Bringing the personal hospitality and inspired flavor of Italy to Las Vegas’ renowned Summerlin community, Executive Chef Partner Gina Marinelli shares her passion for food, family and friends at her first restaurant, La Strega, now open for dinner at 3555 South Town Center Drive (Pictured: Margherita Pizza – Photo credit: Anthony Camblin / La Strega)
Through March 13, La Strega will be open to the public for a special preview period Tuesdays- Sundays, and all guests will receive a 33 percent discount on their check.
With grandparents from Lake Como and Sicily, Marinelli started her Italian culinary journey in her family’s kitchen. She honed her skills with some of the industry’s best chefs, including Scott Conant, Michael Mina and Shawn McClain, on one of the world’s biggest culinary stages, the Las Vegas Strip. Now, Marinelli is sharing her love of food and cooking by offering a culinary journey of Italy with elevated techniques, unique presentations and superior ingredients at her own restaurant, La Strega.
“I want to create a home for my guests where they can relax and enjoy innovative yet approachable dishes that celebrate the amazing flavors found throughout Italy paired with my own culinary twists,” said Marinelli. “From the moment they walk in the door, I want my guests to forget the stress of daily life and simply enjoy their friends and family over a delicious meal made from my heart and soul.”
Marinelli’s menu showcases her personal interpretations of Italian cuisine infused with contemporary yet simple flavors. Appetizers include raw selections such as Hamachi served crudo style with chili gremolata, truffle salt and cilantro and from-the-farm options like Burrata di Stefano served with spring garlic salsa verde and house-made bread.
La Strega boasts reimagined pasta dishes like Rigatoni Bolognese with wild boar, n’duja and Grana Padano, and Pasta AI Frutti Di Mare with stewed calamari, lobster and rock shrimp, spicy pomodoro and mint breadcrumbs; traditional pizzas with handmade dough; and entrees such as chicken Milanese with polenta and dandelion greens, stewed mussels with couscous and spring vegetables, and a stuffed whole fish.
The dessert menu offers sweet indulgences like “The Bomba,” a house-made donut filled with coconut budino and a Chianti Affogato, a vanilla bean gelato with a Chianti float and wine must, as well as the classic, yet often hard-to-find savory option of artisanal cheeses. For the kids, Marinelli will offer custom-built pizzas and pastas for picky and hard-to-please youngsters.
La Strega also features an expertly curated wine menu from former Giada sommelier, Stephanie Torres, and a handcrafted cocktail program featuring iconic favorites as well as non-alcoholic libations made with Italian spritzers and bitters.
Leading the restaurant team is Derek Scharadin as the restaurant’s general manager who brings nearly a decade of restaurant management experience overseeing venues from Miami to Las Vegas, including most recently at Echo & Rig Butcher and Steakhouse at Tivoli Village.
Meaning “witch” in Italian, La Strega’s ambiance will bewitchingly transport guests to Italy the moment they step in the door. Custom designed décor and accents that Marinelli collected from her travels abroad create an authentic European setting. The restaurant’s artistic centerpiece is a one-of-a-kind mural inspired by the witches of Benevento and their iconic walnut tree. Spanning multiple walls, the mural was created by local artist Holly Rae Vaughn, whose other works of art can be found downtown and at various Clark County public parks and spaces.
The restaurant offers a Loggia inspired by the Amalfi coastline where guests can comfortably enjoy al fresco dining and cocktails year-round. Other dining areas include an intimate lounge and a dining room that overlooks an open kitchen with marble counters and gold accents.
“The real magic will be how people feel when they leave,” added Marinelli. “I hope our hospitality and food will lift their spirits and help them remember that life, like food, is a something to enjoy and celebrate. I want La Strega to be a special retreat where guests feel like they stepped into Italy and can enjoy all of its warmth and flavor – but it’s conveniently located in their own neighborhood. I am excited to cook for those who call Las Vegas home.”