Wednesday, September 26, 2007
thomas keller's bouchon
We're one step closer to dining at the French Laundry, the pinnacle of the Thomas Keller restaurant totem pole. Well, technically just Mr.S, since he had the great pleasure of dining solo at the Las Vegas locale of Bouchon last week. For simplicity's sake, I will write from a first person account, as I live vicariously (all the while, green with envy) through his galloping adventures across Sin City.
You can't simply just stumble upon Bouchon whilst walking through the Venetian, and expect to get a table. *GASP, how uncouth. You must have a reservation to enter, as the restaurant is located on the top floor, across a sky bridge, and is only accessible by its own elevator.
The ambiance at the bar is just calling you to order a glass of Chimay, with its brushed pewter counter, mosaic tiles, and traditional antique lighting.
The menu at Bouchon is classic French bistro fare, with a twist here and there to include seasonal ingredients. Standouts include the fois gras terrine, boudin noir, duck confit, and steak frites. The cheese selection offers some of my favorite domestic West Coast choices such as the Pt. Reyes Blue and the Cypress Grove Mad River.
The requisite artisanal French baguette, presented here as an épi (to resemble a stalk of wheat):
For hors-d'oeuvres, chicken "drumstick" confit. Popular in the southwest of France, this snack dish is called gigolette. The meat of chicken wings are pulled back to resemble drumsticks, then fried. Served with a beet salad and horseradish cream:
Steak frites. Perfectly seared flatiron steak, topped with maître d'hôtel butter (compound butter of parsley and lemon juice), and served with crisp fries:
What a superbly satisfying dining experience, with exceptional food and on-point service. And not to mention the celebrity ambiance- sitting dangerously close were Ali Larter and Amy Smart, with their families.
In case you were wondering, "bouchon" refers to a type of traditional Lyonnaise restaurant in France that focuses on heavy meat dishes. You'd find anything but fine upscale dining here. It's traditional food served up in a laidback setting.
The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino
3355 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Las Vegas, NV 89109