New restaurant Pizzeria Monzú, brings chef full circle

With Pizzeria Monzú, Giovanni Mauro is returning to his roots — and at the same time bringing Las Vegas a less-familiar aspect of Italian culinary tradition.

Mauro is one of three sons of the family that operated Nora’s Italian Cuisine at 6025 W. Flamingo Road for nearly 30 years. He operated Nora’s Winebar and Osteria in Rampart Commons a few years ago and still has Old School Pizzeria at 2040 E. Craig Road in North Las Vegas.

Nora’s moved to a gorgeous new building 900 feet away, at 5780 W. Flamingo Road, in fall 2016. The old place was a little dated, and parking always was a problem, but Giovanni Mauro felt a connection to it.

“It still feels like the place I grew up in,” he said last spring. “I feel like I’ve inherited my parents’ old home.”

At the time, he said he hoped the new spot would open fairly soon. But an anticipated three-month renovation turned into 14 months; Pizzeria Monzú (named for an old Sicilian term for “chef”) opened in early March.

“Construction always takes long,” Mauro said. “Then we got in there and started looking at some design things, and decided to revamp the whole thing. It looks nothing like the original Nora’s except the outer walls.”

This is Mauro’s return to a full-service restaurant, but he’s most excited about the pizza. As Nora’s and others of its era popularized New York-style pizza in Las Vegas and Settebello shone the spotlight on Neapolitan-style, Pizzeria Monzú specializes in Pizza in Pala, also known as Pizza alla Pala. Popularized in Rome, the pizza fits in with Mauro’s fascination with yeasts and fermentation; it’s made without commercial yeast, but a starter that’s derived from one strain Mauro developed in 2001 from apricots from a local farm, one that dates back centuries to an Italian island.

“It’s all about the dough, and I’m very passionate about that,” he said. “It’s a great style because it is long-fermented dough, so it’s much healthier. It’s easy to digest — goes along with my healthy-dough philosophy. It has a buttery, nutty flavor that has to do with our fermentation process, because it takes a long time to develop those flavors.

“It’s actually less heavy, because it’s full of bubbles and air. You have a nice crunch on the outside, with a nice, soft type of melt-in-your-mouth texture on the actual crumb of the pizza. It gives you a lot of textures. It’s by far my favorite style.”

The hydration level of the dough means it takes longer to cook because there’s more water to evaporate. That level of moisture also makes it more fragile.

“You don’t toss it, because the pizza will just tear,” Mauro said, so it’s cooked in rectangular pans. “That’s the way it’s done in Italy.”

But for customers, he said, it can take a little getting used to.

“There’s always pushback because it’s not round,” he said. “You wouldn’t believe how many people talk about the fact that it’s not round.”

Pizza isn’t the only thing on the menu at Pizzeria Monzú. Mauro also is offering “tapas-style” antipasti, such as breaded sausage-stuffed green olives; squash blossoms stuffed with ricotta, mint and Parmigiano; lemon leaves stuffed with ground beef, pork, garlic, mint and Pecorino; salumi and cheeses; bruschette; and salads. There also are some seasonal dishes and, at dinner, entrees of Crespelle al Forno (or “crepe lasagna”) and a giant meatball with tomato sauce and roasted potatoes.

The menu is likely to expand.

“You go to Italy, there’s 20 regions and every region has a different style of pizza, and within those regions, there are different styles,” Mauro said.

He’s currently working with a concept in Dallas called Pie Tap, but says Pizzeria Monzú is his main focus.

“The pizzeria in North Las Vegas is just a little gem, and it’s doing wonderfully,” Mauro said. “I wanted to get back to the full-service thing because that’s where my heart is — creating memories.”

Contact Heidi Knapp Rinella at or 702-383-0474. Follow @HKRinella on Twitter.

Five must-see acts at the Electric Daisy Carnival 2018
Five must-see acts at the Electric Daisy Carnival 2018
The "13 Reasons Why" mustang cruises down the Las Vegas Strip (Courtesy Netflix)
4 fun and fascinating museums in Las Vegas
U2 in Vegas through the years
U2 in Vegas through the years
Dirt Dog In Las Vegas Makes Crazy L.A. Street Food
Dirt Dog In Las Vegas Makes Crazy L.A. Street Food (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-journal)
Black Tap In Las Vegas Makes This Instagram-ready Golden Knights Shake (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-journal)
Nevada Ballet Theatre Premieres Until December
‘Until December’ debuts at ‘Ballet & Broadway’ season finale (Carol Cling Las Vegas
Celebrate The Golden Knights With Knights-inpired Latte Art (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Yodeling Boy Mason Ramsey Signs With Atlantic Records, Debuts First Single
Yodeling Boy Mason Ramsey Signs With Atlantic Records, Debuts First Single Ramsey, who shot to fame after a viral video of him yodeling at an Illinois Walmart surfaced, just debuted “Famous.” “If I'm gonna be famous for somethin'/I wanna be famous for lovin' you/If I'm gonna be known around the world/I wanna because of you, girl” Mason Ramsey, “Famous” It’s been quite the rush to stardom for the 11-year-old, who appeared on The Ellen Show and performed at Coachella earlier this month. “I’d been to Nashville a few times before, but never thought something like this would happen. It’s a dream to sign with Atlantic and Big Loud.” Mason Ramsey “I loved recording ‘Famous’ and can’t wait for everyone to hear it.”
Steve Aoki, Pitbull And Other Stars Make An Apperance At The "Keep Memory Alive" Gala
Steve Aoki, Pitbull And Other Stars Make An Apperance At The "Keep Memory Alive" Gala. (Janna Karel Las Vegas review-Journal)
"Hamilton" Fans Line Up Overnight At Smith Center To Get Tickets
"Hamilton" fans line up overnight at Smith Center to get tickets. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
5 concerts to see in Las Vegas this week
You can visit the speakeasy in The Mob Museum's basement... if you know the password
6 new foods hitting movie theaters in 2018
Lip Smacking Foodie Tours takes you where the locals go
Donald Contursi talks about Lip Smacking Foodie Tours, which offers walking tours of restaurants on and off Las Vegas Boulevard with food samples and tidbits of history about the places they visit.
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson Welcomes New Baby Girl!
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson Welcomes New Baby Girl! The 45-year-old actor posted an adorable photo on Instagram, celebrating his newborn baby girl, Tiana Gia Johnson. Dwayne Johnson, via Instagram Dwayne Johnson, via Instagram Dwayne Johnson, via Instagram This is Johnson’s second daughter with his girlfriend, Lauren Hashian. His oldest daughter, Simone Garcia Johnson, came from his previous marriage. Johnson and Hashian first announced they were expecting another child back in January. Congratulations!!
Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend Car Show celebrates 21st year
The Stray Cats, Jerry Lee Lewis, Duane Eddy, Elvira and Mitch Polzak make appearances the 21st Annual Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend car show at the Orleans hotel and casino on Saturday, April 21, 2018.
This "Alice in Wonderland" cocktail changes colors and flavors while you sip
Take a tour of The Underground at The Mob Museum
Prince death investigation coming to an end
Prosecutors in Minnesota plan an announcement Thursday on the two-year investigation into Prince's death from a drug overdose Prince was 57 when he was found alone and unresponsive in an elevator at his Paisley Park estate on April 21, 2016. An autopsy found he died of an accidental overdose of fentanyl. Search warrants unsealed about a year after Prince died showed that authorities searched his home, cellphone records of associates and his email accounts to try to determine how he got the drug. The county attorney has scheduled a morning announcement at which time charges could be filed.
Art Bell’s Top 10 Shows
A selection of radio host Art Bell’s most popular shows.
Big Bounce America visits North Las Vegas
Billing itself as "the biggest bounce house in the world," Big Bounce America visits Craig Ranch Regional Park in Las Vegas.
David Copperfield in court after man injured during magic trick
The attorney for a British man who is suing illusionist David Copperfield said his client suffered serious injuries after being called on stage during Copperfield's show at MGM Grand.
Disneyland debuts new foods for Pixar Fest on Friday
Pixar Fest takes place ahead of California Adventure’s Pixar Pier expansion. (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sneak Peek at New Decorations, Merch and Parade for Disneyland's Pixar Fest
Las Vegas Philharmonic celebrates 20th anniversary season
Orchestra’s 2018-19 season features premiere, more (Carol Cling/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Downtown Las Vegas' newest bar is a reggae lounge
Jammyland serves island-inspired cocktails. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
5 things connecting Las Vegas and Marilyn Monroe
1. Marilyn Monroe, known then as Norma Jeane, obtained her first divorce in Las Vegas at the age of 20 on September 13, 1946. 2. According to some biographers, Monroe lived at 604 S. 3rd Street for four months during the summer of 1946. The house has since been torn down and is now the site of a parking lot. 3. In 1954, Monroe almost married Joe DiMaggio in Las Vegas but the wedding was called off last minute. The wedding was to be held at the Hotel El Rancho Vegas which was located on the southwest corner of Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard. 4. Las Vegas has at least one road dedicated to the star. Marilyn Monroe Avenue is located in east Las Vegas and intersects with Betty Davis Street and Cary Grant Court. 5. There are currently more than 20 Marilyn Monroe impersonators for hire in the Las Vegas Valley.
This boozy milkshake is big enough to share with seven of your best friends
Fiddlestix makes an "8 Man Milkshake" that's packed with alcohol. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Five Chris Stapleton songs you need to hear
News Headlines
Local Spotlight
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like