Bouchon (Venetian) – You Can’t Do French Without Thomas Keller

by Franklin on July 29, 2011

A birthday dinner has to consist of two things:  good food and good company.  Luckily, I had both.  I had some amazing food that I would never eat on a daily basis, and my favorite person next to me, who treated me out for my birthday. A birthday doesn’t get any better now does it.

Located at Venetian, Bouchon has a sense of class and ambiance that is so pleasant.  This place is located on the “Bouchon” floor.  Pretty cool.  Once you walk in, you notice the decor isn’t really chic or modern, but has more of a relaxed European (French?) feel to it. Nobody does French better than Thomas Keller.  He is world renowned and is quite possibly the best chef in the world.  I dream of eating at the French Laundry before I die.  Though this isn’t his actual restaurant, until then, Bouchon will have to do.

So the birthday boy, me, wanted some meat.  I ordered the steak frites, minus the frites.  My girlfriend ordered the Croque Madame, which comes with fries already. I switched out my fries with their mac n cheese.  No harm in having a big boy steak and a kid like mac n cheese.

My steak was a pan seared prime flatiron, the cut of a cow right near the neck.  This meant that it had a beefy and livery flavor, but in a gentle way.  There was no sign of caramelizeation of the meat, which was weird to me.  Maybe the maître d’hôtel butter and caramelized onions covered up all the sear.  The taste of the beef was like no other.  It had a grainy beef flavor — it was strong, but it was good. The flavor was just plain unique, in a good way.  Cooked to a perfect medium rare, each bite was juicy and delicious.

Before this amazingness, we shares a grilled octopus salad.  This was the best octopus dish I have ever had.  Not only was the octopus tasty wit the lemon vinegarette dressing, it wasn’t chewy. I was surprised that the octopus wasn’t chewy.  They achieved this by taking the skin off before they cook it.  The soft octopus meat and the tasty salad was such a good mix.  This was fine dining at its finest.

My girlfriend’s Croque Madame was actually more tasty to me.  It was basically a ham sandwich made into an open faced sandwich.  It had toasted ham and cheese on top of a brioche slice.  On top stood a fried egg and mornay sauce. And remember, there was a side of french fries.  The sweetness of the brioche played nice with the ham.  The mornay sauce was very rich and creamy.  It tasted like a mix between a hollandaise and a cheesy cream sauce.  The dish was very tasty, and I would order this again if I ever had a chance to dine here a second time.

A birthday dinner is nothing without a good dessert.  The Marquise au Chocolat was a perfect ending.  The dark chocolate mousse was very strong and not too sweet.  I am a dark chocolate enthusiast and this really hit the spot.  The burnt orange cream was a nice touch to the dessert as well. I am not really a fan of chocolate and citrus fruits, but this one worked well somehow.  It’s not a birthday cake, but this definitely will do.

What an amazing birthday dinner this was.  Not only was I at Vegas, I was doing Vegas right.  Eating at the right places makes all the difference. Vegas and fine dining just go together.  Bouchon is one of the best fine dining spots in Vegas, and The Venetian is a premiere casino and hotel. Off the see the Blue Man Group after an amazing dinner here, and you can call it a night.

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