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Andiamo's Brings Old Vegas To Downtown Las Vegas

By Peter Allman

andiamo_td_2_of_24_565Downtown Las Vegas has a new Italian steakhouse at The D Hotel and Casino. Andiamo's as it is appropriately named is part of a 30 restaurant chain in Detroit; Michigan. Celebrity Scene had the pleasure of dining with Rick Therrien, the VP of restaurant operations and Tony Wilson, an entrepreneur who was born in Las Vegas. Both gentlemen started their careers at age 14, learning what crumbing the table is all about. In fact, all good restaurants should have each waiter use a crumb-er to clean the crumbs off the table. It's proper etiquette.

andiamo_td_12_of_24_600Andiamo's entrance is a brick entrance with a curved ceiling, where the bricks were imported from Detroit. This gives guests the feeling of a Speakeasy. The restaurant itself is very cozy and has leather back booths with umbrella type chandelier's over the dining area of each booth. It's reminiscent of old Las Vegas in the era where gourmet restaurants where prevalent and table-side service was a must. A compliment is deserved here by designer Greg Stevens, who is the brother of Derrick Stevens, the major share holder of the the D Hotel and Casino.

Joe Vicari is the owner of the Andiamo's Italian Steakhouse and other restaurant chains. His specialty chef is Joe Purrina. Joe has been a chef for 48 years, and has owned his own restaurants. Joe has included some of his secret recipes on the menu. The menu here is gluten free, soy free, peanut free, tree nut free and are cooked with low sodium and minimal fats.

The Wine Cellar

andiamo_td_22_of_24_600andiamo_td_3_of_24_600Kenneth Carter; the General Manager, has many years devoted to the restaurant business. He introduced us to his wine selection, which is displayed in a all glass cellar. The wine was served table-side on a cart, which included The Chanti Clasico, Querciabella, from Tuscany rich in flavor while the Pinot Noir, Annabella, from Carneros had a more of a light fruity taste. I would certainly recommend these wines by the glass. The ''Prisoner'', Orin Swift, from Napa, California is also an excellent rich tasting wine. It happens to be Rick Therrien's favorite


The Culinary Journey

andiamo_grande_meatball_600Beginning with the Antipasti, Calamari, the house specialty is made with tender baby squid, flash fried, with sauce ammoglia. This is an excellent way to enhance the taste buds. Other appetizers included Imported Meats and Cheeses, offering the finest meats and cheeses with olives and roasted peppers. Ah, there's also the Andiamo Grande Meatball, which is hand made, then char grilled to develop another layer of flavor. They are then simmered in a rich white wine with San Marzano tomato sauce with l, ricotta cheese and a mixture of pork and ground chuck. In addition, an added treat I partook in a bowl of Lobster Bisque, which is made in a thick broth, poured over poached lobster creme, with a sherry reduction. At this point of the journey, it was time to order our main entrees.

The Main Entrees

andiamo_veal_rib_chop_600Tony Wilson ordered Double cut Colorado Veal Rib Chop, Strauss free-raised veal. Rick Therrien ordered Tortellini, which are handmade with ricotta cheese, filled pasta with sun dried tomatoes, grilled asparagus, roasted eggplant in a Vermouth creme sauce. This dish is one that has made Andiamo's famous for over 20 years. Because I am a seafood lover, I ordered Halibut with a side order of creme spinach, lobster black Truffel Baked Zita and puree of roasted sweet potato. The portions are so large, that you have to take them home for a second meal. There is nothing spared in the kitchen at Andiamo's. They have partnered with the nations top butchers, Pat La Frieda and Stockyard Premium, only purchasing steaks that are in the top 8% of all beef in the United States. Andiamo's then ages all steaks for a minimum of 30 days to produce a tenderness and flavor, which is unparalleled. Strauss Lamb and Veal, the nations top producer of all natural free raised, hormone free meats is also featured on the menu and the seafood is flown in from Santa Monica Seafood Company.

Homemade Deserts From Andiamo's

andiamo_td_1_of_24_600andiamo_td_11_of_24_600With our journey ending, there's always time for a little desert. All deserts are prepared on the premises. WE were served a variety of deserts, beginning with Canolli, a fried Italian pastry shell filled with cannoli cream, prepared with milk, sugar eggs, cornstarch, butter, vanilla and ricotta cheese. Gianduija, [jon do' ya] a chocolate hazelnut torte was yet another delight. The chef prepares this with Hazelnut praline crust, milk chocolate chiffon cake, topped with a mousse rosette. The final desert, Tiramisu, is prepared with lady fingers, soaked in rum and expresso mascarpone cheese and cocoa powder. Time for me herbal tea and some expresso to end our journey. An absolute delight. Rick Therrien and the staff, along with Joe Purrina and Kenneth Carter are exceptional in their craft. Celebrity Scene News awards Andiamo's a five star rating for fabulous service, excellent cuisine and a wonderful ambiance. To make reservations, simply call [702] 388-2220. Tell them Pete sent ya!