When Wolfgang Puck opened Spago in Las Vegas, a quarter century ago, it heralded an onslaught of restaurants helmed by celebrity chefs; thereby positioning Las Vegas as one of the world’s great gastronomic hubs. Now, some twenty-five years later, there’s nary a chef worth his toque without an outpost on the Strip.
Never one to rest on his laurels, Puck (in a move not dissimilar to when he relocated the original Spago, in 1997, from its location, on LA’s famed Sunset Strip – where it had been since opening, fifteen years earlier – to its current Beverly Hills home, on Canon Drive) decided that the time was right to shake things up, a bit; and announced that his signature eatery would be relocating, into the space being vacated by Todd English’s Olives.
With its location on the Via Bellagio, the restaurant is strategically positioned to make the most of the million-dollar vistas seen from its patio, featuring the world-famous Fountains of Bellagio and the Las Vegas Strip. Smoked-oak wood floors, brass fixtures, and leather chairs are among the sumptuous touches that Gelila Puck instilled in her design of what is at once the perfect backdrop for the fresh California cuisine created by her husband, and the very definition of a “new classic” (fulfilling her imperative that the décor be “timeless”).
Recently, I went and was delighted to find that Puck and his team (I’m looking at you, Messrs. Kaplan, Robins, and Dickerson) had not only met all of my expectations; but had, in fact, surpassed them.
I started with the Roasted Peach and Burrata Salad (with Aged Balsamic, Arugula Pesto, Prosciutto, and Grilled Ciabatta), and it was like eating a plate full of summertime! Something about the way the peaches mixed with the pesto was magical; and pairs perfectly with a perch on that patio. Puck’s signature wood-fired pizzas are a longtime staple of my diet (such as it is), and the Lamb Fennel Sausage Pizza (with Spring Onion, Herbed Ricotta, Roasted Tomato, and Oregano) did not disappoint; thanks to savory sausage, gooey cheese, and a light and crispy crust.
They say the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and when it comes to Spago, that pudding will always be the Veal “Wienerschnitzel” (with Marinated Cucumbers, Fingerling Potato Salad, and Young Mache; just like Mutter Puck used to make), for me; and this one scored 10s across-the-board. And speaking of pudding, I’d have been remiss were I not to have indulged my sweet-tooth. So, I did; with some help from some Lemon Sorbet with Fresh Blueberries, and a Spago Cookie Tray.
So there I was: looking out over Lake Bellagio, sipping an espresso, with a cookie in-hand (and, if I’m being perfectly honest, a dribble of lemon sorbet on-chin); and it occurred to me, as I lazily wiped-off my chin, that everything was just kinda marvelous.
Wolfgang Puck’s Spago
Bellagio Resort & Casino
Click HERE for info
Get into it!