Cioppino Review – Seafood and Chophouse in the Strip District

Last updated on July 8, 2022 by Jeremy

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Cioppino Restaurant & Cigar Bar has been a Strip District staple for over a decade with its seafood and chophouse-focused menu and popular cigar bar tucked away in a back room.

We were able to visit this one to experience the seasonal summer menu as guests of the restaurant for a media night, and we have to admit we can see the appeal of this gem on Railroad Street!

Note: Several of the appetizers we tasted were served as a family for the event. As such, our photos may not be representative of actual portion sizes.

Cioppino’s focus on seasonal ingredients shines

During our visit to Cioppino, we were able to sample many dishes from their summer menu. But in this one, we wanted to share a few that we think highlight these best seasonal ingredients.

For drinks, the summer theme was showcased perfectly in the Seasonal Old Fashioned (based on Big Springs Peach whiskey, smoked peach, simple syrup, lemon and rhubarb bitters) and Surging Summer (Resurgent Rye, pomegranate puree, honey syrup, and lemon) had a refreshing balance of tartness and sweetness. Our only regret was that many cocktails were served over ice, which we think can water down a drink a bit too quickly for our liking. That being said, these didn’t last too long on a hot summer day either.

Cioppino ceviche

On the aperitif side, we tasted many dishes including the ceviche of mussels and yellowfin tuna. While these were fairly limited in seasonal ingredients, and therefore stuck to more traditional flavor pairings like jalapenos and shallots on ceviche and pancetta and corn on mussels, their large amount of seafood ( especially in the ceviche) was hard to ignore.

All seafood and little filling? We are there for that. Although we have to admit the pancetta in the mussels added a nice depth of richness that we might look for in any future mussel orders.

Cioppino Strip District Mussels

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The only downside to these? Both dishes seemed noticeably undersalted, so much so that we wished we could add some ourselves at the table. As such, some of the flavors overall were quite muted compared to what they might have been otherwise.

As a starter, Angie opted for an order of scallops and I ended up opting for the rack of lamb, pairing it with glasses of wine from the restaurant’s impressive wine list.

Scallop Starter at Cioppino Restaurant & Cigar Bar

Seasonal ingredients were central to both of these dishes. The generously sized scallops were seared to perfection and served on a bed of quinoa, roasted tomatoes, grilled corn and topped with a light chimichurri spread. At first this one looked like an odd combination, but the bright and vibrant corn and tomato worked well to offset the richness of the scallops. A perfect summer jumpsuit if ever there was one.

Rack of lamb with rhubarb chutney

The rack of lamb was served over an expressively tangy rhubarb chutney with crispy potatoes and rapini. Just like with scallops, you don’t usually expect a sour sauce of this nature with lamb, but the flavors worked so well that we want to make our own rhubarb chutney at home to recreate this pairing – c It’s really hard to get there with the perfect balance of acid and fat. Even better, our entrees didn’t suffer from the same lack of salt as entrees and ended up being delicious orders all around.

Cioppino Dessert

For dessert, our table got to sample the strawberry cheesecake sandwich and the chocolate cake to name a few. Unfortunately, we skipped the cheesecake sandwich due to allergy concerns (although we’ve heard rave reviews), but the chocolate cake can simply be described as decadent. Chocolate cake with chocolate mousse and chocolate ganache? It’s hard to want more chocolate with this rich finisher.

All in all, we were very pleased to see a traditional seafood and chophouse restaurant like Cioppino lean heavily on seasonal ingredients, and aside from our concern about the lack of salt in entrees, we really had a pleasant meal here. Now we’re curious to check out other seasonal menus to see what unique ingredients go into these classic dishes!

Cioppino restaurant and cigar bar is located at 2350 Railroad Street in the Strip District. We were Cioppino’s guests for this dinner. As always, all opinions are our own.

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