Vegas Tuscan Lifestyle

Ah summertime and the livin’ is easy…well not in daytime Las Vegas when it is 103 to 112 degrees Fahrenheit during July and August! We normally crash into the heat barrier of triple digit temperatures about mid-June and don’t cool down again until mid-September. Three months of severe summer heat is the price we pay for a mild winter and magnificent fall and spring weather. But there is an upside to this heat, namely dining outside in balmy, dry evening air. By 7pm the sun is moving behind the western Spring Mountain range and we Las Vegans can move outside again.

This summer, I’ve a new favorite place to sit out, sip wine, and eat delicious pasta or tapas on a patio that looks like it’s in Sorrento or Sienna Italy. That beautiful patio is at the Brio Tuscan Grille within Tivoli Village on 420 S. Rampart Blvd at Alta in Summerlin (just 10 minutes from Sun City Summerlin). This shopping and dining complex was completed in 2011 despite the recession. As overblown as the façade may look – Morocco meets American corn to my eyes – the interior is a walker’s delight with Italian, French and Greek café culture, couture shops and a farmer’s market on Saturday mornings. Yes, a farmer’s market, one of many now open in Las Vegas. We do cook you know, in spite of the buffet and haute chef reputation inflicted on our town.

Brio ( offers delicious northern Italian cuisine, great service, and a marvelous happy hour from 3-6pm. On the taster bar menu, their burger is astounding and so is the eggplant for vegetarians at prices as low as $2.99, not to mention the $5 martini selection. Brio may be a large chain, but it is a fine one with great attention to detail. The surroundings are gorgeous. I feel as though I have taken an Italian summer holiday when I linger over the extensive menu and the fine wines.  Sleep comes easily after a soft summer night at Brio.