Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Open Letter to Wolfgang Puck

Dear Mr. Puck:

You're quite a famous gourmet chef and restauranteur, so I thought I would try your Las Vegas Spago restaurant when my husband and I were at Ceasar's Palace two weeks ago.

There was a long wait to get in, and were told it would be 20 minutes although it turned out to be almost 40. The waitstaff took another 10 minutes to give us menus when we were seated, then another 15 minutes to take our orders. After that, it took an hour to deliver our meals.

My husband ordered the pulled pork sandwich and I ordered the hand cut herb fettuccini with wild mushrooms, baby arugula and glazed shallots. Do these normally take an hour to prepare and serve? If the waitstaff had informed us that the handmade pasta would take so long, I would have ordered something else. However, there was no such notification or apology for the long wait.

On the menu, as you see here, there is no mention of either pancetta or corn in my dish. However, when it arrived, it had both. I do not eat pancetta. In fact, I have not eaten pork in 16 years. Because the lunch took nearly an hour to reach our table, I did not send it back for fear of another 60 minute wait. Instead, I merely picked the pork from the dish and put it aside. I wish that the menu had stated that this dish contained pork so that I could have ordered something else and not have felt so uncomfortable about it.

The big letdown of the meal was that the menu stated the pasta was "herb fettuccini." There were no herbs present in either the pasta or the sauce. The pasta was plain. The sauce only contained the wild mushrooms, very little arugula, the errant pancetta, the puzzling corn, and the shallots. I was terribly disappointed by the meal, especially after waiting so long for it to appear. Moreover, I deliberately ordered a specialty dish because of your great reputation, thinking it would be more carefully prepared. I know I was just a tourist, like the millions of others who pass through Vegas, but I'm still a paying customer.

The saving grace was that my husband said his pork sandwich was alright. He opted out of the apple slaw.

Overall, I really wish I'd had a better experience with my lunch. I'm just glad the dishes were reasonably priced.

I hope you'll consider what I've written here because I'd like to give one of your other restaurants another chance given the opportunity.

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