Chef Nicole Brisson to open Amari in southwest valley

A rendering of UnCommons, a development in southwest Las Vegas that will house several food and ...

At Resorts World Las Vegas, they’ve taken us to coastal Italy at Brezza, shared the sociability of tapas at Bar Zazu. Now, chef Nicole Brisson and hospitality veteran Jason Rocheleau are continuing the trend of chefs and restaurateurs leaving the Strip to open neighborhood spots.

Their third project, an Italian restaurant named Amari, is scheduled to open this winter in the mixed-use UnCommons development taking shape at Durango Drive and the 215 Beltway, in southwest Las Vegas.

Amari’s Italian-American menu includes antipasti, pizzas and housemade pastas (look for the lasagna). A market up front sells wine that diners can sip in the dining room, on the terrace or at home.

“I look forward to joining all of my peers off-Strip who are cooking up some of the best food in Vegas right now,” said Brisson, executive chef of Amari and a James Beard Award semifinalist in 2020 for Best Chef: Southwest. “UnCommons is literally in my backyard, and the excitement and growth of the community surrounding that area is just so compelling.”

Several other food and drink outlets have been announced for the $400 million UnCommons project. Among these are: The Coffee Class coffee shop, General Admission (an elevated sports bar), Gyu+ (Japanese street food from master sommelier Luis DeSantos), Mercadito (a modern bodega), and SunLife Organics (healthy dishes likes superfoods bowls).

Brisson has worked in Vegas for more than 15 years, including executive chef stints at Wynn Las Vegas, The Venetian and Park MGM. She also has competed on “Chopped,” the Food Network cooking competition; is a founding member of the Slow Food USA Vegas chapter; and serves on the Culinary Council of Three Square food bank.

Rocheleau, who arrived in Vegas 20 years ago, has worked in leadership positions with restaurant organizations like Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group and, most recently, with the Mina Group, where, as vice president, he oversaw the opening of more than 40 restaurants.

Contact Johnathan L. Wright at jwright@reviewjournal.com. Follow @ItsJLW on Twitter.