Jacqueline Monahan



By Jacqueline Monahan

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Grimaldi’s Coal-Brick Oven Pizzeria Features Summer Selections Menu

A June 8 media and VIP tasting event at Grimaldi’s Coal-Brick Oven Pizzeria (South Rainbow location) introduced a fruit-and-veggie-filled seasonal Summer Selections menu, including several new beverages and a specialty cocktail or two.  Year-round signature favorites were also presented to guests in a seemingly never ending service of delectable fare.

Executive Chef S. Cory Lattuca, (who claims that the S in his name stands for Spectacular) was on hand to explain the composition of the dishes with humor and confidence.  The food that followed was presented like interactive works of art that morphed eventually into empty plates and pans.

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The Spectacular Chef Cory Lattuca

Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn
Grimaldi’s open kitchen layout allows you to observe what it takes to assemble these creations. Guests are able to watch line prep cooks in a swift, precise choreography that culminates in a feast at their table.

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Open Kichen

Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

The Summer Selections menu offered a Strawberry Spinach Salad that also contained feta cheese, red onions, toasted onions, and topped with a lively strawberry vinaigrette.  The Kale Chopped Salad, a Grimaldi’s favorite, included chopped Romaine, shaved parmesan and sundried tomatoes. Served with a lemon wedge, the flavor is bright and palate cleansing, prompting many a patron to exclaim, “I can’t believe this is kale!”

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Strawberry Spinch Salad

Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

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Chopped Kale Salad

Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

Barbecue Chicken Pizza is offered as the Summer Selections entrée.  This very succulent circle is made with a light touch of Sweet Baby Ray’s barbecue sauce and topped with chicken, smoky bacon, red onion and fresh cilantro, a skillful blend of sweet and savory. Not far behind was a perennial Grimaldi’s favorite called The Don, a pizza loaded with a trio of meat (pepperoni, sausage and meatball) atop a thin, crispy crust.  Hey, it’s Grimaldi’s.  Is there any other kind?

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The Don

Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

The Garden is a four-veggie (mushroom, onion, tomato, black olives) mouth-party of a pizza, each bite a contrast in texture and a complement of flavors. The Traditional Pizza is a standalone variety made with homemade sauce, homemade mozzarella, and basil, and is the palette for the Don and the Garden.  Start with a Traditional and add the meat or the veggies.  And then, a mouth.

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The Garden (Gluten Free Version)

Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

The Garden and the Traditional also come in gluten free (GF) varieties, and Chef Cory has a secret way with GF dough that makes it his own proprietary blend, rendering a gluten-free product nearly indistinguishable from its original version. Your Humble Correspondent threw herself on that grenade, sampling both versions just to be able to report this fact.

A 1200 degree oven – you read that right - and expert timing are necessary for such a thin crust, crispy but unburnt. General manager Joseph De Patta walks the floor ensuring customer satisfaction, aided by servers or “ambassadors” (ours was Devon, who told us he gets sent out of state to train new hires at other locations). You want to see them coming around; they bring outstanding items to the table and advise you what to pair it with.  Grimaldi’s has an extensive wine list from all over the “boot” of Italy.

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General Manager Joseph De Patta

Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

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Grimaldi Ambassador Devon

Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

The over-21 crowd can also find a refreshing treat in the Summertime Sangria (one of the limited time Selections) made with fresh strawberries and blueberries. Chew them up at drink’s end or you’re missing an extra treat.  A Strawberry Basil Smash is made with Jack Daniel’s, Monin Strawberry puree and cane syrup, and shaken with lemon juice and fresh basil.  The smooth, scarlet concoction is served in a martini glass and garnished with a basil leaf; you may eat that, too.  The Smash can either mean the drink’s success with patrons or its effect on them.

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Summertime Sangria

Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

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Strawberry Basil Smash

Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

Non-alcoholic refreshments include strawberry or blueberry varieties of lemonade (Selections) or Italian sodas (a soft drink made from carbonated water and flavored simple syrup).

Strawberry or Blueberry Cheesecake, both on the Summer Selections menu, made for a sweet ending, with a small Cannoli (fried pastry dough filled with sweet ricotta cheese and chocolate chips) thrown in for good measure.  The Strawberry Cheesecake is a blended filling (so it’s pink!) served with fresh strawberries and whipped cream, while the Blueberry Cheesecake is a vanilla filling with blueberry swirl and fresh blueberries, garnished with whipped cream and house-made granola.

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Cannoli, Strawberry Cheesecake, Blueberry Cheesecake

Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn
Cannoli is available at Grimaldi’s year-round, but the cheesecake says arrivederci at summer’s end.

Chef Cory admitted that the “S” in his name stands for Steven, but after a nosh or two at Grimaldi’s, you might just want to believe his first answer.

About Grimaldi’s Coal-Brick Oven Pizzeria
•    Opened first location under the Brooklyn Bridge in 1990.
•    Their signature coal-burning oven creates the unique flavor and crisp crust that (it is said) “is simply not possible from gas, convection, or wood-burning ovens.”
•    Their ‘secret recipe’ dough is hand-tossed and made in house daily.
•    Their charitable contributions benefit children, animal shelters, schools, and local food banks.
•    There are five Las Vegas locations – Fashion Show Mall, Grand Canal Shoppes (Venetian), South Rainbow, South Eastern, South Rampart.
•    Frank Sinatra was a fan.

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Wine and Specialty Cocktails

Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn


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Mood Lighting

Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn