Our first night in Las Vegas, was at Capo’s Italian Steakhouse & Speakeasy. It is one of the favorite haunts of our grandchildren as it is very cool, they feel like an adult and they love the music of Sinatra, Martin and Bennett; I guess they belong to me. When I was booking the table, I had some snarky receptionist that informed me that they no longer allow children, as it seems that they were involved in some television show about restaurants. I told the person that I have been taking my grandchildren there for dinner at least once a year, since the restaurant has been open, excluding the year of Wuhan. She told me that we may need to have three tables, because of the governor’s rules about dining. When we arrived, the restaurant looked the same in appearance, and the front lobby was still recalling the days of speakeasys, with the sliding peephole, and then a seamless door swings open with an antique payphone on the wall and we were led into the restaurant. The manager put us all into a private side room at one big table, where we could still here the lounge singer regale the audience. It was the first location that I saw that signs saying that the restaurant was doing everything that had been decreed and they blamed the governor for all inconveniences; I noticed the same wording everywhere we went. We had figured on having eleven for the first night, but since the city was just kind of opening up, we knew that we would not get full attendance, because our children had to work, and after the year of ups and downs they were eager to continue working, but the grandchildren were excited, as I think it was really the first nice night out for them in ages.
Capo’s, which is how everyone refers to it, was filling up quite nicely and I enjoyed seeing that. If the television show was trying to fix the restaurant, they must have been involved with the administration, because the ambience had not really changed, other than the lights were brighter and one could walk a bit easier around, as it used to be almost pitch dark. The influence of Capone, Lansky and Siegal along with The Godfather and The Sopranos were still evident on the walls and on the menu. The Sinatra table and wall were still very evident including a huge photo of Francis Albert’s mugshot from an altercation in his youth. The parents were ordering for their children, as well as for themselves. It was so much fun this first night after a two-year absence. We started off just by ordering some appetizers to be spread out along the table with such names as “Bogey’s Bruschetta,” “Genovese Calamari,” “Bust a Cap” (Stuffed Mushroom Caps) and “Shot Gun Sausage & Peppers.” The kids I think were really feeling like young adults this time around and actually participating in ordering their dishes and working along with their parents. My Bride and I both started off, after the appetizers with the house salad with Creamy Garlic dressing, an old standby for both of us, and yes, she did not order the Caesar Salad. She had the “Scarface Shrimp Scampi” sauteed in lemon, butter and white wine with crushed red pepper flakes over angel hair pasta. I had the “Goodfellas Piccata” with veal in a lemon, butter and white wine caper sauce and a side of spaghetti, just like the good old days. With all of the food, even the teenagers were stuffed and no requests for desserts, but there were bags of food to take home as well.
Even with the different dishes that were ordered 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 2016 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 is 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. The week was off to a great start.