By: Bob Gourley
There was a lot of fanfare when the D Hotel opened downtown. One of the reasons is Joe Vicari’s Andiamo Steakhouse.
The restaurant is part of a chain that has roots in the Midwest. The Vegas location is a throwback to grand dining that is missed by many in the region.
You enter through a brick-filled hallway to a grandly-decorated dining room that is not only elegant, but is quiet as well. Visitors will notice the well-trained service staff. They are gracious without being over-bearing.
The antipasti menu is a collection of traditional favorites. Steak Tartar, a rarity in most restaurants these days, is prepared with freshly-chopped beef, aioli, capers, red onion, ciabatta chips and two kinds of cheese.
Banana Peppers and Homemade Sausage are complimented by rosemary demi-glaze. A specialty not to be missed is the Andiamo Grande Meatball. It is handcrafted and covered with tomato sauce and ricotta cheese.
The list of salads will also remind you of a gentler era with a Wedge made with Iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, applewood bacon, hard-boiled egg, red onion and a choice of Roquefort or Thousand Island dressing. Remember when signature dishes were made tableside? You will find a superb Caesar prepared as you watch.
You can tell the wait staff has a passion for this classic. Anchovy, egg, garlic, lemon, olive oil and both Parmigianino and Reggiano cheeses are blended into a memorable topping for the fresh lettuce. Soup choices include Italian Wedding and Lobster Bisque.
Steak is definitely the star. The owners have partnered with Pat LaFrieda and Stockyard Premium for the meats.
They claim that the steaks are in the top 8% in quality. They are also aged for a minimum of 30 days. Strauss Lamb and Veal are raised all natural with no hormones.
Bone-in Ribeye is a hefty 20-ounce cut of meat that is seasoned and char-broiled. The Andiamo Tomahawk is 32-ounces large and definitely enough for two. All steaks and chops are served with a choice three sauces including Zip, Cabernet Shallot Demi-Glaze or Balsamic Glaze with Cipollini onions.
Seafood is nicely represented with Day Boat Sea Scallops that are delivered with potato gnocchi, crispy prosciutto, spinach, toasted hazelnuts and brown butter sauce. Dover Sole alla Mugnaia is sautéed and prepared tableside with lemon herb butter.
Pasta offerings are highlighted with Pappardelle with Veal Ragu. Hearty veal stew is accompanied by tomatoes, Porcini mushrooms, white wine, homemade pasta and Asiago cheese.
Side dishes range the gamut from Tuscan-roasted potatoes with onions to olive-oil grilled asparagus with onions.
One of the highlights of entering the restaurant is the display of desserts that call out to you as you walk by them. Even though you will be full at the end of the meal, leave room for one of the sweet endings. There is traditional tiramisu, bread pudding, cheesecake and a decadent chocolate cake that will linger in your memory for a long time.
It is great to know that with so-many trendy establishments everywhere in the valley, there is a place where tradition and class still rule the day.
Joe Vicari’s Andiamo Italian Steakhouse, Open for dinner seven nights a week. D Hotel and Casino, 301 Fremont Street, Las Vegas (702) 388-2220. www.thed.com.