Le Cirque at Bellagio Receives AAA Five Diamond Award

November 17, 2003
Bellagio, Picasso and Renoir Receive Award for Third Consecutive Year Making Bellagio Only Hotel With Two Five Diamond Restaurants

Diamonds: superior, brilliant, exceptional. Today, Le Cirque received five, joining the ranks of now three-time recipients Bellagio, Picasso, and Renoir at The Mirage. With the addition of Le Cirque to the AAA Five Diamond family, Bellagio becomes the only resort in America to house two Five Diamond award-winning restaurants under one roof.

"The AAA Five Diamond award is one of the highest compliments a restaurant or hotel can receive," said Randy Morton, vice president of Hotel Operations at Bellagio. "For Bellagio to be given the distinction and to be home to two Five Diamond restaurants has us all on cloud nine. Considering the quality of resorts, tremendous culinary talent and celebrity chefs in Las Vegas, we are extraordinarily proud of this award that recognizes the level of commitment each of our employees makes."

AAA Five Diamonds represent a superior level of service, quality and ambience. Le Cirque is now one of only three restaurants in Nevada to have earned this honor sharing the distinction with Picasso at Bellagio and Renoir at The Mirage. With nearly 19,000 restaurants evaluated each year, less than one percent earn this esteemed award of excellence.

Marc Poidevin, Executive Chef of Le Cirque, said, "We complete the perfect circle from the minute the reservation is made to the minute our guests leave the restaurant. We strive each day to provide an exemplary experience for each and every guest."

Chef Poidevin matches the colorful and animated surroundings of Le Cirque with his vibrant French cookery blended with contemporary influences. Guests can relish in world-class wines, haute cuisine and luxurious service in an intimate setting.

Le Cirque is the third restaurant in the MGM MIRAGE family to earn the AAA Five Diamond Award. Picasso at Bellagio and Renoir at The Mirage were awarded the Five Diamond today for the third consecutive year. The two restaurants made history in 2001 when they became the first two Five Diamond restaurants in Las Vegas history.

"Each day, we set out to create special, memorable moments for our guests," said Julian Serrano, executive chef at Picasso. "The Five Diamond Award tells us that we are successful in that goal."

Chef Serrano's memorable, Mediterranean cuisine is inspired by the regions of France and Spain where Picasso spent much of his life. Picasso masterpieces, as well as a collection of his charming ceramic pieces, further delight the senses of diners enjoying the Picasso experience.

At Renoir, Executive Chef Alessandro Stratta uses the finest ingredients to create signature dishes reflected on each of his seasonal menus. Guests can indulge in Chef Stratta's innovative, contemporary French cuisine while admiring numerous works of art by master painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir.

"It's an extreme privilege to be honored for doing what you love," said Chef Stratta. "In what has become an extraordinary dining scene in Las Vegas, we are proud to stand apart and define ourselves as a true dining destination."

For the ultimate resort destination, look no further than Bellagio, an ideal place for beauty and elegance. Bellagio became the first and only Las Vegas hotel and casino in history to be awarded the AAA Five Diamond Award in 2002. Today, the resort received this distinction for the third consecutive year.

To be considered for AAA rating and approval, restaurants and lodgings undergo a thorough evaluation by one of 65 full-time, trained, professional tourism editors. Five Diamond establishments go through a much more extensive review. The entire experience, from arrival through departure, is taken into account.

"The quality of service and facilities is very exacting for this level of achievement," said Michael Petrone, director, AAA Tourism Information Development. "We are convinced that these properties will exceed guest expectations, otherwise they would not have achieved a Five Diamond rating."

AAA first started listing accommodation information in its travel publications in the early 1900s. In 1937, the first field inspectors were hired to inspect hotels, motels and restaurants. In 1963, AAA began to rate all accommodations as good, very good, excellent and outstanding. The current one to five diamond rating system was introduced in 1977 during AAA's 75th anniversary.

Morton added, "As excited as we are today, tomorrow we'll be back at work, working harder than ever to ensure that we continue providing that same level of experience to every guest that walks through our doors."


CONTACT: Media, Jenn Michaels, Public Relations of MGM MIRAGE,