The Bellagio has an outstanding art collection and has its own gallery. For their Picasso collection they have taken it a step further with the opportunity to dine surrounded by a magical collection of original works. Picasso restaurant is luxuriously fitted out with rich carpets, large windows swathed with generous drapes of fine fabric and tables sparkling with silverware and glassware fit for a king. Every wall is decorated with Picasso paintings and drawings. Some fantastic bright examples of cubism and surrealism and I just love some of the more quietly spoken black and white drawings.
We are seated to the side of the restaurant where we have a great view of the restaurant and out the window we can see the pretty Bellagio fountains raining down on the lake outside. A nice dry vodka Martini gets the tummy juices and the palate going while we read the menu.
Chef Julian Serrano offers a few different menu options including a menu degustation and a four course prix fixe. We chose the 4 course menu tonight. As much as we would love to try the degustation we have a time limit tonight as we have tickets to party all night long with Lionel Richie!
There are a few options for each course and for me the selection is very clear. Oysters are a must. Four poached oysters arrive just warm, glistening with little black beads of osetra caviar and lightly dressed with a vermouth sauce. They were salty creamy little morsels and the sauce balanced them perfectly, yum!
Foie Gras au Torchon or less romantically, Foie Gras in a teatowel is our second course. The teatowel reference is about the shape really; rather than being set in a terrine, Foie Gras au torchon was traditionally rolled up in a teatowel to set it in a cylinder shape from which circular slices could be cut. Our little circles of Foie Gras arrive served with slow cooked strawberries, aged balsamic vinegar and croutons of crispy Brioche. I have never had Foie Gras with strawberries before. The creamy savory liver, deeply sweet fruit and the caramelised acidity of the balsamic are an incredible combination that is a joy to eat.
There is an array of possibilities for main course. Lobster, fish, beef ribs, pigeon or deer. I have to go with the Fallow deer. Something different! The little medallions of pink tender meat are accompanied by slivers of caramelised green apple and a beautiful rich zinfandel sauce. It’s a simple elegant dish and the rich gamey flavour of the deer meat is perfectly counterbalanced with the slightly zingy caramelised apples and the rich jus.
We finish with a little selection of cheese and a glass of Courvoisier Cognac a nice easy close to a great meal.