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Wednesday, April 22, 2020

A Musical Feast - Allegro



A musical feast

Story by Bob Gourley


One of the many pleasures of living in Las Vegas is not only enjoying live theater and concerts, but indulging in a fine meal before or after a performance. The Wynn Hotel is a great place for entertainment, and if you are looking for a spot near the theaters, visit Allegro. Chef Enzo Febbrado is in charge and has crafted a list of memorable Italian classics, coupled with new menu twists. As a youth, he began cooking in his grandmother’s kitchen and some of her recipes have made their way to the current menu.

Allegro means “at a brisk pace,” fitting with the restaurant’s casual atmosphere with friendly and efficient service. They ask if you are going to a show and adjust service accordingly. The entire restaurant has an open feel with a busy bar area and a dining space that isn’t so noisy you can’t carry on a conversation. If you want to watch the passing crowds, ask for one of the two tables that jut into the busy walkway. Muted red seats and subtle color tones are a pleasant sight as you slip into your chair.

The evening begins with an appealing basket of bread and an accompanying dipping sauce of olive oil and small cubes of garlic to help set the Mediterranean mood.

There is a large selection of first courses. If you’re feeling adventuresome, you may want to choose Grilled Octopus. The tasty cephalopod is surrounded by celery, tomato, onion, cucumber, avocado, Kalamata olives, and tomato mustard coulis. Salads are large enough to share. Two winners are the Beet with roasted cauliflower and the Arugula with fennel, orange, shaved Parmesan, and lemon vinaigrette. Both are so fresh you will swear the greens were just picked.

A duet of soups includes minestrone with roasted vegetables and tubetti pasta, or white bean and escarole with garlic, basil, parsley, and parmesan.

Wood-stone pizzas are also great for communal feasting. A Bosco pie has roasted mushroom puree, ricotta cheese, and white truffle oil.

As mentioned earlier, classics fill up the main course fare. A recent order of the Pappardelle was satisfying and filling. Homemade thick noodles were immersed in traditional vodka sauce. Meat choices are a fitting accompaniment. Strigoli Pasta was another pick, twisted pasta with small pieces of short rib, porcino mushrooms, and red sauce.

Another choice is Baked Lasagna Napoletana, a layered masterpiece of meat ragu sauce, meatballs, pork, and special mozzarella that adds a little smoked flavor. Oxtail isn’t something you find in too many Italian restaurants, but the Short rib and Oxtail entrée is also filled with fontina cheese and winter black truffle. We noted that all the pasta dishes we sampled were light, and though the portion sizes are plentiful, we didn’t feel stuffed.

Vegans can enjoy Allegro with its trio of dishes that include baked vegan cannelloni and organic ancient grain penne. Cannelloni is a collection of mushrooms, truffle, almond ricotta, tomato sauce, herb crust, and pistachio. Penne is a dieter’s delight, weighing in at 460 calories. Garlic, basil, cherry tomato, zucchini, and asparagus sit in extra virgin olive oil.

Dessert options read like a billboard from Rome. Enjoy the Tiramisu with mascarpone mousse, coffee-soaked ladyfingers, and chocolate liqueur. I especially enjoyed this light and airy version, with its hint of coffee flavor that didn’t overpower, as happens with some recipes. Or, you might select from a variety of gelatos, sorbets, and a vegan citrus panna cotta prepared with fresh grapefruit and orange segments, plus almond milk soy yogurt Italian custard.

If you are just stopping by for a libation, they have a crowd-friendly bar area and a wine list with selections from all over the world. A German Schloss Reinhartshausen offers a little sweetness. From California, a Daou Vineyards cabernet sauvignon is fine by itself or as an accompaniment for a heavier meat dish.

Specialty cocktails include the Allegro Spritz, a collection of Aperol, Ramazzotti Rosato, Giffard rhubarb, and Prosecco. An Italian version of the Mule is prepared with Absolut Madrin Vodka, Fernet Branca, passion fruit, lime, and ginger beer.

The friend who introduced us to Allegro likes to dine there every time she visits from Los Angeles. Since there are ample selections of classics and updated picks, it’s possible to enjoy new choices every time. We had walked by the place several times, but had never visited. Sometimes it takes a recommendation from an out-of-towner to spur you on.




Wynn Hotel, 3131 Las Vegas Blvd. S


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