Picasso Restaurant – Bellagio
Look up when you cross Picasso’s threshold: Rows of ceramics are embedded in the ceiling, a rustic touch that sets the stage for an unpretentious meal among precious, familiar-looking works of art. You are now ready to dine at Picasso Restaurant.
These are Pablo Picassos, all right. His paintings, gouaches and ceramics of several career phases are displayed in the room’s most flattering lights. The rest of the space is kept wisely neutral, so your eyes always wander to one piece or another.
Julian Serrano, the Spanish chef who presides over Picasso’s kitchen, is a Vegas anomaly. He moved here in 1998 after a long stint at venerated Masa’s in San Francisco. (To be fair, Alessandro Stratta lives in Vegas, too.)
Compared with the culinary fireworks offered in Vegas’ other high-end restaurants, Mr. Serrano’s food can come off as subtle, sometimes even safe. Certainly, there are charmed fillips, like the amaretto-nutmeg marshmallows in butternut squash soup that dissolve instantly in the mouth, leaving nothing but a tremor of spice.
And entrees such as fallow deer medallions with caramelized green apple and zinfandel sauce exhibit undeniable skill, though a ragout of seasonal vegetables with pieces of foie gras came off as unctuous.
The persistent romance of the setting elevates the meal, though. When the Bellagio’s water-fountain show explodes outside the window, obliterating the view of the Strip’s neon and the faux Eiffel Tower across the street, it’s hard not to smile inwardly at the myriad tricks up Vegas’ sleeves.
Bellagio Las Vegas
3600 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Article by: Bill Addison Restaurant Critic – Dallasnews.com