"The element of surprise is the only thing left in the world to entertain us". - Rock Show Bobby
Las Vegas is currently enjoying a rebirth of dinner theater and supper clubs. Once a standard activity during Sin City's golden era, they eventually faded away. Now that they're cool again, every major hotel is launching its own interpretation. But none can compare to SUPERFRICO, the new restaurant/entertainment hybrid at Cosmopolitan Hotel and Casino. This uproarious establishment guarantees a night out that you'll never forget. And when you consider the amazing sights, sounds, and tastes that already make up Sin City's offerings, that's high praise indeed.
SUPERFRICO successfully realizes a concept that was attempted in the same space back in January of 2014. That's when entertainment company Spiegelworld launched VEGAS NOCTURNE, a multi-part production in the theater currently occupied by OPIUM. When not onstage for one of three "cantos" that played throughout the night, the VEGAS NOCTURNE characters created mischief and music at Rose.Rabbit.Lie, the adjacent "social club".
Unfortunately, VEGAS NOCTURNE was the victim of both confusion and lofty ambition. Despite the brilliance of the show, its marketing and all-night commitment made it a hard sell. Customers couldn't distinguish between the production and the social club. Many erroneously referred to VEGAS NOCTURNE as Rose.Rabbit.Lie and vice versa, unable to grasp that the show and dining areas were separate entities. Cosmpolitan pulled the plug on NOCTURNE after only a few months, Spiegelworld sued for sabotage, and Cosmo was countersued for damages and "false representation". Rose.Rabbit.Lie eventually became a hit on its own and continued for nearly seven years.
While VEGAS NOCTURNE was quickly forgotten by most, a number of its acts went on to solo success or were integrated into other Spiegelworld shows. Piff the Magic Dragon, tap-dancing twins Sean and John Scott, AGT finalist Butterscotch, and ABSINTHE's infamous bathtub guy are just a few that came from the failed enterprise. Eventually Cosmopolitan and Spiegelworld mended fences, and once the pandemic led to Rose.Rabbit.Lie's permanent closure, an opportunity arose to blur the lines between dinner and show once more.
Blast Off with SUPERFRICO at OPIUM!
With Cosmopolitan now out of the way, Spiegelworld has entirely taken over the space...literally. Get ready for pasta, steak, cocktails, and inter-planetary travelers, as characters from the science-fiction comedy OPIUM have escaped their starship and are invading your table.
Before entering the expansive complex, you'll be asked if you've come for either OPIUM or SUPERFRICO (ah....see how that's done?), then a host will lead you to the proper door. As 7:30 pm dinner guests, my party was escorted to the hostess stand, where they confirmed that we had tickets to the 10 pm performance of OPIUM (staffers keep track of the time to ensure you won't be late). Guests are encouraged to explore the interconnected, imaginatively themed bars, lounges, and dining rooms, so it's perfectly fine to leave your table for a moment or two.
SUPERRFRICO 'Todd' from OPIUM
The former Rose.Rabbit.Lie has been transformed into a psychedelic madhouse for SUPERFRICO. It's an absolute mish-mosh of neon colors, conflicting patterns, and outlandish artwork. Servers and staff wear dazzling costumes designed by prolific fashion stylist Olwen Zarlengo (BAZ, Celestia, Jabbawockeez). You'll be hard-pressed to take in all the sights, but gawking is part of the fun.
As soon as you're seated, brace yourself, as a spotlight might suddenly highlight this corner of the room. Or a wandering saxophonist might lead your eyes in that direction. From out of nowhere, a juggler may balance-walk above the booths, and an astronaut will slowly float through the dining room on his way to an airlock. (Psssst - try not to notice the overly amorous couple making a scandalous scene with an innocent "server" in the corner).
Be prepared for unexpected visitors while you sip and dine. A handsome magician might want to show off his card skills. Your party could be asked to join in on an impromptu seance with a flamboyant medium and her crystal ball. If you've already seen OPIUM, you'll be pleased to experience the performers up close and personal. But don't worry if you haven't...each moment stands on its own.
You might be concerned that SUPERFRICO is just a gimmicky offering like Rain Forest Cafe or Heart Attack Grill, where the meal is essentially an afterthought. That couldn't be farther from the truth. Not being a food critic, this writer will entrust the description of your dining experience to the experts:
"World-renowned culinary and cocktail supertalents have been tapped to bring Superfrico’s menu to life including Chef and “International Pizza Czar” Anthony Falco, Executive Chef Mitch Emge, of The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, “Principal Pourer” and James Beard, World 50 Best Bars and Tales of the Cocktail award-winning mixologist Leo Robitschek and General Manager Greisy Pacton, of Gordon Ramsay Steak. Dubbed as “Italian American Psychedelic,” the culinary experience honors the recipes and traditions of generations of Sicilian family cooks while taking fearless detours with international ingredients and techniques."
"Chef Falco takes what makes Italian American cuisine iconic, then (respectfully) chucks the rule book out the window, remaining classic dishes with the best, most mind-blowing flavors, textures, and techniques on the planet. A mind-altering, multi-sensory melting pot of a menu, Superfrico showcases Falco’s selection of pizza perfection, pasta dishes, steaks, seafood, small plates, signature desserts, and late-night finales. "
The dinner menu offers a wide variety of pizza, pasta, meats, and fish...along with vegan and vegetarian selections. As guests of the SUPERFRICO team, we at VEGAS 411 were invited to partake in a specially crafted tasting presentation. It highlighted a few of the restaurant's more noteworthy dishes, with each course offering a few selections to savor. We started with a round of small plates: Giardiniera (pickled cauliflower, romanesco, rainbow carrot, golden beet, caciocavallo, basil oil, aleppo pepper). Then came Calamari, prepared with grilled scallion, yuzu kosho, tangerine honey, aleppo pepper, and basil oil.
Finally, The Sicilian, a tangy shredded salad heavy on red onion, seasoned with fennel, blood orange, olive, caper, grapefruit, and topped with roasted fennel vinaigrette. Our server paired the starters with the Under the Host Martini (Absolut Elyx vodka, castelvetrano olives, blanco vermouth, white balsamic) which combined its salty flavors with a bit of brine. You can view the list of Signature Cocktails here, or indulge in one of their house-blended "Bottle-O's", available in servings of two or eight.
Under the Host Martini
Lamb Ragu Babbaluci
Pistachio Mortadella Pizza
Round two was a paring from the Pasta & Pizza list: Lamb Ragu Babbaluci, a hearty macaroni prepared with lamb sausage, tomato, mint, parsley, and topped with lemon labneh (a soft cheese made from yogurt). It was seasoned with za'atar, a Middle Eastern spice known for its earthy flavor.
Next came Pistachio Mortadella Pizza...a blend of Northern and Southern Italian flavors, pairing silky-textured sliced pork with house-made stracciatella and Turkish pistachio powder atop a crunchy, airy crust. It was unquestionably my favorite thing on the menu...and I knew that even before the main course was presented.
This course was paired with Here Comes the Sun, a delicious blend of el tequileño blanco tequila, aperol, cherry heering, lemon, orgeat, pineapple, passion fruit, and Thai chili around the rim.
Prime New York Strip and Chicken Parm
While already satisfied beyond comprehension, our servers delivered two full-size Main Course presentations: Chicken Parm, consisting of "Mary's Chicken Breast", spicy marinara, house mozzarella, parmigiano reggiano, basil oil, lemon zest, and dusted with sourdough breadcrumbs. The second offering was just as dazzling to the taste buds and eyes: Prime New York Strip, a 12-ounce Creekstone cut, sliced thin and prepared with butter and charred onion, served with a bright green herb sauce for dipping.
Our recommended cocktail for this course was Pizza Party, a Negroni of Beefeater Gin stirred with campari, sweet vermouth, roma tomato water, basil, and a castelvetrano olive. If you're a fan of the bitter flavor of Negronis, this is a perfect complement to Italian dishes. For my companion and myself, a few sips were more than enough.
Pizza Party Negroni
Roasted Pineapple Sorbet
As you can tell, not everything at SUPERFRICO will be to your taste, especially with all of the unusual culinary wizardry on display. Case in point was our dessert, a Roasted Pineapple Sorbet laced with lime and vanilla, then topped with colorful Tajin powder. My guest was less than thrilled with the combination of sweet, sour, and heat. I found it to be quite exciting and a perfect way to reset the palate after the wide assortment of tastes we'd just explored.
Service at SUPERFRICO is absolutely exemplary. Staffers went out of their way to answer questions and offer detailed descriptions of each dish and cocktail. They ensured that we were entertained, satiated, and eager to return. It's worth noting that they were also very considerate to inquire about food allergies to specific ingredients. Our entire experience was just over two hours long...enough time to take in all the sights, sounds, and tastes before heading into the 10 pm performance of OPIUM. If you're going to combine the two venues, please plan accordingly.
SUPERFRICO operates Wednesday through Sunday from 5 pm until 2 am (depending on the crowd). Call 702.537.3419 for reservations or click here. The restaurant and entertainment are geared towards adults (think PG-13).
OPIUM performs Wednesday through Sunday at 8 pm and 10 pm. The show runs for 75 minutes. Click here to reserve tickets. Audience members must be 18 or older.