Look at you! You behaved yourself all summer long, and you’ve got the body to prove it. But now the moment you’ve been waiting for has arrived. The pool’s closed. The swimsuits are packed away in the closet. It’s cold outside, and now you get more than one cheat day a week. Take as many as you like.
It’s time to carb up. But don’t sink into pasta season with any old red-sauce joint—you’ll be hitting your favorite neighborhood Italian spot all winter long. The first saucy, cheesy bowl is a special occasion, so celebrate at one of the Strip’s luxurious, utterly satisfying pasta palaces.
Baked Lasagna Napoletana at Allegro
The Italian offerings at Wynn and Encore are second to none. Costa di Mare is known for immaculate seafood, Sinatra is an old-school classic and there are amazing pasta dishes at both, but if you want to fork something that will roll your eyes back in your head, Allegro’s the spot. There, amicable chef Enzo Febbraro slow-simmers a “Sunday sauce” ragu with pork and meatballs that pushes his dense, rich lasagna over the top. The smoked mozzarella adds an extra savory touch. $29, Wynn, 702-770-2040.
Spicy Rigatoni Vodka at Carbone
The menu at Carbone isn’t much to look at, and neither is this deceptive dish. The lack of descriptions force you to ask for recommendations, and your captain will certainly point you to this seemingly simple plate of sauce-smothered pasta tubes. Surprise! It’s perfect—onions, tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, heavy cream, vodka, butter and just the right amount of Calabrian chili. Go ahead, try to make it at home. It won’t be the same, even if you serve it while wearing a tuxedo. There’s a reason everyone orders this. $28, Aria, 702-590-2663.
Pici at Scarpetta
Carbone’s rigatoni is just like Scott Conant’s spaghetti at Scarpetta—delicious dishes that seem plain and blow you away with flavor. But there’s a different noodle at Scarpetta that deserves your attention, strands of hand-rolled bliss—pici is like fat spaghetti—smothered in otherworldly almond-chili pesto and topped with fresh tarragon and sweet chunks of lobster. I know, I know ... you don’t want to spend 40 bucks for a bowl of pasta. Fine. Have fun at Olive Garden. We’ll Instagram this for you. $38, Cosmopolitan, 702-698-7960.