Owned and operated by wine expert and food lover Rino Armeni, Pips Cucina at Aliante Station provides delicious and authentic Italian food, along with a wide selection of accompaniments in the way of flavorful and eclectic wines. Reflecting the menu’s combination of classic and modern Italian dishes, Pips Cucina has a modern and sophisticated design, pulled together with neutral and cool colors, plush black banquettes, marble floors, and lush gray carpets. White stone columns loom throughout the dining room and give the restaurant a touch of classic European flair.
Open for dinner seven days a week, Pips Cucina offers classic Italian recipes passed down to Armeni by his grandmother, along with many traditional Italian dishes given a modern makeover. The kitchen is helmed by Chef Gerald Chin, formerly of Joel Robuchon at MGM Grand, and his experience shows in a menu composed of simple but well-executed antipasti, pasta, and seafood and meat entrees, all made with deliciously fresh and high-quality ingredients.
For starters, try the Arancini, breaded rice balls that, when cut into, reveal a delicious meat and melted mozzarella core. The Fonduta for two is a great starter for couples, a creamy fondue composed of Parmigiano-Regianno aged for two years with Rosemary Foccaccia for dipping.
When you’re done with the preliminaries, move on to one of the delicious pastas and entrees. The Tria is a particularly interesting selection, a combination of fresh and fried hand cut pasta tossed with Cherry tomatoes; diners either love or hate this unusual duo, but it is worth at try at least once. Or for something more tried and true, the Pomodoro spaghetti is expertly done. And if you’re hankering for meat, Armeni’s mother’s Napoletana is flavor-packed, a Neapolitan meat loaf stuffed with mozzarella, capers, and mortadella. Fresh fish specials are also available.
No visit to Pips Cucina is complete without trying one of their excellent wines. Pips has an Enomatic preservation system keeping 32 different bottles of wine fresh, which allows guests to sample and try new vineyards and grapes without committing to an entire bottle. If the selection has you overwhelmed, Armeni is more than willing to make a recommendation.
Pips benefits from a warm and friendly atmosphere, made even more pleasant by the fact that the charming Armeni goes round to every table personally checking on the guests. You might be intimidated, at first, by Pips Cucina’s ultra-cool design, but you’ll feel more than welcome once you sit down inside Pips and savor its flavorful Italian dishes.