Long lauded as one of the best Italian restaurants around, La Strada at the Eldorado Resort Casino maintains a powerful recipe for success: use only the finest ingredients, hire excellent people and make everything in house from scratch. The stellar La Strada experience is shaped by two experts in the art of traditional northern Italian cuisine — Eldorado Executive Chef Ivano Centemeri and La Strada Head Chef Massimo Riggio — and the result is nothing short of award-winning. La Strada has been named one of the top 10 Italian restaurants in the nation and is consistently voted a favorite among locals as well, along with taking home the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for 10 years in a row. Recently, Centemeri took time out to highlight the merits of Eldorado’s signature restaurant.

What do you think sets La Strada apart from other Italian restaurants?

We’ve created a menu full of Italian specialties, such as the Eldorado’s famous mushroom ravioli, and the pastas made fresh daily in the Eldorado’s pasta shop. We make everything from scratch and go straight to the source for ingredients. If it’s an Italian ingredient, it comes form Italy. If it’s a Mexican ingredient, it comes from Mexico, and so on. Our flour for the pasta is direct from Italy. The wheat for the flour is different and better. We are also always searching for the freshest local ingredients. Eggs, vegetables, rabbit — anything that can be fresh and local, is.

Tell us about one of the most popular entrées on the menu.

Our lamb chops are marinated for 24 hours in red wine, mustard and fresh herbs, then grilled and served with seasonal vegetables. We go by the season very, very much. The lamb chops come with a mean salsa verde that we make in house, instead of a mint jelly. It’s our own recipe and very fresh. The plate is finished with a tomato marmalade, which we also make in house. We purchase as little pre-made items as possible — if we can make it, we do. It just makes it better all around.

Anything new on the horizon for La Strada?

While we always keep the most traditional and staple La Strada dishes on the menu, we are also constantly moving toward the seasons with new items. For example, we are releasing 12 new menu items for spring. We’re also now open seven days a week, and we’ll be remodeling soon to add a patio, where you can enjoy La Strada food in a more trattoria-style setting.

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