Tag Archives: pizza

GIORDANO’S: Tastes like home.

It’s not a casserole.

I can hear you snickering through the screen.  Chicago style pizza is NOT a casserole.  It’s not a lasagna, it’s not a joke.  IT’S OURS OKAY STOP MAKING FUN OF IT.  Jon Stewart famously said “it’s not only not better than New York Pizza… it’s not pizza.”

Listen, if I’m gonna grab a quick bite to eat and keep walking on the way to a hipster meetup, New York style pizza is great.  It’s thin, it’s tasty and easy to eat.  Chicago pizza is difficult.  It takes a while to cook, you kinda need a fork to eat it, it’s so filling that one of them can feed a whole family… but these are not necessarily bad things.  Chicago is a much more laid back city, one where sit down meals with your family are common and a 45 minute wait to get your food is a good time to talk and be with loved ones (as well as devour delicious sides).

You can rattle off 5 great pizza places in every city and all of them will be either authentic Italian or New York style pizza.  Very rarely will you find a real Chicago pizza outside of Illinois.  However, a new day has risen, my friends.  In the outdoor mall at Bally’s just off of Flamingo and Las Vegas BLVD, one of the mainstays of Chicago pizza has opened up a newcomer for the crown.

BEHOLD.

giordanos chicago pizza
Err, wait.

Let’s try again.

BEHOLD.

giordanos chicago pizza
Slightly better.

I won’t lie, I was underwhelmed at the outdoor seating offered here.  I was blown away that they’re open 7 days a week from the morning to 2 AM, mostly because I expected a place serving midwest style food to happily close at a reasonable 9-10 PM.  But the seating itself makes no sense in a volatile weather place such as Las Vegas.  The roof over the seating area isn’t solid, so when there’s wind or rain it blows right through.  There’s also dust everywhere, to the point I had to clean off my place when I sat down.  And on a cold night like the one I visited, the considerable 40 minute wait felt twice as long.  I remarked to our server what a bad decision they made to make the only seating outside and he told me everyone was saying the same thing. (MAKE NOTE OF THIS)

We quickly ordered a side of parmesan garlic fries and a small stuffed pizza with sausage and onions (sausage is a must with Chicago style pizza).  The fries were quick to come out, and we were happy to munch down on them to stay warm.

giordanos chicago pizza
The fanciest ranch dressing garnished dish ever.

Solid fries, though I’m sad they came with a side of ranch dressing.  The garlic was pretty well caramelized, to the point of getting stuck in your teeth when you tried to chew it.  If they fix the garlic, they’ll be pretty damn good fries.

After way too much talk about how cold it was and how we wish they had an indoor seating area, our pizza arrived.

BEHOLD AGAIN.

giordanos chicago pizza
CLICK FOR AMBIENT MUSIC

I don’t know how anyone can look at such an item and not be immediately filled with carnal thoughts.  It tasted as good as it looks, obviously.  There are places that sell Chicago style pizza frozen that can get most of it almost perfect, but the one thing that they can’t get right is the crust.  The crust in this pizza was fantastic; crumbly, tender but still tough and thick enough to hold together this huge slice of cheese, sauce and stuffed toppings.  Eaten with a knife and fork for true flair.  Two adult men were stuffed after 2 pieces each with 2 pieces left to take home afterwards.

giordanos chicago pizza
BUT HOW CAN YOU MAKE IT HOME?

The whole meal was less than $20 a person with tip, making it one of the best values on the strip.  With such prime real estate, you would expect this place to be significantly more expensive.  If only they had reasonable seating, I would come here a few times a month!  Alas, I left satisfied but ultimately sad that I would probably not come here too often to dine because of exposure to the elements.

Imagine my surprise a few days later when picking up a few carry out pizzas for a get together.

giordanos chicago pizza
WHAT
giordanos chicago pizza
THE FUCK

There’s an upstairs!  I’m a fucking moron!  There’s a huge bar and an absolutely beautiful interior!  The servers let me go on and on about what a terrible decision not having an indoors was!  It took me about 10 minutes for me to be able to get my foot out of my mouth when I realized this.

After this discovery, I see no reason not to rate this one of the absolute best restaurants for the money on the strip.  Open until 2 AM, I think this is a must visit for anyone who likes Chicago pizza and a good spot for simply anyone who likes food.  I’ll be back a lot.

Giordano’s

Inside Bally’s outdoor mall area.

11AM – 2AM daily

Carryout available.

SETTEBELLO: Shut up and eat this pizza.

Pizza is something that people hold sacred, partly because people who have visited New York can get snooty and act like they’ve had the “real stuff” after paying $2 for a couple slices and partly because anyone can throw canned tomato sauce on some dough and it still tastes alright.  I’m from Illinois and we definitely do enjoy our deep dish (IT’S NOT A CASSEROLE IT’S A FAMILY TRADITION) but we’re all drunk children compared to the gods making real Neapolitan pizza like they make at Settebello.

 

Can I do a fake Italian accent? FUHGEDDABOUTIT!

Settebello is in The District, a little outdoor shopping center just across from Green Valley Ranch, the only casino directly in the Henderson area.  It’s actually a beautiful little spot and definitely not what you’d expect to be right next to a casino.  I have a friend who lives in an apartment nearby and I can say with utmost confidence I would eat at Settebello almost every day if I lived there.

They’re a very traditional Italian pizzeria, with a few basic antipasti and their woodfire pizza oven.  The floor is sprinkled with flour and you can tell how many pizzas they must churn out a day.

Right after I asked him if he wanted a picture taken, I told him to “act like he’s doing something.” THIS PICTURE IS FULL OF LIES.

Settebello offers a pretty extensive Italian microbrew menu and they actually try to pair their favorite beers with their favorite pizzas, so if you feel like trying a few brewskis feel free to ask your server for the beer list.  A few times, they’ve even done a beer and pizza tasting with the brewery owners.

Italian food is all about simple ingredients used well and shown in their best light and so the best way to figure out if a place is good is to order the simple stuff.  If they mess it up, it’s not a place I will give my business.  One of my favorite dishes to test this out is a caprese salad, and I have to say that way more places botch it than I might want to admit.  Settebello nails it, with perfect balance of proportions.  You can get some of everything in each bite and they don’t drown it in oil or vinegar.  You don’t end up with 10 uneaten rounds of tomatoes or a pile of cheese at the end.  And they bring out extra balsamic just in case you need it.  If I were skinny, this would be all I need to be happy.

It almost makes me want to be skinny.

We also decided we need to try the meatballs which aren’t always on the menu.  Slightly dry in the middle but the sauce was simple and delicious.  The flatbread was fine but seems like too much.  I would be fine with just the meatballs but some people need to have something to dip into the sauce I guess.

Before you ask, yes, I burned myself on the cast iron.

Lastly, there’s nothing I can say about the pizza except it’s almost perfect.  We ordered two, one being the Margherita because I feel like it’s the best way to judge if a pizza place is up to snuff and one my buddy Gabe ordered from the specials list.  It featured a jalapeno pear marmalade which I chastised him for.

Holy.

Crap.

I can say hands down that these were probably the two best pizzas I have ever had.  Perfect pizza crust is hard to do and I won’t claim it was flawless here.  It didn’t stand up as well as it could’ve but the outside was nice and crispy, it was very light and didn’t overpower the toppings at all.  The balance of the sauce and the cheese was phenomenal and I love how they left it on long enough for the little blisters to form on the edge.  A real sign of a properly cooked pizza.

The real star, however, was the jalapeno pear marmalade.  It completely blew me away.  It sounds weird at first, but it added a subtle spicy sweetness to the whole pizza that balanced incredibly with the acidic tomato sauce and the great mozzarella they use.  The red onions had some great texture.  I usually always stick with the Margherita because it’s so simple and perfect but I think I have a new favorite.

It’s hard to imagine there being better pizza anywhere.

Apps will run you less than $10 and the pizzas are perfect size for one person and will run you twelve bucks.

Settebello is THE pizza place to go to in town.  I’ve heard a million people offer up just as many places that offer “the best” but none even really hold a candle to this.  Come for the beer, the pizza, the meatballs, whatever you want.  Just come here.

Locations: The District at Green Valley Ranch, 140 S Green Valley Pkwy, Henderson, NV 89012

Phone: (702) 222-3556

9350 W Sahara Ave #170, Las Vegas, NV 89117

(702) 901-4877)

Hours: Open daily · 11:00 am – 10:00 pm