Julian Serrano’s Lago transports diners to a sparkling seaside port by way of avant-garde early-20th-century Milan.
It’s basically a requirement of any new Vegas restaurant that it transport diners to an exotic locale, and Lago in Bellagio does this better than virtually any restaurant today. Julian Serrano, acclaimed for his two-Michelin-starred Picasso in Bellagio and Julian Serrano in Aria, turns his attention from Spanish tapas and molecular gastronomy to Italian small plates, with captivating results. Consider the pristine crudo of ahi tuna and scallop with blood orange segments, the tangy branzino Livornese, and the beautifully tender slow-cooked short ribs. The cocktail program includes tiny edible touches, such as a sphere of Prosecco, limoncello, lemon sorbet, and cocoa butter to pop in your mouth with the reinvented Sgroppino. And while dishes like a rich red-wine risotto atop creamy Burrata will have you questioning every previous risotto to enter your life, it’s the sparkling modern room that completes this picture. The sleek, light-filled design is a tribute to 20th-century Italian futurism. A glass mosaic—an aerial map of Milan—greets guests as they enter; an Emilio Pucci–inspired back bar is the focal point of the dining room; and the patio is a thoroughly modern al fresco hideaway. You’ll forget that the faint seaside humidity comes from dancing fountains in the desert. Bellagio, 877-259-7111