With over a decade of frequenting Las Vegas, I’ve never been to Michael Mina’s flagship in town. Why? The restaurant menu doesn’t seem too interesting to me with the exception of their lobster pot pie. With that said, I took a chance on this trip and made my inaugural visit.
TL:DR: How was it? It’s decent but not worth the price considering the plethora of options in town.
Pre-gamed at their sister restaurant Bardot Brasserie at the Aria during happy hour:
boardot chicke wings | espelette gastrique, “franch” dressing
stringy and bone dry
beef wellington hot dog | hand-made hot dog, pastry crust, paris mushroom ketchup
Game time…it’s located inside the Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens so you’ll have to brave past the massive crowd to reach the restaurant.
spread trio | hummus, yogurt, olive
bread basket | garlic roll, french roll, cranberry sourdough
bread basket is served
warm piping-hot which is always a bonus. cranberry sourdough here is soft on the inside and has slightly crisped crust. its signature sour profile is countered by the gentle sweetness of the cranberries. the other two bread? a bit dry but did an admirable job serving as a vehicle for the solid trio of spread.
amuse bouche | fig, cucumber, tomato, watermelon radish, cracker, lime vinaigrette
sweet, sour, salty, crunchy. a nice wake-up call to my tired palate to start the evening.
michael mina’s caviar parfait | smoked salmon, creme fraiche, egg mimosa, hash brown - supplement
quite a brunch composition and familiar flavor combination of smoked salmon, creme fraiche, and egg mimosa. however, its umami is bumped up with the addition of natural msg aka caviar and the dish is complete with a crunchy textural contrast in the form of hash brown sitting on the bottom.
tartare of ahi tuna | mint, pine nuts, scotch bonnet, sesame oil, quail egg, toast
tuna tartare remains on michael mina’s signature menu despite being a dated dish. after all, you can find tuna tartare pretty much at any restaurant nowadays. so how did it taste? as you can imagine, yellowfin or big eye tuna aren’t inherently very flavorful. but the complementary flavors of zing from mint, nutty sesame oil, pine nuts, and that hint of heat from the scotch bonnet really lifted the dish’s flavor profile and created a sichuan peppercorn-like numbing sensation to my palate.
phyllo-crusted sole | king crab brandade, pea shoots, mustard beurre blanc
sole is moist and juicy but the phyllo-crust is a bit too thick so the crust-to-fish ratio is off.
michael’s lobster pot pie | brandied-lobster cream, black truffle, baby vegetables
highlight of the night goes to this pot pie. every component from carrot, maitake, squash, spinach, white asparagus, turnip, to lobster were perfectly cooked. i would love to eat this dish again!
prime beef “rossini” | foie gras, bloomsdale spinach, sauce perigourdine, hash brown
a classic dish with perfect execution. the lean filet’s flavor profile is amped up nicely when combining with the fatty foie.
root beer float | walnut and chocolate chip cookie, root beer boba pearls
i’m not the biggest fan of root beer but those two cookies were lovely…intense flavor, crisped crust, and a moist and molten interior. @rlw