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When it comes to Italian cooking my standards are very high as I was raised in a house where there were homemade Italian dishes of the highest quality every day. No one made a meat sauce like my mom’s or her homemade Italian wedding soup.

Well, I found a hidden gem off the Strip when I first moved to Las Vegas in 2008 and have been going there ever since.

Casa Di Amore (2850 E. Tropicana Ave) is as close to Mom’s as I have found anywhere in town and open every day except Tuesday from 5 p.m. to 5 a.m.

The décor is Vegas the way it used to be. I could just picture the Rat Pack eating here as old Blue Eyes himself would love the food. Speaking of Frank Sinatra, they have entertainment for your pleasure while you dine. A singer belts out some of Frank’s best and other classics. This is the perfect spot if you want to impress the wife or girl friend, as it is a romantic setting for dining.

Casa has a list of appetizers that makes it very hard to choose, but here are some of my picks. The roasted peppers are my favorite, served hot or cold. Personally I love them served warm and it’s a great way to start any meal.

I also have enjoyed the stuffed mushrooms and fried calamari along with the cold caprese – a must if you like fresh mozzarella. Try their Grandma’s Famous Chicken soup – the closest to my mom’s. My wife loves their bruschetta. I seriously could just go and make a meal out of all the appetizers I like.

The really good stuff includes my absolute favorite dish – the Steak Sicilian. It is a New York strip lightly breaded with Italian breadcrumbs, and then baked to perfection.

The combination of the breadcrumbs and the steak being baked gives it a totally different taste and locks in the juices.

I would order this 4 out of every 5 trips here. Yes, I like it that much! I always get a side of penne with meat sauce instead of a potato because their meat sauce is fantastic.

Being so picky, when it comes to sauce I can be a real pain in butt.

Other dishes on the menu that my wife and I like are the Chicken Parm, Chicken Alfredo and baked lasagna. When I don’t get my Steak Sicilian I will have a veal dish, which has always been to my liking.

After all the great appetizers and entrees I’m usually too stuffed for dessert, but with the live entertainment I can sit back and chill with a cocktail until I’m ready.

The tiramisu is fabulous and if you like cannoli, there isn’t any fresher.

Casa also has these ice cream Bomba’s if you want a light and refreshing dessert.

Check these babies out. We give Casa 3.75 forks.

Marco D’Angelo is the senior handicapper at He co-hosts FIRST PREVIEW every Thursday night at 11 pm on ESPN 1100 AM/98.9 FM. Follow him on twitter: @MarcoInVegas. Contact him at [email protected]­

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