Archive for the 'Italian' Category

Carbone – Las Vegas (Aria Resort and Casino)

Carbone - Las Vegas

Of all the incredible restaurants on our Las Vegas dining itinerary, I was most excited for Carbone. According the the restaurant’s website, “this celebrated concept from Mario Carbone, Rich Torrisi, and Jeff Zalaznick pays homage to the Italian-American restaurants of the mid-20th century – an era of glamour, showmanship and tableside service.” (See also: Parm).

My brother has been raving about Carbone ever since it opened in New York, so I was beyond stoked to experience the Las Vegas iteration for myself. One day I’ll make it to the original outlet.

Carbone - Las Vegas

From the moment we stepped into the restaurant, The Astronomer and I knew that we were in for a special evening. The main dining room boasted a chandelier dripping with crystals, while the waiters were outfitted in sharp crimson tuxes. All around us were carts preparing various provisions—from Caesar salad to bananas Foster—tableside. Dinner and a show is what Carbone is all about.

Carbone - Las Vegas

Just about everything here is larger than life, including the menu. Ironically, the details provided for each dish are minimal, despite the real estate available. Our waiter captain was simply fantastic with filling in any blanks and offering solid recommendations.

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DeSano Pizza – Los Angeles (East Hollywood)

DeSano Pizza – Los Angeles (East Hollywood)

While in the neighborhood for an appointment, The Astronomer and I tucked into Desano Pizza Bakery for a bite to eat, avoiding rush hour traffic and getting in some quality face time. As a bonus, we ate some damn good pizza too.

DeSano Pizza Bakery - East Hollywood - Los Angeles

I have heard nothing but positive things about DeSano ever since it opened early last year. Here, pizzas are made the old school Italian way, following the strict guidelines of the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (VPN). Ingredients, ovens, and quite possibly even some of the pizza makers are imported from Italy.

DeSano Pizza Bakery - East Hollywood - Los Angeles

After placing our orders at the front counter, we grabbed a table in the spacious dining room. The Astronomer watched MLS and La Liga on the flat screens, while I watched the pizzaiolos making our pies in the open kitchen. 

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Zuni Café – San Francisco

Zuni Café - San Francisco

After dining at two super-hip restaurants back-to-back while in San Francisco (see: State Bird Provisions and Al’s Place), a low-key lunch at beloved institution Zuni Café was just my speed before catching a flight back to Los Angeles.

Zuni Café - San Francisco

I’ve been hearing about Chef and Owner Judy Rogers‘ legendary roast chicken ever since I started reading and writing about food, and my colleagues were kind enough to satisfy my longtime culinary curiosity on our final afternoon in the city.

Zuni Café - San Francisco

Opened in 1979, Zuni Café serves an ever-changing seasonal menu inspired by traditional Italian and French recipes. As one of the pioneers of California cuisine, it’s not surprising that nearly all of the produce, meat, and fish served here is farmed or harvested in a sustainable manner.

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Roma Italian Deli – Pasadena

Roma Market - Pasadena

Roma Italian Deli‘s beloved “Sandwich” has been on my list of tasty things to eat since Jonathan Gold touted its merits back in 2012. Ironically, it’s often the food finds closest to my home that take me the longest to try. Go figure.

The Astronomer, June, and I finally stopped in to Roma on a recent Sunday afternoon. We were all in the mood for something low-key, so picking up sandwiches and enjoying them at the park was just our speed.

Roma Market - Pasadena

In addition to a well-stocked deli counter brimming with meats and cheeses, Rosario Mazzeo’s lil’ market boasts produce, wines, and a plethora of imported Italian provisions (pasta, olive oil, and the like). A return visit to peruse the shelves is definitely in order.

Roma Market - Pasadena

Even though “The Sandwich” is quite sizable, we couldn’t resist procuring a trio of cured meats to round out our spread.

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