June 26, 2015

Restaurant Week: Cleo

We chose Cleo at SLS for our final hurrah during Restaurant Week. We had no trouble securing a reservation via opentable with only an hour's notice. This dinner was just Frank and I. Though, it would've been a good choice for a group because much of the menu is served family style. It would've allowed us to sample more items, but fear not, we had ourselves a feast for $40.15 per person (+$16 for lamb).

The restaurant itself is rather peculiar, but I liked the quirkyness. I really admired the open kitchen. Service was attentive, management checked in a few times to be sure we wanted for nothing. That attention to detail is a nice touch.

We thoroughly enjoyed the first course. We loved both the Hummus and the Spicy Cigars. The laffa bread took us directly to carb heaven. It was light, airy and perfectly seasoned. Ideal for dragging it through the smooth and creamy hummus. The Spicy Cigars were like meaty spring rolls, they were packed with flavor and pleasantly cooled with the tangy sauce. Consuming ten of these bad boys would be an easy feat.

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Next were the Spicy Potatoes & Eggplant. The potatoes didn't have much kick, but they were loaded with flavor. I think I misunderstood "spicy" but they were satisfying. The eggplant, on the other hand, was a dud. A little disappointing, but it left room for other tasty bites.

Next we were each served a portion of Chopped Salad. Frank thought it had too much cucumber so I took his home as leftovers. I loved the salad! It was so fresh, crisp and filled with bright flavors. I've never had freekeh before, I am now a fan. It's a bit nutty and chewy, it was a perfect fit in the salad. It was delicious the next day too.

Moving on to the entrees we had Beef and Soukouk Kebabs with Saffron Rice, Couscous and Seven Vegetable Soup and Lamb Tagine ($16 add-on). The kebabs were my favorite both with bold seasoning. Frank was fond of the lamb. I admit you cannot beat the tenderness achieved in a tagine. The couscous was pretty dry and the soup was bland until we added some zest with the harissa.

Sticky Toffee Pudding seemed like an unlikely option at a Mediterranean restaurant, but it was extremely delicious. Baklava was prepared two ways and they were fine versions, but it was our least favorite dessert.

Beers and cocktails were a bit steep; Weihenstephaner ($10) and Stella ($9). But it didn't stop us from ordering them anyway. Cleo is a fun twist on tapas and it's rather unique. It definitely fills a niche on the Las Vegas strip.

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