Born in Avellino, Italy, and raised in Brooklyn, Pasquale Ciampa and his two brothers shared a love of great fare and culture instilled in them by their parents. All three now exercise that love of Italian cuisine in their own culinary endeavors, with Pasquale bringing authentic Italian recipes to Las Vegas by way of Spaghetti and Company. Homemade beef meatballs, simmered in marinara, and freshly baked italian bread set the tone for the expansive menu, filled with Old World delicacies topped with ricotta and parmesan, alongside New World buffalo wings and New York–style pizzas and cheesecake. A rustic dining room and light-strung terrace surrounds guests as they toast with Sicilian-style pies, and kids clamor to the kitchen to craft their own masterpieces during pizza parties.
Plates piled high with Emerald Isle favorites such as corned beef and shepherd’s pie grace Kavanaugh's tables, which open their mahogany arms to families as well as those looking for a casual pint. The rustic, clover-laden interior is the setting for limerick recitations and scrumptious meals such as the corned beef and cabbage—thickly sliced slabs of meat paired with seasoned cabbage and buttery boiled potatoes ($14.99). The ground-beef shepherd’s pie bakes up lean beef, peas, carrots, and mashed potatoes culled from Mr. Potato Head's personal entourage into a golden-brown crust ($12.99). A flavorful host of American-style pub fare complements the Irish cuisine, with Sean Patrick’s burger charting in at a robust half-pound ($5.99), and appetizers such as nachos ($4.99) and chicken wings ($7.99) courting frothy pints of Guinness. A Little Leprechauns lunch menu ($3.99) allows parents to inundate youthful lads and lassies with old-country culture in a friendly atmosphere, without the threat of ferocious Celtic tigers.
Voted Best Soul Food Restaurant in 2010 by the Las Vegas Review Journal, EllaEm's Soul Food serves delectable down-home cooking concocted from time-honored family recipes. Sip a sweet tea ($2), while eyeballing the menu that teems with soul food classics from crispy fried chicken ($6.99) to grilled, seasoned catfish ($11.99), and slices of sweet-potato pie ($2.50). Drown mealtime sorrows with the smothered chicken baked to criminal perfection with Granny's special seasoning and a delicious gravy cover-up ($9.99), while the red snapper fillet ($11.99) is equally arresting when grilled, fried, or smuggled into a sandwich ($9). All of EllaEm's entrees come with warm cornbread and a trio of sides, such as collard greens, mac 'n' cheese, or fried cabbage, while those refusing to let rice and gravy play a supporting role can take home a large-sized side to eat or blow kisses at ($11). End your gastronomic voyage with a demurely decadent dish of peach cobbler ($3), or a cup of piping hot java ($2), which provides similar stomach soothing powers, but is less adept at fixing your shoes.