Baking Happiness Daily, Revisiting Allegro and a Wine Club With Big Perks

Lasagna at Allegro

It’s not everyday that you walk into a bakery to find a shimmering, rotating disco ball hovering above you. Kari Garcia, owner of the recently opened tsp. baking company (6120 N. Decatur Blvd., Suite 103, in North Las Vegas, had always wanted one, and it really shows the kind of spirit that she has for baking. It actually says it on the wall, “Happiness Served Here.” Formerly of Retro Bakery, Kari and her husband Richard, who is on active duty from Nellis Air Force Base, serves up delicious mini cupcakes, cakes, cookies and Lappert’s Ice Cream. While Lappert’s is only found in one other place in Nevada, it’s a huge draw for those who know the Hawaii-based ice cream company. May I suggest trying the cold-filtered kona coffee ice cream?  As for the cupcakes, all 12 flavors are petite, which is perfect for tasting a variety and easily building a dozen. Monkey Bite is a cinnamon banana cake topped with caramel frosting and potato chips. Beanie, named for Garcia’s daughter, is a chocolate cake with coffee frosting and a coffee bean. Generously sized cookies include chocolate chip, frosted lemon, gluten-free peanut butter and mega chip, an original recipe from when Kari was a teenager. Sweet New Year beginnings start here.

Megachip cookies sandwich Thatch Roof Sundae ice cream by Lappert’s (vanilla bean with a fudge swirl and chocolate covered almonds). 

Since its 2012 opening, Allegro (in Wynn, has been considered an American-Italian food destination. Over time, it has morphed into a well-balanced combination of American-Italian with more traditional Italian cuisine, thanks to executive chef Enzo Febbraro. With constantly evolving dining trends, Allegro now offers a variety of vegan options and also places great emphasis on seasonal availability of ingredients. Some main dishes that continue to be house favorites are the house-made meatballs with silky tomato sauce; eggplant Parmigiana; bianca pizza with mozzarella, prosciutto, arugula and shaved Parmesan; risotto pescatora with shrimp, scallops, calamari, mussels and clams.  And, new to the menu are the butternut squash ravioli with bufala ricotta, black truffle, oregano, pecorino and butter sage crème; and a refreshing radicchio salad with pomegranate yogurt dressing, frisée, apple, chestnuts, ricotta salata and pomegranate arils.

Now, imagine if dining on Italian food and wine in Las Vegas could get you closer to actually enjoying food and wine in Italy. Ferraro’s Italian Restaurant & Wine Bar (4480 Paradise Rd., has introduced Il Circolo, an extraordinary wine club. In addition to member perks including discounts on all wines and invitations to members-only mixers, the most distinctive and enticing perk is the opportunity to go on the wine-lover’s trip of a lifetime to Italy. Members who purchase at least one bottle each month from the Il Circolo wine list will qualify for a chance to receive one of two trips for two to Tuscany and Piedmont in Italy. This all-expenses-paid trip includes airfare, lodging, all meals and ground transportation. Accompanied by Ferraro’s owners Gino and Rosalba, guests will explore top wine producers, tasting wine in their cellars and even dining in their homes. The value of each trip for two will be approximately $20,000. For more information about Il Circolo, call Gino Ferraro at 702-364-5300.

Marisa Finetti savors with all five senses. Read more at or visit her blog,