I didn’t even know this place existed until I did a search for risotto. The results turned up Lucio Ristorante and some press about them having some of the city’s best risotto. It’s tucked away in a strip mall behind Outback Steakhouse on the corner of Sahara and Durango. It may not be the best location, but I wasn’t going to hold that against them.

We walked in and there was only one other table occupied. The place looks upscale with it’s white linens and classic place settings, but it is a local’s place that probably wouldn’t turn you away if you’re casually dressed. The host/waiter (manager/owner???… who knows…) was very nice. We had our four year old son with us and he was very accommodating. They don’t have a kid’s menu but were willing to come up with something that he would eat (he’s incredibly picky and won’t even eat pasta).

Here’s what we had:

Insalata di pere ($9) – pear and orange on a bed of arugula, candied walnuts, warm brown sugar raspberry balsamic vinaigrette and blue cheese crumbles. Nice mix of bitter, sweet, and citrus flavors. Overdressed, but still good. Large enough for two to share.

Cozze e vongole al guazzertto ($12) – sautéed mussels and clams in a white wine and garlic sauce. Nicely presented, great broth that we soaked up with bread after the mussels and clams were gone. The downside was that the mussels and clams were overcooked.

Penne pasta with sausage, mushrooms, and a red wine cream sauce. Delicious and creamy. Hearty chunks of sausage and savory slices of mushrooms made this a tasty dish.

Funghi selvatici risotto ($20) – mixed mushrooms. It was a large plateful of creamy and delicious risotto. This is what they’re supposed to be know for and it didn’t disappoint. It isn’t the city’s best — that honor still goes to, oddly enough, Julian Serrano, the tapas place at Aria — but it satisfied our craving.

Kid’s portion chicken breast ($5) – pounded thin and simply grilled. My kid loved it.

All in all, it was a solid meal with good service. The menu reads as standard Italian-American fare, but it’s executed fairly well. They’ve got four or five types of risotto and several of their pastas, like the gnocchi and ravioli, are made from scratch in-house. There’s absolutely no need to go to an Italian-inspired chain restaurant when places like this are around. You can find discounts for Lucio Ristorante on Restaurant.com. Too bad I didn’t find out about that until after dining there.

3.5 Stars

8615 W Sahara Ave
Las Vegas, NV 89117
(702) 233-2859

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