[Chef Talk]

Mimmo Ferraro talks family and food

Mimmo Ferraro maintains family traditions while adding new elements to the cuisine at Ferraro’s.
Photo: Steve Marcus

Ferraro’s is all about family. That hasn’t changed since the Italian restaurant opened in 1985, and it certainly didn’t change when the family moved the restaurant from West Flamingo to across the street from the Hard Rock three years ago. “It was a life-changing deal,” says chef Mimmo Ferraro. “I thought I worked a lot of hours before. Everything here is twice the size of the old location. We were always big on convention and tourist business, and that has tripled here.”

Today’s Ferraro’s also boasts one of the most extensive Italian wine lists in the country, later hours (the full menu is available until 2 a.m. every night) and amazing specials for locals (half off Fridays through Sundays!). But something else has grown in recent years—the chef’s family. He’s got a 2-year-old son who “loves being in the kitchen, running the show,” and a little girl on the way. At home, he lets his wife do the cooking, especially if she’s making a pot of chili. “I don’t know what her secret recipe is,” he says. “I don’t ask. I can’t be intense in the kitchen, so I let her do her thing.”

Mimmo’s parents and Ferraro’s founders, Gino and Rosalba, are still working at the restaurant, too. “My father is here at the door daily,” says the chef. “You’ve got Mr. Ferraro at the door and Mr. Ferraro in the kitchen. Once you’ve come here and experienced the ambiance and service, the family and the food, you appreciate it, especially when you go to those other Italian restaurants in the casinos. Ferraro’s is Ferraro’s, and I really think we set the standard for Italian food here.”

Ferraro's 4480 Paradise Road, 364-5300. Monday-Friday, 11:30 a.m.-2 a.m.; Saturday & Sunday, 4 p.m.-2 a.m.

Tags: Dining
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