Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019 | 2 a.m.
The Italian restaurant at Summerlin’s Red Rock Resort has taken different forms in recent years. In 2015, Clique Hospitality opened Salute Trattoria, which closed in December 2017 to make way for Masso Osteria, a different Italian cuisine concept from celebrity chef Scott Conant. Masso opened in February 2018 and closed in May.
To fill the void, Red Rock brought back the upscale resort’s original Italian restaurant, Terra Rossa, which opened last week with veteran Las Vegas executive chef Dan Rossi running the show.
“The word on the street was that everyone was asking about Terra Rossa,” Rossi said. “The demand was there so it was perfect timing to bring back that name for the Summerlin crowd of today.”
Rossi has been at Red Rock for almost three years as the resort’s assistant executive chef, cooking for corporate and private events. He has run kitchens on the Strip for years including chef gigs at Rose.Rabbit.Lie. and Scarpetta at the Cosmopolitan and Alex Stratta’s famed former fine dining room at Wynn Las Vegas.
At the new Terra Rossa, Rossi is bringing back some of the original restaurant’s signature dishes and adding plenty of new options.
“When we took on this project, we really couldn’t pick a more perfect person,” said Chris Garcia, Red Rock’s executive director of food and beverage. “When we looked at what our clientele is doing and what they’re eating and at all the competition in the area, going to Dan and going back to Terra Rossa is giving people another reason to come back here.”
The restaurant's design has changed from the original version as the 4,000-square-foot space is a bit more refined with an open kitchen, a 15-seat private dining room, a pleasant patio space, two bars and a wine room. The staff has added a Josper charcoal grill and oven and a new pasta extruder in order to add some flair to old favorites and create some new innovative menu items.
“We have eight different preparations of veal,” said Rossi. “The veal chop Parmigiana is a beautiful presentation, trimmed in a perfect circle. We’re doing chicken with Jidori and organic Mary’s free-range chicken, and it’s served in a family-style way, big chunks sautéed Salsiccia-style with peppers and sausage. A lot of these dishes are easily shared.”
He’ll also be grilling steaks simply with fresh herbs and Ligurian olive oil in that Josper and serving 16-inch pizzas and a variety of pastas. “Working with Alex [Stratta] for 15 years, all the pastas we did were from his family recipes from Piedmont. I learned how to make a soft dough for our veal agnolotti, really delicate, and also for the spaghetti in the pomodoro. And then there’s the harder dough made with egg that has this firm texture even though it’s fresh pasta. We’re offering all different types of pasta which is exciting.”
The menu is large enough to accommodate everyone’s favorite home-style Italian dishes, and that’s done by design. This version of Terra Rossa is all about rustic food and a family-friendly vibe.
“We’re really going after that Sunday dinner feel,” Rossi said. “If you grew up with an Italian family and you’ve gone over to dinner on a Sunday, you know it’s an all-day thing. Your grandmother or mother or aunts are in the kitchen, you go over the afternoon and it’s just a barrage of food and fun and telling stories. And if you end up bringing over a couple extra friends, that’s okay, we’re going to find some more chairs and feed you, too. We want that family feel and we want to be the place you can come in two or three times a week and get your fix.”
Terra Rossa is open for dinner Sunday through Thursday from 5 to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 5 to 11 p.m. at the Red Rock Resort.