Arizona-based Fox Restaurant Concepts’ first successful foray into the Las Vegas market was the hip, friendly Culinary Dropout at the Hard Rock Hotel. Now the innovative dining group has invaded the Vegas ’burbs with the warm, homey North Italia in the renovated Rampart Commons center at Charleston and Rampart boulevards.
Its expansive dining room, cozy patio and charming kitchen windows set a tone of familiarity, and the food truly hits the spot—comfortable Italian cuisine with fresh flavors and all the right favorite dishes. The restaurant’s mantra is “handmade with love, from scratch, daily,” and you can taste it in every bite.
It starts with deliciously light vegetable creations perfect for sharing, like grilled artichoke with sea salt, truffles and grana padano cheese or addictive fried zucchini chips. Pizzas are available with a gluten-free crust and come topped with creative combinations like prosciutto with figs, goat cheese and arugula. The pasta course presents some tough choices, but consider the gigli chicken pesto with toasted pine nuts and crispy capers, or the house specialty tagliatelle Bolognese, a sumptuous classic.
An early entrée favorite—and seasonally appropriate, too—is the red wine-glazed shortrib with Swiss chard, heirloom carrots and mascarpone-infused polenta. It’s the definition of a hearty meal, one that will stick with you the same way memories of your first meal at North Italia will linger until you return. North Italia at 1069 S. Rampart Blvd., 702-507-0927; Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Friday 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-11 p.m., Sunday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.