After an amazing meal at Lotus of Siam and seeing The Beatles Love by Cirque du Soleil (which we heartily recommend), J. and I collapsed after a very busy day. After sleeping in, lounging around and being vacation bums, we decided to hit the shower and then head out for Sunday brunch.
On the advice of JK the Cosmic Jester, we found ourselves at the Venetian Hotel and Casino making our way up to Bouchon, the Thomas Keller (of French Laundry fame) production in Las Vegas. We gave our name at the host station and was told the wait would be about 15-20 minutes but we were more than welcome to have a drink at the bar or have some coffee and a newspaper if we wished. Instead, we decided to take photos.
The 15-20 minutes passed quickly and we were on our way to a two-top table toward the back of the restaurant near the patio. The interior of Bouchon was pure Parisian brassiere with a tall ceiling, brass rails and bow tie and apron-clad servers darting in and out of the aisles. The noise level was elevated, but not deafening. After taking our seats, we were presented with menus and water.
Our server arrived and took our drink order. One Diet Coke ($3.50 for each bar bottle) and an Iced Tea ($3.50) for J. When our server returned, she set out the drinks along with a plate containing a ramekin of butter and one of cherry jam. She said she would return shortly.
After the drinks arrived, we were treated to a loaf of Pain Epi, a light and airy baguette crafted into a branch shape. We tore off nuggets and slathered them with butter and cherry jam. This was a wonderful way to start out the meal. The bread was hot, salty and rich with flavor. J. said the crust was perfect. The star here, though, was the cherry jam. It was ridiculously bold with flavor and so delicious when paired with the bread and butter.
When it came time to order, we were set and our server scrawled our wishes: one order of the Toasted Baguette with Nutella ($4.00), the Raspberry Beignets ($7.00), the Croque Madame ($19.00) for me and the Chicken and Waffles ($25.00) for J. To be honest, we had been heavily influenced to get our entrees by the diners on either side of us. One gentleman confessed that he could think of nothing else on his drive from California than to dive into Bouchon’s Croque Madame, and another diner was raving about the Chicken and Waffles.
As we passed the time, we continued to nibble on the Pain Epi. We were then treated with our order of Toasted Baguette with Nutella. The 6 inch mini-baguette had been sliced lengthwise and toasted and a small ramekin of Nutella had been set next to it. J. and I tried a mix of every combination possible with the Nutella, the butter and the cherry jam. The baguette was as excellent as the Pain Epi and a little butter really made the bread shine. Nutella on the bread was heavenly. Butter and Nutella on the bread wase really quite good as the saltiness of the butter enhanced the chocolate flavor. The big winner, however, was a combination of butter, Nutella and cherry jam. Superb on so many levels.
Next to the table were the Raspberry Beignets. These were more like traditional doughnuts rather than the fried dough pieces you get at Cafe du Monde in New Orleans, but we weren’t complaining. They looked wonderful with their cinnamon and sugar coating. They were served with a chocolate dipping sauce and apricot preserves. We each grabbed a beignet and cut it open, smeared it with the apricot jam and popped it into our mouths. It was a very pleasing experience although we had a very tough time discerning any raspberry taste. That was unfortunate because that flavor could have played off the apricot or chocolate very well. Overall, we did enjoy the beignets especially with their cinnamon spice, but they would have been better with the raspberry flavor.
We had just finished almost all of the bread on the table when our entrees arrived. J.’s Chicken and Waffles were very unique. The chicken, instead of being traditionally fried, had been marinated and then roasted. The section on J.’s plate was gorgeous and perfectly cooked. The meat was moist and a thin, crispy skin enhanced the meat. The big winner for J., though, were the waffles. They were savory with bacon and chives added to the batter. The chicken and waffles were also served with maple syrup and a gravy with bacon, mushrooms and onions. J. was raving about the taste and the unique vision of the dish. I tried the chicken and it was exceptionally good.
My Croque Madame was a feast for the eyes. The ham and cheese sandwich was stuffed with meat and cheese, lightly fried and then topped with a Mornay sauce. A big sunny-side up egg graced the top of the sandwich. It was accompanied with Pommes Frites. I cut into the egg and the yolk spread across the surface like syrup on a pancake. My first bite was incredible. The flavor mix was just astounding. Everything melded together and the Mornay sauce was a wonderful glue that enhanced the taste. J. was enthralled with the taste as well and said he would have no qualms about ordering that in the future. The pommes frites were perfectly fried with a crunchy exterior and a light, fluffy interior. The only drawback was that the kitchen had a very heavy hand with the salt and that marred some of the taste potential. Still, I would order the Croque Madame again in a heartbeat.
After our feast, we settled back for a few more glasses of water and just to take in the experience. The service at Bouchon was top-notch and was friendly, warm and accommodating. Everyone we spoke to at Bouchon was more than helpful and seemed genuinely happy that we were there.
We requested our bill and the total was $70.81 including tax. Yes, it was expensive and, yes, it was worth it. The quality of the food and the service experience were everything we could have hoped for in a brunch experience. We paid our bill, ambled out of Bouchon and decided to try our luck in the Venetian casino (it was lousy, by the way).
All in all, we were exceptionally pleased with our trip to Bouchon. It was excellent and we considered one of the highlights of our trip.
It made our Sunday that much better.
Bouchon at the Venetian Hotel and Casino
3355 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Las Vegas, NV 89109
Dress: Resort casual to dressy
Hours: Breakfast: Monday through Friday – 7:00 AM to 10:30 AM, Brunch: Saturday and Sunday – 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM, Oyster Bar: Daily – 3:00 PM to 10:00 PM, Dinner: Nightly – 5:00 PM to 10:00 PM.
Notes: Reservations for dinner only. Valet parking available.
Alcohol: Full bar
3355 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109
Bouchon at The Venetian
3355 Las Vegas Blvd South, Las Vegas, NV 89109
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