Saturday, June 6, 2009
When we were in Las Vegas, Julie and I ate at Bouchon at the Venetian for dinner. Julie had eaten there before a couple of years ago, and was excited to go again. I looked at the menu and was definitely excited to give it a try. Plus, we had a 15% coupon for the restaurant that we got at the bakery, so that helped, because we knew it *definitely* wasn't going to be cheap.
The restaurant had a very cool feel to it. Not too "uppity" that I was uncomfortable, but nice. The waiter was friendly, attentive and helpful. It overlooked one of the garden and pool areas at the hotel. There were nice big windows to let a lot of light in.
Right away, they brought out bread and toasted pistachios for us to munch on.
The waiter explained the specials for us to consider. We got three of the items on the specials menu - an appetizer, an entree and a desert.
We split the "duck pressee" appetizer. It was duck wrapped in applewood smoked bacon and then cooked "en sous vide", which Thomas Keller is pretty famous for doing in his restaurants. It was served with sunchokes and a huckleberry sauce. It was awesome. We started eating it before remembering to take a picture, so the picture is of the appetizer half finished :)
For the entrees, I got the scallops special (scallops are one of my favorite foods). It was scallops flown in fresh from Maine, without being frozen, over caramelized endives and an abalone steak, with a carrot curry butter sauce. I hadn't ever had abalone before, so it was a new food to try, which is always fun. Abalone was definitely an interesting thing to eat, kind of chewy, with a distinct flavor. It matched the rest of the food nicely. The whole thing came out served in an All-Clad dish, which was kind of cool.
Julie had the "steak frites". It was a flatiron steak (probably our favorite steak right now), with maitre'd hotel butter and home made fries. The steak was perfectly cooked, and the fries were amazing. Needless to say, both got finished completely.
For desert we had probably one of the best desert dishes we could remember. We got the "bouchons", which was three small brownies, each topped with a different flavor of ice cream - vanilla, mint chip, and peanut butter. When the waiter was describing it and mentioned fresh peanut butter ice cream, I knew that Julie wouldn't want anything but that desert.
The vanilla ice cream was very good, but got overshadowed by how great the other two were. The mint ice cream didn't taste artificially "minty", it tasted more like mint leaves. Based on what we could tell, they used fresh pureed mint leaves to add the flavor, which gave it a distinct taste that was awesome. The peanut butter ice cream was incredibly creamy and tasted amazing - it was probably the best of the three.
Overall it was an awesome experience that will definitely happen again the next time we are in Vegas.