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Picasso - Is It Great?

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A friend of mine who's going to Las Vegas asks if Picasso is as good as it is said to be, and/or if it has been eclipsed by the newer places. He also asks if there are any not-to-be missed dinner spots, and also, of the high-end Chinese and Shanghai places, are any of them worth it? Thanks all.


Overheard at the Zabar’s prepared food counter in the 1970’s:

Woman (noticing a large bowl of cut fruit): “How much is the fruit salad?”

Counterman: “Three-ninety-eight a pound.”

Woman (incredulous, and loud): “THREE-NINETY EIGHT A POUND ????”

Counterman: “Who’s going to sit and cut fruit all day, lady… YOU?”

Newly updated: my online food photo extravaganza; cook-in/eat-out and photos from the 70's

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A friend of mine who's going to Las Vegas asks if Picasso is as good as it is said to be, and/or if it has been eclipsed by the newer places.  He also asks if there are any not-to-be missed dinner spots, and also, of the high-end Chinese and Shanghai places, are any of them worth it?  Thanks all.

My top two not to be missed experiences in Vegas would be Wing Lei and either Robuchon place

Wing Lei

Joel Robuchon and L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon


Eliot Wexler aka "Molto E"

MoltoE@restaurantnoca.com

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Guy Savoy should be included as well, especially if Robuchon is mentioned.

And if your friend doesn't mind some ethnic food off-the-Strip, Lotus of Siam on Sahara Blvd. (south side), east of the Strip, west of Maryland, on Commercial Center.

Personally, I haven't eaten at any Chinese places in Las Vegas. Mind you, I've read good things about Wing Lei. Steve Wynn brought over some Chinese chefs to cook for the high rollers at Wynn Resort.

When is your friend coming out to Las Vegas, just in case others want to chime in on time?


Russell J. Wong aka "rjwong"

Food and I, we go way back ...

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Picasso is still a great place to visit, the food is as good as ever and compared to some of the newer places is great value for money, especially as you can get the wine flight with it. Service is impeccable and friendly. Recent (mid-April) menu.

Menu Dégustation

Maine Lobster Salad

with Apple-Champagne Vinaigrette

2005 Morgadio, Albariño, Rias Baixas, Galicia, Spain

*****

Pan Seared U‑10 Day Boat Scallop

with Potato Mousseline and Jus de Veau

2003 Domaines Schlumberger, Les Princes Abbes Pinot Gris, Alsace, France

*****

Sautéed Foie Gras

with Poached Lady Apple,

Roasted Walnuts, Apple Cider and Apple Cider Vinegar

2005 P.J. Valckenberg, Madonna, Eiswein, Rheinhessen, Germany

*****

Sautéed Filet of Black Bass.'

With Fresh Asparagus, Sauce Hollandaise and Confit of Leeks

2005 M. Chapoutier, La Bernardine, Chateauneuf‑du‑Pape Blanc,

Rhine Valley, France

or

Roasted Aged Lamb Chop

with Rosemary Potatoes and Au Jus

2004 Dominio de Tares, Baltos, Bierzo, Spain

*****

Dessert

A Sommelier's wine pairing is offered for an additional cost of $53

One Hundred Fifteen

L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon is an approachable (and affordable) way into his wonderful cooking style, get a seat at the counter rather than the tables. This was so good we went twice in a week.

Obscure bargain is Rosemary's out on W Sahara, if you can find it it's worth the trip.

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When is your friend coming out to Las Vegas, just in case others want to chime in on time?

He arrives May 18, so please chime-away.


Overheard at the Zabar’s prepared food counter in the 1970’s:

Woman (noticing a large bowl of cut fruit): “How much is the fruit salad?”

Counterman: “Three-ninety-eight a pound.”

Woman (incredulous, and loud): “THREE-NINETY EIGHT A POUND ????”

Counterman: “Who’s going to sit and cut fruit all day, lady… YOU?”

Newly updated: my online food photo extravaganza; cook-in/eat-out and photos from the 70's

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A friend of mine who's going to Las Vegas asks if Picasso is as good as it is said to be, and/or if it has been eclipsed by the newer places.  He also asks if there are any not-to-be missed dinner spots, and also, of the high-end Chinese and Shanghai places, are any of them worth it?  Thanks all.

I went there in 2004. It was my first experience with a high end restaurant in Las Vegas. Since then, I've had several more (Michael Mina, L'Atelier Rubochon, Bouchon, etc.).

I think it's worth it if you like a very formal meal with formal (if a bit cool) service. The room is beautiful with all of the art and the fountains outside add an interesting touch. Only in Las Vegas, baby!!

Food was very good too. We all enjoyed it.


Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"
jmeeker@eGullet.org

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Other high end Chinese restaurants include: Empress Court in Caesars Palace and Jasmine in Bellagio.

Empress Court emphasizes Cantonese and Hong Kong dishes. It's a nice looking room on the second floor, and overlooks some of the pools. Depending on your budget and tastes, it's definitely the type of place where one can order the expected dishes (walnut and honey prawns), or one can go way off the menu. Although it's been a few years, I distinctly remember the waiter telling us about a table near us that ordered four 3 ounce servings of swallows nest soup at $100+/ounce.

Never eaten at Jasmine, but I've seen some Shanghai and Jiangsu items on the menu, such as Wu Xi ribs.

Finally, there's a restaurant in the Venetian that only allows patrons in with a minimum casino credit line of $500,000. I imagine one could eat whatever one wanted there for free...

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More notes on my Vegas trip to follow...but dinner at Wing Lei a few nights ago was fantastic. We did the Peking Duck Tasting Menu.

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Food (and wine) - 90/100

Picasso offered prix-fixe and menu degustation; we chose to go for the 4-course. The amuse had a nice potato croquette with a dollop of caviar while the salmon and quail egg was very ordinary.

My meal opened nicely with a simple and classic oyster served with lemon and caviar – a good way to elevate my appetite. Then come fillet of black bass with saffron sauce, which was just alright – nothing memorable. Out of curiosity, I picked roasted pigeon for my main course. The meat was quite tender and tasty, but the wild rice as a side dish a bit hard. The dessert was quite common – warm chocolate fondant (thick and good) with peanut butter ice cream. Since this is Picasso, I requested to have a Spanish wine: I had a glass of 2005 salanques, celler mas doix priorato – a decent one.

The food is definitely 2-star. Good and solid, but not spectacular/wow. It truly emphasized on simplicity in preparation, but rather lack in delicious flavor

Service (and ambiance) - 91/10

The ambiance is nice and romantic, especially if you’re seated near the window. It gave you a nice view of Bellagio’s famous water fountain. The paintings collection was extraordinary indeed – like a mini museum. The service is professional and friendly, non-obtrusive but a bit lacking in connecting with the guests. But when my friend’s deer medallions was overcooked, they immediately changed it – he said the new one while tender, but a bit dry. We saw chef Serrano walked around the dining room visiting the regular tables (not all I think)

The price here is quite reasonable. One can spend <$150 without alcohol to have a nice meal. As of now, I don’t really see this place will ever become a 3-star place

Here are the pictures - http://www.flickr.com/photos/7124357@N03/

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