Julian Serrano took Las Vegas fine dining to a bold new level when Picasso opened with Bellagio in 1998. And even in that formal French eatery, amid millions of dollars of art and a view of the Bellagio Fountains, he impressed those who were paying attention with hints of his Spanish roots. Years later, when Aria opened, he was provided with this fun, vibrant space to truly showcase the flavors of his native country.
If you have the time, make sure to try the paella. Serrano offers four varieties in pans intended for two, but they take 45–60 minutes to prepare. That time will fly, however, as you nibble on legit tapas and a selection of Iberico or serrano ham and Spanish cheeses. And for those who may have indulged a bit too heavily the previous night, there’s no better hangover cure than Chef’s huevos estrellados: shoestring French fries topped with chorizo and a pair of runny fried organic eggs.
This restaurant's fans include Top Chef alumnus Carla Pellegrino, as well as another celebrity chef who filled out his survey anonymously and veteran Las Vegas restaurant critic Heidi Rinella.
Pro Tip: The chef’s first name is pronounced HOO-lee-ahn.