Locale Italian Kitchen
Crostini, Cetara Anchovy, Red Pepper Mostarda, Local Oregano
Pork “Wings”, Balsamic Vinegar, Pickled Mustard, Fresh Horseradish
Charred Octopus, Crispy Yukon Gold Potatoes, ‘Nduja, Marinated Peperonata
Guancia Fritti ‘Alla Amatriciana’, Onion Marmelatta, Guanciale, Pecorino Cheese
Mozzarella Tasting of Bufala, Di Stefano Burrata, Fiore di Latte, Tomato Jam, Cantabrico Anchovy, Mint Pistachio Pesto
Linguine with Mussels, Marjoram, Oven Roasted Tomatoes, Fresno Chili
Ricotta & Mint Ravioli, Braised Rabbit Ragu, Pancetta, Tuscan Mint
Housemade Garganelli, Braised Oxtail, Celery Leaf, Orange
Pollo al Forno, Bobo Farms Chicken, Polenta, Peperonata
Pan Seared Arctic Char, Oven Braised Leeks, Crispy Garlic, Mint, Calabrian Chili
12oz. Grilled New York Strip, Grilled Lemon, Bitter Greens ‘Caesar’
Torta Caprese Flourless Chocolate Cake, Strawberries / Plantation Rum Budino, Fried Rosemary, Caramel
Only open for eight days, but poised to establish itself as a destination in southwest Las Vegas, Locale Italian Kitchen hosted a Media dinner on Saturday featuring a baker’s dozen dishes from former Carnevino and Eataly Chef Nicole Brisson.
Setting out to explore the sort of Food one might find in rural Italy, artisan imports alongside locally-sourced Meats and Produce building a menu comprising Pizzas, Pastas, Appetizers and Entrees, it is at the far end of a complex also containing Albertson’s that guests will find Locale, the interior best described as modern barn-house right down to the doors.
High-ceilinged but not overly large, just seventy-five seats between the main dining room and bar area, it is via partnership with Andy Hooper of Black Sheep that Locale aims to bring guests a relaxed experience with quality cuisine at a fair price, the Aperol Spritz from Mixologist Erin Hall a good place to start as Antipasti including Crostini with Anchovies and crispy Pork brightened by Balsamic play elegantly off sparkling Citrus.
Less impressed by overcooked Octopus, an ingredient Chef Brisson previously executed with great dexterity inside the Palazzo, it was right back on track that Pork Jowl thrilled as Fritters next to Onion Jam though the $20 Mozzarella Tasting would have benefited from an element of contrast, whether that be Bread, Pickles or perhaps Olives.
Prone to gauge the quality of an Italian Kitchen by its Pasta, even a Steakhouse like Carnevino, course two offered three distinct ideas that performed above average, the Linguini a touch limp without a lot of heat though the Mussels were good, while housemade Ravioli and Garganelli were well-Sauced but more noteworthy for their respective Noodles than the Ragu, particularly as relates to the former which needed a bit more Salt or Pancetta.
Described on the website as “Meat-centric” it should be no surprise that Secondi make up large portion of Locale’s menu, and although neither the New York Strip’s price nor heritage will send guests reeling the flavor is good, though better bites are found in intrepid Arctic Char cooked perfectly amidst Leeks and Chilis as well as organic Chicken that is tender and complexly seasoned atop toothsome Cornmeal.
Not yet publishing a Dessert menu, but finishing the meal with Flourless Chocolate Cake and boozy Pudding made even better by housemade Caramel perfumed with Rosemary, this early look at Locale shows potential for greatness, and given Nicole’s track record there’s little doubt Mountain’s Edge is already better for hers and Mr. Hooper’s presence.
N/A: Obviously unfair to judge such an event, Locale clearly has its sights set on becoming not only a neighborhood Restaurant but something more, and thus some time plus a party smaller than forty would probably be a better way to properly gauge the dishes individually.
RECOMMENDED: Crostini, Guancia Fritti, Housemade Garganelli, Pollo al Forno, Pan Seared Arctic Char, Plantation Rum Budino.
AVOID: Octopus, Linguine.
TIP: Dinner Daily from 4:30-10:00pm
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.