Photos courtesy Elaine and Scott Harris

Elaine and Scott Harris, pictured here with Chef German Castellano

The Venetian resort is known worldwide for its many venues from fine dining to casual take away and everything in between. Located upstairs, guests sip and shop at the Grand Canal Shoppes and its selection of designer clothes shops lining both sides of the Grand Canal complete with singing gondoliers. It is here, not far from the Grand Canal itself, that Casanova Ristorante reins as one the best hidden gems on the famed Las Vegas Strip.  Small and quaint, it can easily be missed; those who find it are in for a treat. 

Upon entering, the atmosphere is light and casual, bringing visons of a seaside Mediterranean dining venue that has been around for decades. At the helm is veteran Chef German Castellano, who has worked in some of the finest kitchens in the city. His menu reflects his respect for Italy and specifically Venice. It’s not all just about Italia here as Castellano draws inspiration from Greece and the Middle East. 

The wine list is cultivated by Italian Master Taster and Importer Carmelo Messina.  Messina is known globally for his educational wine seminars for the Industry and the public. The list has a life of its own as Messina keeps it current, fresh and exciting with many wines that can’t be found anywhere else on the Strip.  

A brilliant start to the evening is the Casanova Platter. Dive into Chef’s selection of imported Italian cold cuts and artisanal cheese, olives and hummus to get the palates ready for more. Go classic with Beef Carpaccio with wild arugula, capers, shaved Parmigiano Reggiano and citronette dressing. Enjoy a delightful Italian gift from the sea with Castellano’s Ricotta and Smoked Salmon. The ricotta cheese, dill, Norwegian salmon, caramelized onions and arugula will take you back to dining by the Mediterranean as the sun sets on the horizon. For traditional Italian fare you can’t go wrong with the Lasagna Alla Bolognese or a tender Veal Ossobuco Milanese, featuring a low-braised Veal Shank in a white wine tomato broth served with saffron rice pilaf and veggies. 

Castellano and Messina have brought decades of experience to the delightful hidden gem of Casanova and should be found over and over again.