New York Bagel N Bakery
Black & White Cookie
Italian Wedding Cookie, Chocolate Rugelach, Granellati Man, Befanini, Golosoni Man, Trollini, Cream Cheese Cookies
Having only visited Montesano’s Italian Eateria once, but familiar with the family and their longstanding role in Las Vegas’ culinary scene from another facet of life, it was with a bit of sadness that news of the Restaurant’s closure was heard in Summer 2016, the final date of service on July 30th yet another blow to family-owned independent businesses in The Valley but the Montesano’s recent take-over of New York Bagel Bakery near University Medical Center thankfully a return to form after the 17-month hiatus.
Rebranding the space at 840 South Rancho Drive as New York Bagel N Bakery, signage yet to come with the marquee currently faintly emblematic of a previous ownership plus a Gyro shop prior, those entering the space located just down from Smith’s will quickly be greeted by familiar faces and decorations from the shop on South Eastern Avenue, owner Steve present and hard at work lining countertops with classic Italian Pastries.
Currently scaled back from their previous business as purveyors of Pizza and Pasta, the New York Bagels n’ Bakery concept taking over for previous owners and adding Montesano’s “Where Love has a Taste” hallmark in the form of housemade Cookies, Breads, Cakes, Brownies and more, it was as three women ordered loaded Bagel Sandwiches that chiller cases containing New York-style Cheesecake and Cream Cheese Spreads was perused, the eventual decision to order several $12.99 per pound Cookies accompanied by two larger items that were taken elsewhere to enjoy.
Still featuring the same seating arrangements as New York Bagel Bakery, Steve Montasano promising several improvements in décor and selection just as soon as the necessary items arrive, it was bearing in mind the homey prior confines that first bites were taken of an enormous Black & White Cookie, the city’s very best immediately announcing its return with a soft, Cake-like base and crackling Vanilla Frosting on one side with the other thickly slathered in creamy Dark Chocolate.
Impressed by the value, a mere three dollars for both the Black & White as well as a dense Fudge Brownie studded with Walnuts that fares far better than its counterpart at Bagel Café or Weiss thanks to Chocolate lacking the waxy linger of Paraffin, it was several hours later seven different styles of Cookies were tasted, the Italian Wedding as smooth and buttery as any experienced to date while the Chocolate Rugelach, person-shamed Granellati and Cream Cheese Drop also outclassed anything similar in Sin City.
Moving finally to a thick Rainbow wedge of cut into nine individual pieces, singles not yet available but charged the same as any other housemade Cookie, those with any knowledge or nostalgia for this treat certainly won’t mind having to order more than one to get a taste as Montesano’s one-ups the likes of Roma Deli by scratch-baking each layer, the Chocolate thin and crisp while Raspberry Jelly adds moisture between each thin layer of Almond Cake.
FOUR AND A HALF STARS: Making a welcome return to Las Vegas, now on the West Side of the Strip, Steve Montasano and family have scaled back operations while retaining the quality of their Cookies, Cakes and Pastries, this first look a good sign of things to look forward to in the coming weeks and months.
RECOMMENDED: Rainbow Cookies, Black & White Cookie, Italian Cookies, Cream Cheese Drops, Granellati.
AVOID: Judging the current décor as the Montesano family just received the keys last week.
TIP: Open 6a-4p weekdays and 7a-2p on weekends. Call (702) 258-7400 for special requests or large orders.
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.