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Dining

Carmine’s and Rao’s keep the family-style food coming

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A waiter serves the porterhouse steak with sausage, onions and peppers at Carmine’s inside the Forum Shops at Caesars in Las Vegas on Wednesday, July 24, 2013.

Buddy V’s is bringing a more casual Italian experience to the Venetian, but Caesars Palace has been slinging this spaghetti for a while now.

At Rao’s (731-7267), where it’s always Christmas and your favorite meatballs and lemon chicken are at the ready, there’s a new kitchen commander. Chef de cuisine Fatimah Madyun is now charged with maintaining Rao’s classic cuisine and offering a few updates of her own. Madyun’s version of caprese salad uses burrata cheese she makes in-house, plus heirloom cherry tomatoes and 12-year-old aged balsamic vinegar.

Meanwhile in the Forum Shops, Carmine’s (473-9700) arrived in the summer and has been running like an olive-oiled machine. With 800 seats and a 5,000-square-foot kitchen, Carmine’s is the Strip’s biggest non-nightclub restaurant, and its food portions are comparable. Bring your family/army and prepare to attack mountains of fried calamari and spicy scarpariello wings, rigatoni doused in rich, multi-meat ragu and one of the heartiest lasagnas in Las Vegas.

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Brock Radke is Las Vegas Weekly's food editor and author of the Strip-focused column The Incidental Tourist. He has written ...

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