Friday, August 17, 2012

Las Vegas Summer 2012: Spago at Caesars Palace

With countless celebrity chef restaurants in Las Vegas, it was pretty hard to choose which one to try out next since there's at least a couple of them in every hotel. We were still shopping around at the Forum shops in Caesars Palace, when my mom decided on going to Wolfgang Puck's restaurant "Spago" for a late lunch. I've passed by this restaurant numerous times but I've never gotten a chance to try it out up until our recent trip to Vegas this summer. The restaurant is very spacious and open with numerous tables outside the restaurant, and since Caesars Palace is made to look like your in Italy, the set up of the restaurant highlights the fake view of Caesars Palace's version of Italy to make it more authentic for tourists and locals.

Since this is one of Wolfgang Puck's fine dining restaurants, I had high expectations from the service and food that it has to offer. After we were given a table (with a wonderful view by the way), one of the servers gave us our menus. One thing that we noticed immediately was that the restaurant only uses Peanut oil to make their food. This was alarming to us because one of my sisters is allergic to peanuts and since it was noted at the menu that they use Peanut oil, we were starting to rethink the whole situation and whether or not should we even stay for lunch. We ended up calling one of the servers on the floor to ask about the Peanut oil situation, but what ended up happening however was something very unexpected. He told us that the only dishes that had peanut oil in them are the fried items on the menu. We weren't sure as to which other items on the menu were fried besides fries and the calamari so we asked the server to elaborate more about the items because we just wanted to make sure that my sister wouldn't get an allergic reaction to their food and also because we don't have any allergy medicine at hand. The server seemed annoyed after we asked him to be more specific so he ended up just saying "Just the fried items on the menu! What more do you want me to say?!" Well.. first of all, it was our first time eating there so how the heck do we know which item/s on the menu had any fried items or peanut oil in them. Second, we just asked you to elaborate more since you work there and you should know very well the menu already, it should be easy for you to tell us which items use peanut oil or not. Our meaning of elaborate is to specifically tell us which one she can order and which one she can't. It's not really that hard of a question if you know the menu, I mean it would be a big help if you knew and it's okay if you didn't.. maybe you could even ask the chef if your not sure.. we wouldn't mind.. just as long as you don't give us an attitude about it we would be okay.

Just as we were about to decide on leaving, another server came to our table to help us with our peanut oil situation. This time however, the server was very kind enough to tell us which specific one had peanut oil and which one did not. After the frustration over the first server that gave us an attitude, we were very happy to know that the second server was in fact our main server for lunch so after finally deciding on what to order we ended up deciding on four different items to share, their Calamari, Spago Classic Chopped Salad, Italian Wood Fire Sausage Pizza and their Hand cut Spaghettini. Service wise, I would have to say that the server that we got (Second server) was very good with customer service. He was very friendly, accommodating, knowledgeable and quick with his responsibilities (unlike the first server that we got). If he didn't swoop in to save the situation, I think we would have just left the restaurant and head over to Bobby Flay's "Mesa" inside the casino. I really admired the way he interacted with the other customers as well and I can honestly say he was one of the best servers that we got on our recent trip to Vegas. Not only did he do damage control from the first server but he also showed how he really cared about the customer's dining experience.

The food on the other hand was simple and presented well, but the dishes didn't seem anything special to me. Also, I feel like it's not worth paying the cost of fine dining since the food that they make seemed to me like it could be served in a different restaurant setting that's not fine dining. I was just expecting it to have more of a "wow" factor instead of my initial reaction of "oh, it's only that?" kind of expression since Spago is considered to be one of Wolfgang Puck's fine dining restaurants. We went there during lunch time so maybe the menu is a bit more limited and more casual than their menu during dinner time. The items weren't bad per say but I just thought that they could have done it a little bit better and more unique. Also, it would be nice if the food did live up to the fame of Wolfgang Puck. I kind of had high hopes for this place but somehow I'm a bit torn in between going back there again on my next trip or not.

 Spago Classic Chopped Salad
 Italian Sausage Woodfire Pizza
 Hand Cut Spaghettini

Spago (Caesars Palace) on Urbanspoon

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