Don’t judge a book by its cover. No truer words have been spoken when it comes to the restaurant industry. It works both ways actually. Just like there are amazing meals to be had at non-descript and unassuming little restaurants found in strip malls, you can also be fooled by the pomp and circumstance of beautiful architecture and lavish decor, only to be disappointed by a lack-lustre dining experience.
An excellent example to illustrate this point is Trattoria Reggiano in the Venetian Resort Las Vegas. I have passed by this little restaurant on numerous occasions, and although I took note that the place was always packed, the fact that the location and layout seemed to be only a slight cut above a mall food court eatery, I never really gave it serious consideration.
However, on our last visit to Las Vegas, in staying with our goal to find more moderately priced restaurants that still qualified as foodie-approved destinations, and the fact that we were seeing Rock of Ages at the Venetian that evening, I thought we would give it a shot. And mamma mia, I’m glad we did!
Trattoria Reggiano is a small restaurant with traditional Italian cafe decor (love all the vintage images adorning the walls). There are several tables inside the space, as well as a number of tables situated outside the restaurant – great for people watching, but not really relaxing or intimate with the constant flow of people through the Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian. For this reason, we chose an inside table.
The service is simply amazing – extremely attentive and engaging. All the servers make you feel like a special guest. The table next to us were obviously regulars at the restaurant and I can honestly say, we were treated with the same amount of care and genuine enthusiasm. And that’s saying a lot when you consider how many people come through their doors on a daily basis. It really made for a great dining experience.
And what can I say about the food. Fantastic! Although I haven’t been to Italy yet, I have visited other parts or Europe and have also eaten at numerous Italian restaurants around the world. And the food at Trattoria Reggiano has a real authenticity about it – the richness, the depth of flavour and the quality of the ingredients are outstanding. The house made sausage on the thin crust pizza was addictive and the decadent Carbonara cream sauce featuring imported pancetta on the perfectly cooked Linguine was impressive.
And after ordering the Veal Parmigiana and being told it was the best in town – I thought, I’ll be the judge of that. And after tasting it I thought, they may be right! The portion is massive, with a beautiful crispy crust on the tender veal cutlet and super tasty pomodoro sauce with flavourful melted mozzarella. I probably shouldn’t have eaten the whole thing, but I didn’t want to take it with me to Rock of Ages, and it would have been a sin to let even one bite go to waste. Absolutely delicious! Nice little wine list too with some solid Italian selections.
Between the exceptional service and the outstanding food, I can highly recommend Trattoria Reggiano for your next visit to Las Vegas. Keep in mind, they do not accept reservations – so try to arrive early if you are catching a show. If you do have to wait for a table, its definitely worth it. For now, back to the cage.