- Wolfgang Puck Pizzeria & Cucina
- Crystals at CityCenter, 238-1000. Sunday-Thursday, 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m
This is the best restaurant you’ve ignored. Don’t feel bad about it—it’s in Crystals at CityCenter, and no one goes there. Wolfgang Puck restaurants are reliably good, but maybe too familiar to generate excitement. Plus, this place opened as a French bistro and very quickly redirected into a more approachable Italian concept, so that was a little confusing.
No more excuses. This is a must-try situation. Start with the pizza, maybe the best on the Strip. My favorite ($15) has Yukon gold potato, Brussels sprouts, guanciale, rosemary and mascarpone, a thoroughly creative combination on chewy-crisp thin crust. Classic margherita is the most popular. Dine on decadence with a caramelized onion and crème fraîche pie, or a mushroom-bechamel-fontina delight.
Puck’s pizzeria is a perfect place to share a few small plates at the bar or at a table overlooking the fancy mall dwellers. Snack on crazy-fresh tomato bruschetta ($11), calamari fritto with garlic aioli ($14) or savory grilled meatballs in a roasted red pepper sauce. A salad of grilled octopus medallions and fennel in citrus ($18) is good to share, too, unless it’s with me, in which case get your own.
There are very filling pastas, preferably the rich, tender veal ravioli in a brown butter and sage sauce ($23). Even meatier? Your first bite of fresh pappardelle covered in braised wild boar ragu ($25) will makes you feel guilty in advance for bites two, three and four. That’s what great rustic Italian should be: a satisfying splurge.
But you can go lighter. A lovely, simple grilled filet of salmon floats atop bright pea puree and heirloom tomato vinaigrette ($29), an inventive new combination of flavors for this usually boring fish. There’s lemon-butter chicken piccata with sauteed rapini, proving this place can go straight ahead if you like. The most expensive entrée ($39) is a big juicy ribeye. Something for everybody.
Other than the nearby Todd English P.U.B, Wolfgang Puck Pizzeria & Cucina is the most casual place to eat in Crystals. Thanks to its fresh takes on familiar dishes, it’s also the best place to eat there.