By: Bob Gourley
Shopping malls used to be havens for hot dogs and fast food. There has been a concerted effort to improve the dining options at many malls around the country.
A recent upgrading of the Sunset Galleria in Henderson includes three new upscale restaurants that are gaining in popularity. Larsen’s, Gen Korean Barbecue and Bravo Cucina Italiana now prominently greet visitors as they enter the area.
Bravo is a beautifully-decorated airy space with an expansive open kitchen that welcomes inspections of food being prepared. The appetizer list is a who’s who of Italian classics like Calamari Fritti with creamy horseradish and pomodoro.
Chicken, Spinach and Bacon Flatbread features grilled chicken, Applewood bacon, green onions, mozzarella and provolone. A trio of soups is highlighted with Lobster Bisque made with sherry and diced shrimp. Bravo! Chopped Salad is a labor-intensive affair with chopped greens, cucumbers, red onions, tomatoes, olives, feta and red wine vinaigrette.
A dozen pasta selections will keep you coming back. There is traditional spaghetti that is augmented with house made beef and pork meatballs, tomato sauce and parmesan.
Cheese ravioli and salad are paired with a choice of Caesar, chopped or Della Casa greens. If you are craving shellfish order Lobster Ravioli Alla Vodka with sautéed shrimp, tomato cream sauce and pesto bread crumbs.
Pizza choices like a traditional Margherita with thinly-sliced tomatoes and fresh basil plus one with sausage and roasted broccoli with balsamic onions, boursin and crushed red pepper will perk up your table.
Meat eaters will want to chow down on Filet Mignon Toscano, a five-ounce center-cut filet embellished with seasonal vegetables and Tuscan mashed potatoes. A classic pork chop is grilled and jumbo shrimp are prepared with roasted peppers, zucchini, sugar snap peas, orzo, farro, basil, feta and peppers sitting in cream sauce.
Those in search of alternative fare should browse the light menu. Chicken Caprice with sautéed meat, marinated tomatoes, mozzarella, orzo, farro, spinach and pesto vinaigrette weighs in at only 540 calories. Grilled Mahi Mahi with zucchini, sugar snap peas, grape tomatoes, cous cous, arugula and lemon butter sauce is 570 calories.
Desserts are punctuated with traditional tiramisu or warm chocolate cake featuring a molten lava center topped with vanilla bean gelato. Vanilla Cream Brule and cheesecake are other options.
Finding an affordable weekend brunch can be challenging but not here. In fact, if you are anywhere near the mall don’t miss this one.
The Sicilian Omelet is memorable with a collection of ingredients stuffed inside fluffy eggs. Cherrywood smoked ham, bacon, sweet Italian sausage, tomato compote, caramelized onions, mozzarella, provolone and parmesan are a delicious blend of flavors.
French toast is given a new twist as sweet cream cheese is the filling. Honey, cinnamon, fresh berry compote and bacon fill out the order in fine style.
A ham and biscuit Benedict is made with two poached cage-free eggs, ham, warm biscuits, Hollandaise and brunch potatoes. Incidentally nothing is priced over 11 dollars which is a real bargain with freshly-prepared food like this.
Take a break from shopping and visit Bravo. The food and reasonable prices are well worth the visit.
Bravo Cucina Italiana, Galleria at Sunset, 1300 W. Sunset Rd., Henderson, (702) 433-4352. www.bravoitalian.com.