Mediterranean Favorites at Allegro
by karen rose
Good seafood might seem like it’d be tricky in a town known more for steakhouses that beckon bachelor parties and hefty expense accounts. But for the rest of us, nothing beats the superb fish of a Forbes five-star resort, expertly prepared by an Amalfi Coast–trained chef.
Enter Allegro and its Naples-born chef, Enzo Febbraro. The seafood maestro first came to the US when he was asked to cook for the Grammy Awards dinner in 1996; now he comes to Vegas from Washington, DC, where he ran D’Acqua Ristorante—and cooked for two presidents. At Wynn, he serves up Neapolitan classics such as zuppa di pesce like the natural he is. “I was born and raised on the water,” Febbraro says. “I’ve been preparing Mediterranean seafood, from sea urchin to spiny lobster, scorpion fish—you name it—all my life.”
The risotto pescadora in particular is a seafood lover’s dream, rich with shrimp, scallops, calamari, mussels, and clams. And the briny aroma and unctuous flavor of the new-for-fall sea urchin pasta are memorable enough to have true connoisseurs returning again and again. “The easiest way to define my style of seafood cooking is ‘sophistication through simplicity,’” he says. “Get the best quality ingredients and let them speak for themselves.”
But it’s not just the seafood and perfectly prepared Italian classics—including melt-in-your-mouth cannelloni and baked lasagna Napoletana (with a smoked mozzarella that adds a heady accent to a familiar dish), and a cheese plate with a standout house-made burrata—that are bringing diners back for more. Allegro’s late-night menu (served until 6 am) has fast become a post-club Strip destination. Menu favorites include a burger made with some of Vegas’s best meatballs (a fusion of beef, pork, and sausage), which can also be served with their classic partner, spaghetti, for those with a few more martinis to soak up.
Allegro also gets extra credit for one final bonus: a wower of an off-menu specialty. Call ahead for Febbraro’s whole turbot fish in a salt crust and impress the kitchen—and your date. Wynn Las Vegas, 702-770-7000
photography by beverly poppe