Cindy Pearlman

Correspondent

  • Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

Cindy Pearlman is a correspondent who covers Las Vegas for Forbes Travel Guide. Pearlman is a senior entertainment writer for the New York Times Syndicate and columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times, where she interviews Hollywood’s biggest and brightest in “The Big Picture.” Her beauty and style column appears daily at NBCUniversal’s StyleGoesStrong.com. She is the co-author of several books, including The Black Book series (The Black Book of Hollywood Beauty Secrets, The Black Book of Hollywood Diet Secrets) and The Beauty Cookbook. She lives in Chicago and Las Vegas with her husband, Ron, stepdaughter Sabrina and their two large dogs.

  • On November 15, 2012
    Cindy Pearlman answered the question: Cindy Pearlman

    Does Allegro have a bar?

    Allegro, the Italian restaurant in Wynn Las Vegas, has a 15-seat bar that’s perfect for those who want to wander in for a drink before dinner or wait for a table. The bar offers a nice mix wine, artisan beer and specialty cocktails such as a Pear Cosmo or the Wynn signature drink called The Dream. If you’re in the mood, you can order a quick appetizer at the bar to quell some early hunger pains such as the prosciutto platter or calamari & shrimp fried to perfection and served with spicy tomato sauce. If you’re in the mood for clams, chef Enzo Febbraro creates a delicious Baked Clams Casino. Paired with a glass of white wine, this dish of Top Neck clams, pancetta, bell peppers and herbed breadcrumbs offers a perfect reason to linger in the bar.
  • On November 15, 2012
    Cindy Pearlman answered the question: Cindy Pearlman

    What is the menu like at Allegro?

    The menu at Allegro features classic Italian dishes with chef Enzo Febbraro’s unique twist. Since the chef eschews heavy ingredients like butter and cream, his dishes are satisfying without leaving you feeling overfed. There are classic Italian choices including minestrone, lamb osso buco, spaghetti and meatballs, veal Marsala, seafood risotto plus the signature Maine lobster fra diavolo served with tagliolini pasta. In addition to steak and fish dishes, there are the pasta choices that rate high including linguini with clams and baked lasagna made with chef Febbraro’s special meat ragu. There’s an Italian dish for every taste at Allegro in Wynn Las Vegas.
  • On November 15, 2012
    Cindy Pearlman answered the question: Cindy Pearlman

    Who is the pastry chef at Allegro?

    Allegro pastry chef Pierre Gatel has always been passionate about his work. As a child, he spent most of his time in his grandfather’s pastry shop in Brittany, France. At 15, he left home and began a two-year apprenticeship with notable French pastry chef Jacques Cheftel. Gatel next enrolled in the Compagnons du Devoir in Marseille and studied under Pierre Zeppini.
     
    Later, Gatel moved to Paris where he worked for the pastry shop, Joubin.  It was during his tenure in Paris that Gatel was sought after by celebrity chef Francois Payard. Payard recruited Gatel and hired him to be responsible for the cake station at his newest pastry shop located on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. While working under Payard, Gatel competed in several pastry arts competitions and won such distinctions as “Most Artistic Plated Dessert.” Gatel was introduced to Chef Alain Ducasse, who hired him as executive pastry chef for his four-star, fine dining restaurant, the Essex House in New York City. Gatel moved to Las Vegas to work at the Wynn and Encore and was promoted to executive pastry chef.
  • On November 15, 2012
    Cindy Pearlman answered the question: Cindy Pearlman

    What is the chef at Allegro’s food philosophy?

    Chef Enzo Febbraro, who runs the kitchen at Allegro in Wynn Las Vegas, has specific views of Italian cuisine. “I don’t use butter except in the desserts. I want the audiences to really experience the flavors of Italy,” he says. He has put his signature touches on Allegro. “The menu is an extension of my rustic, at-home cooking style and I want to produce an authentic, feel-good experience for all of our guests. My goal is to create what I like to call an ‘Allegro state of mind’ in which all of our guests leave blissfully happy and satisfied from a fantastic menu.”
  • On November 15, 2012
    Cindy Pearlman answered the question: Cindy Pearlman

    Who is the chef at Allegro and what is his background?

    Allegro chef Enzo Febbraro is a native of Naples, Italy, where his passion for cooking was sparked as a young child. He spent many hours learning how to cook alongside his mother and grandmother, perfecting their heirloom recipes. At 16, he graduated from culinary school in Italy and was an apprentice chef in across Europe, including many five-star hotels in Paris, Nice, Munich, Madrid, Milan and London. He first worked in Las Vegas as part of the culinary team at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Now at the helm of Allegro at Wynn Las Vegas, chef Enzo offers classic Italian-American favorites, merging old-world tradition and new-world innovation. A well-respected executive chef, he joined the team at Wynn Las Vegas from the nation’s capital where he ran the acclaimed D’Acqua Ristorante, D’Acqua Café and Forno Italian Oven & Grill. His rustic cooking and commitment to sourcing the finest, distinctive ingredients have been showcased in meals Febbraro has created for Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.
  • On November 15, 2012
    Cindy Pearlman answered the question: Cindy Pearlman

    What are the best things to order at Allegro?

    Allegro, the Italian hot spot in Wynn Las Vegas, has an expansive menu of amazing choices. The best things to order are:
     
    1. Mozzarella platter. This bountiful appetizer consists of housemade selections of Italian cheeses including burrata and sheep’s milk ricotta. You can also add roasted peppers, mixed olives, roasted mushrooms or braised artichokes to the platter.
     
    2. Meatball pizza. If you’re in the mood for a quicker bite or a delicious appetizer, then try the savory house-made meatballs served on a pizza with a crisp wood-fired crust.
     
    3. Bone-in rib-eye steak. A sizzling 20-ounce steak cooked to order, its natural juices mingle deliciously with the tomatoes, mozzarella and shaved Parmesan served on the side.
     
    4. Zuppa di pesce. This Italian fish soup has just the right tang to the tomato broth (not too spicy, not too bland), and it’s host to a generous portion of scallops, shrimp, squid, clams, mussels, salmon and cod. Large slices of grilled Bruschetta are served in the soup and are delicious for dunking.
     
    5. Osso buco d’agnello. The dish features a succulent bone-in lamb shank served with vegetable stew and pappardelle pasta.
  • On November 15, 2012
    Cindy Pearlman answered the question: Cindy Pearlman

    What is the service like at Allegro?

    In a word, service at Allegro in Wynn Las Vegas is superb. You’ll find it  walks that fine line between the wait staff explaining the specials and recommended dishes without hovering or being intrusive. It took less than three minutes for a very knowledgeable waiter to appear at the table along with dinner and drink menus. Your server will be able to guide you through the cocktail list and recommend the most popular Italian appetizers and entrées. Once your dishes arrive, you’ll notice that the polished servers are available and anticipate your needs without hovering. The A-plus service at Allegro makes the exquisite Italian cuisine and wine taste even better. 
  • On November 15, 2012
    Cindy Pearlman answered the question: Cindy Pearlman

    What are the table settings like at Allegro?

    Contrasting with the vivid red and black color scheme at Allegro, the table settings are sleek and uncomplicated at the Wynn’s new Italian restaurant that’s open until six in the morning. Allegro’s tables are topped with white china plates placed on black mesh placemats. They’re accompanied by modern silverware with sleek lines and no embellishments. Each table is set with a wine glass, as well as a goblet for your preference of sparkling or flat water.  Eventually, the table setting will also include a small basket filled with breads and a small crystal bowl overflowing with a to-die-for mixture of oil and pesto; it’s so good that seconds are certainly required.
  • On November 15, 2012
    Cindy Pearlman answered the question: Cindy Pearlman

    Does Allegro have any special views?

    Allegro has an amazing view of the casino floor at Wynn Las Vegas, which is one of the chicest spots in Las Vegas. Don’t be surprised to see major and emerging celebrities and sports figures passing by. There’s also quite a fashion show, as people stroll past in some jaw-dropping outfits. If that sounds like your kind of fun, call early to reserve one of the rooms in the front of the restaurant. You’ll also see the slot machines and the gambling tables on full tilt during peak hours on the weekends – or really at any other time of the day or night because Vegas never sleeps. If you want a bit quieter view, the back room of the restaurant has windows with a view of one of the main walkways that brings gamblers to the floor. This vista also offers prime people watching; after all what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. If you’re more interested in the culinary talent in the kitchen, then request a table by the open kitchen to see the restaurant in action.
  • On November 15, 2012
    Cindy Pearlman answered the question: Cindy Pearlman

    What’s the best table at Allegro?

    If you’re a fan of cooking shows like Top Chef and Hell’s Kitchen, you may want to sit in front of Allegro’s open kitchen to watch chef Enzo Febbraro and his staff in action. The coveted spots in front of the kitchen are a good place to do some “window shopping” and spot dishes you might like to try yourself as waiters race by to pick them up. If you’re someone who doesn’t enjoy the energy of an open kitchen, a great seating choice would be by the windows in the back room of the restaurant where the ambience is a bit softer or any of the tables in the front of Allegro where you can see onto the casino floor and capture the pulse-pounding excitement of Vegas.
  • On November 15, 2012
    Cindy Pearlman answered the question: Cindy Pearlman

    What is the price range for a meal at Allegro?

    The price for meals at Allegro is in line with prices at most of the finer restaurants on the Las Vegas Strip. Dining out at the high-end Italian restaurant at Wynn Las Vegas is a bit of a splurge, but it will be well worth it for the superlative  dining experience. Entrées start at $31 for the chicken Française and top out at $49 for options such as the 14 oz. veal chop Parmigiano or lamb osso buco. Meanwhile, appetizers range from $15 for bruschetta and go up to $29 for the mozzarella platter. Side dishes such as minestrone soup, chopped salad and arugula salad are priced from $12 to $15. Some of the best values on the Allegro menu are the wood-fired pizzas, which range from $18 to $22. They’re large, so they can be shared; you might even have some to nibble in your room the next day.
  • On November 15, 2012
    Cindy Pearlman answered the question: Cindy Pearlman

    What are the private dining rooms like at Allegro?

    Allegro, the high-end restaurant at Wynn Las Vegas led by chef Enzo Febbraro, does not offer a private dining room. But that doesn’t mean the Italian restaurant can’t accommodate a group of people who want to dine together. Actually, Allegro’s expert staff is adept at accommodating larger groups and helping them create a feeling like they’re in a private party. If you’re planning on dining with a group, it’s  essential to call ahead and work with the kitchen to plan a menu and a dedicated area of the dining room. That’s especially important so your group can avoid waiting on busy Friday and Saturday nights. Reservations can be made at 702-770-DINE or you can visit the website wynnlasvegas.com.
  • On November 15, 2012
    Cindy Pearlman answered the question: Cindy Pearlman

    What is the interior design of Allegro?

    Allegro, with its rich, deep red walls, offers an oasis from the chiming slot machines and excitement of the casino floor at Wynn Las Vegas. With a matching deep red rug and splashes of beige and gold on the wall, the fine dining Italian restaurant brings a slice of Italy to the Las Vegas Strip. The chairs are a matching shade of red while the tables are a black lacquer, giving a New York feeling to the establishment. Lighting is low and sexy, while diners along the wall can enjoy a chic, city feeling while gazing out on the action going on at the slot machines and the gambling tables. Allegro’s main interior attraction is an open kitchen where you can watch the chef’s create their signature dishes and enjoy the action of the kitchen. For those who want to mingle, there’s a 15-seat bar to indulge and meet new friends or wait for a table.
  • On November 15, 2012
    Cindy Pearlman answered the question: Cindy Pearlman

    What are five things to know about Allegro?

    Allegro is a fine dining Italian experience on the Las Vegas Strip inside the chic, popular and star-packed Wynn Las Vegas. The restaurant is mere footsteps off the vibrant and always exciting casino floor. Here are five things Forbes Travel Guide editors think you should know about it:
     
    1. You will be delighted by chef Enzo Febbraro, a larger-than-life presence literally (he’s tall, bald and quite commanding in a fun, welcoming way) and the way he greets diners with charm and humor while getting feedback from them and asking about special needs. Here is a chef who doesn’t hide out, but steps out of the kitchen to explain his menu of classic Italian favorites.

    2. You can also watch your own personal version of Top Chef with only the most capable team at work because the restaurant features an open kitchen where chef Febbraro rallies the troops and keeps things running smoothly. It’s a meal and a show.

    3. Although this is an Italian restaurant, its traditional menu will leave you satisfied, but not feeling heavy like you need a nice long nap. The chef’s philosophy is to limit the butter and cream and serve well-thought-out portions.

    4. For diners who aren’t looking for a large meal, the expansive appetizer menu including housemade pizzas, bruschetta, baked clams, beef carpaccio and ravioli will satisfy. Larger groups can order some interesting specialty drinks and appetizers and then return to the casino fun. It’s a way to satisfy those who want fine dining with those who can’t wait for the next pull of the slots.

    5. This restaurant has an upscale sparkle reminiscent of a New York Italian hot spot. This has quickly become a place to see interesting people and be seen in Las Vegas while enjoying gourmet Italian food from a chef who knows his stuff.
  • On October 11, 2012
    Cindy Pearlman answered the question: Cindy Pearlman

    What hotels have special offers for the Food & Wine All-Star Weekend?

    ARIA Resort & Casino’s 2012 Food & Wine All-Star Weekend promotion gives you a complimentary view upgrade from October 4–7. Your room with a view will put you within steps of Saturday’s all-star lunch at Sage and champagne-and-sashimi tasting at BARMASA (and close to the action at nearby participating venues too). If you’re inspired by the All-Star Weekend meals from chefs Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Michael Mina or Julian Serrano, you can get a second helping at their restaurants — Jean Georges Steakhouse, American Fish and Julian Serrano, respectively — all located within ARIA. Book the special Food & Wine All-Star Weekend offer online or by calling 866-359-7757.