Hello, Gaetano’s Ristorante in Henderson, Nevada

I’m back home in Las Vegas for a bit before my next trip, and for my first nice meal back, I met up with my friend Aidan who owns the Skip the Tutorial channel on YouTube for another food adventure.

This time, we decided on Gaetano’s Ristorante, an Italian restaurant in the Siena Promenade in Hen­der­son, Nevada.

When we arrived, we were served a basket of complementary bread. This was actually one of the nicer bread baskets I’ve had; there were three different kinds of bread, and they were more “premium” pieces than just the plain white bread that you get at a lot of other restaurants.

Like usual, so I can try as many different dishes as possible, I did a “build your own” dinner where I ordered multiple appetizers instead of just a single main entrée. My first appetizer was tenderloin carpaccio with raw filet mignon, arugula, shaved parmesan cheese, and Sicilian olive oil.

I thought this was fine. There was way too much cheese, and I think I would’ve liked it more if it had about a quarter of the cheese that it came with, but I think that particular aspect of the dish is highly subjective, considering that I’m not really that big of a fan of cheese in general. I ended up only using a quarter of the cheese along with the carpaccio, then finished the remainder of the cheese afterwards as a topping for the bread.

Unfortunately, the filet mignon slices were more like shavings instead of slices, as they were a bit excessively thin. It would’ve been nice if the portion size was a bit larger, but when the slices were separated and swirled around, there was still enough substance in them to have a satisfying bite.

Aidan’s appetizer was three stuffed mozzarella sticks with pistachio pesto and marinara. As you may have deduced from what I just said about cheese, I wasn’t particularly interested in them, so I didn’t sample any.

Aidan also got a house salad with mixed greens, carrots, shaved parmesan cheese, and balsamic vinaigrette.

My second dish was grilled Calabrese mild sausage with rapini, olive oil, and garlic. I’m usually more of a fish and seafood person, but surprisingly, this sausage was my favorite plate of the meal. The sausage wasn’t too salty, it had a deep and rich flavor, and the greens complemented it well. At this point, we had also requested a second bowl of bread, and the bread enhanced the flavor of the sausage and rapini very nicely.

My third and final dish was brodetto, made from fresh black mussels sautéed with a lightly-spiced marinara sauce served with crostinis.

I probably should’ve Googled “brodetto” prior to ordering it so I could see that it was basically Italian fish stew. It wasn’t what I was expecting, but it wasn’t too bad either. I like the isolated oceanic flavor of raw seafood, so it was a bit different to have the cooked mussels along with tomato sauce. The crostinis were a bit too crispy to the extent that it was a little painful to chew, so I ended up soaking them in the marinara to soften them up first.

Aidan ordered truffle mac and cheese for his main entrée.

For dessert, we split a spumoni, made with layered gelato and whipped cream with a cherry in the middle. The flavors we got were vanilla, chocolate, and pistachio. To me, it just tasted like regular ice cream, which was refreshing after having such a thick and meaty meal.

This is what the inside of the restaurant looked like.

Bread $  0.00
Tenderloin carpaccio $ 22.00
Mozzarella sticks $ 12.00
House salad $ 14.00
Sausage and rapini $ 18.00
Brodetto $ 22.00
Truffle mac and cheese $ 32.00
Spumoni $ 12.00
Diet Coke ×2 $ 10.00
Sales tax $ 11.90
Gratuity $ 23.00
Total $176.90

The table on the right shows how much we paid.

One thing I found comical about this restaurant is that it aims to be an upper- to high-end restaurant, but it’s located in a major shopping center area. In order to give off the impression of being premium, they have a valet parking option (which I obviously did not use). Hilariously, the “valet parking” was nothing special—the valet spot was marked off with cones, there was one single valet spot, and it was literally about 20 steps away from the front door. To compound the humor, there is a Buffalo Wild Wings a few doors down, and it was absolutely packed with people who had shown up for Super Bowl LVIII who were just desperately park­ing their cars anywhere there was space. I already despise the concept of valet parking anyway, but this en­tire situation just made the stupidity of the concept even funnier.

Also unrelated to the food, but still something I want to mention: their service seems to be a little scat­ter­brained. Throughout my dining experience, I think there were either four or five different people who served us, so it was difficult to tell who exactly our waiter was—which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but definitely different. When the first waiter showed up to take our appetizer order, he listed off so many off-the-menu specials (I’m talking probably like 6+ options) that it would’ve probably been worth it for them to create a special mini-menu for the daily features. He also did not have a notepad, so when we ordered, he tried to memorize everything, then came back to us twice because was second-guessing himself on what we ordered and wanted to re-verify with us.

A recurring theme I’ve noticed from most Italian restaurants is that they serve their food extremely salty, but Gaetano’s seemed to be an exception to that, which I appreciated. The food definitely was still a bit salty, but it was nowhere near the level of other Italian restaurants where it felt like the inside of my mouth was basically getting pickled.

Overall, I’m happy with what I got, but I think there might be some better options that you may want to check out at this price point where you’d get better value for your money.