Recent openings in Henderson have been filling a void for residents looking for upscale, non-chain dining close to home. While Chef’s Roma Kitchen is not a new opening, with the arrival of a new chef/owner and a décor facelift, there’s a new energy that has transformed the environment.
Chef Ricardo Romo has spent several years in the industry working at renowned restaurants on the Strip such as Michael Mina’s Seablue, STK, Mastro’s Ocean Club, and Beer Park; and off the Strip at Whist Stove & Spirits, Due & Proper, and Itsy Bitsy Ramen & Whiskey. After decades working for others, Chef came to the realization that it was time to open his own restaurant.
After Chef’s Roma Kitchen chef/owner Piero Broglia passed away last year, Romo stepped up to the plate and with two other partners purchased the restaurant in December. He coincidentally has a similar sounding name, and chose to keep the restaurant’s name the same, but several upgrades were made during the transition to bring more elegant touches.
They included a new paint job, adding chandeliers, new curtains, fresh flowers, full-length tablecloths, live olive and lemon trees, and obtaining a full liquor license permitting an expansion of the beverage offerings.
As for the menu revisions, Chef Romo says, “We kept the base, but elaborated on it, seasoned it up, and added some new menu items like steaks, pork chop, shrimp scampi, caprese, chicken piccata, and seabass. We also changed up the chicken marsala and crostini.”
Chef’s new Shrimp Scampi contains a sauce that brought a major wow factor for me. The Grilled Vegetable Salad is unusual (in a good way), as it contains very little lettuce, but instead is loaded with warm broccoli, artichoke, asparagus, cherry tomato, and red pepper. The Roasted Red Peppers & Burrata is a simple, yet delicious mix of ingredients dressed with olive oil and balsamic reduction.
Pastas are the bulk of the menu, with the likes of Gnocchi with cream sauce, truffles, and mushroom; Tortellini with prosciutto, peas, cremini, and pink cream sauce; and Pappardelle Alfredo with fresh cream, butter, and parmigiana.
Main courses are a mix of proteins including NY Steak, Ribeye, Pork Chop, Branzino, Seabass, and Veal Parmigiana. Chicken presentations shine with Chicken Marsala with marsala wine and mushrooms and Chicken Piccata with white wine and capers.
The dessert menu includes some Italian favorites like Tiramisu and Cheesecake but also some locally made gelato in flavors of Vanilla, Chocolate, and Pistachio and Mango/Raspberry sorbet.
With the full liquor license comes a range of cocktails now being offered, like six Martinis including Espresso with vodka, Kahlua, Baileys, and espresso. There is also a small selection of beer, an upscale bourbon selection and nearly 50 wines mainly from California and Italy.
This new transition is a welcome addition to the Henderson McDonald Highlands area and one of only a few Italian options you’ll find outside of the locals casinos located miles away. Roma’s Kitchen is at 1550 W. Horizon Ridge Pkwy. between Valley Verde and Arroyo Grande. Hours are Monday through Thursday 4-9 p.m., Friday and Saturday 4-9:30 p.m. and Sunday 11:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m.chefsromakitchen.com