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Dining With Monkeys and Movies

December 19, 2012 at 3:17 PM | by | ()

When Piero's Italian Cuisine opened its current location near the Las Vegas Convention Center in 1987, it probably felt like people were stepping back in time. That feeling still exists today. Piero's is a classic Italian restaurant that looks as if it hasn't been remodeled since it opened.

If you've heard of Piero's it is either because part of the movie "Casino" was was filmed there or their "famous" Osso Buco. Piero's may be thought of as a Las Vegas locals Italian joints, but judging from the people dining there and the prices, it's really more of a tourist favorite with some locals sprinkled in here and there. We dined with cowboys in Las Vegas for the National Finals Rodeo and a loud table celebrating a birthday. Our group was a mix of locals and tourists.

The food was classic no-frills Italian and our experience felt this way. Each dish was accompanied by a garden salad; appropriately unfancy, consisting of a few leafs of lettuce topped with a couple slices of onion and tomato. We were curious about trying a variety of dishes so we shared that famous Osso Buco, Chicken Milanese and Rigatoni bolognese pasta special.

The pasta was prepared al dente and the meat sauce was good. There wasn't anything that stood out about the pasta dish but it was hearty, good and a perfect addition to our mixed plate of Italian favorites.

If you're just looking at chicken milanese, it may seem like a thin version of chicken parmesan without sauce or cheese. You'd basically be right but when the chicken is pounded before being fried it offers a different flavor to the chicken. Our chicken milanese was served with an assortment of vegetables and when combined with the pasta and osso buco was excellent.

Before even tasting the osso buco, we thought it would deserve to be as famous as we were told. It was prepared perfectly and gently fell off the bone the way a good osso should. It made our combo plate for dinner complete. The meat was very tender and tasty.

Piero's is the kind of restaurant that we're happy to have tried but not so sure that we need to return. The atmosphere was fun and different from what you'll find on the Vegas Strip. It is very much a classic Italian restaurant. Ultimately, returning to a restaurant is based on the food and while the food was good, it wasn't anything special. For similar prices, we can stay on the Strip and dine at Lavo and have food that may be as good if not better.

The main reason to visit Piero's is its classic Italian restaurant atmosphere which includes paintings of various types of monkeys throughout the bar area and entry to the dining room that are awesome. Now that we've experienced Piero's, we can move on. However, we'd probably return here to hang out with monkeys for drinks.

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