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Vegas Eats: Lago at Bellagio

By Chuckmonster on Thursday, 25th June 2015 10:45am
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 9


Bellagio Lago Restaurant Review 2015

Lago is the latest restaurant in the expanding dining partnership between MGM Resorts International and Chef Julian Serrano whose previous successes include Bellagio's Picasso (see VegasEats: Picasso at Bellagio) and Serrano's eponymous tapas restaurant at Aria (see VegasEats: Julian Serrano at Aria).

Bellagio Lago Review Exterior

Opened in April in the space formerly occupied by Circo, Lago aims to build on Serrano's modern tapas reputation with a social interpretation of seemingly incongruous small plate Italian cuisine. If the concept of bite-sized morsels what previously spilled over the edges of a single serving platter offends you, stop here. And don't look at the prices either.

Bellagio Lago Review Bar

Lago's (obviously) lakefront space and its retro-modernist space age bachelor pad decor echo the cuisine in their attempt to marry classic elegance with avant-creativity. The resultant experience - in taste and space - unfortunately ends in a disconnect between real candy and eye candy.

Bellagio Lago Review View

You can't really beat this view, particularly after the Earth's rotation turns off the Sun and Bellagio's epic fountain display sprays light across The Boulevard's backdrop.

Bellagio Lago Review Menu

I joined fellow foodie JohnH for dinner this evening. Misnomer cancelled due to a serious case of Gloop. Our server, bus boy and sommelier were quite enamored with JohnH's Apple Watch, but not nearly as enamored as Bellagio's pit crew would be later that day.

Bellagio Lago Review Menu1

Lago's menu offers soups, salads, cheese, charcuterie, small pizzas, raw and cooked fish and shellfish, pasta, meat and vegetarian selections. A small selection of "piatti grandi" (large plates) entrees were also available for tapas averse diners.

Bellagio Lago Review Menu2

We ordered an array of tapas dishes, Pizzete Al Cipollotto E Speck, Ricotta Infornata, Canneloni, Impepata Do Cozze, Capasanta alla Putanesca and the Gnocchi Alla Romana. John ordered a cocktail, I drank lake water, neat.

Bellagio Lago Review Table Setting

Welcome to social dining, where plates (and dishes) are designed not for immediate consumption, but instead as a photographic social media advertisement. Ever wonder what a hashtag tastes like? We'll soon find out!

Bellagio Lago Review Rosso Bellini

The Rosso Bellini ($18) featured a candied raspberry sitting on a basket of spun sugar. Fancy. It looked like #desert. I didn't taste it.

Bellagio Lago Review Bread

A complimentary plate of bread arrived. Crispy, crunchy and lightly charred.

Bellagio Lago Review Imperata Di Cozze

A large black pot arrived containing Imperata di Cozze ($12) - the classic mussels steamed in white wine, butter, onion and lemon dish. Zesty, tasty and delicious. I dipped some of that bread into the bottom of the pot to soak up the dregs of the juice. I think I may have licked my plate too.

Bellagio Lago Review Ricotta Infornata

Next, Ricotta Infornata ($9) a baked ricotta with red and yellow corn seed pear tomatoes and arugula sprigs, drizzled with balsamic vinegar. I was surprised that this dish was served ice cold. I figured "baked" implied the dish would be served warm, but alas it wasn't. Baked in this instance means "dehydrated" a process which transformed ricotta into a block with the consistency of firm tofu. The balance of the dish could be greatly improved by presenting it with the sweet balsamic splashed mingling with acidic tomatoes sliced on top instead of alternating bites.

Bellagio Lago Review Pizzette Al Cipollotto E Speck

Pizzette al Cipolotto E Speck ($16) followed, a small pizza with onions and smoked proscuitto atop ricotta cheese. This dish was visibly seasoned, yet - like the previous ricotta dish - was frighteningly bland. It was cooked well and beautifully presented. John and I each ate one piece and abandoned the rest.

Bellagio Lago Review Cannelloni Short Ribs

A duet of Canneloni ($16) arrived next, filled with pulled short ribs and slathered in tomato sauce and covered in a crisped layer of Parmesan fonduta. The sauce in and of itself was tangy and delicious, however balance of the dish was off specifically the ratio of pasta to filling and a lack of seasoning. (Note: The sloppiness of the dish is my doing, I cut the canneloni in half to peek inside.)

Bellagio Lago Review Capasanta Alla Putanesca

Being trashy food whores required us to order the Capasanta Alla Puttanesca ($16) and we finally got the seasoning we had been craving for the entire meal in the form of a anchovy salt bomb. The scallop was perfectly seared, the boquerone puttanesca was explosive and the last of the bread was used to sop up every last drop. I feel dirty.

Bellagio Lago Review Gnocchi Alla Romana

Finally, the Gnocchi Alla Romana ($14), a casserole of potato discs covered in creamy blue cheese sauce. A) This isn't gnocchi, this is a potato pancake. B) The sheer size and puffiness of these discs were disproportionate to the amount of sauce contained therein. John and I each ate one piece and abandoned the rest.

I doubt I'll return to Lago at Bellagio. Yes, that view is incredible. Yes, Julian Serrano is a great chef. Yes, the food is digitally delicious. But the real live meal-in-my-mouth was gorgeous display of mostly shoulder shrugging misses.

Bellagio Lago Review Check

Here's the bill. Dinner for 2 with 1 cocktail and no desserts came to $109.18.

Tagged: lago   bellagio   julian serrano   


Comments & Discussion:

Meh. Thanks for the timely review. Pretty food, but I believe I'll stick with the tapas joint at Aria instead of trying this next month.

Sounds like this was a better experience as Circo. If they wanted another Serrano tapas joint, better to replace FIX instead.

FYI, that is gnocchi.. albeit a different type than you are most likely familiar with :-(


As a big fan of Chef Serrano, I will definitely try Lago on my next visit but I will stick with the menu items you and others on Yelp liked and avoid the ones that garner the most dissappointment . It's the same way that I approached Picasso and Serrano's joint at Aria when eaing there for the first time. Thanks for the review and pictures!
(personally, I kinda dig the out-of-place whimsical space-agey modernist decor!)

The space looks gorgeous, other than those chairs. Those chairs look horrid.

I was not real impressed when I went here. I don't really do small portions so I won't be coming back.

Agree completely. The restaurant looks beautiful, service was great, the drinks are ornate, and the dishes are pretty. I had a very hard time finding anything I liked. I felt like these were the dishes that didn't make the cut when Serrano's opened. I actually had a second dinner about an hour later.

I only have one recommendation, try the "Risotto al vino rosso". It's red wine risotto with a big piece of burrata cheese on top.
Lago is OK at best, but I'll miss Circo. Coincidentally Circo's Truffle Risotto was the best.
Also no offense to Julian Serrano but Lago was as disappointing as my last meal at his Aria joint.

\We had a similar experience in May. The patio table we had was excellent as was the service.

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