Sunday, February 28, 2016

A Little Piece of Paris at the Venetian in Vegas

Bouchon Bistro
3355 S. Las Vegas Blvd. 
Las Vegas, NV, 89109

Breakfast in Vegas can be a little tricky. For one thing, you really have to want it. After late nights of shows, gambling, and drinking, you might want to forgo the first meal of the day to get some extra hours of sleep. Then if you really make up your mind to experience a Vegas breakfast, you have to decide where to go. For me, I want something I can't get at home. something special. a breakfast that will be talked about long after I've returned home. I was hoping that Bouchon Bistro would be that place on this trip.

Bouchon is a Thomas Keller restaurant. His restaurants are some of the worlds most dreamed about by foodies, such as myself. A dinner at French Laundry in Yountville would not just be a meal, it would be an experience, and I have it on my bucket list of places to eat someday. Keller's other restaurants are Ad Hoc, also in Yountville, Per Se in New York City, and his line of Bouchon restaurants, which have now spawned Bouchon Bakery and Bar Bouchon. He's written cookbooks, publishes a magazine, been on numerous TV shows, won almost all major restaurant awards, his restaurants have been on more best of lists than anyone else, and his places win Michelin stars like they are going out of style. I'd sum him up by saying that Thomas Keller is like the Oprah Winfrey of the food world. With all of this buildup, I was hoping this was going to be a great breakfast.

Bouchon is located at the Venetian, in the Venezia Tower, which you access from an elevator right next to the hotel's front desk. Take it up 10 floors, turn left, and walk down an impressive hallway, and it'll be on your right. We arrived at close to 11 on a recent Wednesday morning. We did not have any trouble getting a table, and were sat right away. I'm not so sure that this is the norm though, but they do take reservations, but only for dinner.

Opened since 2004, the space overlooks the pool area of the Venetian. With its natural light, white linens, and tiled floor, I'd describe the vibe here as relaxed elegance. I felt comfortable eating here in shorts and a collared shirt, while business people wearing suits were trying to broker a deal at the next table. The brunch menu is decidedly French influenced. Entrees are listed in French, but explained perfectly in English underneath. I already knew what I was going to have, thanks to my habit of looking at menus before we reach a place, and even Katie had made her decision rather quickly. Let's check out the grub at Bouchon.

Katie started things off with the Baguette with Nutella ($5). I had thought that they would make their own Nutella here, but according to our server, it's just out of the jar. The bread was delicious with the jarred Nutella, or the provided butter and strawberry jam. Good crust to the bead, with a soft inside. Everything you would want from bread, and a wonderful start to Katie's meal.

I've been on a real Chocolate Croissant ($4.25) kick lately, so of course I had to try this one from Bouchon. I can definitely add this to one of the better ones that I have had. Very flaky on the outside, with a good chocolate inside. It seemed to have a chocolate ganache inside, with some more solid pieces of chocolate also wrapped up in there. Based on these two bread items, even if you are not planning on eating here, you might want to stop by the Bouchon Bakery located in the Grand Canal Shoppes to experience some of their pastries.

Yes, Katie went pretty basic with her selection here. This Les Oeufs ($14) breakfast included two scrambled eggs, two potato croquettes, toasted brioche, and choice of breakfast meat. Even though this was a pretty basic start to her day, she exclaimed that this was one of the best breakfasts that she has had. The eggs were done lightly, the potatoes were tender and delicious, and they were very generous with the amount of bacon included here, I counted six slices.

My Instagram feed has been inundated with images of Croque Madame's ($18.95) lately, so I had to get in on the fun. This would be my first time having this good looking French sandwich. It's made up of ham and cheese on toasted brioche, then topped with a fried egg and Mornay sauce. This thing was pretty rich, and real stick to your ribs kind of food. The kind of brunch item that you want to consume, and then take a nap afterwards. I could imagine that this is where the basic premise of the Egg McMuffin came from. Even though I was pretty stuffed after eating the sandwich, I could not resist the fries here. They were fried crisp, with a tender inside. A very good meal.

We left Bouchon full and very satisfied. Yes, the prices here are a little on the high side for breakfast, but you get what you pay for at Bouchon. The food is of the highest quality, and this brunch really just whetted our appetite to come back here for dinner on our next visit to Vegas. Service was exemplary during this visit. Our waitress was on top of all of our needs, without being too into our business. Yes, this is the only time I have had a croque madame, but they have set the bar pretty high for my next one. Definitely a breakfast spot in Las Vegas to make an effort to get out of bed for.

Out of five corks, (because I learned that bouchon is the French word for cork, and I'd definitely pop one for this brunch), five being best to zero being worst, Bouchon Bistro gets 4 corks.

For more information about Bouchon Bistro, head to their website here:

Bouchon Bistro - The Venetian Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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