Ferraro’s is an institution. It’s been one of the city’s favorite Italian restaurants for nearly 30 years and before it moved to Paradise Road three years ago, it was one of the rare neighborhood restaurants that drew tourists away from the Strip. That balance has shifted now but it’s still beloved by locals and widely recognized for one of the best wine selections in town, incredible pasta dishes and the signature osso buco, a beyond-decadent braised veal shank in red wine reduction.
That’s the Ferraro’s everyone knows, but there’s more to experience. Chef Mimmo Ferraro’s tasting menu—five courses for $95—isn’t printed on paper; in fact, it doesn’t truly exist until you’ve ordered it. The chef comes to your table for a conversation about what you like and don’t like, what you’re in the mood for, and maybe a few hints about what you absolutely shouldn’t miss. Once your specifications have been addressed, a fantastic feast awaits.
My Mimmo experience began with lobster and black truffle risotto paired with a dense, almost-all-meat crab cake, a revelation of an opening dish. It may sound a little heavy for a starter, but a hit of citrus with the crab cake and the clean sweetness of the seafood helped cut the richness of the risotto. This chef prefers to incorporate two elements within each course, so you’re really getting to taste ten different dishes. An optional wine pairing will add $30 to the price.
- 4480 Paradise Road, 364-5300.
- Monday-Friday, 11:30 a.m.-2 a.m.; Saturday & Sunday, 4 p.m.-2 a.m.
Round two was a pasta double-header, seafood ravioli and old-school spaghetti carbonara. All Ferraro’s pastas are made fresh in-house, making it nearly impossible to choose a favorite. A few of our fellow diners weren’t seafood eaters, so they lucked into gnocchi bolognese, pillowy potato nuggets saturated in an almost creamy meat sauce.
Course three was a pick-me-up, bright and refreshing and so delicious, it vanished from our plates in seconds. On the left side of plate, red and golden beets over goat cheese and micro greens decorated with basil oil; to the right, carpaccio di manzo—paper-thin slices of raw beef wrapped around shaved parmigiano and an arugula truffle oil salad. I may or may not have stolen my neighbor’s carpaccio.
Chef Mimmo finished us off with smaller portions of the osso buco and coniglio brasato, braised rabbit with pancetta, onions and white wine, an example of the more exotic offerings at Ferraro’s. Chef explained that some eaters fear the potential gaminess of rabbit, but it doesn’t exist with his version of the dish, which eats like luscious confit. The restaurant could easily be famous for this dish as much as the veal shank.
There were multiple desserts, of course—the pistachio cream custard should not be missed—and espresso, maybe a sweet wine at the end. The Mimmo Experience is a comprehensive one, to be sure. No matter how many times you’ve dined at Ferraro’s, there’s always more to learn about this long-great Las Vegas restaurant.