Sin City is home to a lot of restaurants and bars, but there are tons of hidden gems that the majority of Las Vegans aren't unearthing. To help guide us to these potential discoveries, we've enlisted some of our city's food players to share their recommendations for a weekly feature dubbed Dining Confidential.
Alessandro Stoppa [Photo: Valentino]
As a kid in Venice, Italy, Alessandro Stoppa would frequent a pastry shop run by his father's friend, sealing his future fate. Stoppa traveled throughout Italy to learn baking techniques and the ingredients of the regions to help him become a pastry chef. Most of his career took place in Venice, such as Hotel Cipriani and Hotel Rosa Alpina, with a stop in Spain at Restaurant Roccoco. In 2002, he made the move to Las Vegas to work at Giorgio Ristorante at the Shoppes at Mandalay Place and Jean-Philippe at the Bellagio. Now he's the executive pastry chef at Valentino at the Venetian. Here, he shares where he likes to dine when he's not baking up delectable desserts.
Where do you enjoy eating when you're not working at Valentino?
I really enjoy dining at Settebello or Due Forni for authentic Italian pizza because it is always a good day for pizza. But, when I am in the mood for a steak, I enjoy dining at Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse.
What dishes are most memorable?
My favorite pizza of all time is Prosciutto Arugola and Shaved Parmigiano, so when I dine at Settebello I order the Bianca, which features prosciutto crudo, arugola, parmigiano reggiano, mozzarella and extra virgin olive oil. When I dine at Due Forni, I order the Prosciutto e Rucola, which features prosciutto san daniele, smoke bufala mozzarella, arugula and vincotto. At Del Frisco's, you can always find me ordering a bone-in rib eye with a great bottle of Syrah.
Why do you enjoy going there?
When my family and I go for pizza, it is beautiful reminder of home in Italy where it is a tradition for the family to get together and eat pizza on Sundays. When I was younger, different family members and generations would get together and sit at the table to eat pizza, drink beer and have lively conversation. It is a tradition that I am happy my children are learning. As for Del Frisco's there is nothing better than going to a beautiful restaurant with no gimmicks, just perfect steaks and of course wine.
With recent additions to my family (Isabella age 4 and 19 month old twins Luca and Gaia), I am no longer able to dine out as often as I wish I could. But now, we have pool parties, which include some of my favorite dishes: grilled pizza and juicy steaks. The only downside is that I have to wash my own dishes and open my own bottles of wine. Wait, I still have my amazing wife to do all of that for me.
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