While the Las Vegas Strip is a hub of fine dining and exotic options, locals know that branching out into the outlying neighborhoods will take you to some of the most delicious hidden gems. Some of the best restaurants in Las Vegas can be found in the more residential areas so make sure to explore whenever you can. The team at Anima by EDO invited us in to sample the menu and taste their imaginative cuisine firsthand. We interviewed Chef/Owner Oscar Amador and Executive Chef Francesco Di Caudo for the inside scoop on what diners can expect at Anima by EDO.
Las Vegas Loves Anima by EDO
Can you tell us about the process of curating the menu? It’s so unique!
Amador & Di Caudo: We try to find playful ways to present classic recipes with a modern approach. We look around the globe for innovative techniques, and always with a focus on seasonality for our ingredients. In the case of Anima, we are always incorporating the cultural backgrounds and extensive experience of both Chefs’ creative styles- thinking locally, and cooking globally.
Two chefs with a background in culinary traditions from Italy and Spain, classic traditions with a bit of nostalgia but presented in a novel way- the eggplant parmigiana or papas brava are perfect examples of that. Our goal is a modern, creative, coastal Mediterranean menu that is authentic but not traditional.
Peruvian Scallop Crudo at Anima by EDO (©Melanie Lee)
How do you best describe the cuisine at Anima by EDO?
Amador & Di Caudo: Anima by EDO is a progressive Italian-Spanish concept from Chefs Oscar Amador and Francesco di Caudo, featuring classics such as Brava Potatoes and Pan con Tomate as well as less traditional versions of Eggplant Parmigiana and Croquetas Cacio e Pepe. With a curated wine list featuring small producers of Spain and Italy and seasonally crafted cocktails to complement the dining experience, Anima by EDO is an off-Strip dining destination.
There are some menu items that sound familiar but are presented in completely different ways. How much experimenting went into the new presentation?
Amador & Di Caudo: Our chefs are always researching and finding inspiration from global regions, cultures, and seasonal ingredients. It’s a daily effort; we are constantly trying new flavor combinations and presenting ideas or ingredients from a new perspective. From the development phase, many of those dishes don’t ever land on the menu. It’s a fun process!
Will the menu rotate out seasonally, or is it going to remain fairly constant?
Amador & Di Caudo: The menu changes seasonally, and we offer daily specials to feature fresh or exciting ingredients our purveyors have available more frequently.
Was the beverage menu designed to specifically complement the food menu?
Amador & Di Caudo: Yes, the wine list is a collection of small producers from Spain and Italy mostly; we are constantly sourcing hidden gems with great value for our guests. The cocktail menu was developed to complement the food items with a focus on seasonality and fun.
What are your favorite items on the menu?
Amador & Di Caudo: It’s difficult to pick favorites since we’re always changing. Truffle Cavatelli with Salsichon, English Peas and Bone Marrow presented table side is so much fun. Bikini is a staple from our sister restaurant, EDO. The simplicity of the Maltagliati with Housemade Sausage is beautiful. The modern approach to the Eggplant Parmigiana with Parmigiano espuma and tomato dust is really exciting.
Braised Short Ribs at Anima by EDO (©Melanie Lee)