Picasso … nothing abstract about takeaway cake

DINING OWL AWARD: 1st – decor

When I visited: August 2012

Location: Las Vegas, in the Bellagio hotel

Team: Julian Serrano (Head Chef), Matthew Fleisher (Pastry Chef), Christian Pollock (maitre d’), Robert Smith (Master Sommelier), Michael Schwab (Head Sommelier)

Rating in the Michelin Guide: Not in Guide (used to have 2 stars when Vegas had a Michelin Guide)

Dining Owl Hoot rating: 3/5

What to wear: Men – shirt and jacket and nice trousers and shoes; women – a smart dress and/or smart trousers and a top

Ambience: Buzzy, fun, real Picassos on the walls! Roar of the Bellagio fountains

Course of the meal: Maine lobster salad

If I could change one thing: Don’t make diners wait at the start


I was very excited to visit this restaurant on my first trip to Vegas, with my partner Owl. It serves high-end French / American dishes but its USP is obviously the fact that it displays real Picassos on the walls.

On arrival, we had to wait for our table for quite a while (despite having booked a table …) but this seems to be a bit of an American trait (it also happened at Per Se). Another USP is that you have a great view of the iconic Belaggio fountains from some tables and your meal is pleasantly punctuated by the roar of them as they explode upwards … only in Vegas!

This was also the restaurant that gave me my first ever takeaway cake (in a branded ‘Picasso’ box), a trend which I view as very welcome and also quite canny as it ensures you are still thinking about and appreciating the food the next day. Since my visit to Picasso I’ve noticed other two-star restaurants adopting this trend.

You should definitely put Picasso on your list if you’re planning to go to Vegas and love your high-end food.

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