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 readers to these potential discoveries, Eater Vegas enlisted some of the city’s food players to share their recommendations for a feature dubbed Dining Confidential.
Francesco Di Caudo, the executive chef at Ferraro’s Italian Restaurant & Wine Bar works closely with family patriarch Gino Ferraro to oversee not only the staff and operations, but also the menu of Italian cuisine. Di Caudo was born near Mt. Aetna in Sicily, where he started working in kitchens at age 14 as a dishwasher. He attended Istituto Alberghiero to officially study cooking, and then internships took him to Rome and Paris. In 2003, he met chef Gianpaolo Belloni, who brought him from Italy to Las Vegas to run Zeffirino at The Venetian Las Vegas. Two years later, he became assistant executive chef at Terra Rossa at Red Rock Resort. He went to work at Osteria del Circo at the Bellagio and Sinatra at Wynn Las Vegas as the chef de partie, pasta. By 2010, he moved to Canaletto as assistant executive chef. Three years later, he took a break from Las Vegas and moved to Temecula, California, to serve as executive chef at Paisano’s Italian inside the Pechanga Resort. He joined Ferraro’s in 2015. Here he shares some of his favorite places to dine in Las Vegas.
What made you decide to move to Las Vegas?
I never had a first trip to Sin City, I still live one! After a few years between Milan and Venice, I received a job offer at one of the restaurants inside the Venetian. It was 2004 and I was barely 20 years old. When I first landed, I knew it wasn’t just going to be a one-year experience, but a place I could call home.
Where do you like to eat breakfast in Las Vegas?
My breakfast is very simple. You can’t get better than a cappuccino and almond croissant at Café Breizh.
What about lunch?
It’s very difficult for me to have lunch in a restaurant. However, the few times I’ve had the opportunity, I enjoy Eatt Gourmet Bistro. It’s always a healthy choice.
If you’re going out for dinner, which restaurants do you like to frequent? What makes them special? Any dishes you can recommend?
There are way too many restaurants to choose from but these are the restaurants I go at least once a week. Edo Gastro Tapas & Wine’s 10-course tasting menu is the way to go — I love everything about it. For a late-night dinner, Kyara Izakaya serves my favorite tongue and beef intestine skewers with salt and black pepper. And Sweets Raku for all their desserts.
Where do you like to dine for a special occasion?
Kabuto Edomae Sushi is the best Japanese experience in town for the chef’s tasting menu and sake wine pairing.
Let’s say you want to hang out with your friends after work. Where do you like to go?
My friends come to Ferraro’s for the best wine bar in the city, or Mr. Coco at the Palms. Francesco Lafranconi there is a great mixologist and very good friend.
Any Italian restaurants you like to go to on nights off?
Depends on the night, eggplant parmigiana at Allegro from chef Febbraro and the risotto with tripe and mint at Lago from chef Chessa.
• All Coverage of Ferraro’s Italian Restaurant & Wine Bar [ELV]
• All Dining Confidentials [ELV]