Basilico Ristorante Italiano

Tableside dessert at Basilico Las Vegas

Expect the Unexpected

Basilico is Italian for basil, an ingredient that is prominent in Italian cuisine. The restaurant located in the upscale master-planned Evora community comprised of residential and commercial spaces in southwest Las Vegas on Buffalo between Sunset and Patrick is about to celebrate its 1st anniversary, as it held its grand opening in May, 2023.


I would describe the décor as classy and comfortable, with large windows allowing for supreme views, enticing red padded chairs, a stone brick wall, woodgrain floors and a wood slat ceiling. Adding to the ambience is a large screen showing movies starring Sophia Loren.

Chef Francesco Di Caudo

Self-described as a modern Italian restaurant, it’s also quite authentic, due to its Executive Chef Francesco Di Caudo. Chef hails from Sicily and was raised on a farm where he learned the art of butchering meat and sourcing produce. He attended culinary school in Italy for five years and trained in Michelin rated restaurants in Rome and Paris before coming to the US. Chef has worked in some renowned restaurants in Las Vegas, including Osteria del Circo at Bellagio, opened Sinatra at Wynn, spent six years as executive chef at Ferraro’s and was part of the opening team at Anima. Now at Basilico he says he has the opportunity to create more complicated menu items and after experiencing his cuisine it’s evident he is a genius at combining ingredients, some of which you wouldn’t necessarily expect to see paired. 

Culinary Surprises

When dining here you should expect the unexpected. The Squid Ink & Dill Bucatini with seafood sugo and uni butter is similar to frutti di mare in regards to the mix of seafood gems but the traditional red sauce is substituted with one made with pistachios. The Eggplant (Chef’s grandmother’s recipe) is unique in that it is comprised of 12 extremely thin layers, uses no flour and combines bufala mozzarella with tomato and basil. The Smoked Cigar is culinary theater, as the duck mousse rollup in a cigar shape arrives in a cigar box which when opened reveals smoke to announce what awaits inside and is accompanied with sesame-truffle ash to dip it in (which kind of mimics eating a cigar!). The Octopus is a combination of Greek and Japanese presentation, as it’s braised in an oven in a Japanese dashi soup stock broth for nearly two hours. Yet other surprises are Risotto enhanced with saffron, porcini, licorice and bone marrow; Short Ribs that are braised 4-5 hours and served with potato sfogliata, maitake mushroom and Castelmagno Cheese; and Branzino that is ingeniously paired with porcini, yams, spinach and fig sauce.

Of course, the desserts are no less creative, with the likes of Parmigiano Gelato made from a salty/sweet parmesan cream base that has liquid nitrogen poured atop it when presented tableside and served with lemon ginger pound cake and vin brule (mulled wine) poached pear; and Cappuccino—espresso panna cotta and chocolate mousse—which is described as if cappuccino and tiramisu had a baby.

Beverage Program

The beer list is a happy surprise, as it’s well above what I normally encounter in Italian restaurants. Instead of just the run-of-the-mill Italian beers, here you will also find beers from craft breweries including the Birrificio del Ducato Torrente, an Italian-made pale ale; three beers from the Belgian Huyghe brewery including my favorite: Delirium Tremens; and local representation with Lovelady 9th Island Pineapple Sour. The excellence in the beverage program continues with a voluminous spirits collection with loads of bourbon, whiskey, vodka, tequila, Amaro, grappa, and cognac. The restaurant has also shown its commitment to supporting craft beer and fine spirits by recently hosting both beer and whiskey dinners. The cocktail list has inventive creations, like the Fiore de Fiamma made with lemonade, pineapple, lime, Hansons Vodka, Elderflower Liqueur, blueberry honey and lavender syrup.

Hours, Deals and Entertainment

Basilico is open Tuesday-Sunday from 4 p.m., with a Daily Social Hour from 4-6 p.m. and Thursday-Friday from 9-11 p.m. at their indoor or outdoor bar and outdoor lounge area with a special menu of select bites and beverages. Throughout the week, Basilico offers Industry Night specials every Tuesday, wine specials every Wednesday and Ladies Night offers every Thursday. There is also live music on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from a variety of artists.

The menu is fluid, changing about 50% with the seasons, so whatever time of the year you visit you will likely be able to try something new. Or, you can also enjoy old favorites executed to perfection by a masterful authentically Italian chef who is not afraid to experiment and expand your palate.

Visit Basilico Ristorante Italiano at 6111 S Buffalo Dr Suite 100, Las Vegas, NV 89113

  • Basilico eggplant courtesy of Basilico
  • Basilico spaghetti courtesy of Basilico
  • Basilico shortrib courtesy of Basilico
  • Basilico Chef Francesco Di Caudo courtesy of Basilico
  • Basilico tableside dessert pic by Lally Barnes

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