Osso buco. Just the name is enough to inspire dreams of the impossibly tender and incredibly flavorful dish. The Italian favorite, which in paradoxically unappetizing fashion translates to “bone with a hole,” is typically made with a veal shank that is braised so that the meat is practically falling off the bone. In some cases, a chef may deviate from the norm and use beef or even pork.
Regardless of whether it’s made with tradition or innovation in mind, osso buco is a classic winter dish. When the temperature dips into the 50s (freezing, by Vegas standards), here’s where to find it.
A Vegas classic
Piero’s Italian Cuisine has been in Las Vegas since the 1980s, hosting mobsters, celebrities, tourists, and locals alike throughout its storied history. Its location near the Las Vegas Convention Center is reason enough to attend a trade show in Las Vegas. The classic Italian restaurant is known for its osso buco, which is simmered for four hours and then served with pasta. As the signature dish of this restaurant, it’s a must-try.
Piero’s Italian Cuisine, 355 Convention Center Drive; 702-369-2305
A southern Italian take
Ferraro’s Italian Restaurant & Wine Bar prides itself on offering meticulously prepared cuisine based on family tradition. This is good news for fans of osso buco, who will find that the dish here benefits from attention to detail. The osso buco at Ferraro’s is braised in a red wine reduction and served with farro for a rustic approach to the dish.
Ferraro’s Italian Restaurant & Wine Bar, 4480 Paradise Road; 702-364-5300
Osso buco and live jazz
Casa Di Amore offers an appetizer-sized option for diners who love osso buco. The much-loved dish includes a mini veal shank with demi-glaze served with a generous portion of creamy risotto. The Italian dish is best enjoyed with an evening of live jazz, which is offered six nights a week.
Casa Di Amore, 2850 E. Tropicana Ave.; 702-433-4967
Meat and potatoes
Osso buco takes center stage at Nora’s Italian Cuisine. The Spring Valley Italian institution serves the dish in perfect winter fashion with a sizable 14-ounce veal shank on top of rosemary and garlic mashed potatoes and drizzled with gravy.
Nora’s Italian Cuisine, 5780 W. Flamingo Road; 702-873-8990
Osso buco and a view
Occupying prime real estate beside the Bellagio Fountains, Julian Serrano’s Lago is an upscale destination that specializes in small Italian plates that are designed to foster a social dining experience. The being said, there’s nothing wrong with resisting the urge to share the osso buco at Lago, which is braised in red wine and served with polenta.
Lago, Bellagio, 3600 Las Vegas Blvd. S.; 702-693-7111