continued improvement with a focus on quality and the guest’s overall enjoyment.
RECOMMENDED: Paninio Calabrese, Rosalba’s Pickled Eggplant, Trippa Satriano, Spaghettini Aglio e Olio, Risotto Lombardo, Polletto Arrosto, Sfogliatelle, Rosalba’s Cookies.
AVOID: The fries served with the Panino seemed out of place. They weren’t bad, but at a place like Ferraro’s something else would seem more appropriate, even if it is Happy Hour.
TIP: Wild Boar Pappardelle, Lardo and Sfogliatelle were all off-menu/nightly specials and may not be available on a given night. Check online for the new Vegan menu, as well.
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.