Photo Credit: Lally Barnes

I made my last restaurant visit before the shutdown in late March, and thank goodness it was to one of the best and most unique eateries in Las Vegas. General Manager John Anthony had informed me of several new menu items I had to experience and as Sparrow + Wolf is one of my all-time favorite restaurants, he didn’t have to twist my arm at all. 

New to my eyes was the enhanced décor. The upgrades include new artwork by local artist Heather Grace depicting the restaurant’s namesake sparrow and wolf, one with a fat sparrow sitting on a tree branch, and another of a larger-than-life wolf perched above the bar. In addition, the private room has been moved and enlarged and now can seat 12-25 guests.

This eatery in Chinatown has earned a reputation for excellence and is described as serving cuisine from the heart using a modern hand, featuring live-fired American cookery influenced by the culturally diverse neighborhoods of Chef/Owner Brian Howard’s travels, classic training and Midwestern roots. John shared that the new menu is inspired by Chef’s travels in the past year and is an evolution that changes with the seasons. We began with Really Good Lamb Tartare—which lived up to its name, made with Australian lamb, Indian ratatouille, confit egg yolk and Bhaturah bread; Beet and Green Apple Tartare—which screamed spring, with fennel fern and a cardamom poppy dressing; and Wood Roasted Maitake Mushroom—a menu item dropped from the menu and returned after guests were listened to, served with creamless Turkish hummus and Cascabel chile. 

We moved on to the meatier part of the menu and indulged in Osso Buco Tortellini—slow-braised and served with the braising liquid reduction and whipped Peruvian potato. Wood Grilled (charred) Spanish Octopus was described by John as a rock star dish, and I have to agree, as it was the most tender octopus I’ve ever had. The octopus is cleaned in-house and poached before being grilled, and served with Japanese pumpkin and an Asian chili lime vinaigrette. Also from the grill was Diver Scallop, cooked perfectly and served with crispy Brussels sprouts and a bitter/sweet mole.

Finishing touches were a Milk Chocolate Cremeux: miso cake with peanut butter ice cream; and Black Sesame Panna Cotta with strawberries and candied kumquats. 

Along with being impressed with the food, we were equally pleased with the professional, pleasant and hospitable service of our server, Destyn Hamada, who was also quite knowledgeable about the menu items and ingredients used. Destyn told us she has worked at several top dining destinations in NY and Las Vegas and was first drawn to Sparrow + Wolf as a customer. After being so impressed with the operation she talked to (actually in her words, lobbied) Brian, telling him she NEEDED to work here. Destyn said, “At this point in my career it’s not good enough to just work somewhere; I need to have pride and believe in what we’re doing. Working here at Sparrow + Wolf checks all the boxes.”

Hopefully reading this will not be too tantalizing in wanting something you can’t have just yet, but instead will remind of a better time, and one that will once again, hopefully in the near future, be returning. Once our restaurants are allowed to reopen, Sparrow + Wolf should top your list. 

Sparrow + Wolf

4480 Spring Mountain Road Suite 100