Picasso has been so good for so long that people now take it for granted. Which is a shame since it remains one of Vegas’ most iconic and beautiful restaurants—one that will float a finicky foodie’s boat as much now as it did in 1998.
It’s still the place I go whenever I want a veal chop, possibly the best on the planet, or roasted pigeon with wild-rice risotto, or sautéed medallions of fallow deer in a Zinfandel froth.
Julian Serrano (aided by his able Number One Yoshi Honda) has kept this kitchen on an even keel for 16 years, and his deceptively simple menu is chock-full of surprises for even the most jaded gourmand.
From Day One he has offered his pan-seared, U-10 day boat scallops and they don’t come any plumper or sweeter. His foie gras au torchon is legendary, as is the wine list, which has few equals in the U.S..
Master Sommelier Robert Smith is the man in charge of all the fermented grape juice and he can pair Serrano’s Cal-Ital-Mediterranean French food with something as straightforward as an Alsatian Pinot Gris (with those scallops) or a 5 Tuttonyos Royal Tokaji with a steak au foie gras that will have your mouth singing hosannas to this ideal marriage of savory, succulent, and sweet.
The room hasn’t changed a bit since it opened and is no worse for it. Some fault Serrano for not changing his menu more often, or for being too staid in his offerings, but this restaurant is not about invention but perfection.
Max Jacobson: “The excellent supporting cast, led by Japanese Executive Sous Yoshi, peerless Maître d’ Ryland, and the terrific Master Sommelier Robert Smith, is the best in the city. Perhaps the cooking has been upstaged by that of Twist, Robuchon and Savoy, but you’ll always know what you’ll be eating.”
Favorite Dishes: Roasted Maine Lobster; Warm Quail Salad; Poached Oysters; Crème Of Half Moon Bay Peas; Foie Gras au Torchon; Veal Chop; Maine Lobster Salad; Basically everything on the friggin’ menu.