A&E

Michael Mina Bellagio gets back to the Aqua approach

Image
Michael Mina knows how to fish.
Photo: Anthony Mair / Courtesy

Michael Mina might be a true San Franciscan, but like any good partner in a long-distance relationship, he knows exactly what his Las Vegas restaurants need and when they need it.

It’s been 20 years since Mina made his Vegas debut with Aqua at Bellagio and 14 years since he replaced it with his namesake restaurant. Now he’s decided to reinvent that vision once more.

“We sat down with [Bellagio President and COO] Randy Morton and said, ‘What are we going to do?’” Mina says during a recent tasting dinner. “I said I don’t want to do a new concept, I want to do Michael Mina 2.0.”

Michael Mina

In addition to a remodel designed to mimic a seaside market experience, the space has transformed into “a fish restaurant with no boundaries,” as the chef describes it. The focus is the market list menu, which includes charcoal-grilled shellfish, spice-crusted and whole-fried branzino, a melt in your mouth ginger and scallion broiled kona kampachi and more.

“We never had anything that did this,” Mina says, gesturing toward the windows of the new private dining room that looks into the whimsical Bellagio atrium, which will allow guests to dine among blooming cherry blossoms and purple orchids. It’s a big change, but don’t worry: Signature dishes like the lobster pot pie and caviar parfait are still there.

“Most of all I wanted to bring it back to a fish restaurant,” Mina said. “I always felt like this really should be the best fish restaurant in Las Vegas. It should be looked at as the fish restaurant at Bellagio, because that’s what Aqua was about, and that’s where it all started.”

MICHAEL MINA Bellagio, 702-693-7223. Monday-Saturday, 5-10 p.m.

Tags: Dining, Food
Share
Photo of Leslie Ventura

Leslie Ventura is a staff writer at Las Vegas Weekly and Industry Weekly. She’s picked the brains of rock stars ...

Get more Leslie Ventura
  • La Monja will be a Mexican-style raw bar, while Hatsumi will offer a more elegant experience, focused on traditional robata and irori grilling.

  • Head to the bar for executive chef Mark Andelbradt’s counter-only menu and prepare for a range of explosive flavors.

  • You come from the music, but you leave talking just as much about the food.

  • Get More Dining Stories
Top of Story