When I did my research about restaurants to try this trip I was drawn to My Mothers House Italian Restaurant. I called owner Laura on the phone and she was busy both times that I called her. But she said I don’t mean to be rude but I am right in the middle of business can you call me back tomorrow at this time. Normally I would just say ok they are not interested in me doing a tasting. But some how I felt a special pull that made me pursue this tasting. After tasting the food and hearing Michael and Laura’s enchanting story, I was all in.
Their restaurant is a little gem, in a world full of Italian restaurants that are trying to step up to the plate. They just have all of their bases covered. Mike Leonetti is a famous singer; he has had a couple of hit records. He performs at his restaurant many nights a week, as well as creates some of their signature dishes. Micheal professes his grandmother Julie, who was from Naples, taught him her family recipes. While Laura is the no nonsense business side, paying the bills making the orders, it’s really a match made in heaven. Laura a widower, was married for 35 years, she went with her daughter to a near by hang out called Siena and prince charming, Micheal Leonetti, stole her heart. Michael is the face and Laura is the business mind that makes this amazing restaurant run like clockwork. Both Michael and Laura know their place and both of them loving their parts. From the moment you walk in you can feel their love and the love they have for their restaurant. Michael is welcoming everyone by saying “ You Hungry” telling his super fun stories about his pals, Dean, Frank, Tony, etc. No joke, he has met and sometimes performed with all of them. He is the real deal. Perhaps an era gone by, but truly a place where you can enjoy Las Vegas at its finest. But not a place where you have to put on airs, no it’s a family style, a family run establishment where every one is welcome.
Now about the food, it’s authentic, fresh, and possibly the best Italian food you will find in Las Vegas. The unique flavors of everything I tasted was very special. Michael asked me a bit about what I like and he took it from there, he did a really great job. They only take reservations, and they are always packed.
Their garlic bread with a side of red sauce is an amazing starter, make sure you ask for it!!
Shrimp Cocktail, big huge colossal shrimp served in a proper cocktail bowl, just terrific.
Brisket, Michael told me he had a best friend growing up in Philadelphia who was Jewish and he learned how to cook real Jewish food from him and his family. This brisket was deli style all the way, and melts in your mouth. He makes a French Onion soup for it to cook in; it takes 15 hours for the whole process.
Linguine Neapolitan in white clam sauce, baby fresh clams over linguini, with cherry stone clams on top. They give you so many clams I just didn’t know where to start, but once I got in, it was a glorious experience. Super fresh clams, with a very creamy garlic sauce, yum.
Blue Crab from Maryland, with white wine and garlic, for me these were the star of the show. Michael told me that everything he brought me were half orders, and they were big, I can’t imagine what the full orders looed like, but in any case you will have lots of food to take home. These beauties are fresh and flavorful, sweet meat you can only get from Blue Crab, a true winner.
Ravioli with sausage and meatball. These raviolis are cooked in house, and the meatballs and sausage were just superb. I loved this one as well.
Green Salad, this salad came with one of the dishes I was served, I know don’t know which one but it is light and refreshing, almost like a palate cleanser.
Lemoncello Delight, I have never in my 8 years of doing this job tasted a desert like this. It’s a frozen lemoncello with whipped cream, but the whole thing becomes frozen, what a treat, I am hooked.
Tiramisu, they do a super good rendition of this Italian staple dessert.
Key Lime Pie, their pastry chef Matt Byrge did a stellar job on this Southern Classic, I think it’s the candied limes that really make it super special.
Wine I tried: Chardonnay, Oak Vineyards Bishops Peak, 2013, of course this one went great with the seafood.
My adorable server Darlene Clayton, who had only been serving at My Mothers House for 2 weeks, used to be a professional model. She added to the glamour of the night with her exuberant personality.
Owners Laura and Mike Leonetti are gracious, kind and wonderful, if I lived near by I would be here a few nights a week, it’s just that kind of place. It’s an eating establishment that has a lot of heart; you can feel it in every bite. There is a great story about how Laura and Michael met in Living in the Sun, A Sun City magazine, I would highly recommend reading it.
Michael’s mission is simple, “I wanted this to be like what Vegas was,” said Leonetti, “Unfortunately, although there are wonderful restaurants in Las Vegas, they’re just restaurants. I wanted to do something a little different, bring back the way Vegas was, where people can come in and dine and hear phenomenal music.”
Leonetti opened My Mother’s House after a career as a lounge performer, beginning in 1972. He has worked at the Marina Hotel, Caesar’s Palace and MGM Grand. He learned to cook alongside his mother, Dolores, and grandmother, Julie, both deceased. Just like they did, Leonetti serves food on oversized plates good for sharing.
He still has the wooden spoon his grandmother used to hit him with when he acted up as a child. It hangs on the wall along with pictures of, who else, the Rat Pack, as well as other notables from Las Vegas’ heyday. He also has some of his gold records from his earlier days.
Michael is non-stop fun, telling jokes and stories a mile a minute. He says,” You can stop getting old, but it doesn’t mean you have to be old.” Truly a kid at heart, he will make you forget any troubles you had walking in the door.
Besides Michael Leonetti performing here, he has some other notable talent that books in here regularly. Gina Eckstein, Billy’s daughter, Dave De Costa and more. Check out their website for their calendar listings.
You won’t feel more at home anywhere in Las Vegas; it’s just the best of the best, and definetly a place to try. Next time you’re in Sun City Summerlin give My Mothers House a try, or even if you make it a destination evening, you will be so happy you did.
My Mother’s House – Italian Restaurant
9320 Sun City Blvd, Ste 100
Las Vegas, NV 89134