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It’s been awhile since we reviewed a restaurant from downtown so we headed to Fremont Street and checked out one of my favorite spots.

Golden Nugget is a standout casino and good Italian food is found at Grotto Ristorante. The Grotto has two seating sections: the main dining room and a smaller section right across from the main room right next to the pool area.

Dining in the Grotto offers a nice view of the pool from most tables. The GN pool is very unique with its shark tank and slide that actually goes through the pool. Anytime we have friends or relatives come to town with kids we always book at least a one-night stay to enjoy the pool.

My wife Lori’s favorite at the Grotto is Bruschetta, and we usually start with an order. It is Grilled Tuscan bread served with marinated Roma tomatoes. For my appetizer I like their Scampi Grotto, which is shrimp sautéed with mushrooms, garlic, white wine and lemon. This is a light and very tasty start to the meal.

Next, we usually split a Caesar Salad. The Grotto has several tempting salad choices. I have played several poker tournaments at the Nugget, and during the dinner break (when I’m fortunate enough to make it to then) I like to eat light and will grab a quick salad as a meal. The Italian Chopped Salad with grilled chicken, prosciutto, provolone, Gorgonzola, bacon and egg with crisp lettuce hits the spot.

When it comes to the entrees Lori loves their Fettuccine Alfredo with Chicken. One of my favorites on their menu is the Pollo Romano, which is Romano crusted chicken scaloppini with artichokes and Roma tomatoes in a white wine sauce served with a side of penne.

Their Veal Kickerillo is a Parmesan crusted scaloppini with mushrooms and a touch of lemon served with fettuccine Alfredo. If I am feeling like fish I will get the Sea Bass Mugnaia, which is crispy pan seared sea bass in a lemon caper sauce with mushrooms.

To be honest, I haven’t had anything I haven’t liked at the Grotto. Try to save room for dessert. Unfortunately for me I’m usually too full. When they wheel that dessert cart over to your table it’s pretty hard to say no so I have it to go.

Grotto Ristorante is a great dining experience downtown and, unlike so many hotel restaurants, they are not overpriced. The Grotto is part of the Landry restaurant chain so be sure to use your Landry Select Club Rewards card if you have one to earn points for free meals.

I give the Grotto Ristorante 3.50 Forks out of 4.

Marco D’Angelo is the senior handicapper at He co-hosts FIRST PREVIEW every Thursday at 10 a.m. on ESPN 1100 AM/98.9 FM. Follow him on twitter: @MarcoInVegas. Contact him at [email protected].

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