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There is no question that living in Las Vegas gives us some of the best dining options available anywhere as the Strip is home to a number of the best restaurants in the world.

What makes Vegas so great is you don’t always have to travel to the Strip, go to a big hotel restaurant and pay big bucks for a good meal. There are so many hidden gems all around town. This past week I enjoyed one such place.

Nora’s Italian Cuisine (6020 W. Flamingo Road Suite 10) is just a few blocks past the Palms Hotel & Casino. Like so many of the smaller restaurants around town, it’s tucked away in a little strip mall plaza. The minute you open the door, the smell of good Italian cooking hits. It was a busy Friday night and I sat in the bar section where they had live entertainment.

Nora’s offers all the traditional Italian favorites to start with for appetizers. Fried Calamari and a Mozzarella Caprese are always a great combination and I wasn’t disappointed. For my main dish I went on the recommendation of my server. He quickly said the Crazy Alfredo is the best dish on the menu and the best Alfredo in town.

Well let me tell you, this was one crazy alfredo dish. This creation featured fettucine alfredo with chicken, Italian sausage, jumbo shrimp, porcini mushrooms, domestic mushrooms, roasted red peppers and sun dried tomatoes. If you want to kick your pasta up a notch they also put jalapenos in, but I passed on the extra spice.

My server was dead on as this pasta dish was fabulous. Having the different meats and shrimp was a great taste combination. Nora’s portions are so large I’m embarrassed to say that even a big eater like me was forced to take a doggie bag home. Maybe I shouldn’t have hit the appetizers so hard.

I will be trying the veal on my next trip to Nora’s. It looked and smelled delicious. Nora would be a great spot just to stop and have drinks and homemade pizza with friends while listening to the live entertainment. It’s great to see Mom-and-Pop-type places excel in the city.

Nora and Gino Mauro opened their restaurant in 1991 with a seating capacity of just 12. You can sit in a dining room side, a bar side or at a few tables in the pizzeria. Things have definitely grown for Nora, but that is what happens when you serve good food.

I know it’s a cliché about family operated places, but Nora’s son Marcello as general manager keeps those traditions and recipes in good hands.

Nora’s Italian Cuisine is a hidden gem and you will get a great meal at a great price. Almost all the entrees are under $20. I give Nora’s 3½ 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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