Monzu -- Italian Oven & Bar
Chef/owner Giovani Mauro (Gio to his friends) has longtime ties to the Las Vegas restaurant world. Monzu operates in the same space that housed the first incarnation of his mother’s landmark restaurant, Nora’s Italian Cuisine. The food at Monzu, however, is a bit more adventurous and a little less familiar than what was served there -- inspired by the chef’s travels to Italy, and prepared with an almost devout respect for ingredients.
The rectangular style pizza, known “pizza alla palla,” is a popular street food in Rome. Mauro recreates it with his own strain of yeast, and tops it with only the freshest seasonal ingredients. The rest of the menu is packed with unique takes on Sicilian classics: heirloom pumpkin with chicken gizzards, a lemon leaf stuffed with meat croquettes, and milk-poached whipped salt cod with golden osetra caviar.
Monzu has a solid cocktail program and an experienced sommelier to guide you through the Italian wine varietals. There's live music in the dining room, with jazz sets from Gio's wife and partner Naomi Mauro (a veteran Strip performer), most Saturdays. If you’re really lucky, Gio may even take the stage to sing opera.