10/04/2012 02:31:00 PM

First Look: 5 Things You Should Eat at Spago Right Now

The new Spago is only about a week old, and it's as smooth as ever. We dipped in to check things out last night and the full cast of characters was there - Wolfgang Puck working the room, greeting old and new friends, chatting with fans; Lee Hefter overseeing the kitchen and the doings of chef de cuisine Tetsu Yahagi and crew; Sherry Yard making dessert magic; plus original staffers who stayed on after the switch, including sommelier Christopher Miller, who, we found out, has more than 30,000 bottles of wine to coddle like babies. As previously noted, the buzz word now at Spago is "change," and everything top to bottom has a new look, flavor and vibe.

From the floors, to the new patio, sleek dining room, clubby bar, skylights, and indie-rock music overhead - it's a whole new Spago, for sure. Of course, the most notable change is what's on the plate. The menu has been streamlined with more small plates so you can compose a meal of many or just a few. Yes, no more weinerschnitzel or Kaiserschmarrn, but there are some exciting new bites with influences that span the globe (Japanese, Chinese, California, Catalan). What we tried was pretty exquisite - the veal tartare, egg raviola, squab, and even the cocktails. The offerings are still very seasonal, and will probably change on a dime, but check out the slide show for five must-try dishes you'll want now.

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