Heidi’s Picks

Heidi’s Picks is a weekly selection of restaurant suggestions from Review-Journal critic Heidi Knapp Rinella. Price symbols are based on the cost of an average entree: $ = entrees less than $10; $$ = entrees between $10 and $20; $$$ = entrees between $20 and $30; and $$$$ = entrees more than $30.

BRIO TUSCAN GRILLE

Town Square, 6653 Las Vegas Blvd. South; 914-9145

Brio looks a lot more like a Tuscan manse than an outlet of a restaurant chain based in Columbus, Ohio, but that’s just part of its appeal. It manages to deliver the familiar with a slightly innovative edge, as in the garganelli carbonara, with not only the customary bacon and Parmesan but also grilled chicken and fresh spinach leaves; bruschetta Caprese that blends the best of both dishes; a somewhat-too-subtle artichoke-and-herb-crusted pork chop; a trio of creme brulee; and a lovely soup of the day, creme of morel. (1/29/10)

Overall: A- $$

ESPN ZONE

New York-New York, 3790 Las Vegas Blvd. South; 933-3776

What better place to watch the Big Game — or any game, really, on any day of the year — than at this palace dedicated to the art of moving balls around a field or court or whatever. The food’s pretty good, too, including Buffalo wings that were just zippy enough, the Smoke House Burger with the restaurant’s truly delightful barbecue sauce and the Southwest Chicken Salad (the latter with reservations, because we thought the pasta an odd touch). (2/5/10)

Overall: B+ $$

HAVANA GRILL

8878 S. Eastern Ave.; 932-9310

If you like Cuban food you’re no doubt familiar with the Florida Cafe, and this younger sister also showcases the cuisine at its best. We liked it all, which included tostones — twice-cooked green plantain — topped with Ropa Vieja, Picadillo and shrimp (no, not together), Lechon Asado, Vaca Frita, the stacked flan and tres leches dessert tower called Riquimbin — even good fresh Cuban bread, buttered and warmed in a press. (3/27/09)

Overall: A- $$

TA TA ASIAN BISTRO

1450 W. Horizon Ridge Parkway, Henderson; 565-8900

We were charmed by the pint-sized hostess (read: child) but no less by Ta Ta Asian Bistro, which manages to carry out a Japanese/Chinese mission without getting into a jumble. The inventive Monkey Special Roll and Paradise roll were worth a repeat visit, but so were the tamago nigiri sushi, jalapeno puffs, potstickers and rib-eye beef teriyaki dinner with a nice, smoky miso soup. Teppanyaki dining also is available. (12/5/08)

Overall: A- $$

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