When Julian Serrano’s Lago arrived in spring, its flashy, futuristic-regal design and beautiful views of Bellagio’s lake brought brunch visions to mind. And the small-plate-focused Italian eatery launched Sunday-only brunch service in late August, three courses for $38 with all-you-can-drink mimosa, bellini and Bloody Mary options for $28. It feels like a brunch designed to join the short list of the Strip’s institutional weekend morning meals.
The first course is a delectable pastry basket with French croissants mixed in among lemon-poppy-seed-almond mini-muffins and Italian zeppole mini-doughnuts. For your second and third courses, you’ll choose from an extensive list of perfectly portioned dishes like ahi tuna crudo, macaroni carbonara, mozzarella and vegetable frittata, and Florentine-style spinach and ricotta-stuffed chicken. The plates might be small, but this is a lot of delicious food. For ultimate satisfaction, don’t skip cheesy, soft polenta topped with braised, pulled duck meat or poached egg-topped lasagna with meat sauce. On the lighter side, ratatouille bruschetta is refreshing and topped with buffalo mozzarella and speck. Familiar favorites get Italian treatment, too, as in the eggplant parm-Benedict hybrid and the mighty sausage and fried egg burger.
Each dish would be enough of a meal by itself, but you get to work through two of them on top of those pastries and a display of small desserts. And you need to make room for the eye-opening Bloody, served with eyedroppers of Tabasco, horseradish and Worcestershire sauce for spicy and savory customization.
Lago Bellagio, 702-693-8888. Brunch served Sunday, 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m.