Spago by Wolfgang Puck
Margherita Pizza – San Marzano Tomatoes, Fresh Mozzarella, Basil
Smoked Salmon Pizza – Dill Cream, Red Onion, Salmon Pearls
Chinois Chicken Salad – Candied Cashews, Crisp Wontons, Ginger-Soy Vinaigrette
Hand Made Ricotta Cavatelli – Spicy Lamb Bolognese, Fiore Sardo
Veal “Wiener Schnitzel” – Marinated Cucumbers, Fingerling Potato Salad, Young Mache
Root Vegetable Succotash – Bourbon-Brown Sugar Pecan Butter, Sage / Anson Mills Grits – Wild Mushroom Ragout, Parmigianino-Reggiano Cheese
Spiked Lemon – Japanese Yuzu Cream, Chiffon Cake, Citrus Mousse
Dark Chocolate Souffle – Dulce de Leche Ice Cream, Whipped Cream, Chocolate Sauce
Golden Puck – Chocolate Mousse, Candied Peanuts, Praline Sauce
Not opposed to Wolfgang Puck like so many others, meals at Spago Beverly Hills and Spago inside The Forum Shops at Caesars’ in 2008 and 2015 both executing on their premise, it was with three friends that Spago at The Bellagio was visited on Saturday, a re-route from elsewhere finding the former Olives shockingly quiet inside though at capacity on the outdoor patio.
One part the result of rent and the other a consequence of #metoo, the outcome an entirely renovated space overlooking iconic fountains, it was upon check-in at the hostess podium that guests were led past bar and dining room, a perfect 67ᵒF in the shade with breeze everything one could want in early March though servers wandering in circles both looked and performed far below the expected level of a Restaurant selling $22 Salads and $44 Entrees before noon.
Toqued by Mark Andelbradt since debuting last Summer, partially overlapping lunch and dinner menus expectedly focused on Chef Puck’s signature style of California Cuisine, it was after two requested Cocktails from Bussers that a middle-age female waitress made her presence known, an order of two courses finally placed some twenty minutes after seating along with requests for a second Bloody Mary that the imbibing guest still contests arrived without Vodka.
Unsurprisingly popular with tourists, a bachelorette party to one side singing along to Lady Gaga while women to the right ate Pizza with fork and knife, it was after adding a $14 Shot to $4 Mix that course one arrived, the Margherita – eaten appropriately by hand – featuring good Cheese and Tomatoes atop benign Crust while Wolfgang Puck’s iconic Smoked Salmon version stole the spotlight thanks to thin layers of Fish draped over tangy Cream and raw Onions.
Still finding service lacking, refills of Water either too slow or splashed all-over clothless tables while Bread service never arrived, it was after enjoying the diverse textures of Chinois Chicken Salad that share-plates were reset, but not before the waitress managed to up-sell another guest on “fun” Coffee with Kahlua and Frangelico for $30.
Deciding to stick with classics considering the crowd, Spago’s Wiener Schnitzel unquestionably a highlight with the thinly pounded cutlet expertly fried and exceedingly light next to traditional condiments, it is unfortunate that housemade Pasta performed far less admirably, a $24 tab for what amounts to no more than 3/4 cup not only slightly overcooked but also far from “spicy.”
Improved by Sides, both caramelized Vegetables and buttery Grits served in sharable portions with rustic appeal, it was acknowledging Kamel Guechida’s contribution that $18-19 was paid per Dessert, the former Robuchon Chef’s vision carried out by Romain Cornu successfully from Fruit to Chocolate with particular attention warranted for “Spiked Lemon” served like Italian Tartufo, though Knights fans may instead opt for a “Golden Puck” that comes complete with Dark Chocolate goalie stick.
THREE STARS: Exorbitantly priced, even for a celebrity Chef Restaurant on The Strip, Spago by Wolfgang Puck continues to execute the classics as it always has, but certainly not with the sort of service one expects at Bellagio regardless of the scenery.
RECOMMENDED: Smoked Salmon Pizza, Chinois Chicken Salad, Veal “Wiener Schnitzel,” Root Vegetable Succotash, Spiked Lemon.
AVOID: Hand Made Ricotta Cavatelli, itemized Alcohol.
TIP: Open at 11:30am daily, reservations strongly encouraged for outside seating.
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.