Photos courtesy Elaine and Scott Harris

Chef Dan Thompson commenced on his culinary career in 2003, working all the way up from dishwasher in catering, building upon his experience to land several other catering positions while gleaning valuable work-life experiences from other trained chefs. He then created goals of leadership positions within the culinary industry and achieved his ambition through dedicated work and long hours.

He secured his first restaurant position as a prep cook at Carluccio’s (formerly Liberace’s) Tivoli Gardens Italian Restaurant. As a line cook he humbly began his career on the fryer and hot appetizer station. As an eager employee, he honed his skills mastering every station in the restaurant, yet dreaming of his next career move. Wanting a formal education, he enrolled in the Culinary Arts Program at Le Cordon Bleu in 2008 and achieved the honor roll. In 2009, he graduated in the top 2% of his graduating class at Le Cordon Blue with honors and was ready to pursue his dream.

Still working at Carluccio’s full time, and attending classes 40 hours per week, Dan managed to put in an additional 25 hours per week at the Red Rock Country Club. Within two weeks he was promoted to lead line cook for the private fine dining room in the clubhouse. He then was recruited to the Assistant Chef Position at Siena Golf Club and within a year was promoted to Executive Chef. In 2015 he made another move to Assistant Chef at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort and Casino and quickly moved into the Executive Chef position, garnering revenue, respect and resiliency.

While at Red Rock Country Club, Dan met his future wife Brandi, who was working the same shift as a server in the private dining room. Dan and Brandi married in 2017 and shared the common goal of someday having their own restaurant.  Often their dream appeared tenuous, but they never lost the vision and the drive to pursue their own business. 

In a twist of fate, Dan’s brother Donny, who had maintained a banking relationship with Peggy and Piero Broglia for nearly 18 years, approached Dan and Brandi with the prospect of purchasing Café Chloe from the Broglias, who were ready to retire. Dan and Brandi Thompson purchased Café Chloe and began to live their dream in 2018 and continue to offer Chef Piero’s classic recipes, slowly introducing great new dishes from Chef Dan’s traditional family recipes and dishes he has created over the course of his career. 

Upon walking in to D’Agostino’s Trattoria, guests feel warm and invited as traditional Italian aromas beckon them to their seats. Red and yellow colors jump out and draw one’s eyes to the open kitchen, buzzing with activity behind a case of classic Italian meats and cheeses. “I want to think I have a little niche of classic, Old World home-style dishes,” said Chef Thompson.

The wine list is affordable and diverse. A bottle of Veuve Clicquot Brut Rose jumped off the list and right onto our table signaling a brilliant way to start off the evening. Other nice selections included Justin Cabernet Sauvignon from Paso Robles, and many more American selections.  For an excellent trip through Italy why not enjoy Bertani Arvedi Amarone, Veneto, Antinori Tignanello, Tuscany or a nice bottle of Pio Cesare Barolo, Piedmont. 

Prosciutto di parma, fresh mozzarella and stuffed artichoke is the just the thing way to settle in and enjoy the experience. Pasta dishes like Chef’s rigatonialla puttanesca with kalamata olives, capers, garlic, pomodoro and fresh basil will really get your palate jumping. Enjoy a rich spinach & cheese tortellini au gratin tossed in cream and baked with parmigiana reggiano or how about the penne Siciliano, a nicely roasted eggplant with garlic, fresh mozzarella & pomodoro sauce to satisfy your cravings. 

The chicken marsala is lightly floured and sautéed with fresh mushrooms and finished with Chef’s own marsala sauce, a simplistic yet hearty rendition with meaty mushrooms. A noted star among the fish entrees is a flawlessly-prepared wild-caught Alaskan halibut, very lightly floured and seared with choice of lemon butter or puttanesca sauce and an ideal selection for lighter fare during the hot summer months. Dive into a classic eggplant parmigiana served with choice of sautéed green beans or penne pomodoro and of course, the definitive osso buco. The veal tender braised with red wine served with fettuccine and parmigiana reggiano is an exceptional choice.  For the grand FINI, housemade cheesecake served with fresh strawberries or house made tiramisu will certainly please and put a smile upon your face. 

D’Agostino’s is an Italian restaurant in every respect: warm, comfortable and convivial. Dan and Brandi’s years of hospitality and skill are lovingly presented in each dish. D’Agostino’s feels like family from the time you take your seat, featuring a menu that will keep you coming back for more.