Thursday, January 11, 2007

True Love=Bouchon

I am about to go meet Carrie who has requested to borrow my Bouchon cookbook. Since I am a little distracted by various changes occurring in my life I had forgotten to post about my meal at BOUCHON in Las Vegas. I enjoyed this 50 trillion times more than L'Atelier Joel Robuchon, though the atelier was quite an experience.

First of all, I love the Venezia. The Venetian was an old client of mine and I'm still saddened the um, "middleman" futzed up the situation so that the Venetian was poached, actually by another internal organization. So there ended my somewhat tenuous relationship with The Venetian.

Now, to the good stuff. This was our last big meal in Vegas. We longed for something simple and I had been agitating for Bouchon non-stop since we arrived. I have spent many an hour gazing longingly at the pornlicious pics in the cookbook (only cooked their poulet roti and the most simple moules). I'm not sure that French Laundry really appeals to me (I haven't ascertained how much despised foam Keller uses in those dishes), but I know that the Bouchon food truly satisfies me.

Look. They have Hangar One here! That gets the BrokeDaMouth big ups because nothing satisfies me more than a Hangar One Mandarin with soda. Even when queasy, I can drink this easily. This is modeled by one of the most friendly waitresses I have ever met.

Service is SO important. This place had way better service than the atelier. Unaffected, genuinely friendly. They got huge tips. Chris and I sat at the bar because we hadn't made reservations and we generally like to sit at bars no matter what. I know Chris doesn't like anything remotely verging on stuffy (which attitude one does find at restaurants of every caliber) and we like to strike up relationships with bartenders. It proves valuable. In this case, we got a whole bunch of drinks off of it. FANTASTICO! One of these drinks (off the menu) tasted like a dreamy starburst (made by an equally dreamy bartender). It was made with sloe gin, something that I will have to purchase to try and duplicate.

I didn't want to mess with success so we really had about as classic a meal as one can imagine. We started with Kir Royale.

what a YUMMTY image (in more ways than one!)


Good oysters from all over. I don't remember a single locale anymore. Loved their mignonette, loved the lack of shell debris. How is it possible to get oysters shipped to the desert and still taste as though they were harvested that day?

Chris' Soupe a l'oignon

Sad pic.
This broth was immense. It was so rich it was smoky. Practically a meal in and of itself.

Salade Frisee avec oeuf poche et lardons (LOTSO lardons)

You break the most heartbreakingly, perfectly poached egg into this salad that is already lightly dressed with a lardon vinaigrette and that yolk just coats the frisee in delight. (Sorry tat sounds so dirrty). I don't normally like frisee but this just WORKED. And those brioche slices were the bomb. This is like having breakfast for dinner in a way that's not remotely embarrassing.

Another pic because it's such a pretty dish

This pic says "I am almost as hawt as Chris and his kir royale."

Steak Frites

Not much too say here except those frites were outta control. Shatteringly crisp on the outside, and steamy smooth inside. A salty tangle of potato heaven. The steak here was so much nicer than the onglet I had at the atelier. What's up Joel Robuchon? Can't source like Thomas Keller? Yeah, I guess not.

Sorbet- Mangue et Framboise

Tis pretty, but I don't remember much about it. Chris had most of it.

The other thing I don't remember is the red wine we had. I don't even remember the type. I know it was French (they had some Californians) and I know it was old as we could find for a reasonable price. Chris and I are on an old wine kick and I am even attempting to cellar some. It was a little dusty tasting but went well with all the food post the oysters. We finished the bouteille rather easily. The awesome staff also treated us to two Irish coffees (so not French) and those fantastic starburst sloe gin drinks that the bartender had randomly concocted.

In sum: If you're in Vegas and you want good food, sans pretension, in not wacky environs, I strongly encourage you to try Bouchon.


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