Nicole Brisson is back, collaborating with Pizzeria Monzu chef/owner Gio Mauro and former Joel Robuchon pastry chef Nicholas Forte on a new tasting menu that debuts Wednesday night at Monzu.
“Gio had given me a call when he heard that I was a free agent, and he had such a great idea,” explains Brisson, the former chef/partner at Locale Italian Kitchen, who previously ran Mario Batali’s local restaurants and opened Eataly in Park MGM.
“He thought in the midst of all of this COVID madness, we’re a small restaurant community. Let’s really concentrate our talents, and work together to really get out from under this.”
The trio of chefs have worked together to create what Mauro calls “a traditional Italian, structured menu.” It’s a $49 four-course feast, offering two choices each for the antipasti (appetizer), primi (pasta) and secondi (main) courses, and an option of finishing with one of two desserts, or a cheese course. A sourdough bread tasting is included, and an optional wine pairing is available for $35 more.
Mauro says the format offers exactly what people have been craving during lockdown.
“I think what we’re really missing is going out, having people take care of us, and actually visiting with someone that we haven’t seen in a long time,” he says. “And having a multi-course meal like this grants you the opportunity to sit, chill and visit — just make a connection again, one on one, look in each other in the eyes and be human.”
The menu will be available through the end of July, but Brisson is hopeful the collaborations will extend beyond that.
“If time permits, and Gio and I can make it happen, we would really like this to be the start of many menus,” she explains. “We were talking about possibly doing some tribute menus to our favorite chefs — people who have really touched us in our careers, and inspired us.”
Monzu is located at 6020 W. Flamingo Road. You can reserve a table at monzulv.com, or by calling 702-749-5959.