A new Italian restaurant in Southern Highlands brings a menu from a former James Beard Foundation winner. Luciano Pellegrini returns to the kitchen along with his cousin David Ryan Brister at Heavenly Pies.
The Italian-born Pellegrini won Best Chef Southwest from the JBF in 2004 while he was the executive chef at the Venetian’s Valentino, which closed in 2013. Pellegrini went on to be a consulting chef at Marché Bacchus. His cousin Brister worked with Pellegrini at Dolce Vita Gelato, which Pellegrini opened after Valentino closed.
As the name suggests, the restaurant offers pizzas, such as a breakfast version; green with pesto sauce, mozzarella, asparagus, rapini, spinach, zucchini, and roasted garlic; and namesake Heavenly with black truffle tomato, brie cheese, porcini mushrooms, roasted garlic, speck, and escarole.
But the trattoria side of the menu allows Pellegrini to showcase his skills. His meatballs, made with beef, veal, and pork come in a tomato sauce, served with fried polenta. Zeppole, little fried dumplings, come with anchovies, mozzarella, and basil with a marinara sauce.
Pellegrini offers his grandmother’s lasagna, spaghetti amatriciana, and eggplant parmigiana, as well as veal dishes served marsala, piccata, or pizzaiola style.
So far, the restaurant is offering takeout and dine-in service, with complete meal packages available for dining at home.
Heavenly Pies, 11370 Southern Highlands Pkwy., 702-896-0055. Open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.