The mobsters and superstars of early Las Vegas saw something brilliant in David Alenik. Frank Sinatra personally requested the chef’s talent in his own kitchen.
They weren’t the only ones who fell in love with the Italian food created by the Johnson & Wales Culinary grad who also cooked for Steve Wynn, and other Vegas notables during his 40-year-career; the public ate it up, too, when Alenik and wife, Ann, opened Pasta Shop Ristorante and Art Gallery nearly three decades ago. It quickly became a community fixture thanks to his made-from-scratch dishes. Alenik’s culinary talents guided the restaurant until he died in 2016, leaving Ann and their three children to helm the Henderson business.
“We were thrust into this new arena where we had to fill in the gaps of his larger-than-life presence,” Ann says. They’ve kept his legacy alive, expanding their wholesale pasta business to restaurants and casinos across the Valley and knocking out Italian cuisine that keeps people coming back to the cozy spot where Ann’s art adds to the ambience.
“We are focusing on implementing new technologies, delivery apps and social media marketing in order to reach a broader audience,” she says, noting that in June 2016, Pasta Shop incorporated a vegan menu. “We have remained true to our roots—wonderful food, spectacular art and our close relationships with our customers, which will always be the focal points of our business.”
Pasta Shop Ristorante 2525 W. Horizon Ridge Parkway, 702-451-1893. Tuesday-Friday, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. & 4:30-9 p.m.; Saturday, 4-9 p.m.; Sunday, 4:30-8:30 p.m.; Monday, 4:30-9 p.m.