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Jan 3 2016

Washington and Hollywood Dine at Piero'sPosted By Thomas Chee - 01/03/16

Hollywood celebrities associated with Frank Sinatra’s Rat Pack have been dining with Las Vegas leaders from Washington DC to City Hall Downtown since 1982 at the best Italian restaurant in the Entertainment Capital of the World named Piero’s across from the Las Vegas Convention Center. Frank Sinatra’s guest dined on veal scaloppini, mushrooms with brandy sauce, and fresh crab cakes. In fact, the linguine is so delicious that Frank Sinatra ordered the pasta with clam sauce to go for his flights from Las Vegas to Palm Springs. Sinatra couldn’t get enough of the taste he had expected. The city’s most loved musicians Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Junior, all dined with Presidents and Senators from Washington DC including President Bill Clinton and President George Bush. The pasta is fresh, handmade by the best chefs in the city. White House notables enjoyed sautéed New York steak with linguine and lobsters, mussels, scallops and clams. The famous hit film Casino needed the perfect atmosphere for the Las Vegas high times surrounding characters that enjoyed the best, which is why Robert DeNiro, Joe Pesci and Sharon Stone produced Martin Scorsese’s motion pictures inside Piero’s.

Pia Zadora sings melodious notes next to a luxurious grand piano as I sit at a leather bound booth with the Congresswoman Shelley Berkeley and a historian on Las Vegas legends like Marilyn Monroe. “Marilyn Monroe owned a house in Las Vegas. She went to Hollywood High. I knew her first husband.” The lady admits as I write fast taking notes. Mayor Carolyn Goodman enters the room to dine with her entourage as we talk about Howard Hughes and Bob Maheu. Pia Zadora is surrounded by fans asking for her photograph. Friday and Saturday nights, Pia sings in her own show next to the grand piano. Patrons with cell phones ask if they snap a selfie photo with the Mayor. Carolyn is sweet to everyone that asks. I start to wonder how many pictures will be promoting Pieros on Facebook tonight after only a few hours of celebrity sightings. Large wine glasses fill the room with an aroma that is combined with sautéed veal, cheese creamed spinach and tasty seafood dishes. Councilwoman Lois Tarkanian spends special occasions with family in a dining room named after her husband Coach Jerry Tarkanian. Attorneys and insurance agents start to pull out business cards and network after they feel like they have blended in enough to take advantage of the business opportunities. Personalities can see the hungry desire for opportunity in their eye. I wonder as I browse around at the photographs along the walls highlighting Hollywood films with Joe Pesci playing mafia chief Anthony “The Ant” Spilotro, “If you want to be somebody in this town, you have to walk through those doors at the front entrance. If you want to be with the elite in town, you have to walk through those door and mingle with the billionaires inside this restaurant.” The FBI were new to this town. Criminals they wanted to convict came to Las Vegas first. So when FBI officials wanted to learn who the players were who were juiced into the higher echelon in Las Vegas, the FBI began scoping out Piero’s; The parking lot, who entered, who left. Mafia leaders weren’t shy about having the tables they dined at checked for recording devices. Their soldiers searched for bugs before cutting into dinner. The cars entering the drive way have to be parked by a valet. No one parks their own vehicle. All guests are treated with charm, the hind of excitement expected in Las Vegas, Nevada. A framed photo album on the wall defines the combination of mafia legend and movie production. The cast of Casino shows pictures of the true Italians from Kansas City and Chicago that built this city with mob money. Made men that were actually defended in court by Mayor Oscar Goodman when he was a Defense Attorney for founder of gambling industry like Meyer Lansky. The message is that the top decision in makers in the City of Las Vegas, those leaders who enjoy the best, all dine and meet at Piero’s Italian Cuisine. 

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