The menu reads like full flavored notes from a musical score. Fusilli with Lobster. House Made Potato Gnocchi “Sorrento.” Breast of Chicken Involtini. Lasagna Bolognese al Forno. Spaghetti Alla Chitara. Gorgonzola Crusted Bistecca.
Even better, though, is having the Master Chef himself describe his food.
Visit Spiedini’s and hear it for yourself. That’s where Certified Master Chef Gustav Mauler works his magical baton on food, right in the middle of the J. W. Marriott Resort & Spa about 15 minutes outside of Las Vegas, in Summerland.
As he gestures to a unique presentation of his Signature Chopped Salad, he says, with a lilt to his voice, ‘It’s a chiffonade of romaine, carrots, zucchini, avocado, roasted corn, tomato, bacon, a little Russian dressing. It’s molded and crowned with matchstick potatoes cooked very crispy, with a dusting of pepper. All of our food is homemade, quality, and hand-crafted.’
It’s music to your ears.
The restaurant opened in September 1999 with an Italian theme. ‘I knew I wanted to do Italian,’ he says, ‘and the word ‘spiedini’ means ‘skewers.’ It fit.’
Having his own restaurant came after many years working in and designing properties that are now famous throughout Las Vegas, including the kitchens of the Bellagio.
Mauler is an Austrian-born and European-trained transplant to Las Vegas who says he ‘always wanted to be a chef.’ He explains, ‘I have a picture of me at 5-years-old wearing a chef’s hat. I always knew what I loved. You have to do what you love.’ And it’s obvious that he is doing exactly that.
In fact, that love—both of the food and the hospitality side to the business—comes through loud and clear to his patrons, many who are repeat customers. ‘Here,” he says, “we catch the hotel guest, but we always work with the locals. The tourists are a nice bonus, but we depend on our locals. Some of them have been coming since we opened.
‘Vegas is such a unique destination,’ Mauler continues. ‘We have quality meeting facilities, and just look at the caliber of the chefs, of the products we’re able to produce!’
At Spiedini’s, Mauler changes the menu quarterly so that he can highlight seasonal foods. Some things, however, don’t change. ‘We make hand crafted pastas. It’s easy for us to adapt and meet dietary restrictions when you make things to order.’
Mauler is something of a local celebrity, too, with his regular cooking show on the Las Vegas NBC affiliate, Channel 3. (Tip: his latest episode shows how to make Brussels Sprouts Hash—‘the key to Brussels Sprouts is that you’ve got to cook them tender; nobody likes al dente Brussels Sprouts!’)
The restaurant offers warm lighting inside, or an outdoor patio with a gentle waterfall for those perfect Vegas days. The tables are set with white linen and a bottle of Acqua Panna spring water at each table. The interior design is modern—almost geometric—with tile floors, an open kitchen area, curved and comfortable chairs, and the Spiedini logo used judiciously throughout the design. You can’t miss the beauty of the authentic blown glass accents and lighting, made in Murano, home of fine imported Venetian glass.
In addition to the dining areas, the restaurant offers a small bar, perfect for meeting friends and waiting for the whole group to arrive. There is a side room for private dining, which is used frequently for weddings and corporate groups.
In other words, Spiedini’s is the kind of place often reserved for special occasions, but shouldn’t be—go often. Where else can you eat your way through a symphony of flavors, right down to the tiramisu.
You don’t need our description. Just go and taste it for yourself.
Hear CMC Mauler talk about his restaurant in his own words, here.
See our Food Channel interview with CMC Mauler & our own Christen Nehmer, here.
Curious about what a Certified Master Chef is? Read our “Ask the Chef,” here.
Go behind the scenes for more about CMC Mauler.
This is a Raves & Faves Featured Restaurant.