Two of the nation’s biggest food trends, barbecue and gourmet pizza, have been largely passed over on the Strip.
When it comes to smoked meat, the one standout place, Lynyrd Skynyrd BBQ in the Excalibur, closed abruptly, and on the pizza front, the focus has been on New York-style by the slice stands aimed at late night cocktail over-indulgers, found in Mandalay Bay, New York New York and the Cosmopolitan. The few gourmet pizzas here can be found in full service eateries like DOCG and Spago.
That changed for pizza-lovers with Five50 Pizza bar in the Aria Resort & Casino, part of the large City Center complex in the middle of the Strip. It is in a space that used to be a simple snack bar. It has an open front onto the casino floor with a to-go slice counter, pizza ovens set into the wall, and some tables for quick meals.
According to Larry Olmsted, food and travel writer, you should really visit this place.
“The whole effect is very modern, with comfortable booths set into the arcs of the exterior walls, featuring cushioned leather benches and heavy wooden tables. It is cozy and welcoming, and the interior walls are black tile to about eye level, then a strip of blackboard runs around the perimeter, on which are hand drawn pictures of pigs and what not, along with specials and descriptions of menu items.
Above this, the rest of the wall, which soars up to the towering level of the casino-height ceiling, is a montage of artsy, random black-and-white photo images. The whole is a mishmash of design-y touches like hanging modern lamps, curved surfaces and artistic whimsy coupled with classic tiles, rich wood and leather, all self-consciously hip.
But it works and offers a comfy escape set right in the middle of the frenetic action, where you can settle into the deep booths and take a break from the supercharged Vegas atmosphere.”