Women of Intrigue: Gina Marinelli

Photo: Wade Vandervort

The cycle continues: It seems like every year a talented chef with years of Strip restaurant experience breaks away to open their own exciting neighborhood eatery. This fall, it’s Gina Marinelli’s turn.

Her resumé is stacked with Vegas favorites: Michael Mina’s Nobhill and American Fish, Shawn McClain’s Sage, Scott Conant’s D.O.C.G. Now she’ll be cooking her own food at La Strega, set to open in Summerlin this fall.

“I always thought of doing something like this. You always have that dream of meeting a great investor and getting lucky and I did, I got with a great team, and in the last year the concept has really evolved,” she says. “Going local is something I always wanted to do, to cook for people that come more than once or twice a year. After a while it becomes important to really be part of this town and not just part of the Strip.”

Located in the space previously occupied by Due Forni, La Strega is set to showcase Marinelli’s divergent take on Italian cuisine in a bright, cool environment. “I always want to cook for my guest, but I don’t want to just open up another place that you can go two miles down the road and get the exact same thing,” she says. “There’s nothing on this side of town like this. We have great Italian, but this is a different type of Italian—my Italian. I’m covering all the different regions and that’s very important to me, because my family comes from the north and from Sicily. You’re going to see more than red sauce and Parmesan. I’m telling my story.”

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Brock is an award-winning writer and reporter who has been documenting life in Las Vegas for 20 years. He currently ...

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