Dinner, Cleo, Feb. 12 (Las Vegas, NV)

After trying to get into a few places, and failing due to it being (take your pick) Friday night, the first night of a four-day weekend, Valentine’s Day weekend, etc., etc., we opted for dinner at Cleo, within our hotel, the SLS.

Cleo is a part of the tapas/small-plate craze that seems to have taken over Las Vegas with a vengeance – but the spin here is that it’s all things Mediterranean, be it North African, Middle Eastern, Greek . . . whatever!

We began with Lebaneh with Feta, served with flatbread (tasty, tangy, terrific), and the Spanakopita (perfect triangles of phyllo, moist filling – quite possibly the best I’ve ever had). This was followed by an Heirloom Tomato & Burrata Salad (delicious), the Grilled Octopus
with Celery, Potatoes, and a Lemon Vinaigrette (tender, flavorful), and a plate of roasted Brussels Sprouts with Capers, Almonds, Vinaigrette (very fine indeed).

Next came two skewers/kababs (one of each; we shared) – chicken and lamb kefta. The chicken was moist and dummy, while the lamb was dry and a little bland.

Lastly, we had the Bone Marrow, served with Mushrooms, Herbs, Red-Wine Jus – amazing!

We paired all this with a 2013 Celler Capçanes “Peraj Petita” (Montsant, Spain), a blend of 55 percent Garnacha (Grenache), 20% Tempranillo, 20% Merlot, and 5% Syrah that, while too young yet, opened up during the course of our meal to be most enjoyable.

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“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold