There’s a discreet area on Level 2 of The Chelsea Tower inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas that houses three of Las Vegas’ most unforgettable experiences. Helmed by Spiegelworld’s Impresario Extraordinaire, Ross Mollison, the adjoining attractions — the hilarious space-themed variety show, “Opium,” the immersive Italian-American psychedelic restaurant, Superfrico, and the new hidden après-ski-inspired bar, The Ski Lodge — are unique in their own special way, yet share several characteristics. They each feature performances by some of the best variety acts from around the globe; they each boast a world-class cocktail program that Niko Novick, executive of beverage for Spiegelworld, calls “as intricate and serious as it is fun and ridiculous;” and they each serve arguably the best pizza on The Strip.
“A lot of people who come to Vegas want to see something that they don’t have in Los Angeles or Boise,” says Mollison. “As professionals in Vegas, whether we’re running resorts or building entertainment or building restaurants, it’s always upon us to take the risk to build something new and unique that can’t be experienced anywhere else.”
That risk definitely paid off. Whether guests visit each place separately or spend time at each venue throughout the evening, Spiegelworld’s trio of destinations inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas deliver an exuberant experience that’s simply unmatched in the Entertainment Capital of the World. Many of “OPIUM’s” stars (in addition to other talented performers) actually perform at Superfrico and the cabin-styled Ski Lodge, providing what Mollison calls “flash entertainment” as guests drink and dine.
“Every 20 minutes or so someone comes in and something happens, and it’s totally different from what happened the last time something happened,” Mollison notes. “Whether it’s a quick-change artist or someone doing ballet, there’s just such a variety of things happening. The Bubble Girl act in ‘OPIUM’ even sits in the Ski Lodge and knits these incredible beanies and sells them to people. Is that entertainment? I don’t know, but it’s pretty cool.”
A couple of new acts recently debuted in “OPIUM,” too, including an incredible Foot Juggling act that opens the adults-only production and a breathtaking Hair Hang act where the performer hangs by her hair as she swings over the audience. When ticket holders’ mouths aren’t agape over the cast’s amazing physical feats, they can relish one of Superfrico’s signature frico-crusted 6-inch square pizzas during the performance, like the flavorful Carne Asada topped with Creekstone skirt steak, roasted jalapeño pineapple salsa, house mozzarella, cheddar, salsa verde, cilantro and lime-pickled onion.
“It’s brilliantly executed because it’s not like the pizza is being run 100 miles from some outlet down the hallway, the pizza is coming straight out of the oven to your seat,” Mollison states. “We even designed our own pizza box, which took a year to get right, so people can lift the lid off and use that as a share plate.”
While Superfrico’s phenomenal pizzas take center stage on “OPIUM” and The Ski Lodge’s food menus, foodies will find so much more to savor inside the vibrant restaurant itself. Highlights include a Chicken Parm with spicy marinara that Mollison says guests “just have to have,” an extraordinary 1-pound hand-pulled Tableside Mozzarella that sells out every night, and a 40-ounce Creekstone Tomahawk steak with Maldon Sea Salt, lemon and butter that rivals some of the most succulent cuts of beef served at any steakhouse on the Strip.
Each venue has its own cocktail menu, too, with Superfrico serving 14 signature cocktails, Ski Lodge serving 10 and “OPIUM” serving 12. There’s even a Bottle-O program that allows groups to enjoy seven unique variations of modern classics in a large format that Novick jokes “usually lasts throughout the duration of ‘OPIUM,’” like the Under the Host Martini that uses a special olive brine made in-house from Castelvetrano olives and white balsamic. A prep team comes in every day at 10 a.m. to spend the day juicing, infusing, cooking and getting all of the drinks’ ingredients ready, so guests don’t have to wait long for their handcrafted cocktail once it’s ordered.
While Novick notes that each bar at Superfrico, Ski Lodge and “OPIUM” can accommodate almost any drink request, Mollison encourages guests to forgo their usual libation of choice and try one of the bold cocktails the Spiegelworld beverage team created instead. Some of the complex concoctions took over a year to perfect!
“One cocktail that takes most people by surprise is the Emma-ReNAe [at Superfrico],” Novick says. “It’s a coconut-accented Penicillin variation that combines the usual ingredients of this ginger/scotch-forward cocktail and twists it with a winning combination of toasted coconut honey, coconut bourbon and a limited sherry called Palo Cortado. I even have guests requesting the instructions on how to make it at home!”
“OPIUM” runs Wednesday through Sunday at 7 and 9PM; Superfrico and The Ski Lodge open nightly at 5PM. If you don’t get the chance to visit all three venues during your visit to The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, don’t worry — it’s the perfect excuse to return to the property again in the future (as if you needed one).