by Cynthia Graham, photography courtesy Pasta Shop Ristorante & Art Gallery
Since opening in 1989, the Alenik family has been cooking up a unique dining experience that embraces a passion for food, wine, and culture. This charming Henderson restaurant welcomes diners in an inviting and friendly setting of warm, rich colors and original local art. You’ll find attention to detail with the highest quality in all of their dishes and discover why the Pasta Shop Ristorante & Art Gallery is popular with many locals, deserving its status as an area institution.
Long before Las Vegas became known as a foodie destination, founding owner David Alenik started Pasta Shop with an impressive pedigree. The former private chef for Steve Wynn and Frank Sinatra, Chef David could lay claim to serving a who’s who of celebrities and Vegas royalty, including Elizabeth Taylor, Cary Grant, Sylvester Stallone, Muhammad Ali and Evel Knievel among many others, before his untimely passing in 2016. The Alenik family and their trusted staff, including Chef Eddie Martinez and General Manager Gianna Kent, have carried on David’s legacy, keeping to his high standards and hewing to his perfected recipes while adding some worthy updates.
They take a simple approach to serving delicious food: always fresh and house made. The menu is filled with classic Italian cuisine with something to satisfy all tastes, including many vegan and gluten-free options. Start with their beautiful artichoke appetizer: composed simply of cold poached artichoke, house-made balsamic vinaigrette and freshly grated parmesan, it is as beautifully plated as it is delicious. A local favorite dish named after the founding chef is Chicken Davida: sautéed chicken breast topped with fried eggplant, sundried tomatoes and mozzarella with polenta served with fresh vegetables. Or try their Saffron Shrimp Sauté: a black squid pasta with tiger shrimp in a saffron cream sauce.
While the favorites are here in abundance—baked lasagna, chicken Marsala—there’s always something new when you’re ready to fall in love all over again. In fact, you can make any dish new by requesting it “Alenik Style” with roasted Brussels sprouts, avocado, beets and sautéed kale; once a secret menu item that became too popular to keep secret. Their vegan pizza in particular becomes a thing of wonder when ordered “Alenik.” All of this with some wine from a list curated to complement each dish makes dining here a truly neighborly experience.
While you are enjoying the art on the plate, be sure to take in the art on display, reflecting the many talents of owner Ann Alenik, whose work has been featured on HGTV and in galleries around the country (the rotating pieces are all available for purchase). Even the tables are art, as each one was individually finished by Ann.
It should not surprise that Pasta Shop has received many accolades over the years. They have been rated one of the 10 Best Las Vegas Restaurants by USA Today, received Restaurateur of the Year from the Nevada Restaurant Association, and awarded a Best of Las Vegas rating from the readers of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, among many others. Pasta Shop Ristorante is open all through the week and they feature daily specials and happy hours.
Pasta Shop Ristorante
2525 W. Horizon Ridge
Henderson, NV 89052