Sunday, 25 July 2010

Bouchon

Bouchon restaurant is another string to the hugely successful Thomas Keller empire. I think Keller's success lies in the diversity of his restaurants and the obvious passion and attention to detail that he has imbued into them. Each new venture seems to be opened because he loves that style of restaurant. I will write about our amazing experience in his fine dining location Per Se, New York later.
Bouchon is Keller's take on a French brasserie. In Vegas this branch is housed in the tower of the Venetian hotel.


Like everywhere else in Vegas the Venetian is huge and exaggerated but somehow seems a little less tacky than many of the other places in the strip. Bouchon seems like an oasis of charm and elegance in comparison!
The generous and enthusiastic service we received from our waiter made the experience all the more special. We were brought some cocktails with nuts and some excellent French bread to drink while we mulled over the menu. The cocktails are themed on classic drinks from the 1920s through to now. Claire had the very powerful Bouchon classic,
and I had a nice gin and citrus
Bitters cocktail.



Sucker as I am, I was persuaded to have the special starter and main. My starter was a 'short rib g√Ęteau', a layered slice with braised beef short ribs on the bottom, a layer of foie gras mousse in the middle and the top layer was a horseradish gelee. It came with a mini brioche loaf and a stone fruit relish.


I think it was the best thing I've eaten on the trip so far. Each element was soft, rich and luxurious. I could have eaten another one of these for main and another for dessert.
Claire chose a classic French pate de campagne which came with cornichon and radish. Her only complaint was that she wanted more radish!



My main was a huge veal steak, apparently the equivalent of a bone in New York Strip, slow cooked with wholegrain mustard spatzle, pickled bing cherries and glazed turnips. The steak was topped with a cep butter.


Not being a big fan of fruit with savoury dishes I was surprised at how well the cherries went with the mustard and the juicy pink veal steak. Another big thumbs up from me.
We were struggling a little for appetite by halfway through this meal, so the pile of fries that came with Claire's main of croque Madame wasn't easily dealt with, check this out.



To add to the heft of this plate of food, the croque Madame was made with two thick slices of buttery brioche and topped with cheesy mornay sauce. Claire admitted defeat but only left her crusts and some fries.



To go with our mains we had a bottle of syrah from Santa Barbera. A huge, fruitladen alcoholic beast of a wine, a little stronger than I had anticipated! It mellowed a little after opening a warming up a bit. We finished off this monster meal with a Bouchon signature dessert. Three 'bouchons' (corks) of chocolate brownie topped with, from left to right, coffee ice-cream, strawberry sorbet and peanut butter ice-cream.


Delicious!

A great start to crazy Las Vegas. I'm writing this in a minibus on the way to the grand canyon, have eaten a slightly less sophisticated sausage mcmuffin meal. It was damn good.

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