May 20, 2001 3:01 AM

Vegas cuisine: New restaurants advance the city's reputation

A waiter at Picasso, the elegant restaurant in the Bellagio Hotel whose walls boast eight real (if minor) paintings by that fabled artist, reports that one diner recently ordered six $19 servings of foie gras with pear butter and pomegranate -- all for himself. As long as this gambling city attracts high-living high rollers like him, its boom in fine restaurants seems likely to continue.

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