Taste the Flavors of Spain at Julian Serrano

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You already know what tapas are, those small plates you can order in groups and share with friends. Julian Serrano takes tapas to a new level as he creates dishes from his native Spain at his new eponymous restaurant at Aria at CityCenter.

Serrano is perhaps best known for Picasso at Bellagio, his French restaurant with extravagant dishes and Picassos lining the walls. At Aria, the decor is far more festive with colorful Spanish tiles, black lacquered sculptural trees and an open bar area that mimics Spain’s patio lifestyle, all designed by Gente de Valor, a first for the Spanish design group.

Simple ingredients are the mainstay for dishes on this menu. Chef Jose Picazo creates signature dishes, such as a lobster-pineapple skewer with Ahi tuna, “molecular” raspberry and wasabi. A dish called Huevos Estrellados contains fried potatoes, eggs and imported Spanish chorizo. Escalibada, a vegetarian dish, mixes roasted eggplant, red peppers and tomatoes, while stuffed piquillo peppers blend goat cheese with mushrooms. Gambas combine sauteed shrimp with brandy and natural jus, while the beef and cheese seems simple enough, a prime tenderloin with brie cheese and toasted bread.

Perhaps best of all is the paella, that savory mix of rice, vegetables, chicken, meats, sausages and/or seafood cooked in a large pan called a “paellera” or “paellador.” The word “paella” comes from the Middle French paelle, which is derived from the Latin patella, meaning “pan.” On the menu, you can find a variety with lobster, chicken, chorizo, vegetables and saffron rice, but always ask about the specials.

The wine list contains more than 500 selections with a focus on Spanish varietals. The bar creates sangrias, hand-muddled cocktails and pours premium cognacs and brandies from Spain.

You can dine at Julian Serrano at lunch or dinner, making it a great escape from the office or a place to gather friends and sample a variety of Spanish dishes, one plate at a time.

For reservations, which are strongly recommended, call 1.877.230.2742 or 702.590.8250.

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