Desert Companion

Eat This Now!: Irish curry fries and stracciatella

Irish curry fries at Ri Ra

Ri Ra is a big chain of Irish pubs, and the Vegas location has only been open for one St. Paddy’s Day, but it’s already set a new standard of quality for local Irish cuisine. All the greatest hits are on the menu, from house-brined corned beef and cabbage to lights-out fish and chips. One side dish has proven extremely addictive: hand-cut chips (French fries) and Irish curry sauce. At first, the thought of Irish curry seemed like a joke, but this is a serious snack, beating out other countries’ versions of fries and gravy. Ultimately savory, rich and flavorful sauce on perfect potato sticks. Tough to beat. — Brock Radke

Ri Ra inside Mandalay Place, 632-7771

 

Stracciatella at Due Forni

Due Forni’s slogan is “pizza and wine,” but this is a pizza place you can visit several times without ever eating pizza. Case in point: the mozzarella bar ($11.95). The mozzarella bar comes to your table as a choice of three different mozzarella cheeses and a side dish. The cheeses are made of imported bufala mozzarella, and all are excellent. The smoked-in-house affumicata is smoky and delicious, but the stracciatella, a shredded mozzarella mixed with cream, is otherworldly. It’s rich and decadent, with just a hint of sourness that pairs incredibly well with salty flavors of the proffered taggiasca olives or prosciuttio san daniele. Other sides include basil pesto, marinated artichokes, roasted tomatoes and roasted red peppers. It’s accompanied by hot, freshly baked triangles of cheese bread that tie all of the flavors together. Split it as an appetizer, or eat the whole thing yourself, because this cheese stands alone. — John Hardin

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Due Forni 3555 S. Town Center Drive #105, 586-6500

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