Restaurant: Wolfgang Puck Pizzeria & Cucina
Last visited: August 19, 2010
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada (The Strip)
Crystals at City Center
3720 Las Vegas Blvd. South, Ste #240
Las Vegas, NV 89109
Price Range: $20-30USD
1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!
- Executive Chef Dustin Lewandowski
- Rustic Italian cuisine
- Casual fine dining
- Specializes in pizzas
- Homemade pasta
- Fresh ingredients
- Daily/Seasonal specials
- House made desserts
- Contemporary and spacious
- Cocktails/wine bar
- Sun-Thurs 11:30am-10pm
- Fri-Sat 11:30am-11pm
- 20% off for Vegas locals until Sept. 30, 2010
**Recommendations: Prosciutto Pizza, Mushroom Ravioli (but tell them to go easy on the salt)
Wolfgang Puck Pizzeria & Cucina is located inside Crystals at City Centre on the strip in Las Vegas, Nevada. It specializes in popular rustic Italian dishes with an emphasis on their famous pizzas. It’s one of the newest members to Wolfgang Puck’s handful of restaurants in Las Vegas and the first one of his I’ve tried. It wasn’t my first choice or on my must try list, but it was late, we wanted something simple, had passed a handful of restaurants already and were getting hungry.
It’s casual fine dining and I wouldn’t say it’s authentic Italian, but it’s contemporary Italian and the ingredients are fresh and high in quality. Everything is home made and the menu has a lot of options from appetizers, salads, pizzas, pastas, meat and fish entrees, sides, and even a selection of house made desserts. They offer a seasonal daily special each day of the week for around $18USD, and I found the prices and portions very reasonable for Las Vegas standards and this level of dining. The atmosphere is spacious and modern without being pretentious and the service was inviting and friendly. I would much rather come here for Italian food than to LAVO Restaurant also on the Vegas strip. Overall the experience and food was very good at Wolfgang Puck Pizzeria & Cucina, but nothing out of this world. I would come back because it was pleasant, but it also wouldn’t be on my itinerary.
On the table:
- This was actually one of the most memorable parts of dinner, however I wish they were served warm.
- It was Focaccia bread (the cubes) with Rosemary, large salt crystals and caramelized shallots over the top.
- The other bread was a sourdough and it was chewy with a nice soft middle and crispy exterior.
- Baby squash blossoms, cherry tomatoes, ricotta $13USD
- I was debating between the caramelized onion pizza, vegetable pizza, and spaghetti with house made meatballs so the server said he’d just surprise me with one of the choices.
- This was somewhat good, but compared to everything else it was the least impressive thing. I was expecting the spaghetti and he knew that as well so this caught me off guard. I’m glad I tried a pizza though since it’s their claim to fame.
- The pizza was thin crust and it was quite large (medium size) and it had a decent amount of fresh toppings except not enough ricotta so I found it a bit boring and bland (ricotta is so mild to begin with too). The tomatoes were tangy, juicy and plump and the baby squash was tender, but all of it was quite bland and it was barely seasoned, if at all.
- Surprisingly, I was actually disappointed by the crust a bit. It was a minor factor with all the other pizzas that were more flavourful, but because this pizza was so simple the crust ended up standing out even more.
- It was thin crust, but it was very soft and pliable and not crispy at all. Only the outside edge was crispy and the bottom was very powdery with lots of cooked flour that could have been dusted off. The leoparding on the bottom was weak which made me question the type of over used to bake it, I couldn’t taste that charcoal firewood oven quality or flavour.
- Roasted tomato, Broccolini, Shaved Onion, Romesco about $15USD
- This was actually very good and I’m not even a big fan of lamb, especially when it’s gamey, and this one was not.
- It tasted cheesy and it had a lovely Spanish Romesco, which is a delicious nutty, sweet and tangy roasted garlic tomato sauce they used as a pizza sauce base. It’s quite a hearty pizza with lots of ingredients that were the perfect balance of salty, nutty, sweet, tangy and slightly spicy.
- I loved the thin iridescent crunchy sweet onions they scattered on top because it gave the pizza a refreshing crispness with all the heavy meat and cheese.
- The lamb chorizo was thinly cut into strips and I thought it would be crumbled sausage. It had a hint of spice, but it wasn’t really spicy. It could have used more Broccolini because I almost forgot it was an ingredient, there was so little.
- The crust was again thin, but soft with a powdery crust. It wasn’t as obvious though because the ingredients outweighed the flavour of the crust.
- Mascarpone, Arugula, Aged Balsamic about $15USD
- This was the best pizza of the 3. Lots of slice of salty prosciutto that covered the pizza entirely, with creamy Mascarpone cheese, tangy balsamic reduction and delicate peppery arugula sprouts. It would have been over the top if they had baked some fresh figs on there too because it as missing a sweet note although there were a few sweet onions on it as well. The ingredients were very fresh but there could have been more balsamic glaze more evenly distributed.
- I loved the use of Arugula sprouts rather then Arugula, because I find it to be too much when it’s full leaves of it like at Q4 and also at Charlie’s Restaurant & Lounge.
- The crust again was soft and powdery.
- Mushroom ravioli, Mascarpone, goat’s cheese about $17USD
- It’s always nerve racking ordering ravioli because you expect so little, but this one had about 7-8 ravioli so it was decent.
- There was lots of mushroom flavour in the sauce as well and it was very buttery, cheesy, salty and slightly creamy. It got too salty as you continued eating it though, so as good as it was I’d tell them to go easy on the salt. The sauce it quite rich and the goat’s cheese wasn’t as pungent which is good because I’m not a huge fan of goat’s cheese.
- The mushrooms where so juicy and they used a variety of dried and fresh wild mushrooms. I know there was Crimini mushrooms, but I can’t even pinpoint the others and I’m not sure what the longer white ones that resembled bigger Enoki mushrooms are. (Thanks to a reader I just learned these are Honey Agaric Mushrooms, a popular mushroom used in Ukrainian cooking).
- The ravioli was made in house and cooked until al dente with a bite. It was decently stuffed with lots of buttery minced mushrooms inside as well.
- The Ravioli Piemontese (mushroom ravioli) at Q4 was even better and I can get that more easily being in Vancouver, BC too!
- Ricotta gnocchi, sausage bolognese, tomato sauce about $18USD
- This was actually quite taste and the portion was decent. The gnocchi was very fluffy because of the ricotta and it had a very mild cheese flavour. Although soft it still had a chewiness to it which I liked. They also had the fork ridges so they were pretty authentic in execution and help onto the sauce well.
- There was lots of sausage bolognese sauce which was perfect to eat with more bread. It was a ground sausage sauce and I could taste garlic, fresh parsley and salty sausage with a very slight spice but it wasn’t spicy. It was more of a tangy savoury sauce and it was really an ideal bolognese sauce.
- Overall it was quite basic, but well done. They also have a pretty good ricotta gnocchi with braised pork cheeks at Lupo Restaurant + Vinoteca.