Saturday, August 24, 2019

Venturing “Off the Strip”

January 27, 2011 by  
Filed under Main Blog

Ever since I moved to Las Vegas I have had friends and neighbors telling me about the restaurants and local spots they love to frequent. Usually the same restaurant names come up again and again. I tell myself that I need to make time to check them out but too often a few places slip through the cracks. One of these great local places I have heard come up in many a conversation is a family owned and operated restaurant called Off the Strip, located exactly where its name implies, specifically west of I-15 on the corner of Southern Highlands and Cactus.

Off the Strip is in a shopping center, nestled between a sushi restaurant and a Hawaiian BBQ joint, where many folks might not expect to find such a hidden gem. The space is intimate, seating maybe 50-60 people, including the small bar. Although they bring you a menu when you sit down, their full menu is actually written on oversized chalkboards hanging over their kitchen, which is completely open to the diners. Their staff looks sharp in Chef’s coats, but the atmosphere is clearly casual and friendly. Their kitchen staff actually does it all. They greet, seat, pour drinks, prepare the food and serve the food, and they do it all with a smile and attention to detail.

With the exception of a few menu items, the offerings at Off the Strip are straight-up Italian. If you know me or read my blog at all, you know my mother is Italian and I have a love for Italian food running through my veins. The menu actually made me feel right at home, featuring eggplant parmesan, artichokes, stuffed mussels, scampi, grilled asparagus, and spaghetti with a “softball meatball”. (Something about that phrase makes me grin from ear to ear.) It would be impossible to tell you about everything we ate since we tried a lot of different things, but I will highlight a couple of my favorites.

An appetizer that will be a definite staple of every future visit is the Rolled New York. Choice Black Angus New York Strip is sliced really thin and wrapped around grilled asparagus, provolone, basil and sun-dried tomatoes. The final touch is a Marsala sauce we were fighting over as we scraped the plate clean. This description says it all right? The meat was tender and flavorful. The grilled asparagus added a wonderful layer of flavor with the light char. The Marsala sauce should be bottled and sold to the world!

Another highlight of our Off the Strip meal was Chef Al’s Favorite Rigatoni. This combination of cherry peppers, squash, garlic, onions, basil and parmesan cheese over rigatoni is topped with crispy little strips of fried zucchini. I love cherry peppers. My father always spread them on sandwiches, but I never thought of adding them to a pasta dish. They created the perfect zing of bright flavor to balance out the heavy pasta, and then the crispy zucchini provided just the right texture to bring it all together. I was so full by the time this dish came to the table, but I just couldn’t help eating a few bites (well maybe several bites).

Throughout this amazing meal we enjoyed a few bottles of Fat Cat Pinot Noir, which paired with everything. I love the versatility of Pinot Noir and its ability to adapt to so many flavors and ingredients. My mother would have served Chianti or maybe something a little bigger, but I must say the Fat Cat was perfect. The ripe cherry was subtle enough to not compete with other flavors, but bright enough to stand up to stronger flavors. The hint of spice on the end was a great compliment to the garlic, cherry peppers, meats and other spices and herbs we encountered. The best part is we paid less than $10 a glass. You don’t have to spend a lot to drink a good Pinot.

I wish I could tell you about every dish we sampled but you are just going to have to visit Off the Strip and see for yourself. Do yourself a favor and start with the tender, perfectly cooked Calamari. If you live in Las Vegas, you will be joining a long list of local fans whose word-of-mouth has been the sole marketing behind the success of this wonderful cozy Italian kitchen. If you are visiting Las Vegas, get off the strip and visit Off the Strip. You will not be disappointed. When you are there, say hello to Owner Tommy Goldsbury, who will undoubtedly be moving from table to table, spending time getting to know his guests and welcoming them to his family. This passion and genuine hospitality are certainly an indication of why Off the Strip has become a local favorite. So to Tommy and his incredible staff…Cheers!

Visit Off the Strip online at www.offthestriplvn.com.

Comments

3 Responses to “Venturing “Off the Strip””
  1. Jace McCoy says:

    Thanks for sharing this restaurant. I will be putting this on my to dine list for sure.
    I was also wondering if you have any other recommendations that are preferably not on the Las Vegas strip. Cause I’m always looking for local food and great wine. Thanks again- JaceMcCoy

  2. Jennifer says:

    Jace, thanks for your support. It is greatly appreciated. Do you ever venture Downtown? That is my neck of the woods. Triple George on Ogden & 3rd is awesome. Great food (must try their signature Porcini Rubbed Ribeye!) They are also attached to the Side Bar, which has great cocktails. Also for wine (and food) check out Marche Bacchus, Vintner’s Grill and Nora’s Wine Bar (all in Summerlin). Oh, and Panevino on Sunset and LVB (close to Town Square). Also, Savor & Sip Magazine is launching here and will be all local food and beverage, written by locals for locals. Follow them on Twitter @savorandsip …hope this helps. Cheers!

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