Earlier this year Piero’s celebrated its 40th anniversary, showing it must be doing something right, or indeed excelling in many things, to stand the test of time. Owner Freddie Glusman opened the restaurant on Karen Ave. in 1982 and five years later a move was made to its current location on Convention Center Dr. just west of Paradise and across from the Las Vegas Convention Center.
The restaurant was named after chef Piero Broglia (who passed away on March 31, 2022 at the age of 80), and although the business relationship didn’t last, the name did, and Piero’s continues to be owned and operated by Freddie and his son Evan.
Over the years the Italian family-run restaurant has attracted so many entertainers, sports stars and politicians that the first pages of the menu list the more than 250 luminaries (such as the Rat Pack and former US Presidents Clinton and G.W. Bush) that have dined there. This iconic Vegas eatery was also the setting for an intense scene in the movie Casino, possibly in part because during the Mafia’s heyday it attracted quite a few of the gangsters and law enforcement agents on their tail.
The sizeable 18,000-square-foot restaurant seats 345 in six dining rooms, including themed rooms such as the Monkey Bar, featuring various simian-themed artwork with a painting of owner Freddie Glusman posing with his arm around a monkey. The room takes its name from the aforementioned mafia days when the law would be staking out the restaurant and word spread that there was some “monkey business” going on.
There’s also the Tarkanian room, a tribute to the legendary UNLV basketball coach who ultimately became a Vegas icon himself and became Freddie Glusman’s good friend over the years.
The food menu is decidedly Italian, with traditional favorites like Garbage Caesar Salad (the restaurant’s #1 best seller) with upgrades of shrimp, hearts of palm, avocado and tomatoes; veal chop and eggplant parmesan; linguini and clams, osso bucco with red wine porcini mushroom sauce; pollo (chicken) carciofi with lemon butter white wine sauce, artichoke and garlic; and agnolotti—housemade ravioli with spinach, ricotta and Alfredo sauce.
Desserts change nightly with a selection of pastries, sorbets and gelati. On any given night your choices may include finales such as double chocolate rum cake, vanilla crème brulee with Nutella crust, custard filled profiteroles, coconut chocolate budino and carrot cake topped with coconut.
The wine list is so expansive it’s detailed in a book spanning 16 pages listing 400-500 wines from all over the world, but mainly from Italy, France, Sonoma and Napa. There’s also a quite sizeable spirits list with ample choices of bourbon, whiskey and single malt Scotch with Glenlivet, Macallan, Pappy Van Winkle and Johnny Walker; and 25 mostly high-end tequilas.
After 40 years it’s safe to say Piero’s has certainly stood the test of time and with such longevity it clearly is a go-to for tourists, convention goers and locals celebrating special occasions or treating themselves to a classy night out. Here’s to many more years of excellence as one of Las Vegas’ most iconic and treasured eateries.
Piero’s is open nightly from 5:30-9 p.m. More information and the full menu are available at www.PierosCuisine.com.