New steakhouse to bring La Strega chef’s talents to Downtown Summerlin

Gina Marinelli’s focus may be on Harlo, her new Downtown Summerlin steakhouse, but that doesn’t mean she’s turning away from her roots.

“I think it’s a great departure from La Strega to do a steakhouse,” Marinelli said, referring to her flagship restaurant on Town Center Drive. “Pivoting from that coastal Italian feel to something that’s in another spectrum to show a different side to me.”

There definitely will be some Italian flourishes, represented in dishes such as the 40-ounce Bistecca alla Fiorentina and sides of spinach sformato and spicy rigatoni puttanesca.

“The vision is to capture old-school Vegas a little bit,” Marinelli said. “Celebrating a great beef program, as well. We’re using Flannery’s for our dry-aged program, and Allen Brothers of Chicago; the only restaurant in town that’s using them is Bavette’s” at Park MGM. “And seasonality, and some seafood options. We’re taking that classic steakhouse and having some fun with it.”

Other Harlo signatures will include a 24-ounce bone-in ribeye, roasted bone marrow, bay scallops Rockefeller and a pastrami wedge. She also plans a caviar program, with caviar from Nina Manchev, chef/owner of Forte Tapas.

“It’s kind of a caviar experience,” Marinelli said, “kind of create your own experience, instead of just like toast points.” Indeed, latkes, scallion pancakes and gnocco fritto will be among the vessels available with the caviar.

There also will be a robust cocktail program, with mint juleps among the specialties.

“That’s going to be a lot of fun,” Marinelli said. “Kind of classic cocktails, but a little more whimsical. The bar is so beautiful. It’s one of the striking points when you walk in.”

Harlo is in the space previously occupied by Andiron Steak & Sea. It’s been completely renovated, and Marinelli’s suitably enthused.

“It’s off the Strip, but it looks like the room could be on the Strip,” she said. “It’s got a lot of gold, a lot of navy. Big, beautiful bar stools. So elegant — so swanky — a place where you can walk in, have a martini, watch a game and really have a great cocktail experience.”

It also has a lot of Las Vegas Raiders. Marinelli’s father, Rod, is the team’s defensive line coach. And though it’s still uncertain when Harlo will open to the public, some of the players have come in for the invitation-only soft opening.

“They’re so comfortable,” she said. “They’ve already been coming to La Strega so much. It’s a place where they can hang out and have a fun experience without all the riffraff behind it.”

She hopes to open to the public in a week or two.

“We’re still kind of up in the air with that,” she said. “We want to get everything up and running, dialed perfectly so we can go full-throttle.”

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