WHAT: Brera Osteria
IT’S: A new Italian dining spot at St. Mark’s Square in The Grand Canal Shoppes
OPENED: Feb. 18, 2021
WHO’S BEHIND IT: Restaurateur Matteo Ferdinandi and Chef Angelo Auriana
FUN FACT: The restaurant is named after Milan’s Brera neighborhood, known for popularizing the aperitivo hour concept of enjoying light cocktails between work and dinner.
LOCATION: The Grand Canal Shoppes inside The Venetian (3377 Las Vegas Blvd. South)
HOURS: 5-9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and 12-9:30 p.m. Fridays through Sundays. Happy Hour is 3-5 p.m. Fridays through Sundays.
WEBSITE: Preview the menu and book a reservation.
INSTAGRAM: Everything here looks good, especially the pasta.
Why We Love It
While it isn’t difficult to find great Italian dining in Las Vegas, some restaurants have stiff and stuffy dining rooms. Not Brera Osteria, which has an easygoing, engaging patio space in St. Mark’s Square at The Grand Canal Shoppes in The Venetian. There’s no formal dining room.
Yet the menu is all business, presenting masterful new takes on classic Italian cuisine. There’s also an emphasis on meats and wild-caught fish, while the weekend Happy Hour (or aperitivo hour) offers a nice variety of small plates.
Five Things You Gotta Try
Grilled octopus is a well-worn staple in Las Vegas restaurants, but the version at Brera Osteria might be one of the best on The Strip. The tender and perfectly charred octopus is complemented nicely by garbanzo beans in a semi-spicy ‘nduja.
Make sure to share at least one pasta dish at the table. Our vote goes to either the potato gnocchi, slathered with arugula pesto and topped with fresh burrata, or veal tortellini with mushrooms, sage and shaved black truffles.
The pizzas take just 90 seconds to cook in a wood-fired, custom-designed Mario Acunto oven crafted by hand with volcanic brick. Go traditional with a Neapolitan-style Margherita, or try something fancier like the Norcina combo of sausage and black truffles.
A prime New York Strip from Flannery in Northern California is dry-aged for 30 days, giving it just the right amount of earthy, funky flavor without being too fatty. It’s served with a modest side of crispy potatoes and caramelized onions.
Save room for dessert. The tiramisu is yet another familiar dish in a modified format. It’s presented in a compact oval shape and wrapped in chocolate with the right amount of espresso drenching the cake inside.
Great! What About the Drinks?
Brera has a deep and diverse wine list—as all good Italian restaurants should—but its charm and character seem more closely connected to the cocktails. The best evidence is the aperitivo cart by the front entrance, ready to prepare an Aperol Spritz on the spot for those dining in or passing by through the shopping plaza. Guests will also enjoy five Negroni variations, which take full advantage of the bar’s Amaro and liqueur collection.
A Little More About the Atmosphere
The patio seating at St. Mark’s Square, just steps from The Venetian’s famous gondola rides, has a care-free, open-air feel despite actually being indoors. Guests are surrounded by Old World architecture with a long, colorful bar area revealed through tall arches. Otherwise, the patio carries an art-deco touch that feels timeless but appropriate to the cuisine.
Starters are $12 to $23, pizza is $20 to $38, pasta and risotto run $19 to $38, main courses of steak, chicken and seafood are $29 to $69, and dessert is $10 to $15. Glasses of wine are $16 to $28, beer is $9 to $12, and cocktails are $16 to $19, while vermouths and cordials are $10 to $15.
The new image and menu are a welcome reboot for the restaurant formerly known as Sixth+Mill, even while operating under the same chef and ownership. The emphasis on cocktails matches up well with the energy of the patio dining space, but the food itself is exceptional, making Brera Osteria your best option of three Italian restaurants in St. Mark’s Square.