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Chef Giovanni Mauro plans to open Monzù in April

Updated March 1, 2017 - 12:26 pm

Giovanni Mauro hasn’t forgotten his roots — in Las Vegas or Sicily — and he’ll pay tribute to both at Monzù at 6020 W. Flamingo Road.

That address was for nearly 30 years the location of Nora’s Italian Cuisine, which in September moved into its own building just 900 feet away at 5780 W. Flamingo Road. Mauro, one of three scions of the family that owns the restaurant, had Nora’s Winebar and Osteria in Summerlin a few years ago and currently owns Old School Pizzeria at 2040 E. Craig Road in North Las Vegas.

Monzù, Mauro said, is an 1800s Sicilian term for chef. The new restaurant will be a pizzeria with appetizers, salads and daily specials, with cured meats and cheeses a focus.

“The ‘big-thing idea,’ if you will, is the dough,” Mauro said. “I’m obsessed with naturally leavened dough. Natural fermentation — no commercial yeast — which in my estimation makes the dough much more digestible, so therefore healthier, and more flavorful. A dough that ferments for five days is going to develop flavors that a dough that ferments for 12 hours is not.”

Mauro said the location, which he has gutted, is no coincidence.

“It still feels like the place I grew up in,” he said. “I feel like I’ve inherited my parents’ old home.” He hopes to open in April.

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