Dining Out with the Harrises
Hidden Gems Beyond the Neon of the Las Vegas Strip - Part I
Las Vegas is a city that never slumbers and that is especially true when it is the food and beverage industry. If you can make it here in the food industry you are probably doing something incredibly right since the competition for culinary cash is fraught with intense heat in and out of the kitchen. Most new restaurants, especially mom-and-pop places spring up along the Vegas strip malls like cactus in the desert, but how does one stay relevant year after year as the number of new chefs and celebrity chefs weave their way into the Vegas restaurant landscape? From observation it takes many factors, but the two that truly stand out are customer service and great food. If you excel at both, than you are sure to survive and thrive in a city that is hungry 24/7.
Recently, we had the pleasure of visiting a few new places that impressed us with their flavors, ambience and stellar customer service. They are worth taking a look at in the midst of the dining establishment deluge. Let’s start with Plantone’s Italian Market, an eatery that boasts all homemade pastas and fresh “made on premise” mozzarella. General Manager Marty Helfand said, “By using authentic ingredients, Plantone’s prepares those comforting Italian dishes that everyone loves.” By using the freshest ingredients and crafting a varied menu, including homemade desserts, wines by-the-glass and bottled beers, it is worth coming back multiple times to graze through the authentic Italian menu. Make it a point to try the homemade lasagna or fettuccine bolognaise, hand tossed pizzas and superb New York City-style subs such as the Pantone’s Parma stacked with generous slices of imported Prosciutto di Parma, hous e-made mozzarella, fresh basil pesto, spicy arugula and fresh tomato with a splash of exquisite golden EVOO.
This casual Italian café-market has a neighborhood vibe, ample padded high top booths and generous open seating, making this the place to take friends and family for that early dinner or pizza on the go also sold by the slice. For more info on Plantone’s go to plantonesitalian.com.
Another hidden neighborhood gem that has just a year under its restaurant belt is a casual eatery that offers heaping food helpings that are deliciously nutritious and nurturing for everyone on the healthy bandwagon. The Daily Kitchen is a diminutive whitewashed space, with rows of small tables and three blue cloth-covered banquettes. With the limited space many choose the convenience of take-away ordering. Sourcing only the freshest ingredients, including Mary’s Chickens that are pasture raised and non-GMO chickens, is indicative of the trend to cater to the health conscious. “More people want to know where the food they are eating is sourced,” said General Manager Dominick DiLello. “We make it a point to give them real food, fast and with the best ingredients that ensure optimum flavor.”
Chef Mario Tipia’s motivation is in creating food that produces good emotional memories and what better way to do that than with his classic comfort food, mac and cheese. “Just some plain black pepper as the seasoning, cooked with béchamel, simple elbow macaroni, extra sharp and gruyere cheeses, and topped with a panko crust and that all it takes to make one of the favorite sides on the menu,” added Chef Mario.
The Sunday dinner option is the perfect meal to pick up after a lazy day of Sunday activities. With a meaty rotisserie whole chicken $36, or 1.25 pounds of USDA certified Angus tri-tip steak $38 with a large Caesar salad, two sides and country bread, this is a meal that is not only abundant in quantity but in quality of flavor and tastes. Good food creating great memories is what DK is all about. For more information on Daily Kitchen, go to dkeatery.com.