Las Vegas turns away from the big-name
restaurant clones and opens some of the best original dining
rooms in the country.
In 2000, Bon Appétit magazine named Las Vegas the hottest
destination of the year, an accolade commonly attributed to the
fact that the city took the nation's best eateries - like New
York's Le Cirque 2000, New Orleans' Commander's Palace, and Spago
from L.A. - and replicated them on the Strip. But Vegas didn't stop
there. Today, after using the imports to put it on the culinary
map, the city has solidified its dining reputation with a slew of
fantastic original restaurants. In the new Mobil Travel
Guide, two Vegas restaurants, Picasso and Renoir, both
originals, received a coveted five stars. Only 14 establishments in
the country were thus honored, and only Vegas and New York City
have more than one. The trend toward homegrown fine dining in Las
Vegas shows no sign of abating, and the place long known as Sin
City is now just sinfully delicious. Of the notable newcomers, here
are six sure bets.
Bellagio Hotel, 3600 Las Vegas Blvd., (702) 693-7223
The first of the homegrown superstars, Picasso landed Vegas' first
five-star rating, and Wine Spectator magazine claimed, "If
you have only one meal to eat in Las Vegas, Picasso is the place."
Located in the Bellagio hotel, Picasso is a true fine-dining
experience, adorned with original works by its namesake artist and
offering French haute cuisine with a Spanish influence courtesy of
chef Julian Serrano, now considered among the country's elite. And
you don't have to worry about choosing at Picasso; it offers only
four- or five-course tasting menus.
Mirage Hotel, 3400 Las Vegas Blvd., (702) 791-7223