Wild Card

Simply Irresistible

Photograph by Robert John Kley

Photograph by Robert John Kley

Spago introduced fine dining to Las Vegas. Twenty years later, the legendary restaurant continues to impress.

Twenty years ago, Las Vegas was known as a dollar-shrimp-cocktail, all-you-can-eat-buffet kind of town. It wasn’t until star chef Wolfgang Puck rolled the dice and opened an outpost of his popular Spago restaurant in The Forum Shops at Caesars that the food revolution in Vegas began. And even he had his initial doubts.

“I said, ‘This was the biggest mistake I ever made in my life,’” Puck recalls, thinking of the restaurant’s slow start following its opening in December 1992. Then his luck changed and business boomed. As Puck puts it, “All of a sudden, Spago was the place.”

It still is. Executive Chef Eric Klein has been running the Spago kitchen since 2007. He says consistency has been the key to the restaurant’s longevity. “We’re doing something people like. It’s about the personal touch,” Klein says, after greeting a few lunchtime regulars. “What we do, we do with passion. People come back because they know what to expect. We all like to be treated like a movie star, and that’s how we treat people here.”

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