Love and Food in the Big D

Friday, June 07, 2013

Julian Serrano, Dinner at Picasso & Zarkana: Las Vegas Weekend Getaway - Part 1

For those that know us well… you know that Chad and I love to travel.  We tried to do it as often as Chad’s crazy-work-your-butt-off-schedule would allow...before we had Everleigh.  Once we hit that “no traveling” time in my pregnancy (right after our New England trip last summer), it actually wasn't long before we got that “itch” again.  

Nine months later, one baby born, holidays gone, maternity leave taken, hospital bills taken care of... Chad and I FINALLY started talking about an extended weekend trip somewhere.  Ultimately we wanted to relax.  No real plans.  No things we “had to do”.  And it goes without saying, that we also wanted to go somewhere with incredible DINING opportunities.  We had initially thought NYC would be the destination of choice, but in the end… we thought we’d come back more exhausted than we had left.  Spending too much time running around in the summer heat, visiting places we felt we HAD to visit... just because we were there.  So although we’d love to go back.. NYC will have to wait for a visit in the Fall or early Spring.  

Enter Las Vegas.  It had been so long since either of us had been.. we were quickly drawn to the concentration of things we could do in a seemingly "short" distance to travel.  And with famous chefs having famous restaurants in almost every single casino, our dining options were limitless.  We were sold.  

After about a week of mentally preparing to leave our bear.. (this super sad mommy was MORE than a little paranoid our baby girl would turn her "I-can't-believe-you-left-me" head to us when we got back)... we were finally all ready to go!  :)

After a late evening flight...we FINALLY arrived at our hotel... Aria... with a pretty amazing view :) 

The next morning, we took a look around.. ;) 
And got inspiration for our next house's playroom!  How cool are these?!

Then had lunch at Julian Serrano :) 
Let our culinary adventures begin!  

black rice | fresh calamari | lobster meat | sofrito | squid ink

pan manchego | toasted bread | fresh garlic tomato sauce | one-year-old manchego cheese
stuffed piquillo peppers | goat cheese | mushrooms

octopus | potatoes | spanish paprika

yellowtail “tiradito” | sliced crudo yellowtail | sweet potato haystacks | horseradish cream | ponzu sauce

We also got reassuring updates on our bear.. who was OBVIOUSLY having fun with her MamaLis :) 

A few hours later.. miles walked, lunch digested, we headed to the Bellagio to celebrate Mother's Day the right way.  With a fancy meal of course!!  ;)  Was there any other way??

Here's a little tidbit about our fancy outing for the evening.  :)

Taken from The Bellagio / Picasso Restaurant website... 

As a thirteenth time recipient of the AAA Five Diamond Award, Executive Chef Julian Serrano's menu is inspired by the regional cuisine of France and Spain where Pablo Picasso spent much of his life.  The restaurant boasts a wine cellar stocked with more than 1,500 selections from the finest European vineyards.  Picasso masterpieces, as well as a collection of his charming ceramic piece, further delight the senses of diners enjoying the Picasso experience.  

Unfortunately it was too dark for decent photos of our meal.. but here's what I could capture on the sly from my Iphone.  (felt this restaurant was too fancy to outwardly be taking photos of the food.  ;)  Sneak attack!!  

And for those interested in the menu descriptions...

Chad selections included:
Poached Oysters
Foie Gras au Torchon
Roasted Pigeon

While I chose:
Warm Quail Salad
Sauteed Ruby Red Shrimp
Sauteed Medalions of Fallow Deer


And as if the excitement of a fabulous meal wasn't enough... Chad suggested that we try to see if we could get VERY last minute tickets to the Cirque show Zarkana!

But Sssssshhhhhhhh.... NO pictures PLEASE ;)