Ventano Grilled Shrimp on Stone satisfies this appetite

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This week I decided to head out to Henderson for dinner as I wanted to stay on my side of town for a change.

I’m always trying new places so sometimes I forget about some of my old favorites. I went to Ventano Italian Grill & Seafood (191 S. Arroyo Grande Blvd.). If you are looking for a nice restaurant with a great view of the Strip this is the place for you.

It’s always nice to have dinner there at sunset, watch the sun go down over the valley and see the Strip come alive with all its glorious neon. Yes, I have lived here for six years and came here for 30 before that. But just like a newbie tourist I’m still in awe of the Strip at night. If looking for a romantic view for a dinner with that special someone, check out Ventano.

I have been here many times before and soneof my favorite appetizer dishes is Grilled Shrimp on the Stone, which is a half pound of marinated shrimp served on a sizzling granite stone. They also offer Grilled Lamb Chops on the Stone. These are two great ways to start off your dinner. When I’m in the mood for a salad I’m partial to the Warm Spinach.

For my entrée this time I went with the Ventano Spiedini, which is lightly breaded pounded chicken cutlets stuffed with parmesan and mozzarella, then skewered, sautéed and topped with a pomodoro sauce. If you like traditional Chicken Parmesan you will absolutely love this dish. It is served with a side of pasta of your choice.

In addition to all of their Italian dishes they have an extensive selection of seafood and veal. You can have your veal prepared Scalopini, Marsala, Saltimbocca, Francese, Picatta or Angelo style. Another of my favorite dishes is the Roasted Rack of Lamb.

One of the things I love to see, especially at restaurants off the Strip, is when the owner, who happens to also be the chef, comes out of the kitchen when he can, mingles with his guests and asks how their meal was.

I was here on the Tuesday after Mother’s Day so by restaurant standards this should be a slow night business wise. But on this night a large party of about 30 had come in to dine so it was much busier than expected.

My meal was taking a little longer than on a normal night but it was okay as I was enjoying the view from my table. The owner stopped at my table, asked how everything was and what I had ordered.

He went to the kitchen, came right back to my table and apologized for the delay saying my meal would be ready in a few minutes. He also said the kitchen had gotten overly jammed up and my meal was on him.

He had no idea I write a food column as I don’t like to let people know who I am so I don’t get special treatment. I want to receive the same treatment as a normal customer so I can give an unbiased review.

Taking the time to greet customers and taking care of a minor problem and making it right is what you get when you deal with family run businesses. That’s why I like supporting all the fine local places we have around town in addition to the big casino restaurants.

My meal was excellent as usual and I felt even better with the way the owner took the time to stop by the table.

If you go to Ventano tell Arnauld how you heard about his place as we want him to know good food is great but his personal touch makes it even better.

I give Ventano Italian Grill & Seafood a rating of 3.75 Forks out of 4.

Marco D’Angelo is the senior handicapper at Pregame.com. 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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