The Picasso Restaurant at the Bellagio Hotel In Las Vegas

The first fine dinning experience I had in Las Vegas was at the Picasso restaurant (French cuisine) in the Bellagio hotel, back in year 2005. I was there celebrating our best friend’s engagement. My memory of the restaurant was upscale decoration, fancy food, and great  wine!

It has been a long time since my last visit to the Picasso restaurant, because there were too many great restaurant options on the Vegas Strip, and the Picasso restaurant was closed sometime during last year for renovation. But I finally had the chance to eat there during  my recent trip to Las Vegas!

As I walked into the Picasso restaurant by the award-winning chief, Julian Serrano, I recognized the newly renovated interior. It looked different than what I remembered, but the restaurant was still unique and colorful. And the Picasso paintings were all over the walls just as they used to be.


I’ve dined at most restaurants in the Bellagio property many times, such as the Prime Steakhouse, Le Cirque,  and Todd English’s Olives. I’ve also sat at the tables right by the window, where I could enjoy the closer view of the Fountain of Bellagio. But for this time at Picasso, we preferred to sit at the table a slightly away from the window, so I could sat back and get a bigger view of the fountain via the window frames throughout the night.

My friend and I ordered the prix fixe menu ($118 per person). We got to choose from the menu for each part of the three-course meal and a dessert in the end.

I ordered Poached Oysters, Roasted Langoustine, Roasted Milk-Fed Veal Chop. And my friend ordered Crème of Butternut Squash, Sautéed Filet of Scottish Salmon, and Sautéed Filet of Black Bass. (The pictures are presented below in the order of the list.)

Poached Oysters

Roasted Langoustine


Roasted Milk-fed Veal Chop

Crème of Butternut Squash

Sautéed Filet of Scottish Salmon


Sautéed Filet of Black Bass

My friend and I were craving for different food on the night we went to Picasso (as you could tell from the items we ordered). But all of our dishes were delicious.

I love to sample a variety of foods. I was very satisfied with my choices. The Poached Oysters (garnished with Osetra Cariar) were slightly warmer than the regular chilled oysters, but they were delicious.

The Roasted Langoustine was prepared exactly to my liking. The other restaurant that makes a great langoustine is Joel Robuchon in MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas. And the Roasted Milk-Fed Veal Chop is the perfect main course. It was tender and flavorful.

I tried a bit of my friend’s dishes; they were also very tasty.

I’d say no fancy meal is completed without a nice drink. I ordered a Hemingway Daiquiri cocktail drink. It is made of Bacardi Light, Luxardo Maraschino Cherries, Fresh Grapefruit Juice, and Fresh Lime Juice. The drink tasted different than other Hemingway Daiquiris I’ve had in the past, but it was definitely very good.

Hemingway Daiquiri

After we finished our delicious three-course meal, we were pretty stuffed. When it came to ordering the desserts in the end, I got to make the choices for both of us, because my friend wasn’t as into desserts and I was.

For desserts, we ordered Chocolate Bread Pudding and Pineapple Tart. My friend only had a few bites of each dessert, and I basically ate all of the them. (When it comes to desserts, I just couldn’t resist the temptation of the delicious sweets sitting right in front of me! )

Chocolate Bread Pudding

Pineapple Tart

Our overall experience of the Picasso restaurant in the Bellagio hotel was great! The services was outstanding, food was unique, and the ambience was perfect.

I’d say for a fancy restaurant like the Picasso in the Bellagio Hotel, the price we paid for our meal was well spent.

 

 

5 Things to Try This Month – May 2017

May is the perfect time to embrace the Spring season! Among many things I planned to do in May, are: a family trip to Universal Studios Hollywood with my nieces, improve  my makeup techniques, and indulge myself for endless crepe desserts.

Listed below are my five things to try list for May. Hope it will inspire you to enjoy the season of Spring.


Improve My Makeup Techniques

During the first weekend of May, Nordstrom in Bellevue, Washington is hosting an event to promote the beauty brand, Charlotte Tilbury. It is created by the famous celebrity makeup artist, Charlotte Tilbury. Before the promoting event weekend, one of the celebrity makeup artist, Kate, from Charlotte Tilbury, was giving a master makeup class on May 4th. I attended the session and had a great time learning the makeup brand’s new products.


Indulge in Layers of Crepes

I love to eat desserts and my recent sweet obsession is the Mille Crêpes cake from Lady M Confections bakery. Each Mille Crêpes cake is made of more than twenty thin layers of crepes and filled with light pastry cream between each layer. My favorite flavor from Lady M is the Green Tea Mille Crêpes cake. To satisfy my sweet tooth, I ordered the Mille Crêpes in Green Tea and Strawberries (seasonal)  to share with my family!


Break In the Summer Sandals

After the record rain in the Seattle area this winter, we finally got some long-awaited sunshine, This is the perfect time to break in your summer shoes. Try something with 3-D flowers, like Charlotte Olympia – Tara Embellished Metallic Leather Sandals.

Charlotte Olympia Tara Embellished Metallic Leather Sandals


Family Trip to the Universal Studios Hollywood

I don’t usually go to theme parks, but when I do, it’s always with my nieces. In the beginning of May, we went to the Universal Studios in Hollywood, CA. Our first stop at the theme park was the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. To avoid the long line, we arrived to the theme park right at 8:00 am when it was first open. We had the luxury of riding the rides (twice) before the crowds came in. I also took the photo right in front of the Hogwarts Express train with a cast member.


Expand My Reading Topics

I learned some basic Blackjack strategies in the past, but it was all based on the memorization of the Blackjack strategy cards. Every now and then I would play a few hands of Blackjack game in Vegas for fun (but I would only play it when I am with my experienced friends).  This month, I plan to go to Vegas with some family friends and I though it might be interesting to read up on the famous “Beat the Dealer: A Winning Strategy for the Game of Twenty-One” book, by Edward O. Thorp. I am only half way through reading the book, but I am already fascinated with the explanations on the game strategies. I don’t plan to play a lot of Blackjack while I am in Vegas, but it would be great to understand what I am doing when I play!

Beat The Dealer: A Winning Strategy for the Game of Twenty-One


5 Things to Try This Month – March 2017

March is the transition month from Winter to Spring. If you haven’t thought about updating your wardrobe with some light hue silhouette and accessories, it’s time to start!

Below are some of my preliminary suggestions for the month of March. I hope they will give you some inspirations for your Spring wardrobe makeover project !


Green Color Nail Design for St. Patrick’s Day

If you like green, March is a great time to get green nails for the St. Patrick’s Day. For my March gel nail design, I have some green stones on my greenish blue sparkling nails. Not only is it a fun alternative to my usual red nail color, it also prevents me from getting pinched if I forgot to wear green on the St. Patrick’s Day!


 

Pamper Yourself with New Lip Beauty Product

I am a big fan of lip glosses. In March, Dior released its new lipstick beauty product, Dior Addict Lacquer Stick. This has a glossy formula; it’s almost like a lip gloss on a lipstick. I ordered it in a few shades and I can’t wait to try them on when I receive them!

Dior Addict Lacquer Stick


Fun Mini Shoulder Bag

As we are transitioning out of the Winter, it’s always a good idea to add a new handbag in a light color for the Spring season. Try something like the Valentino Garavani Lock Mini crystal-embellished shoulder bag! This is a perfect addition to your outfits on a sunny day as well as for a night out-and-about.

Valentino Garavani Lock Mini Crystal-embellished Shoulder Bag


Sweatshirt for March Madness

Who says March Madness is for basketball fans only? This time of year, some of my friends would be picking their brackets and anticipating the college basketball games. Although I am not a sport fan, I sometimes join my friends for drinks in the bar and watching some of the games. I won’t be wearing any school logo shirts, but I will be wearing my Kenzo cotton sweatshirts!

Kenzo Cotton Sweatshirt


Swap Out Your Wool Accessories with a Silk Scarf for Spring

The first day of Spring is in March. It’s time to switch out your wool scarf with a silk one. I recommend something with flowers in the design to spice up your attire. Try Gucci’s silk scarf below.

Gucci Silk Scarf


Spain Trip – Barcelona Day Two

My first day in Barcelona, Spain, went very well. The next day (Day Two) I woke up at the break of dawn and enjoyed the view of the Barcelona coast.

From our hotel room window, I saw the first shred of sunlight hitting the buildings by the coast, and the light from the lamps reflecting in the water.  The natural and artificial light combination created a peaceful and beautiful view. To me, this is a perfect view I wouldn’t mind to wake up to everyday!


(Picture of the view from our hotel room.)

Since we were on vacation, my friend and I decided to take it easy by taking our time to get ready. Instead of eating in the restaurant on the W Hotel Barcelona property, we wanted to adventure out of the hotel to look for a breakfast place.

After about a 10-minute walk from our W Barcelona property, we found a restaurant, “Amarre 69”, which was opened for breakfast. Both of us ordered Americano coffee and breakfast with sausage and egg.



(Picture of the Americano coffee and the breakfast at “Amarre 69” restaurant.)

The Americano coffee was the perfect espresso drink. Not only did it smell very good, it also tasted very delicious. And the bacon in my breakfast was especially good. I don’t usually eat bacon in the States, but the bacon I had during my Spain trip was more like fried thick prosciutto (which happens to be one of my favorites).

After we finished the breakfast, we headed over to Park Güell in Carmel Hill. Park Güell was designed by Antoni Gaudi, a famous architect whose great work includes Sagrada Família. (Stay tuned for blog posts on Park Güell and Sagrada Família.)

After we left the park, we were starving. We found a restaurant off the Internet which opens earlier than most places in Barcelona. The restaurant was called “Restaurant 7 Portes”.

At the “Restaurant 7 Portes”, my friend and I had glasses of wine, Catalan flat bread, Jamón (ham), and paella. We ordered two kinds of paella; one with meat and seafood and one with black squid ink.

Everything we had in the “Restaurant 7 Portes” was great and the bill was unexpectedly inexpensive. After the dinner we walked back to our W Barcelona hotel. The walk was nice; we got the night view of Barcelona and the W Barcelona.


More on the Barcelona Trip – See Day One

Spain Trip – Barcelona Day One

It has been over a month since I returned home from a Winter Holiday Trip to Spain. I now finally have the time to recapture the memorable Spain trip.

Just an hour before I left home to head over to Sea-Tac airport, I was still scrambling to get the last minute of my job work done. It wasn’t until my friend and I were on the way to the airport that I started to wind down and realized I was going on the vacation – a trip to Spain. The exciting feeling of the anticipation finally flew into my mind.

The first destination of our Spain trip was Barcelona. We arrived in Barcelona on December 28, 2016; a sunny lovely day. For someone coming from Seattle like me, a pretty sunny day in December is always a gift. (See below, view from our flight.)

My friend and I checked into our room at the W Hotel in Barcelona. Thanks to my friend’s connections, we got a room with the pretty view of the coast. (See below) For me, the view of the coast in some way is nicer than the full ocean view. This is especially true when it comes to dawn.

Right after we got into our room, we were exhausted from our international flights. We unpacked our luggage, took turns taking showers, and took a short nap. We knew that in Spain, people usually eat dinner around 9:00pm or 10:00pm. And we planned to meet my friend’s friends from Barcelona at 9:00pm. It will be our first real meal in Spain.

The good thing about having friends from the local area when you travel is that you don’t have to worry too much about planning where you eat or where to go for sightseeing. The local experts will provide you more information than any tour guide books you prepare.

My friend’s friends from Barcelona showed us the famous La Rambla. The north of La Rambla has more nice cafés and retaurants, whereas the south of La Rambla has more street vendors and street cafes.

We also walked by Casa Batllo (by Gaudi). The architecture was decorated for the Winter Holiday. (See below for Casa Batllo)


While we walked along the La Rambla, most restaurants were packed, so we ended up in Piscolabis Rambla restaurant. My friend and I had the first taste of tapas in Barcelona. (I had many tapas in the States, but the experience was kind of different than the tapas I had in the States, mainly because I was eating it in Spain. The Jamón was great.)

(Our first tapas in Barcelona)


During dinner, I was enjoying the friendly company, the tapas, and the wine. I was also unwinding from the 14 hours of flights (include a short layover), and embracing the fact I was in Spain for vacation – my first trip to Europe.

After the dinner, all of us went to the local bar in Dreta de l’Eixample. The bar had some interesting décor, including paintings. It also played American popular songs. For a tourist like me, new to Barcelona, listening to the familiar songs (from back home) in a laid-back bar, makes me wonder if I am really in Spain, far away from home!

After we left the bar in Dreta de l’Eixample, my friend and I went back to our W Hotel in Barcelona and checked out the lounge, Eclipse, on the top floor of our hotel. Each of us had a cocktail drink; I had one of my old time favorites, rum and coke. And my friend tried the bar’s signature drink.

The Elicpse lounge was much smaller than we expected, but we had a great time nevertheless.

Our conclusion for the first day in Barcelona was that food and wine were surprisingly inexpensive there. My friend and I love to drink wine and we definitely were in the right place!


More on the Barcelona Trip – see Day Two

2017 Valentines Gift Ideas

Valentine’s Day is coming up, soon. Are you still struggling to find the perfect gift for your significant other? Below are some of my gift suggestions for this Valentine’s Day. Of course, they can also be ideas for yourself!


Leather Shoulder Bag with Red Hearts

Nothing expresses love better than red hearts. The Saint Laurent’s Classic Small Kate Monogram Embellished leather shoulder bag is covered with small red hearts, which might seemed a bit girly. But the Saint Laurent’s signature monogram and the tussle on the bag balance out the girliness with the classic look, which make the bag one of a kind. It’s worth the money!

Saint Laurent Small Kate Monogram Shoulder Bag


Valentino Tan-go Leather Pumps

Red is one of my favorite colors when it comes to accessories. In my opinion, a pair of red shoes is a must-have for every woman. If you  want something that is easier for you to walk than a four-inch stilettos, I suggest you try Valentino’s Tan-go Leather Pumps in metallic red leather. They go well with both short skirts and mid-high dresses.

Valentino Tan-go Leather Pumps


Small Jewelry in Heart Shape

If you are looking for a piece of jewelry that is more affordable for this Valentine’s Day, try this Dear Medium Necklace by Swarovski. This necklace is made up of a rose gold-plated metal heart with a crystal pave heart. The design is simple yet full of love!

Swarovski Dear Medium Necklace


New Lip Balm with a Kiss

Nourishing our lips on daily basis is a must-do! I like to keep different kind of lip balms in stock and rotate them based on my daily mood.
Yves Saint Laurent Volupte Tint-in-Balm


Whether you are celebrating the Valentine’s Day or not, it never hurts to treat yourself with something pink and fun!

 

5 Things to Try This Month – February 2017

I feel like it only has been a couple of weeks since I returned from my holiday vacation in Spain. And it’s hard to believe that the first month of Year 2017 is already over!

Now, it’s time to enjoy the busy month, February. Why do I consider February a busy month? Because many of my dear friends and my brother’s birthdays are in February. And my birthday is in February, too!

Every year, we always celebrate someone’s birthday each week throughout February. And below are some of the things I’d like to try for this February, the month of birthday celebrations!


Drink the Limited-edition Nespresso Coffee

Nespresso just released a  new limited-edition Selection Vintage 2014 coffee capsules (100% Colombian Arabica beans). Usually, Nespresso offeres  different kinds of limited-edition coffee for its two different types of machines: VertuoLine and OriginalLine. But for this Selection Vintage 2014, Nespresso made it available for both machines. I got the Selection Vintage 2014 capsules for both on my VertuoLine and OriginalLine machines from Nespresso boutique last night. I can’t wait to try them today!


Accessory to Master Selfie

I am not an expert in taking selfie pictures, but one of the few times I tried, I found myself in an environment that wasn’t bright enough for selfie. For this birthday celebrating month, I got a selfie accessory, the LuMee. This is designed by a professional photographer to help provide extra light for selfie pictures.


Add a New Red Dress to the Wardrobe

Red is one of my favorite colors, especially when it comes to fashion accessories. Since it’s my birthday month, I have another reason to shop for a red dress! Try Self-portrait Floral Blush Midi Dress.

Self-Portrait Floral Blush Midi Dress


Create the Rainbow Reflection with Each Step You Take

Although we are still in Winter, it’s never too early to start planning for Spring. Why not treat yourself to a nice pair of crystal flats like the rainbow ones from Christian Louboutin?

Christian Louboutin Soft Rainbow Flat


Light Up Your Mood with New Candle

Diptyque has always been one of my favorite brands when it comes to perfume and scented candles. For this month, I’d like to try Diptyque’s new limited-edition Rosa Mundi 190g candle.

Diptyque Rosa Mundi Candle


(Featured image taken from Aria Las Vegas Hotel.)

5 Things To Try This Month – January 2017

January is the beginning of the new year, 2017. It’s a great time to start experiencing new things. Here are my top five things I would like to try for January.


Bvlgari and Rome Exhibition

On my recent trip to Madrid, Spain, I visited the Thyssen-Bornemisza Mueseum. They showcased more than 140 pieces of jewelry from Bvlgari’s Heritage Collection (including jewels that belonged to Elizabeth Taylor). The collection was astonishing. I learned a lot about Bvlgari’s designs. (Also see the featured image, Bvlgari necklace in gold with multicolor sapphires, mandarin garnets, emeralds and diamonds.)


Red Nail Design

The Chinese New Year is in January this year. Red is the must-have color for the holidays, including the Lunar New Year. And here is my nail design for this month!


Pink Coat

Pink is the color for Year 2017. It’s worth it to invest in a nice pink coat for the season.  Miu Miu – virgin wool coat with fur.

Miu Miu Virgin Wool Coat with Fur


Velvet Accessories

Velvet is still in for the season. Mary Jane style shoes have been one of my all-time favorites. It’s never too late to invest in a pair of Mary Janes in velvet. Try Dolce & Gabbana’s Crystal-embellished Mary Jane pumps!

DolceGabbana_Crystal-embellished Mary Jane pumps


Hot Chocolate

I really enjoyed the hot chocolate I had on my recent trip to Spain. As a matter of fact, I actually brought the hot chocolate ingredient back from Spain. I can’t wait for the weekend to make it myself.


The Two Jackets I Packed for My Spain Trip

While my friend and I were planning our two week Spain trip, we knew we wanted to do a lot of sightseeing in Barcelona, Palma de Majorca, and Madrid. Since our hotels were in the central area in Barcelona and Madrid, we were close to most of the places we wanted to visit and we knew we would walk around a lot.

My main concern was how to keep warm while we walked around for hours in Spain during December and January. I am the type of person who feels cold very easily. I wanted to make sure I brought some jackets that would keep me warm.

Also, we had a short layover in Frankfurt, Germany. Frankfurt was even colder than Spain. If we missed our connect flight from Frankfurt to Barcelona, we might be stuck in Frankfurt.

Packing Winter clothing for the trip added some weight to my already quite full luggage. To avoid having my luggage go overweight but still pack something versatile and stylish, I picked two jackets to bring for the Spain  trip: a down jacket and leather jacket. (See below)


Canada Goose Montebello Down Jacket

(Picture taken in front of the Palace in Madrid. I was wearing a Canada Goose Montebello dawn jacket, True Religion skinny jeans, and UGG short boots.)MadridPalace


Bernardo Leather Jacket

This leather jacket in wine color is versatile and stylish. I wore it mainly in Barcelona. It went well with sweaters and jeans. It was also perfect with short dress with knee-high suede boots.

(Picture taken at Park Guel in Barcelona. I was wearing the leather jacket, cashmere sweater, and True Religion skinny jeans.)

ParkGuell_Barcelona


If you plan to visit Europe during Winter, I highly recommend that you invest in a nice and warm down jacket and a leather jacket. The nice thing about these two silhouettes are that they are versatile and will upgrade your travel attires instantly.

Winter Trip to Spain in December 2016 to January 2017

My friend and I have been wanting to take a trip to somewhere we’ve never been before for the New Year’s Eve, so right after the Christmas of 2016, we took a two week trip to Spain.

We narrowed down our trip to Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, and Madrid. For our 2017 New Year’s Eve celebration, we picked Barcelona for our destination.

Today is January 6, 2017. My friend and I are on our last week of our holiday/Winter trip in Spain. We really enjoyed our vacation in Spain and can’t believe we only have a few days left.

I can’t wait to share some of the details on our trip and all the delicious food we had. Stay tuned for my upcoming posts regarding our visit to Spain!


Barcelona – Casa Batllo by GaudiBarcelona_CasaBatllo_byGaudi


Palma de Mallorca – Playa Porto Cristo

Palma de Mallorca-Playa Porto Cristo


Madrid – Monumento Alfonso XII

Monumento Alfonso XII


   

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