Spago’s Executive Chef Eric Klein wants you to feel as if you’re dining in a friend’s living room. Located in the Forum Shops at Caesar’s Palace, Spago's atmosphere is casual. The service is both impeccable and friendly. The food is simple and unpretentious, yet beautiful. The California-cuisine menu changes daily based on the freshest organic produce. Whether you dine in the cafe known for its pizzas and people watching, or the main dining room known for its steak tartare, Wolfgang Puck’s Spago is sure to please.Read More ...
Spago in four words: unpretentious, delicious, organic, fun. Nestled in a quiet corner among the haute couture at Caesar’s Palace Forum Shops, Spago is celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck’s Las Vegas outpost for California Cuisine.
Spago is really two restaurants in one. Facing the Forum Shops, the cafe section of Spago is famous for pizza and people watching. It is popular with both visitors and Las Vegas locals for its inexpensive bistro fare. Deeper inside—with a view of much of the kitchen and an army of chefs—is the Spago that foodies flock to. They’re flocking to experience the cooking of Chef Eric Klein, who is considered one of the top chefs in America.
And Chef Klein wants you to enjoy yourself at Spago. The operational philosophy, “have fun,” is felt in the upbeat ’70s and ‘80s pop music playing in the background, and is carried out by the friendly, attentive staff. The dining room is spacious, with seating capacity taking a back seat to comfort. The lighting is subdued and romantic. There’s pop art on the walls and patrons can see dishes being prepared at the open kitchen at the rear of the restaurant. Spago is a restaurant for relaxing. It’s as if customers are dining at the house of a new neighbor. (A neighbor who happens to be one of the better chefs in America and has a wine cellar to die for.)
At least five days a week, Klein will come to guests’ tables personally. It is impossible to miss him moving from table to table, checking in with his guests. Make sure to take the opportunity to ask him about his dishes. Klein, a native of Alsace, France, is personable, chatty, and obviously enjoys fielding questions. Before dinner, Klein talked to our table about his love of the simple dish, particularly a roast chicken. We ordered accordingly.
Our waiter, Joe, also embodied the “have fun” approach at Spago. Personable and familiar, Joe made every accommodation, answered every question except one (and then he insisted on heading back to the kitchen to find out). His knowledge of the menu was impeccable. Yet once again, we felt like we were being entertained at the home of a new neighbor.
Oenophiles will enjoy the wine list. Spago holds a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence and sommelier Jim Wilson manages a cellar of approximately 700 bottles. The wine list is diverse, with about 170 wines offered by the bottle and over 20 wines by the glass.
Spago’s Heirloom Tomato Soup was classic comfort food -- jacked with basil pistou, goat cheese, aged balsamic and served with a fried zucchini blossom. This dish was all about the tomato. The rich tomato flavor hit the palate quickly, followed by the sweet balsamic, giving way to a creamy finish. The tang of the goat cheese played well with the tomatoes.
The tuna duo of Yellowfin Tartare and Hamachi Sashimi came recommended and did not disappoint. The ponzu-marinated hamachi was served on a vinegar-spritzed bed of daikon radish and avocado and topped with sesame seeds and scallions. Subtle yuzu-wasabi dotted the plate for stylish presentation. The contrasting textures of the soft fish and crunchy daikon made this a fun sashimi appetizer.
Piped into a sesame tuile with miso and topped with masago caviar, the Yellowfin Tartare was delightfully spicy with its chili mayonnaise. A touch more spicy than the average sushi restaurant’s spicy-tuna roll, this was exactly what I was looking for in a tuna tartare.
We moved directly from tuna tartare to beef tartare. The Hand Cut Prime Beef Tartare, featuring USDA-Prime Angus, is one of the signature dishes of Spago. The tartare was mixed with toasted pine nuts, ringed with slivers of parmigiano-reggiano and served with crostinis, dijon aioli, lemony frisee and a quail egg. The tartare was tender to the point of being luxurious. An occasional nibble of frisee cleansed the palate so we could be rewarded with another blast of beefy flavor.
For our main course we ordered the Roast Free Range Organic Chicken. Again, simple: roast chicken, mashed potatoes, and sautéed vegetables. This is a meal we’d all had at home a thousand times, brought to the next level. Preparation was spot-on, and we spent a good deal of time analyzing this dish, particularly the skin.
The chicken breast was perfectly moist, surrounded by a zesty, crispy skin that was like a chicken cracklin. Herbs, particularly thyme, shone through in this chicken. And the free-range organic bird had a delightful flavor. The accompanying baby carrots and baby zucchini were perfectly al dente, and served with more fresh herbs.
For dessert, pastry chef Kenny Magana had seven sweet concoctions to try. We couldn’t decide and ordered the sampler—four of the most popular desserts. The Crème Brulée was nice and thick, strongly vanilla flavored, and sat on a thin graham cracker crust.
The Strawberries and Cream “Caprese Style” was a favorite of the staff, and a nice light choice after so much comfort food. Fresh strawberries were marinated in raspberry sauce and served on a circle of panna cotta. They were then topped with a few tiny basil leaves and the plate dotted with 20-year old balsamic.
Joe said many of his customers omit the basil. They are doing themselves a disservice. Basil and strawberries go very well together. This was the most popular dessert on the menu, and deservedly so.
The non-traditional Peach Melba was a dish that anyone could try at home. Small-dice peaches were served on a small round of almond cake and raspberry-granola, topped with vanilla ice cream. This was another light, refreshing dessert that kept in line with the “keep it simple” philosophy.
Rounding out the desert sampler was a Flourless, 15-Layer Mocha Cake. Visually pleasing, chocolately, yet light, this mousse and cake desert was served with bits of candied hazelnut and vanilla ice cream.
This restaurant has so many things going for it that it’s hard to imagine a situation where Spago wouldn’t be an ideal choice for dinner. Romantic meal, special occasion, business lunch, or even just a glass of wine and an appetizer for an evening of Las Vegas tapas, Spago’s “let’s have fun and eat well” attitude makes this a good bet for both the visitor and local.
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This was our second visit to Spago and absolutely loved it! There prosciutto and fig pizza with radish sprouts was delicious. And there lamb chorizo and goat cheese pizza was amazing too. I have been to many other celebrity restaurants and this place keeps delivering stellar service, food and atmosphere. I have only eaten here twice for lunch but I'm sure dinner service is just as good.
Vegas has changed..Quality...Above none..Our dinner at Spago was Fantastic.. Food and Service was more than I expected. With a "Name" restaurant you usually get good food, but this was Great food. Service was beyond great, and along with the food made this a truly memorable meal. Another restaurant that I WILL be coming back to.