Now that it’s out on its own, no longer under the umbrella of Station Casinos, the Aliante Casino + Hotel is eager to reconnect with its audience. It’s a beautiful neighborhood casino, stocked with all the usual amenities: movie theaters, bingo and poker rooms, restaurants, bars and even a snappy little entertainment venue. The neighborhood, the master-planned community of Aliante in North Las Vegas, is still coming around. It was one of the hardest hit by the foreclosure crisis, complicating the casino’s bad timing (it opened at the end of 2008).
Developing a welcoming array of dining options is one of the casino’s primary weapons in reconnecting to the community, and so far Aliante is playing it safe. It has rebranded the Mexican restaurant and buffet and held on to a steakhouse and TGI Friday’s. The boldest move has been converting the Italian restaurant—originally conceived by local industry stalwart Rino Armeni—into an intriguing three-meal cafe, now dubbed Bistro 57. This new restaurant provides a coffee shop-style experience while adding some European flourishes.
The space still looks and feels like a slightly generic Italian restaurant. A few booths have been added to the dining room, and the former wine lounge now doubles as a breakfast counter. But the lack of change isn’t an issue; like the rest of the property, this place was fine as is and still feels brand new. It may be a 4-year-old casino, but there are no signs of wear.
- Bistro 57
- Aliante Casino, 7300 Aliante Parkway, 692-7777.
- Sunday-Thursday, 7 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday & Saturday, 7 a.m.-10 p.m.
There are Euro-bistro touches on every part of the menu. Indulge in a classic Croque Monsieur ($7) for breakfast or lunch. A completely respectable Eggs Benedict ($7) comes with a savory potato-onion hash, and salad options include Greek, an Italian chopped salad with plenty of cured meats and Nicoise with a sharp lemon vinaigrette. And going against the grain of most casino coffee shops—even the good ones—Bistro 57 actually serves decent coffee, Seattle’s Best brew.
The wine-by-ounce program is another holdover from the days of Pip’s Cucina, a complement to a nice selection of dinner entrees. Seared ahi tuna ($19) is nicely cooked but oddly presented as a full steak, not the typical plate of sliced fish we’re used to. It’s not a problem, and completely made up for by the excellent pommes frites, which fall somewhere between crisp potato chips and French fries. There’s a burger with your choice of cheese, a few flatbread-style pizzas, pasta dishes and fish and chips. There’s also a hearty English shepherd’s pie ($10), quite a satisfying deal, and tender braised osso bucco with porcini risotto ($24). So many restaurants of this genre fail to incorporate their subtle theme into the menu, but Bistro 57 succeeds. It’s a worthwhile addition to a neighborhood saturated with chain restaurants.
It’d be nice if it was open 24 hours so the late-nighters around here wouldn’t have to settle for video poker bar food, but that probably doesn’t make sense at Aliante—not yet, anyway.