If you haven’t made the trip to check out the new Spago at Bellagio, which opened in the spring after closing its original Forum Shops location last year, there are plenty of new reasons—beyond the notion that Wolfgang Puck Vegas stronghold has been consistently outstanding.
Spago took over the retail-area space formerly occupied by Olives and installed floor-to-ceiling windows and a slick patio to take advantage of the iconic Bellagio fountain views. There are plenty of great lakefront spots to enjoy a classic Spago lunch of smoked salmon pizza ($39), spicy tuna tartare on sesame wonton crisps ($28) or steak frites with a grilled Double R Ranch filet mignon topped with bernaise ($48).
What’s that? You want to eschew the classics for something extra special, maybe even Instagram-worthy? Head to the bar for executive chef Mark Andelbradt’s “secret” counter-only menu and prepare for a range of explosive flavors. Snack on house-made sea salt and vinegar chips with tangy onion dip ($9), crispy herb-crusted asparagus dusted with togarashi ($12) or sweet-and-spicy chicken wings tossed in garlic, scallions and cilantro ($16).
The must-snap-then-bite dish is the Maine lobster roll ($23), with its big chunks of sweet sea meat in a bright lemon-herb aioli tucked into a toasted squid ink brioche roll. Equally delicious is the stack of prosciutto di Parma, crushed heirloom tomato and manchego cheese on grilled ciabatta ($20), a dish that proves simplicity still rules.
SPAGO Bellagio, 702-693-8181. Sunday-Thursday, 11:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m.; Friday & Saturday, 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m.