Thursday, June 7, 2012

Vegas Uncork'd #2: Lunch at Spago

With two big events Friday and Saturday night that focused solely on the high cuisine of Las Vegas I hadn't really put much thought into where else we might eat. There are so many options and since we were putting a lot of money into other things it didn't occur to me to plan an outing to one of the big name restaurants. Saturday afternoon however we found ourselves wandering Caesar's and HUNGRY. I had read on another blog the Bobby Flay's MESA Grill had a great Happy Hour so we thought we would stop there and check it out. Unfortunately it seems that blogger had had 1 too many before her visit because they do not (nor, according to the rather snobby host, have they ever) offer a Happy Hour. In fact they close between lunch and dinner. Luckily we were a stones throw away from Vegas' pre-eminent culinary trail blazer- Wolfgang Puck's Spago. It seemed fitting to visit on this trip because Spago was celebrating their 20th anniversary in Vegas! If we were celebrating all the cuisine Las Vegas had to offer on this trip we were at the right place.
As it was Kerry's Birthday we decided that was the perfect excuse to celebrate and decided to start by sharing a bottle of Proseco! We quickly found out it was also our waitress's birthday and so we toasted to her as well. By far one of the sweetest and most engaging servers I have ever enjoyed the company of.

 This was actually the second time we had all dined at Spago. The first visit was 6 years ago on my very first trip ever to Vegas. It holds a sentimental place in my heart as one of the first restaurants I had dined at with a big name Chef at the helm. On both visits we enjoyed sitting on the "patio" which opens out from the restaurant into the Forum Shops.In a way that is uniquely Vegas they turn lunch at the mall high end.
"Bread Basket"
One of the things that I appreciate about Spago is that even though it is a culinary delight it is also hearty. We hit the time of day that their Cafe menu is in effect. Kerry & I both decided to order from their pizza oven,  She went with the Mushroom- Roasted Portabellas, Caramelized White Onions, Italian Parsley and Parmesan.

I was drawn as always to a favorite sweet and savory combination their Proscuitto‐Fromage Blanc, Port Wine Glazed Grapes, Micro Arugula and Aged Balsamic. I have to say grapes on a pizza for me were a first and the combination of flavors was out of this world. Even though
The pizza dough was chewy and flavorful, the cheeses exquisite and there was more than enough to go around. Tori ordered the Flat Iron Steak (well done... because she is crazy...) served with Sautéed Asparagus (which I had to steal a few spears of), French Fries, Maître dʹHotel Butter, Béarnaise Aioli (amazing with the asparagus dipped in it!)

The Piece de Resistance  though had to be Shannon's Wild Mushroom Ravioli with Farmersʹ Market English Peas, Caramelized Shallots, Reggiano Cheese, & Truffle oil
Tender pasta enveloped the mushroom filling while the heady aroma of truffle wafted from every bite. The sweetness from the peas burst through the earthy flavors from the mushrooms, comfort food taken to another level. It took all my self control not to continue to help myself from her plate!

All too soon we were wrapping things up. We decided the experience wouldn't be complete without dessert and decided one would suffice for all of us. Our waitress of course had other plans! We chose the chocolate souffle with salted caramel sauce and brown butter ice cream. Warm and soft this was exactly what we needed to finish off the meal. The salted caramel sauce was to die for I'm pretty sure near the end I was just scraping it out with a spoon.
Our waitress also brought us as a birthday surprise, their strawberry shortcake! (My picture didn't look that great). As we dove in to our desserts Shannon noticed out of the corner of her eye someone that caught her interest, "Isn't that the chick that created the Pussy Cat Dolls??" Kerry quickly confirmed it and before we lost our nerve we quickly got up from the table and headed to the entrance where she had just walked out but was waiting for her friends. It was a tenuous few moments as we stared at her and she looked towards us in a way both shy and confused. "I'm sorry we are doing that thing, 'is that really Robin Antin?' " I stuttered. Her face lit up instantly and we knew it was her. We asked for a picture with a bumbling " It's always been my dream to be a Pussy Cat Doll!" (side note- the burlesque dancers in the clubs, not the pop group although she did helm both). She quickly obliged offering compliments on all of our stripped outfits (apparently she has a thing for stripes?) and after taking the photo shook our hands and as she did asked us each individually our names. I have pretty much never met any real celebrities but she by far exceeded my expectations in how friendly and sweet she was to us. We just met our very own Vegas Idol, Could this trip get any better???
Little did we know what that night would hold....

Stay Tuned for Vegas Uncork'd part 3- After Hours the re-mix at Mix Lounge!

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