With its rich history and authentic Italian food, the establishment is well deserving of its accolades
For any restaurant to celebrate its 40th anniversary, it’s a huge achievement. In Las Vegas, where few stand the test of time, it’s a monumental accomplishment. Piero’s Italian Cuisine is a historical staple in this town.
the Restaurant’s History
Freddie Glusman opened Piero’s in 1982 on Karen Avenue. The eatery attracted entertainers including the Rat Pack, sports stars, former US Presidents (Clinton and George W. Bush) and Las Vegas icons. In 1987, the restaurant moved to its current location on Convention Center Drive.
The establishment continued to attract luminaries as well as nearby convention goers throughout the years. Piero’s also gained extra fame in 1995 as the setting for an intense scene in the mafia-movie “Casino.” Many prominent diners have visited this iconic Vegas restaurant. When guests open the menu, one of the first pages they see lists over 250 noteworthy names.
The restaurant was named after chef Piero Broglia, who passed away on March 31, 2022 at 80-years-old. Although the business relationship dissolved, the name was retained. To this day, Piero’s remains an independent, family-owned company ran by Freddie Glusman and his son Evan.
When asked about the secret to their restaurant’s longevity, Freddie says, “I pay attention to detail from the way the lettuce is cut in the Caesar salad to the way a picture hangs on the wall. I’m here every night and I know everything that goes on at Piero’s. I have the best food, the best service and the best customers.”
The enormous 18,000-square-foot restaurant contains 45 seats in six dining rooms. As soon as guests walk inside, they are greeted with an old school Vegas Italian feel. The fine dining ambiance includes candle-lit and themed rooms.
The Tarkanian room is a tribute to the legendary University of Las Vegas, Nevada (UNLV) coach, who also is Freddie’s good friend. It displays Tark pictures, a Tarkanian Way street sign, cozy booths and plays old time crooners like Sinatra, Nat King Cole and Dean Martin.
There’s also the Monkey Bar, featuring various simian-themed artwork, including a painting of Freddie posing with his arm around a monkey. The room was meant to be a joke and dates back to when the FBI routinely staked out the restaurant for mafia wise guys. It was stated in the local newspaper that there was “monkey business going on there.” The iconic room seats up to 150 guests and is used for special occasions. The space is fit for hosting wedding receptions, banquets and live music on Fridays and Saturdays.
A sense of family is maintained that extends to both the guests and staff. Evan Glusman says, “You would think the best compliment we receive is how great the food and service is, but the greatest compliment is when customers tell us Piero’s feels like home. Many of our customers have been dining with us since the beginning with their families and now those children and grandchildren are bringing in families of their own. It’s really pretty special and unique here in Las Vegas. Piero’s truly is an institution.”
Server Justin Ebert, who has worked at high-end fine dining restaurants on the Strip, adds, “What I like about working here opposed to the Strip is how Piero’s is family oriented. Evan and Freddie are here every day and there’s real camaraderie. When it gets busy, there’s never a problem with asking co-workers for help. You don’t find that on the Strip.”
Food and Beverage Standouts
Any Italian restaurant worth its salt has a good Caesar salad. However, the Garbage Caesar, which is Piero’s number one seller take it notches above the norm. This salad goes beyond the standards adding shrimp, hearts of palm, avocado and tomatoes.
Cusine offerings include traditional favorites like veal chop and eggplant parmesan, both nightly specials available in limited quantities.
Other standout dishes to consider are osso bucco with red wine porcini mushroom sauce; short rib pizzaiola with sweet peppers, cipollini onions served with Chianti reduction; and fried mozzarella fritti with garlic and anchovy.
Additionally, the menu features divine dishes like the Chilean sea bass with baby spinach and puttanesca sauce; pollo (chicken) carciofi with lemon butter white wine sauce, artichoke and garlic; and agnolotti—housemade ravioli with spinach, ricotta and Alfredo sauce.
Desserts change nightly with a selection of pastries, sorbets and gelati. On the night I dined, my choices were double chocolate rum cake, vanilla crème brulee with Nutella crust, custard filled profiteroles, coconut chocolate budino and carrot cake topped with coconut, which happened to be the most velvety rendition I’ve ever enjoyed.
Wine is taken seriously here. The wine list is a book spanning 16 pages listing 400-500 wines from all over the world. The selections are mainly from Italy, France, Sonoma and Napa. A prime example is the Mondavi/Rothschild Opus One Collection with vintages from 1979-2016.
In addition, there is a sizeable spirits list with numerous choices of bourbon, whiskey and single malt Scotch. Highlights comprise of Glenlivet, Macallan, Pappy Van Winkle and Johnny Walker (blue, gold, green, black and red); and 25 tequilas including Don Julio 1942.
Piero’s Italian Cuisine and owner Freddie Glusman have become true icons of the Entertainment Capital of the World. With its rich history and authentic Italian food, the establishment is well deserving of its accolades.
The restaurant is open Tuesday through Sunday for dinner from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. For your next night out, indulge in the famed flavors of Piero’s Italian Cuisine.