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Pizzeria Monzu tasting menu has dishes inspired by female chefs

Updated August 14, 2020 - 10:38 am

It started, as so many bursts of creativity seem to, over a glass of wine, said Giovanni Mauro, chef/owner of Pizzeria Monzu at 6020 W. Flamingo Road, and Nicole Brisson, the restaurant’s consulting chef.

“We were talking about Gio’s mother and grandmother, and Larry Ruvo’s mother, and how they inspired you to take dishes to a whole new level,” Brisson said.

And then, Mauro said, “We just kind of threw it out there.”

“It” became a four-course chef’s tasting menu of dishes inspired by female chefs the world over who have influenced their cooking and that of pastry chef Nick Forte.

Mauro’s mother is Nora Mauro, founding chef of Nora’s Italian Cuisine, which for about 25 years occupied the space where Monzu is before moving down the road a few years ago to 5780 W. Flamingo Road. Ruvo’s mother, Angie Ruvo, and her husband, Lou, operated the Venetian Ristorante, a Las Vegas landmark for more than 40 years, before she sold it in 1997.

Dishes on the tasting menu were inspired by Nora Mauro, Italian cooking doyenne Lidia Bastianich, legendary California chef Nancy Silverton and the renowned Benedetta Vitale, Anna Tasca Lanza, Fabrizia Tasca Lanza and Faith Willinger.

There’s a choice of two dishes for each of the first three courses, such as the swordfish and eggplant roulade inspired by Nora Mauro and grass-fed beef skewers with bagna cauda and purslane inspired by Silverton. Forte has included three choices for dessert, such as the watermelon shaved ice with citrus curd, pistachio, borage flowers and watermelon foam inspired by Fabrizia Tasca Lanza.

The menu also includes an artisanal sourdough bread tasting with Vermont cultured butter, anchovy and caciocavallo cheese.

It’s available during the restaurant’s current hours, which are 4 to 10 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays. It’s $45, with optional wine pairings $35.

Reservations are recommended; call 702-749-5959.

Contact Heidi Knapp Rinella at hrinella@reviewjournal.com. Follow @HKRinella on Twitter.

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