If you’ve never been to Capo’s Restaurant/Speakeasy, you are missing out. That is, assuming you enjoy tremendous food, coupled with a unique choice of delightful cocktails, service that is second to none and being treated like you are apart of the family the moment the door opens. If none of this is appealing to you, then by all means crawl back under your rock.
Capo’s is more than just a restaurant, it’s an experience. Your experience starts from the moment you are greeted at the door (which by the way, you have to tell the man who opens a little hidden door revealing only his face the password before he’ll let you in). Once he opens the door, you are greeted with a big smile and he welcomes you as if you were his favorite relative. He then walks you to your table (or the bar if you choose to start your night off with a cocktail and a large poster of Al Capone watching over you). The entrance alone sets the stage for what will surly be an unforgettable evening.
I start off at the bar. Not just because the bartenders are beautiful, on top of it and serve some amazing drinks the likes of which I have never had anywhere else, but also because I enjoy meeting new people and every time I am at Capo’s it seems the bar is full of people who want to be one big happy family. If you can’t make new friends at Capo’s, you may need to look into counseling. Just saying.
Oh, and that guy who let you into the place (we’ll call him Ziggy) he also comes by periodically to make sure you are ok, to see if you are in need of anything and in general just making sure you know he knows your in the house and you mean something pretty good. It’s always nice to be treated with respect, and owner Nico Santucci makes sure his entire staff masters this fine art.
Let’s not forget those magicians in the kitchen who create this most amazing food. I like to refer to the them as the Cirque du Sol-Capo’s show. They not only make mouth-watering to-die-for unique creations, they do it in what seems like a well-orchestrated syncopated theatrical show. With multi-level cooking ovens and broilers and refrigerators and I don’t know what all all kind of grouped together, these performers work in and around and through and on top of each other never missing a beat, dropping anything or even touching the others. And what makes it even better to see, is when one of them gets the fire going on the grill and it back lights them all as if they were on stage. On a busy night, you’ll get to see this numerous times. By the way, this is best seen from the bar (great way to start off right!).
After a “Nicotini” (Martini named after its creator Nico himself – the recipe I knew not to ask for) and the making of some new friends, Ziggy escorts me to my table which is a booth near the piano overlooking the entire room. I felt like a king. A great lounge singer just pouring his heart our in song to a full house, one of the most comfortable booths I have ever sat in, a room full of family and one hell of a meal to be consumed.
The food – where to begin. I started off with the Meatballs and Peppers. It comes with 2 huge meatballs (Nico’s has the biggest balls in the business) sitting atop a base of sauce that can’t accurately be described with words. The recipe is rumored to be from the Capone family. It’s so good, I don’t even want to know how it’s made. All I know is if I had to choose my last meal on earth, it would those meatballs. Imagine the best meal you have ever had, and how you couldn’t get enough of it and talked about it for weeks. Well, forget that meal because this one drove that one to the desert and buried it 6′ under. THIS is food-porn baby!
The menu is perfect. Why? Because it isn’t 8 pages long. Sure it’s kind of of hard to read in the dimly lit room but they give you a flashlight, quite your bitching. The best thing about the menu is that I can pick my meal my favorite way – I open it up, and put my finger down and whatever it lands on is what I get. And – it is always freaking awesome! Remember the Cirque du Sol-Capo’s folks? That’s right – they know what they’re doing and I know I am in good hands. I have had probably 7 different dishes so far – each one perfect. I consider the menu a listing of all the dishes that came in first place so they reside together in a nice binder.
Lets not forget about service. The staff works their butts off and even though they may get quite hectic at times, you would never know it by their demeanor or service output. They give it their all and if you can’t respect that, go somewhere else. Family is about respect, and they are family.
Needless to say, each time I leave Capo’s my belly is full and even though I know I may have over done it, I am already looking forward to doing it again.
My hat is off and my Martini glass raised in appreciation to Nico and his entire staff. The utmost professionals and masters of the culinary experience.
SUMMARY: If you’ve been to Capo’s, go back. If you haven’t been to Capo’s, get your ass over there and report back to me!
– JJS – on twitter @johnjsimpson
P.S. – as for Ziggy – turns out he can play the piano like it was going out of style. A man of many talents so I’m told.
Capo’s is owned by Chicago-native Nico Santucci and is located at 5675 W. Sahara Ave, Las vegas NV 702-364-2276
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