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May 25, 2000
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FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Spiedini Ristorante

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Spiedini Ristorante

221 N. Rampart

869-8500

It has all the right Italian accents all right, but Spiedini Ristorante lacks what it takes to be a righteous Italian restaurant. What I mean is, and I'm trying not to be mean, but no matter how kind I try to be, there's no kindly way of saying that the food here is kinda lame. But at least it's fashionable to be seen at Spiedini, so I'll try to be fashionably restrained when I tell you that the reach of this kitchen definitely exceeds its grasp, and you will be grasping for authenticity after a meal at this sole (well almost sole) survivor of the financial fiasco that is the Resort or the Regent at Summerlin. That meal will set you back a Franklin even with a sensible drink order, so I'd be sensible the next time I ordered and steer clear of the only okay osso buco, which is not a great dish no matter how much the management wants it to matter. Likewise, I took no liking to the precooked and slightly gummy risotto--which slighted the promised flavors of lobster and asparagus. And something as promising as the advertised "traditional" caesar salad was anything but. . .but did contain a lot of untraditional garlic and mediocre cheese shavings. So after two meals here, I had to start shaving points from its review. To be fair, I must point out that this stylish spot dishes up some nice fish and seafood dishes, and despite the fare--twenty-eight dollars--the cioppino fares rather well in competition with other renditions in town. And the limited wine list puts some nice limits on its prices--with the run up on some bottles running ten to fifteen dollars below what you'll pay at the Bellagio. On the whole though, I've had a whole lot more disappointments than hosannas from the food, leading me to conclude that Spiedini looks pretty enough, but pretty much looks better than it is--which is pretty much enough to keep its undemanding Summerlin crowd from demanding anything better.

This is John Curtas.

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