Valentino: A Matrimony Between Traditional and Contemporary Italian Cuisine

Smoked Quail

The city of Venice, Italy is made up of 118 different islands, connected by bridges over the picturesque canals seen in vacation pictures and romantic movies. There might be just as many Italian restaurants in Las Vegas as the islands of Venice but the pinnacle is Valentino inside The Venetian Resort and Casino.

Founded by restaurateur Piero Selvaggio in Santa Monica, Valentino opened in 1999 and brought the elegance and excellence from southern California to Sin City. The exciting menu items are created by James Beard Award Winner (2004) Luciano Pellegrini. He takes traditional to the next level by tweaking recipes from northeast Italy and translating them into current, Las Vegas-local dishes. Some of the exquisite menu offerings include Sea of Cortez Scallops Wrapped in Pancetta, homemade Wild Boar Sausage with Sweet Onions and Peppers, Pasta with Roasted Rabbit, Butter Poached Swordfish Rolls Stuffed with Lobster and Lamb Ossobuco. In addition, the seasonal carte de jour carries traditional food from different regions from pasta to substantial main courses. It has three very reasonably priced tasting menus that will take you on a excursion through Chef Pellegrini's Italian creations. Try his five-course “Taste of the Menu” where you can choose from a list of appetizers and entrees to complete your meal. In addition, all tasting menus have an additional Italian wine pairing if you’d like to add even more to your already stellar meal.

The dining room is large, seating close to 250 people, with six different options for private parties or events. From a private six-person chef’s table, intimate seating for four in the Borolo Wine Cellar, a secluded dining room seating up to 30 guests and an large dining room accommodating up to 120 party members. This dinner-only fine dining establishment was ranked by Forbes Magazine as “America’s No. 1 Restaurant” and for the past decade, Valentino received “Grand Award Winner” by Wine Spectator as well. Valentino has over 2,000 bottles of wine in its cellar predominantly from California, France and of course Italy. 

Selvaggio and Chef Pellegrini give guests options for food and dining environments, specifically The Grill at Valentino: the casual dining area of this establishment that offers lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch. Valentino’s casual counterpart is an ideal choice for a quick bite or when taking a break from playing slots, sight-seeing or shopping. At night, The Grill allows guests to enjoy favorite Italian dishes like grilled pizzas, Beef Carpaccio, Spinach and Ricotta Cappellacci, Veal Scallopini and Ossobucco with Saffron Risotto, in an environment that is very relaxed. The breakfast options are vast with 13 different egg dishes including make-your-own three-egg omelet, a Wild Boar Scramble and Eggs Benedette. If you’re not feeling a traditional breakfast entree for your morning meal, try the prix fixe Brunch Menu where guests can pick two from a list of 15 choices and two desserts for $39. Notable entrees are the Grilled Scottish Salmon with Sautéed Spinach, a spread of homemade duck prosciutto served with micro greens and a cherry balsamic dressing and Lamb Chops in Pistachio Crust.

Las Vegas is where you go to splurge on food and fun, so why not go to a restaurant where the chef does the same to the menu. Fine food, an opulent wine selection and impeccable service are excellent reasons to go to a restaurant; let Chef Pellegrini’s skills in the kitchen and Piero Selvaggio’s hospitality entice you to make a final decision on Valentino.

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