LAGO BY JULIAN SERRANO ITALIAN RESTAURANT DEBUTS AT THE BELLAGIO
SMALL PLATES COMBINED WITH A UNIQUE COCKTAIL PROGRAM FOCUSING ON THE GARNISH
Las Vegas(Perfect Meal Today) 6/1/15/–Lago by Julian Serrano has just opened up at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas, serving small plate Italian dishes served with carefully crafted cocktails all under the watchful eye of Michelin starred chef Julian Serrano. It is a beautiful light and airy space, almost all white and silver in concept and it overlooks the Bellagio Lake and Fountains, a major tourist attraction in Las Vegas.
The architecture is based on early 20th century Italian futurism which includes a stunning outside patio area. The entrance boasts a 1500 square foot mosaic of Milan. The dining room was designed by Munge Leung and features massive arched windows which helps to maximize views of the fountains.
Serrano, a native of Spain, earned his stars at Picasso also at the Bellagio, along with 14 AAA Five Diamond awards as well as the Grand Award from Wine Spectator. Squadrons of smartly dressed waiters buzz around constantly, and if they are all like our Milanese server Giuseppe, then this place will quickly gain a reputation as an outstanding restaurant. There is an extensive wine selection, but I was told in no uncertain terms that the cocktail program here is something special and the focus of this article at least will be on that. I look forward to a return visit, focusing just on the wines.
A somewhat random sampling of these small plates results simply in some must try dishes starting with the scallops in olive oil and the crusting and smoked spicy sausage with a heavy emphasis on the gorgonzola. Another standout is the Risotto in a red wine w/burrata cheese that was possibly my favorite dish of the night. Regrettably I did not get the chance to try the Calamarata-tiny calamari pasta rings from Gragnano in Naples that are styled with squid sauce.
Three months in the planning under Venezuelan mixologist Ricardo Murcia, the program is comprehensive with an example being six different styles of ice, and even five different types of straws. All the cocktails have a food element such as the Caramel Nest w/Golden Raspberries as an example with Toschi Fragoli Wild Strawberry Liqueur, Prosecco, raspberry syrup and lemon juice. Just one more example would be the Edible Cocktail Sphere called Sgroppino, a frozen sphere of delights like Prosecco, limoncello, lemon sorbet and cocoa butter.
It was quite a lengthy evening and I do vaguely remember the dessert cocktail called Tiramisu, a tempting concoction of St.George NOLA Coffee Liqueur, Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur, Tiramisu Liqueur, Marscapone Cheese, vanilla ice cream and cold espresso topped with Chocolate Curls and all topped with an Italian Chocolate Cookie.
The Bellagio Director of Wine is Jason Smith and he has sourced some of the smaller Italian producers to come up with a wine list of about 750 bottles which include sought after labels like Sassicaia and Gava.
There are also large plates to choose from if the smaller version is not your thing, with standouts that include the rather adventurous Piedmontese Beef w/gorgonzola cheese or the Bistecca one-pound ribeye trimmed w/sea salt.
Tour the bolder side of Italy with innovative small plates at Lago by Julian Serrano.
James Beard Award-winning chef Julian Serrano sets the evening in motion with his stunning interpretation of Italian, each packed with distinct and unmatched flavors. The fountainside atmosphere encourages sharing–both plates and stories. The décor interjects a flare for the unique, while just beyond the restaurant’s floor-to-ceiling windows, the famed Fountains of Bellagio™ dance to your delight.
See, taste, and socialize at Lago.
LAGO at the BELLAGIO
Open nightly at 5pm for dinner.
287 S.Robertson Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211