[Chef Talk]

Talking longevity and Italian food favorites with Trevi chef Peter Scaturro

Trevi executive chef Peter Scaturro.

Nineteen years is a long time to work in one kitchen, but chef Peter Scaturro loves his location. The New York native came to Las Vegas in 1989 to open an Italian restaurant with his father and brother and ended up taking over at Lombardi’s in the Forum Shops. Through changes in ownership and name—it’s probably best remembered as Bertolini’s but is currently known as Trevi—Scaturro is still there, watching diners do their own people-watching from the Forum fountains while feasting on lasagna and linguine frutti di mare.

Why stick around so long?

Just when it seems time to go, I’ll stick around for something new, like when Landry’s bought the place, or when it changed its name to Trevi. I just love it. There’s a lot of action, always something different.

What was it like in the early days of the Forum Shops?

It was very strange. No one thought it would blow up like this, but it’s always nonstop. Whether or not people could afford to shop here didn’t matter, it was all about the fantasy. And here, people just love to sit and eat and watch other people.

Have you changed the menu a lot over the years?

There are slight variations here and there, some seasonal specialties, but we don’t want to go too far off from what people are familiar with. And there are quite a few favorite dishes, staples they love and keep coming back for.

Like that frutti di mare?

Definitely. Fresh shrimp, scallops and lobster over pasta with a lemon seafood cream sauce. That’s been on the menu since day one, and if we took it off, a lot of people would be very mad.

The name of the restaurant has changed three times. Has that confused people?

I don’t think so. It opened in 1992 as Lombardi’s, and then the Morton’s company got involved and it became Bertolini’s. It turned into Trevi five or six years ago when we signed a new lease, and then Landry’s came in and bought Morton’s about a year and a half ago. When it transitioned and the décor was changed—it used to be a traditional trattoria style, then it became more modern—some people were like, “Whoa. Can I still come in here wearing shorts?” But they got used to it and realized it was more comfortable, and it’s not a problem at all.

Is this location more famous than the restaurant itself?

Maybe, but one of the incredible things to me is that when it was shutting down as Bertolini’s, that last night when we were getting ready to tear down, I could not believe how many people came in to eat that night that had worked here over the years. I was astonished. The word got out and they wanted to come and eat one last time. It was amazing.

Tags: Dining
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Brock Radke has been writing about Las Vegas for more than 15 years. He currently covers entertainment, music, nightlife, food ...

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