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When my husband and I first started dating over 10 years ago, we used to frequent a little hole in the wall Italian restaurant located close to where he worked.  Right off of Tropicana, between Eastern and Pecos was a great spot called The Pasta Shop.  Back in it’s heyday, the area boasted of great local restaurants like Fratelli’s and Pasta Mia, but as time passed, that corridor began to lose it’s luster, and the businesses had to move on.  Fortunately for us, The Pasta Shop moved right down the street and found it’s roots again in the Henderson community.

The Pasta Shop is owned and operated by brothers, Glen and David Alenik, former Executive Chef of Elaine’s and Stefano’s fame, and David’s wife, Annie, an amazing artist and sculptor.  Glen and David decided to break away from the fast paced life of the casino restaurant business to live the dream of being small business owners in Vegas back in the 80’s.  They have perservered through the challenging economic times, and that alone is testament to their dishes and service.

Similar to their space in the previous location, the new spot is just as intimate.  In fact, I had heard rumors that you needed to arrive early on a Friday or Saturday night if you wanted to eat at all.  Annie Alenik is the resident artist, and her lively pieces can be found throughout the restaurant, as well as in the ladies room (you’ll have to see for yourself the unique, yet charming pieces found there!).  I didn’t quite expect the ambiance to be so warm and cool at the same time, especially since it’s located in a strip mall off of Horizon Ridge.  I invited my girlfriends to join me, and we obviously enjoyed being there as we closed the place down that night!

The Pasta Shop is Zagat rated, listed in the Michelin Guide 2011, and has been recognized and awarded both locally and nationally.  They are known for their delicious, out of this world sauces and fresh, daily homemade pastas.  Chef David is so consistent, that the first taste of my ravioli immediately took me back 10 years.

Speaking of going back a few years…Chef David was most definitely entertaining us with stories of his glory days back when he ran the kitchens of both Stefano’s and Elaine’s in the Golden Nugget when Steve Wynn was the BMOS (Big Man On the Strip).  David was personally requested by Wynn because Frank Sinatra was the headliner, and David knew how to cook for Old Blue Eyes when no one else could keep him happy.  Chef David says the secret was very little sauce, very thin pizza and very little cheese.  He also told us stories about Bo Derek, Sylvester Stallone, and Dean Martin.  It was quite enjoyable to be in his presence, as you could tell, he’s a locals kind of a guy.  Everyone that came in to eat that night, he knew by first name.  And, since he didn’t know us, he made it a point to introduce himself and get to know us.  It was fun swapping stories with him about Old School Vegas, even when his Old School took us back to the Botany’s days (remember that place?!?).  You know it’s a great eatery when the owner is present and personable, and makes an effort to know his guests on a personal level.

The girls and I indulged in the artichoke appetizer, which was to die for delicious, and we each ordered a pasta dish and shared a bottle of wine.  Great wine selection, by the way, and reasonably priced.  Everything we ordered had us craving the next bite.  Definitely put The Pasta Shop on your “Places to Eat” list, you won’t be disappointed!

Looking for some festive holiday meals?  The Pasta Shop will be serving fresh Butternut Squash raviolis through the holidays in various combinations with their fresh Salmon, along with Roasted Pork tenderloin meddallions in a Brandy Cream sauce.

They also specialize in parties for up to 30 people for holiday family or office events.

The Pasta Shop is located at 2525 W. Horizon Ridge, Henderson, NV 89052.  Call 702.451.1893 for more information about daily specials and menus.

Open for lunch Monday-Friday 11:30-1:30pm, and nightly at 5:00pm.