On a recent trip to Las Vegas my husband left the buffets behind and opted for a romantic dinner for two.
During any stay in Las Vegas it's easy to loose touch with reality. Too much time on The Strip can give you a warped view of Las Vegas and the surrounding area. When my husband and I decided to plan a dinner out, we turned to La Voce.
La Voce is a free newspaper which describes its self as "The Voice of Las Vegas' Italian-American Community." One restaurant had both a favorable review and an ad in the paper--Il Fornaio in Henderson, NV. Beging CSI fans we immediately recognized the name.
Il Fornaio is located within the Green Valley Ranch Resort and Casino. It was easy to get to, but a million miles away in atmosphere from the strip. Yes, there was gaming going on. But, this is the casino for locals, golfers, and those tired of the go-go-go atmosphere of The Strip. The ambiance is relaxed, the decor of dark wood, and lush carpets. Green Valley is featured on the Travel Channel's series American Casino.
Il Fornaio is well worth the trip. It features daily, made from scratch dishes and baked goods. In 2001 it received a Wine Spectator award of excellence for its wine list. What makes Il Fornaio different is its culinary adventure through Italy. Each month there is a new focus on Italian food. For the beginning of September it is Puglia. The Festa Regionale features the food and wine of Puglia, created by Il Fornaio Chef-Partner Benji Macias.
On the Festa Regionale menu there were several choices, my husband I opted to order different dishes so that we could maximize our tasting. Everything was fantastic!
The portions were of a good, but not massive size. The idea is for you to enjoy your meal, not explode from it. The creamy sauces that we enjoyed were excellent. All wines perfectly matched the food--and unlike other restaurants, you receive a decent portion of wine.
The service was excellent. They served, but didn't hover. We had an interesting conversation with our waiter. It turned out he was a minister starting a parish in the area, and the money he earned there helped to support the church.
The chef came out to visit and it was only then we discovered that Il Fornaio is a chain. It began in California by a group of chefs raised and/or trained in Italy. Their passion and mission is to bring authentic Italian cooking to Americans. We were told:
Rotisseries are used for a variety of preparations. Pizzas are baked in a wood fired oven. Fresh pastas are made in-house daily, and dried pastas are imported from Italy.
The entire meal was a delight. The prices were reasonable and a bargain for the quality of food offered.
While we enjoyed getting away from Las Vegas, you can enjoy Il Fornaio on The Strip. There is a Il Fornaio located within the New York New York Casino. A sure bet on one of the best places to eat in Las Vegas.
Are looking for where the locals in Las Vegas eat? Try the Boulevard Bar & Grille!