Al Solito Posto
Chef James Trees dominated our survey’s Italian category, with two of his very different restaurants each scoring more mentions than any other eatery. Where Trees’ Arts District original, Esther’s Kitchen, has a West Coast energy that draws on his fine-dining pedigree in a casual artsy setting, Al Solito Posto is a tribute to the East Coast Italian cuisine that dominated Las Vegas during its Rat Pack heyday, located in a space that was once home to the Brio restaurant chain.
Al Solito Posto (which means “the usual place” in Italian) proves that the classic red-sauce dishes many of us grew up with, which are so often dismissed as pedestrian by “serious” foodies, are deserving of more respect than they receive at your local pizza place. Trees has charged executive chef Steve Young (who wowed the convention crowd for years at The Edge Steakhouse), with reminding us just how good chicken parm, lasagna al forno and Sunday gravy can be, when treated with respect. To round out the experience, he’s brought in NoMad veteran David Bonatesta to oversee the cocktails, and tapped one of Las Vegas top pastry chefs, Keris Kuwana, for the sweets.