The destination that brought celebrated seafood fine dining to the Las Vegas desert makes its next evolutionary step as MICHAEL MINA Bellagio reopens with a re-imagined concept that emulates fresh seafood feasts at marketplace paradises and seaside villages from around the world.
“The Las Vegas restaurant scene has exploded in recent years,” said James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Mina. “I wanted to re-invent my Bellagio restaurant to provide guests with a thoughtful and exciting new way to enjoy all types of seafood. I found inspiration in my travels and researched the best cultural traditions, techniques, and presentations that bring out the most delicious flavors of seafood.”
The result is Chef Mina’s “Market List” menu, which honors the refined culinary craft of seafood from Japan, the Mediterranean, France and beyond. Highlights include:
- Spice-Crusted and Whole-Fried Fish: The large-format Hawaiian preparation offers a zesty crunch to a selection of four fishes – from Pink Snapper to Moi – that can feed up to five.
- Hot Charcoal-Grilled Shellfish: An immersion of Asian and Southern cooking, Chef Mina brushes succulent shellfish like Maine Lobster and King Crab with miso, garlic and Yuzukoshō butter before tossing them on a charcoal grill to intensify the natural flavors of the shellfish.
- Signature Tasting Menu: Loyal fans of MICHAEL MINA Bellagio can still experience his signature dishes, such as the legendary Lobster Pot Pie and Caviar Parfait, will now be featured in an opulent five-course feast.
- Market Catch Fish Steaks: As if just plucked from the Tsukiji Market, six hearty selections of seafood are cut into elegant steak presentations. The thick cuts of Yellow Fin Tuna, Moonfish, Mahi Mahi and more dazzle in both presentation and taste.
- Three-course à la carte menu: Melding the flexibility of à la carte with the decadence of a chef’s tasting menu, is this special section that provides a variety of options at each course, including a Black Garlic Butter Fish served with fried peppers, baby eggplant and olive oil-smashed white yams.
- Signature Caviar Selections: Tableside caviar service remains an integral element of the MICHAEL MINA Bellagio experience, now elevated with royal trimmings and a selection of Golden Osetra, Kaluga, and White Sturgeon.
Along with the new seafood concept, the space has received a complete renovation to reflect Chef Mina’s vision for a seaside village dining experience within the context of fine dining. The expanded dining room features its own raw bar along with a new lounge space, ideal for cocktails and small bites. A new private dining room also has been added and is available to seat up to 24 guests.
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Dugan grew up in a rural town in upstate New York, getting his start at a local pizzeria washing dishes at a young age, falling in love with life in the kitchen. He worked his way up the ranks cooking in that kitchen.
The next stop was The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. Upon graduation, he spent a year traveling, training and competing in numerous culinary competitions, sanctioned by the American Culinary Federation, as team captain. Dugan led the team to gold medals on the state, regional and national level.
He soon joined Chef Michael Mina in Washington, DC at Bourbon Steak in the renowned Four Seasons Hotel in Georgetown. Focused and determined he climbed the ranks to sous chef of Bourbon Steak. After 3 years in DC, Dugan jumped at an opportunity to become Executive Sous Chef at RN74 Seattle. Over the next two years in the French Inspired Bistro Dugan grew into the role of Chef de Cuisine at the restaurant on 4th and Pike at only 25 years old.
A move to the Midwest would soon follow where Dugan was the opening Executive Chef of Eastside Eat & Drink in Minneapolis, followed by opening Chef de Cuisine of Bellecour Bistro in Wayzata, MN. Bellecour and Dugan both received rave reviews over the next two years on a local and national level. At 29 years old in 2017, Dugan was listed and honored in Zagat’s 30 under 30 National List, as top young industry leaders across the country for his work in Minnesota.
In 2018, his return to the MINA Group was full circle and a warm welcome. Now as Executive Chef of the iconic Michael Mina Restaurant in the Bellagio, Dugan focuses on whole fish preparations while honoring and showcasing the much-respected classic dishes that Chef Michael had created to make the restaurant legendary.
In his spare time, Dugan is most commonly found checking out new restaurants, exploring the NV landscape, cooking and grilling at home or reading.