Michael Mina Restaurant
Tattinger Champagne Cuvee Prestige / Hibiscus Cucumber French 75 / Iced Tea
Michael Mina’s Caviar Parfait – Royal Kaluga Caviar, Alderwood Smoked Salmon, Crème Fraiche, Shallot Potato Cake, Parsley Oil, Egg Mimosa, Onion Syrup
Laffa Bread – Kalamata Olive Tapenade, Housemade Hummus, Red Onion Labneh
Sweet Corn Gazpacho – Bristol Bay King Crab, Summer Melon, Heirloom Tomato, White Onion Oil, Bell Pepper, Serrano Chili Pepper
Heirloom Tomato Tarte – Whipped Ricotta, Benton’s Bacon, Frisee, Honey, Australian Winter Truffle
Foie Gras Torchon – Roasted Plum, Sumac, Toasted Brioche
Whole Roasted Foie Gras – Roasted Peaches, Truffle Jus, Chives, Grilled Brioche
Hot Charcoal Grilled Shellfish Platter – Pacific Oysters, Atlantic Oysters, Maine Lobster, Red King Crab, Gulf Prawns, Diver Scallops, Miso, Garlic, Yuzu Kosho
Michael’s Lobster Pot Pie – Brandied Lobster Cream, Black Truffle, Baby Vegetables
24oz 45-Day Dry-Aged Bone In Rib Eye – Anchoiade, Bone Marrow
Grilled Broccolini – Truffle Vinaigrette
Chocolate Mina Cake – Milk Chocolate Mousse, Chocolate Custard, Beet Sorbet, Beet Chips, Raspberry
Crème Fraiche Panna Cotta – Strawberry Granita, Poached Rhubarb, Hibiscus Consommé
Honeycomb Pavlova – Stone Fruit Compote, Elderflower Custard, Lemon Verbena Ice Cream
Pineapple Parfait – White Chocolate, Rum Meyer Lemon Cake, Macadamia Nuts, Dragon Fruit, Pineapple Sorbet, Vanilla Sabayon
Originally known as Aqua, but since reborn twice as MICHAEL MINA Restaurant, it was behind The Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens that five guests sat down for Dinner on Thursday, service led by Jorge Pagani once again faultless as the kitchen showed off a seasonal bounty.
A former Michelin star recipient in the guide’s Las Vegas days, accolades that would have undoubtedly continued or received an upgrade with MICHAEL MINA’s 2018 shift towards market-fresh Seafood, it is under the watch of Executive Chef Nick Dugan that the kitchen has operated since Spring of this year, his time working with Bocuse d’Or Coach Gavin Kaysen in Minnesota apparent in plates that showcase great ingredients in complicated ways without seeming tedious or ‘fussy.’
Always a special place, though the recently-added lounge menu looks to offer guests a more casual way to experience some of Chef Dugan’s Food in the front, it was while a large party took place in the main dining room that Carte Blanche was requested by friends gathering cross-country, a Champagne toast starting things off and quickly followed by Michael Mina’s timeless Caviar Parfait.
Cleansing the palate with an icy shot of Belvedere, and continuing on with an a la minute French 75 built around Hibiscus and Cucumbers, Mina’s Bread Basket once again proved tempting despite many courses to follow, soft Laffa excellent regardless of condiments and also well-utilized for sopping up Sauces or the remainder of Sweet Corn Gazpacho poured tableside onto King Crab, Melon and Peppers.
Impressed by Nick’s Pithivier in May, and finding equally splendid Pastry surrounding a Tomato Tart brightened by Bacon and Honey, it was with the linger of Truffles still present that two types of Foie Gras followed, the cold preparation matching Liver to Plums with textural toppings while a whole-roasted Lobe divided tableside wowed even those skeptical with the sweet and savory contrast of Peaches and roasting Juices perfumed by Truffles.
Already a remarkable meal, though only at the midway point, guests were next treated to a new-signature in the form of triple-tiered Shellfish grilled with Japanese influence, the wrist-thick lengths of Crap and Dayboat Scallops standing out from pack while Lobster also shined here and as the centerpiece of Michael’s famous Pot Pie.
Making the Pot Pie “Surf n’ Turf” by way of two 24oz Dry-Aged Rib Eyes, a cut of Meat that would stand out at any Steakhouse on the Strip, it was after leftovers were packed that Desserts from Vivian Chang took center stage, the seasonal Panna Cotta walking a tightrope of sweet and sour atop peerless textures while Chocolate Cake, a reworked Pineapple Parfait and Summer’s beautiful Honeycomb Pavlova all impressed the eye and mouth equally.
FIVE STARS: In an ever-changing market it is easy to overlook small changes, but with its reinvention last year MICHAEL MINA took a big step forward, and with Chefs Nick Dugan and Vivian Chang now overseeing the Kitchen and Pastry program, respectively, the Restaurant remains nothing short of remarkable whether ordering Mina’s classics or seasonal inspirations.
RECOMMENDED: Michael Mina’s Caviar Parfait, Heirloom Tomato Tarte, Foie Gras Torchon, Whole Roasted Foie Gras, Hot Charcoal Grilled Shellfish Platter, Michael’s Lobster Pot Pie, Crème Fraiche Panna Cotta, Honey Comb Pavlova.
TIP: The Market List Menu is prone to daily change and Whole Foie Gras requires advanced notice.
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.