“Hey, what’s with the food around here? A kid comes up to me in a white jacket, gives me a Ritz cracker, and uh, chopped liver, he says, ‘Canapes’. I said, uh, ‘can of peas, my ass, that’s a Ritz cracker and chopped liver!’”
A great line about food, just to get you in the mood, but the food at Capo’s will make any Caporegime happy. While we were in Las Vegas, one of the places that even the grandchildren wanted to go to was Capo’s and why not? The ambience of the room, the food and the drinks are perfect. From the moment that you walk in to the “joint” and you are in a room with no doors, except for the one you came in, you are ready to relive the days of the speakeasy. A peephole opens up and you are asked for the password, then part of the wall that a payphone is hanging on, swings open and you are brought into the restaurant. Once your eyes get used to what seems to be a pitch-black room, you start to notice the photos of legendary gangsters of New York, Chicago and Las Vegas, and also cinematic gangsters from Rico to Michael Corleone and not to mention a huge blow-up of the mugshot of Francis Albert. Yes, I can get comfortable in a “joint” like this, though it might have over-kill for my eldest grandson’s girlfriend, and this was the first time that she was in a setting with all of the family. It is also a place where you can here a real crooner singing real songs that are perfect for listening to while one has dinner. A table of ten, with children, and I might add, they all were perfect and no one had to get “a back hand.”
One of the curious features of dining at Capo’s is the lighting or should I say the lack of lighting. There are chandeliers and sconces in abundance, but the wattage of the bulbs is so low that each menu has its own flashlight attached to it. While the Mothers were trying to figure out what dishes for each of the kids, knowing their own likes and dislikes, my Bride and I were just as busy trying to decide what we wanted to eat. First things first like getting some appetizers to pass around the table, to keep everyone entertained, plus soft drinks for the ones that can’t drink in a restaurant. How can you not enjoy a “joint” that still has bread and breadsticks, and each meal comes with salad or soup, potatoes or vegetables and sides? Not to mention they still offer Creamy Garlic dressing, OK, so I died and went to heaven. Some of the diners were happy, because they could get breaded veal cutlets, even though they weren’t on the menu. My Bride had “Capone’s Carbonara” with Pancetta, tomatoes, peas, red onions, shallots & fettuccini tossed in a garlic egg cream sauce. I had the “Scarface Shrimp Scampi “sautéed in lemon, butter and white wine sauce with a touch of crushed red pepper over angel hair pasta. All the dishes had “named” honors to them, just to remind you of where you were. I guess there is always room for Tiramisu and cannoli.
I mentioned that the menus had their own flashlight, well so did the wine list. While I was looking at the list, our waiter brought over a bottle of wine that I had never heard of, that was their house wine I guess, Kings of Prohibition Cabernet Shiraz Red Blend Barossa Valley in a dark bottle with a screw-cap closure, and the waiter said that it was on the sweeter side, so I decided to pass on his suggestion. We started off with Peltier Winery & Vineyards Chardonnay Lodi 2017. The vineyard was bought in 1985 and a custom crush facility was built in 2001. This is from a special collection of wines that the winery makes and it is their “naked” unoaked style of wine with just a “brush” of Viognier added to mix for a floral nose and some nuance. The vineyard is certified Green by the “Lodi Rules of Sustainable Winegrowing Practices” and this was a limited wine as there was just over twelve-hundred cases made of this wine. I found it fresh and easy to drink and was a great way to start the night off. With all the different dishes we had to have a red wine, and I have to admit that I have ordered this wine before when I have been here, and they refer to it as a “Baby Amarone.” The Allegrini Palazzo Della Torre Veronese IGT 2014 is just a great value, even in a restaurant. Allegrini is a winery that has been based in the Valpolicella region of the Veneto since the Sixteenth Century. This wine is a blend of forty percent Corvina Veronese, thirty percent Corvinone, twenty-five percent Rondinella and five percent Sangiovese. A small percent of the Corvinone grapes are left to dry like raisins and then pressed and then are blended with the juice from the other grapes. The juices are aged for fifteen months in second used Oak barrels and then blended together for another two months in the barrels and another seven months in the bottle, before it is released. The use of the raisin juice is referred to as Ripasso Method and if they had used Molinara instead of Sangiovese, the wine would have been a Valpolicella. The Corvinone grape is relatively new in name only, as it was originally lumped together with the Corvina Veronese, until it was discovered to be its own grape. The wine is just delightful and really deserves some cellar time, but that really doesn’t happen that often in a restaurant and I am sure that they go through plenty of this wine in the course of a year. While everyone else was enjoying dessert, I had my own version, as I had a glass of W. & J. Graham’s 20 Year Tawny Port. Graham’s is one of the prominent Port houses and began in the 1800’s as a textile company and received a barrel of Port in lieu of payment, and that is how they began. To be a Port the grapes must be from a demarcated area in the Upper Douro region of Portugal and was the first area to be officially delineated of all wines in 1756. This fortified wine is a potential blend of the following wines, and I say that because most of the vines are so old that they are lost in the record books; Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Barroca, Tinta Roriz, Tinta Cao and potentially Sousao, Tinta Amarela and Mourisco Tinto. This amber glass of liquid with the caramel notes kept this Raconteur happy with the crowd and the grandchildren could get sugared up, because they were not coming home with us. I also beg your forgiveness, but even with the flash, the photos of the wines were rather murky even with editing.
“Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.”