Photo: Le Cirque
It's not uncommon to find a fine French restaurant inside a major Las Vegas Strip resort, but the Bellagio has two that have been earning rave reviews and drawing in loyal fans.
Both Le Cirque and Picasso were recently honored with the Forbes Five-Star Travel Guide Award. It's the first time two restaurants under one roof were given the designation at the same time. The award is based on a vigorous evaluation process of service, food and presentation.
Picasso debuted with the opening of the Bellagio back in 1998. Under the leadership of Executive Chef Julian Serrano, the cuisine is based on French gastronomy with a touch of Spanish influence. It was awarded two Michelin stars in 2008 and 2009 while also being recognized frequently by Wine Spectator. Located down a flight of stairs from the hotel lobby, the restaurant features beautiful views of the iconic Bellagio fountains, especially from the elegant outdoor terrace. The name is inspired by a number of authentic paintings by Pablo Picasso that decorate the walls. The restaurant is so exquisite, it was used as a filming location for Ocean's Eleven in 2011.
Based on seasonal ingredients and fresh preparation, there are several multi-course tasting menus to choose from. Signature dishes include the warm quail salad, prepared with sauteed artichokes and pine nuts, and a roasted milk-fed veal chop, served with rosemary potato and au jus. The wine cellar features more than 1,500 bottles from European vineyards.
Le Cirque offers a more playful, modern and experimental touch to its French cuisine. An outpost of a New York institution for more than four decades, many experts, diners and critics believe the Las Vegas edition has surpassed the original. Under the leadership of Executive Chef Wilfried Bergerhausen, Le Cirque has mastered the combination of quality and creativity with a well-trained staff.
Photo: Le Cirque
The restaurant, like Picasso, is experienced to its fullest with one of its multi-course tasting menus. Favorites include sauteed foie gras with poached rhubarb and white chocolate gastrique, braised veal cheeks with brack trumpet mushrooms and one of Bergerhausen's specialties: an impressive Maryland crab prepared with Russian osetra caviar and a cloud of dry ice. An off-menu "Surf n' Turf" is an experiment in indulgence, running $350 for a combination of Japanese kobe steak, Maine lobster, truffles, caviar and an edible 24-carat gold leaf. The wine list features more than 900 selections from around the world.
The dining room sits underneath colorful drapes that hang from the ceiling, a playful touch to its subtle circus theme. The windows also offer spectacular views of the Bellagio fountains, which can further be enjoyed by a seat on the private outdoor patio, offered by invitation only.
You can't go wrong with either restaurant, but why not enjoy both on consecutive nights during a getaway weekend in Las Vegas? Cirrus Aviation will handle your flight and your dinner reservations. Call (702) 472-9714 today.