Thirty years might be a scary thought for some millennials but it’s a triumph for a restaurant, and the Pasta Shop Ristorante & Art Gallery in Henderson recently celebrated its 30th anniversary.
Founders David and Ann Alenik met in the ’70s as culinary students at Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island. A car crash detoured Ann into a career in electrical engineering and art, and when they moved to Las Vegas in 1981, David was hired at Villa d’Este, which is now Piero’s. He moved on to the Golden Nugget, where he cooked for Frank Sinatra, and was asked to move to Bally’s after the crooner went there.
In 1989, David Alenik opened The Pasta Shop on East Tropicana Avenue with his brother Glenn working the front of the house and Ann’s art displayed on the walls. It became a landmark by 2010, when the couple moved to a new location on Horizon Ridge Parkway. After David Alenik died suddenly at age 58 in 2016, Ann took over and runs the restaurant today.
The pasta is still made fresh — some is sold to nearly a dozen local restaurants, including some on the Strip — and the house specialty remains the shellfish-rich Portofino, coincidentally the name of the center where the restaurant is located. Other specialties include Lobster Salmon, Saffron Shrimp Saute and the Live Forever Salad.
The Pasta Shop Ristorante & Art Gallery is at 2525 W. Horizon Ridge Parkway in Henderson. Call 702-451-1893 or visit pastashop.com.