Category Archives: Las Vegas

Las Vegas is one of my favorite places to visit. First, I love to eat great food and there are a lot of nice restaurants. Second, I love to shop and there are tons of my favorite stores within walking distance. Third, I love to stay in nice hotels and many of my favorite hotels are in Vegas.

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.

 

 

Harvest by Roy Ellamar Restaurant at Bellagio Las Vegas

Last year July, I ate at the Harvest by Roy Ellamar restaurant in the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas. The Harvest by Roy Ellamar restaurant was the new additional to the Bellagio property. It replaced the Sensi restaurant (Italian, Asian, American and Seafood fusion), at the location by the Bellagio Spa Tower.

It has been too long since I dined at the Sensi restaurant (in Year 2009), so my memory of the dinning experience at the restaurant is limited to good service and some pictures of my meal. It was good, but wasn’t good enough for me to have the urge to go back there again.

During my first visit to the new Harvest by Roy Ellamar restaurants in July 2016, my friend and I shared a bone-in ribeye steak and pork chop for the main entre, crushed potatoes, creamed spinach, and sautéed spinach for side dishes.

(Picture of the Bone-in Ribeye steak)

(Picture of the Pork Chop)

(Picture of the Sides: Crushed Potatoes, Creamed Spinach, and Sautéed Spinach)

The sautéed spinach wasn’t on the menu. But my friend and I were craving for it, so we asked our waiter to put in a special request for it.

And as always, our craving was much bigger than the amount we could actually eat! I walked into the Harvest by Roy Ellamar restaurant with an open mind for trying the new restaurant and ended up with a fully satisfied tummy. The food and the service at the Harvest by Roy Ellamar were great! Especially the bone-in ribeye steak we had.

During the past holiday season, I came across the picture of the ribeye steak I ate at the Harvest by Roy Ellamar restaurant, and it made me crave for the same ribeye steak I had.

A few months later, I finally got the chance to go back to the Harvest by Roy Ellamar restaurant. My friend and I shared the bone-in ribeye I’d been longing for and the Harvest rotisserie chicken. We limited our sides to just crushed potatoes and brussels sprouts. (We learned our lesson from last time; three sides was too much!)

(Picture of the Harvest Rotisserie Chicken)


(Picture of the Brussels Sprouts)


My second dinning experience at Harvest by Roy Ellamar was as great as the first one! The bone-in ribeye steak tasted even better than I remembered (given that it was very good on my first visit already). The Rotisserie Chicken was surprisingly flavorful and tender.  Both the crushed potatoes and the brussels sprouts complemented the ribeye steak and the rotisserie chicken perfectly.

I have to say the two dinning experience at Harvest by Roy Ellamar were equally great! I will definitely include this restaurant in my Top Ten Restaurants in Las Vegas Strip list!

I Love the Bellagio Conservatory!

I enjoy going to Las Vegas. The restaurants, the shows, and people watching are the best in the world.

BellagiConservatory

One of my top three properties in Las Vegas is the Bellagio Hotel. I stayed at the Bellagio recently. The Bellagio has several world-famous areas, including the Fountains, the registration ceiling glass sculptures, and the Conservatory.

The Conservatory is amazing. There are flowers and plants and displays that will astound you. The Conservatory does a major change-over about every 10 weeks or so, to correspond to the season (Christmas, Chinese New Year, Spring/Easter, etc.)

BellagioTurle

When I stayed at the Bellagio, the Conservatory had a sea-theme. I loved the huge jellyfish hanging from the ceiling but my favorite thing was the sea turtle. Vegas — an incredibly amazing place.

 

Le Cirque Restaurant at Bellagio Las Vegas

I was in Las Vegas recently, staying at the Bellagio Hotel. It’s one of my top three favorite resorts in Vegas.

One night during my stay, I decided to eat at Le Cirque restaurant with a friend who had never eaten there.

CaviarAppetizer

Before I go on, let me say that the Bellagio, for many years, had two restaurants right next to each other — Le Cirque and Circo. Many people, including me, would confuse these two restaurants because their names were so similar (and owned by the same family).

Anyway, after 15 years, Circo closed down in late 2014 and was replaced by a new restaurant “Lago” by chef Julian Serrano. Circo was an Italian – Mediterranean style place. Le Cirque is more French inspired.

CircoRestaurant

So, one evening I ate at Le Cirque with my fried. The restaurant was very fancy. The experience was every bit as excellent as the last time I was there with a gang of girlfriends, the last time I ate there.

If you’re ever in Vegas, Le Cirque at Bellagio should be on your list of places to consider if you’re in the mood for a very fancy dinner!

 

New Year’s Eve Celebration in Las Vegas

I’ve been to Vegas many times, but never during the New Year’s Eve. To celebrate the New Year’s Eve for 2016, my friend and I went to Vegas! This Vegas trip is unlike most of the trips I’ve had to Vegas. There were no set plans. My friend and I wanted to take it easy and play everything by ear.

Happy New Year!

My friends and I stayed at the Aria Hotel. Aria Hotel is one of my favorite hotels in Las Vegas. (Their Sky Suite is one of my top three choices on the Strip, after Wynn/Encore Tower Suites and Skyloft at MGM Grand.) There are many nice restaurants in the Aria Hotel. I feel like I can eat different cuisines without having to step out of the hotel property. Aria Hotel Lobby Shopping The Vegas Strip was crowded with people around the New Year’s Eve period. Most of the retail stores (such as the ones in the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace) were packed every day, especially on New Year’s Eve day. One might wonder why people want to shop during the busiest season after Christmas. The answer is simple, there were sales everywhere. The discounts ranged between 30% to 60%. For example, Salvatore Ferragamo offered a 30% discount, Christian Louboutin offered 40%, and Red Valentino offered 60% discount, etc. It’s hard to say “No” when pretty things are on sale! If you don’t have the actual boutique store in your resident state, you can avoid the tax by asking them to ship to your home. Some retail stores might charge you shipping cost, but most of the time the amount you saved from paying the tax exceeds the shipping charges. Aria Hotel in Las Vegas Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Garden Bellagio is one of my favorite hotels. Their Conservatory & Botanical Garden attracts a lot of people throughout the year. For the 2015 holiday season, Bellagio displayed a Christmas theme with a huge Christmas tree, polar bears, penguins, and snow globes, etc. I noticed the Conservatory & Botanical Garden was more crowded than usual. It was hard to take a picture of the display without running into someone with a selfie stick! Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Garden Eating in the Fancy Restaurants One thing I always look forward to is eating at the nice restaurants in the hotels in Vegas. I know that off the Strip there are many special restaurants that have lower prices, but the experience wouldn’t be the same as in the nice hotels. My all-time top ten restaurants on the Strip include Sinatra at Encore Hotel, Prime Steak and Michael Mina at Bellagio, Joel Robuchon at MGM Grand. A new favorite restaurant is also by Michael Mina, called Bardot Brasserie (French Cuisine), inside of the Aria Hotel. I had dinner there in September 2015 and liked it a lot. It’s the only restaurant that offers brunch in the Aria Hotel, but it only serves brunch on the weekends. In Front of Bardot Brasserie Restaurant On New Year’s Eve, my friends and I had dinner at Hakkasan in the MGM Grand Hotel. We had a multiple course dinner with wine paring. It was a great way to end Year 2015. To sum up, spending the New Year’s Eve in Vegas is fun, even if you are not into gambling or partying. There are plenty of things to do!

The Signature Drink at the Bardot Brasserie by Michael Mina

At a recent trip to Las Vegas, I ate at the Bardot Brasserie restaurant by Michael Mina, at the Aria Hotel.  Before dinner, I tried their signature drink called “And God Created Women”, made with Citadelle St. Germain, Angostura bitters and egg white with the wine-based aperitif, Byrrh.

And God Created Women

(“And God Created Women” Cocktail Drink)

Bardot Brasseri Bar
(Bardot Brasserie Bar)

Stripsteak Restaurant by Michael Mina in Las Vegas

Las Vegas is known mostly for gambling and shows, but the city has some of the best restaurants in the world. On a recent trip to Vegas with my girlfriends, I ate at two well-known steak restaurants in the city. Interestingly, both of these world-class steakhouses were in the Mandalay Bay Hotel.

My friends and I stayed at the Delano Hotel, which is actually a hotel-in-a-hotel inside the Mandalay Bay hotel. There’s also a second hotel-in-a-hotel inside Mandalay Bay, The Four Seasons. The Delano used to be called The Hotel, but the property changed names recently. My guess is that ‘The Hotel’ just wasn’t distinctive enough.

Fish

Anyway, the first steakhouse we ate was Charlie Palmer Steak in the Four Seasons Hotel in Mandalay Bay. The second well-known steakhouse we ate at was Stripsteak by Michael Mina in the main Mandalay Bay hotel restaurant row.

My first impression on walking in was that Stripsteak was a bit more casual and relaxed than a classical steakhouse. Stripsteak was bright and lively and even at 6:00 PM there were a lot of people at the bar.

My girlfriends and I went directly to our table. Our waitress was very perky and personable, and not at all snooty like waiters and waitresses at some fancy steakhouses.

RibEyeAndPotato

My two friends and I all shared our food. The night before we ate steak, and usually one meat meal per trip is enough for us. But for some reason we were still in the mood for steak so we had rib eye steak (again), and Alaskan cod, and Ahi Tuna. But before our main course, instead of the usual bread basket, our waitress brought us the restaurant’s signature French fries — three different kinds with three different dipping sauces. The fries themselves deserve a separate blog post!

The bottom line is that I give Stripsteak by Michael Mina a solid 9 out of 10. Great food, excellent atmosphere, good service, and reasonable prices make Stripsteak one of my highest recommended steakhouses in Las Vegas.

Charlie Palmer Steak Restaurant in Las Vegas

One of the reasons why I like visiting Las Vegas is that the city has some of the best restaurants in the world. On a recent trip to Vegas with my girlfriends, I ate at two well-known steak restaurants in the city. Interestingly, both of these world-class steakhouses were in the same hotel — sort of.

SteakAndFish

My friends and I stayed at the Delano Hotel, which is actually a hotel-in-a-hotel inside the Mandalay Bay hotel. (There’s also a second hotel-in-a-hotel inside Mandalay Bay, The Four Seasons). The Delano used to be called The Hotel, but the property changed names recently. My guess is that ‘The Hotel’ just wasn’t distinctive enough.

Anyway, the first steakhouse we ate at was Charlie Palmer Steak, in the Four Seasons Hotel in Mandalay Bay. My first impression on walking into the restaurant was that it was very traditional. The lighting was very low and the interior decor was dark. My friends and I were a bit early for our dinner reservation so we sat at the medium sized bar (about 16 seats).

SpinachAndPotatos

The bartender was very courteous, and somewhat formal, but not in a bad way. I ordered a glass of red wine. It was very good. My friends ordered white wine and a cosmopolitan. They were good too.

After finishing half of our drinks, we walked over to the hostesses and told them we were ready to be seated. The tables and chairs were very traditional, in keeping with the theme of the restaurant.

My friends and I ordered a rib eye steak, Alaskan halibut, and lamb shanks. We also ordered mashed potatoes and sauteed spinach. We all shared with each other. Everything was delicious as we expected.

Overall, I’d give Charlie Palmer a solid 7.7 on a scale of 1 to 10. Put another way, everything was good but not good enough for me to put Charlie Palmer on my must-return restaurant list. Many best-of lists put Charlie Palmer on their top 10 for steakhouses in Vegas, so if you haven’t tried it, you should at some point.

Christian Louboutin Follies Spiked Glitter Pumps

I’ve always been a fan of shoes that have glitter and sparkle. So, a few weeks ago, before my recent trip to Las Vegas, I was browsing the Saks Fifth Avenue Web site and came across the Christian Louboutin Follies Spiked Glitter Pumps. The pumps come in gold and silver.

Right away, I knew I wanted the sparkly, spiky silver pumps! I didn’t hesitate for long and bought them immediately. While I was buying the shoes, I was thinking about which dresses I could pair the shoes with.

A week later I received the shoes and they were everything I expected and more! The glitter perfectly complemented the silver spikes and the signature Louboutin red soles. The spiked glitter pumps are elegant, but can be worn either during the day or evening.

Christian Louboutin Follies Spiked Glitter Pumps in Silver
Christian Louboutin Follies Spiked Glitter Pumps in Silver

A few days later, I brought my new Louboutin pumps to Las Vegas. I was really annoyed when the airline left my luggage in Seattle, but my suitcase and pumps showed up the next morning. I was relieved.

That evening I ate dinner with two of my friends at my favorite restaurant in Las Vegas — Sinatra’s at the Encore hotel. I wore an Alice & Olivia navy blue Clover Fitted Lace Dress and my friends said the shoes and dress went well together.

I’m glad I bought the Christian Louboutin Follies Spiked Glitter Pumps. They’re a great addition to my glittery shoe collection for special occasions.

Christian Louboutin Follies Spiked Glitter Pumps in Silver
Christian Louboutin Follies Spiked Glitter Pumps in Silver

Christian Louboutin Follies Spiked Glitter Pumps – via Saks Fifth Avenue $1,295

The Prime Steakhouse Restaurant at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas

Las Vegas has incredible restaurants — many are world-class. On a recent trip to Las Vegas, I stayed at the Bellagio Hotel and ate dinner at their Prime Steakhouse restaurant.

The Prime is notable because it faces the large manmade lake in front of the hotel, and while dining you can watch the world famous Fountains of Bellagio water and light show.

I had an early reservation at 5:00 just at opening time. My friend and I had a table for two in a great location to see the water show. Before dinner I had a glass of red wine. It may sound silly, but many Las Vegas restaurants have amazing bread and butter before dinner. I forced myself to only eat a little bit of bread and butter because I knew the serving sizes at Las Vegas restaurants are huge.

My friend and I decided to share. We ordered a 28 oz. bone-in rib eye steak, medium rare, and Chilean sea bass. For side dishes we had Brussel sprouts with bacon and pear, and mashed potatoes.

PrimeDinner
Restaurant server cutting our Bone-in Rib Eye

Everything was amazing as I had expected for a famous restaurant. What surprised me a little bit was how good the Brussel sprouts were — I could have made an entire meal of just them and the mashed potatoes.

Brussels Sprout
Brussels Sprout
Bone-in Rib Eye and Chilean Sea Bass
Bone-in Rib Eye and Chilean Sea Bass

We saw the water show several times during out meal. Even though I’ve seen the Bellagio Fountain Show many times, it was still amazing.

PrimeWaterShow
The view of the Fountains of Bellagio by our window seats.

For dessert, we ordered coconut soufflé, served with chocolate gelato. Just like everything else, dessert was incredibly good.

Coconut Soufflé with Chocolate Gelato

Our total bill was just over $300. Sure, that’s a lot of money, but in my mind the dinner and view and service were well worth the price. If you’re ever in Las Vegas, be sure to consider the Prime Steakhouse at Bellagio.

PrimeInterior
Chandelier inside of the Prime Steakhouse Restaurant
Smashed Potatoes
Smashed Potatoes
Sauces: Peppercorn, Béarnaise, and Soy-rice Wine
Sauces: Peppercorn, Béarnaise, and Soy-rice Wine