When founders J. Kim Tucci, Joseph A. Fresta, and John P. Ferrara first opened The Pasta House Co. in 1974, they wanted to elevate pasta to an art form. “Some artists sculpt, some paint, and some sketch,” they write on the restaurant’s website. “But, at The Pasta House Co., we create authentic Italian culinary delights.” A few of the locations even have giant, exhibition kitchens so you can watch as pizzas, pastas, and entrees come to life.
Naturally, The Pasta House Co.’s menu revolves around the Italian staple from which it gets its name. There are more than 25 varieties of pasta to choose from, including linguine with chicken livers and the signature lasagna, plus weekday specials such as stuffed manicotti. Meanwhile, the mangia bene menu—which translates to “eat well” in Italian—showcases the more wholesome side of Italian eating, with dishes low in fat and calories that won’t peer pressure you to break curfew.
Rookies Sports Bar serves an array of steaks and American fare, boasting an eclectic menu that spans a wealth of tasty territory from pastas and seafood to sandwiches and steaks. Hang a fang on a 12 oz. New York strip steak ($19.99), or the 10 oz. hawaiian-marinated sirloin ($15.99). Chomp down a home-style catfish sandwich ($8.99) or savor the half-pound, Angus beef All-American burger ($7.49). With 27 televisions lighting up the dining space, and pool tables providing an opportunity to woo on-looking admirers with the seductive power of geometry, Rookies Sports Bar stands as a suitable place for after-hours sports spectators and families alike. Recently, the restaurant was the recipient of the Heart of Henderson award, which honors those who give back to the community.
In the early '20s, tobacco processor Richard Henderson Soaper opened the six-story Soaper Hotel—a landmark in downtown Henderson known for its arched windows and circular balcony. Now the first floor hosts Delizio, an Italian-inspired eatery where patrons can devour pasta dishes, chargrilled boneless rib eyes, and deli-style sandwiches and soups surrounded by vintage architectural features.
Guests can also head to the bar area to sample 10 craft beers and martinis and listen to live music on Friday and Saturday nights. On Tuesdays, they can belt their hearts out during karaoke and participate in trivia on Wednesdays, proving to smartphones that humans can still access information in their own brains.
"Best Of" awards cover the glass doorway that leads into Gene's Restaurant, an eatery owned by the Thomason family for more than 30 years. Step through the doorway and into the dining room, and you might catch a whiff of the home-style breakfasts, lunches, and dinners that keeps winning those awards. The restaurant is known for dishes such as fried catfish, house-made meatloaf, and pit-barbecued meats. In the summer, feast on specialties such as homegrown tomatoes stuffed with tuna salad.
Bagelrama’s famous steamed bagel sandwich is an agglomeration of soft doughy circles, warmed meat and veggies, and gooey cheese. The bagel sandwiches are stuffed with a mix of breakfast- and lunch-geared ingredient combinations, including corned beef hash, eggs, and sausage gravy; and pulled pork slathered in housemade barbecue sauce. Bagels are also sold by the dozen, and paired with such cream cheese flavors as chocolate hazelnut, pineapple, and pecan pie.
Sleek light fixtures dangle from Kohana Japanese Restaurant's ceiling and subtly illuminate a tidily minimal fleet of indigo and white chairs, booths abutting wavy-lined wall paneling, and plates featuring eats carefully crafted and presented by the chefs. Sharply dressed in the only two colors that can be worn together, black and white, servers march out with precisely sliced sections of signature dishes such as the Phoenix specialty roll, which combines spicy tuna, snow crab, and avocado with a multifaceted dressing. Non-sushi selections, such as crunchy shrimp tempura and baked salmon with eel sauce, also pair well with Kohana's selection of wine, beer, and sake.