By: Bob Gourley
Nora’s is one of those places just about anyone who has lived in the valley for any length of time has an opinion about. Those who visited the old location in the small mini-mall on Flamingo would inevitability tell tales of trying to find a place to park and then afterward waiting for a long time for a seat.
But now that Nora’s is sitting in a brand-new building with a ton of parking, opinions are even more positive than ever. The new digs will remind you of an Italian villa in Tuscany.
There is a large patio upstairs along with the original bar that was moved from the old location. Smaller private rooms seem to be stashed everywhere and the wall of wine that is just opposite the expansive kitchen is a pleasant sight.
What hasn’t changed is the food, which continues to outpace most other restaurants in the area. Still family-owned, the recipes reflect the intentions of Gino and Nora who opened the original 12-seat place back in 1992.
Two of the favorites are Osso Bucco that features a 14-ounch veal shank with homemade gravy and rosemary-infused garlic mashed potatoes. Rack of Lamb is grilled with chianti reduction glaze.
Even though those items are on the higher end of the cost scale don’t be discouraged, there are plenty of Italian favorites at great prices. For starters why not share a plate of Mozzarella Sticks for $7.50?
The regular Antipasto Salad is just $9.25 and is plenty for two. And what a salad it is. Cleverly-rolled salami and ham are plentiful along with romaine lettuce, mozzarella, olives, onions and tomatoes with homemade Italian dressing. Sicilian Green Olives are a tart beginning for a meal.
For soup, why not give the Pasta Faggioli a try?
I ordered a plate of spaghetti and meatballs for $14.50. An attractive bowl of perfectly-cooked pasta arrived with fresh meatballs that were lightly spiced. The mild marinara sauce topped things off nicely.
Crazy Alfredo ($22.95) is a keeper. Chicken, sausage, shrimp, porcini mushrooms, bell peppers, sun-dried tomatoes and jalapenos combine with fettuccini for a spicy affair that tastes as good the next day as the first.
A traditional list of pizzas is offered along with four ‘white’ versions like vegetarian with tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, olives and mozzarella.
There is a slate of meat items to please that includes Bone In-Veal Parmigiana ($42.95). The meat is butterflied with lemon vinaigrette and delivered with grilled vegetables.
An 8-ounch grilled filet is browned with butter. Seafood options include grilled Branzino with arugula and sea salts plus Salmon Carciofi that is prepared with tomato, artichokes, capers and linguini.
For dessert, indulge in a warm chocolate cake that must be pre-ordered. It is constructed with Valrhona chocolate, vanilla sauce and pistachios. Bread pudding is highlighted with penettone bread and vanilla sauce.
The ‘new’ Nora’s continues the tradition of fine food in a pleasant atmosphere.
Nora’s Italian Cuisine, Open for lunch weekdays and dinner 7 days a week, 5780 W. Flamingo Rd., Las Vegas. (702) 873-8990. www.norascuisine.com.