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Daniel

Bouchon Las Vegas

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A breakfast answer:

Breakfast reservations are generally not required.  I've had breakfast at Bouchon half a dozen times, without reservations, and only had to wait once.

...and a dinner question:

Back in September, I was talking to a server about the excellent boudin blanc for breakfast.  He mentioned that Bouchon used to serve an even better boudin noir for dinner, but that it had been discontinued.  However, I see that boudin noir is listed on the restaurant's web site.  Does anyone know if boudin noir is in fact available?

i realize this question was asked back in feb, but i believe the boudin noir is seasonal... mainly served in colder months. at least this is what they do in yountville.

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Thanks for this thread! I was in Vegas this past weekend as part of a bachelorette party I planned, and I definately had to put Bouchon on the itinerary. There were eight of us, so I called ahead to make sure they would be able to accomodate a large group for breakfast.

We had a wonderful experience. We're all in our early to mid twenties, mostly single working women, so the price point was perfect. (Plus, when our server found out we had a bride-to-be with us, her meal was on the house.) And the food was wonderful, with some fantastic little touches, like the delicious stalks of epi bread, and the vanilla bean butter that came with the sourdough waffles, which was so good I would have eaten it with a spoon. And I'll agree that even if you're there for breakfast, order the excellent pomme frites. We all ordered, and shared, so I tasted five or six dishes, and they were all outstanding. Between the food, the stellar service, the ambience (and being with some of my oldest and dearest freinds), it was pretty much a contextually perfect meal.

Between this and the recommendation for Burger Bar that came up in several threads, you guys really helped us to eat well this weekend.


"Nothing you could cook will ever be as good as the $2.99 all-you-can-eat pizza buffet." - my EX (wonder why he's an ex?)

My eGfoodblog: My corner of the Midwest

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I was in Las Vegas this weekend and ate 2 of my 3 breakfasts at Bouchon, since the Venetian was walking distance from my hotel.

I got there around 8:45am on Friday and it was nearly empty. I was able to get a patio seat without any wait. The patio is very nice and really helps take you away from Vegas. My server was very prompt, polite and attentive. However I did notice more than one mix up in orders. The servers never seemed to know who ordered what at a given table and at one point served the wrong table altogether. The servers ended up confering in a circle on the patio, plates in hand until they figured out what table the food was going to. It really wasn't a big deal, it appeared everyone got what they ordered in the end.

The pre-meal bread was wonderful and crusty and came with a tasty orange marmalade instead of butter. I thought the lack of butter was odd. Turns out it was odd as, without prompting, my server returned a couple minutes later with butter. I ordered the french toast and a side of pomme frites, both of which were wonderful and came out very fast. The french toast was topped with fresh, thin sliced, crisp apples and filled with apples and maple syrup. It had a crispy sugary top layer. Altogether it was a lot like apple pie, good thing I like apple pie! The pomme frites were crispy and light and served in a generous portion, but I'm not sure I would order them again as I really don't need that much food in the morning. My wonderful, relaxing meal came to $24 with a glass of orange juice, tax and tip

Returned on Sunday around 9:45am with a friend. The waiting area was full and there were people spilling out into the hall. The dining room was packed and I knew the chances of getting a patio seat were slim. We were told there was a 20 minute wait for a table, which I was fine with, however my dining partner wanted to get back to the convention we were attending over the weekend, so we decided to sit at the bar, which serves a full breakfast menu. It should be noted that you must sit at the bar, the tables in the bar area are not served. The bar itself is beautiful and appears to have been milled from several very large masses of aluminium.

We placed our order with one of the 3 bartenders. I ordered the boudin blanc and my friend ordered the same meal as I did the previous morning. This time we received no bread. I'm not sure if this was a bar thing, however I did see other bar diners receiving bread later, so I suppose I could have asked for it. The food took considerably longer to come out this time, obviously due to the increase in customers. When the food did come out the server was once again confused about who ordered what.

First the good, the boudin blanc was amazing. Could be the best sausage I've ever had. I'm not a fan of heavy breakfasts and was amazed that sausage could taste this light. The croissant was flakey and buttery. The eggs however were not what I was expecting, they seemed slightly over cooked and were sort of flat and flavorless. My friend did not care for the french toast and felt it was too sweet. To be fair, I did mention it was a lot like apple pie before he ordered it. The real disappointment were the pomme frites. They were nothing like what I got on friday morning. These were soggy and oily and looked like they had been mashed into thier holder as opposed to the carefully stood up crispy batch I had received previously. Looking back, we probably should have asked to have them replaced.

Despite some of the issues, I have every intention of returning the next time I'm in Vegas.

I guess if I had to offer a suggestion: Go on a weekday morning, and get there early for the best seat, service and food.


Edited by fliplap (log)

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My mother and I had breakfast at Bouchon a couple of weeks ago. We arrived around 10 am--a bit late for breakfast, but within their breakfast hours. We were seated near the patio but inside the restaurant. The patio was not quite full, so I'm sure we could have been seated there had we asked, but we're too delicate to sit out in the desert heat so we stayed indoors.

We ordered the quiche, the french toast and a side of pomme frites.

The quiche (florentine) was as good as I expected it to be. I had made the recipe twice before, so I had an idea of what it should be like. Their quiche was, of course, much better than mine and I thought mine was pretty fabulous. I particularly liked the salad that came with the quiche. I'm not much of a salad eater, but the dressing was very light and who would have thought salting a salad would make it taste better! Well, perhaps y'all might have known that, but I sure didn't!

The french toast was rich and sweet, but delicious. It was a little closer to lukewarm than warm, but we still enjoyed it.

The pomme frites were the disappointment. When fresh, they were great, but after cooling slightly (maybe 5-10 minutes after being served), they became soggy and not-so-tasty. They reminded me a lot of, dare I say it, McDonald's fries. I would have liked a side of mayonnaise to go with them, but no such luck. I would have even settled for ketchup, but there was none to be seen (and I didn't ask, for fear of commiting a faux pas).

As for the bread, it was delicious, but "we" didn't get any. My mother, who technically ordered the quiche (we ordered with the idea we would share everything), got it along with butter and some kind of berry jam. She was gracious enough to let me have some. I wanted to sneak the leftover bread in my purse, but it wouldn't fit.

I'd definitely go again, but I actually prefer the breakfast I had at Jean-Philippe Patisserie.

edited 'cause I'm not so good with names :blink:


Edited by prasantrin (log)

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It’s Sunday morning and I got up and did Breakfast Américaine at Bouchon:

gallery_24802_3846_73632.jpg

Sausages, bacon, eggs to order, toasted brioche

gallery_24802_3846_45102.jpg

Cheese danish

gallery_24802_3846_33418.jpg

Orange juice, water, butter, jam, & pommes frites (yes, for breakfast, thank you)

It was fine for what it is. Fortunately, I got up early enough to have breakfast there because Bouchon closed from 10 a.m. to noon for a private party.


Russell J. Wong aka "rjwong"

Food and I, we go way back ...

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My first stop after landing in Vegas (and checking in) was Bouchon for lunch.

The Venetian has one of the better lobbies in LV

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Was promptly seated, however it took 10-12 minutes before my waiter took my order.

He brought me some bread, which was excellent, but the butter was a bit harder than I would have liked and did not spread easily.

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I ordered 1/2 dozen oysters which were extremely fresh and sourced from all over the world. They were so fresh, it was like tasting the essence of the ocean.

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Like many others, I wanted to try the frites, so I ordered Poulet Frites - The poulet was perfect!! Crispy skin and succulent tender meat. The breast meat was as moist as the leg. The fries however did not live up to my (hyped?) expectations. I have had better fries locally. I asked for a side of mayo for my frites, and it was quite good.

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Mac & Cheese Gratin - Creamy and rich, but not spectacular.

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A few days later I returned hoping to have the Boudin Blanc for breakfast, but they were unexpectedly closed.

Russel, where is the Bouchon Bakery in the Venetian?

Sorry for the blurry pictures.

Percy

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I'm a huge Thomas Keller fan. I have been to FL and Bouchon in Yountville on many occasions and I have never been disappointed and after all of the posts here, I had to try Bouchon at the Venetian for breakfast.

There were only about 6-8 tables taken when we arrived around 9:30am, but the hostess wanted to seat us well away from the rest of the patrons and the large windows which let in the morning sun. We asked for a table closer to the windows and were granted one. I will never understand why this happens in restaurants... but regardless... to the food.

We ordered the cheese Danish, scrambled eggs with bacon, and the omelette special which was of the Denver variety and served with breakfast sausage.

The eggs arrived with sausage and the cheese Danish did not arrive at all. Both issues were quickly remedied, but not the kind of delivery I have come to expect from a Keller restaurant. The eggs, as mentioned above, were served rather overcooked, and seemed a bit rubbery. The bacon ranged from way overcooked to underdone. Sadly, the sausage did not taste any different than what was available at the buffet. The omelette was properly done, but lacked any real compelling reason they were charging the prices that the were ($14). On the brighter side the Danish was quite tasty, definitely something you'd find at a top rate bakery.

All in all, however, I left feeling disappointed. I spent over $50, for a breakfast that was no different than I could have had at almost any other cafe in town. The room was nice, the server had a nice smile, the coffee was hot, but I felt taken. Perhaps, I will stick to Yountville.

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It’s Sunday morning and I got up and did Breakfast Américaine at Bouchon:

gallery_24802_3846_73632.jpg

Sausages, bacon, eggs to order, toasted brioche

gallery_24802_3846_45102.jpg

Cheese danish

gallery_24802_3846_33418.jpg

Orange juice, water, butter, jam, & pommes frites (yes, for breakfast, thank you)

It was fine for what it is. Fortunately, I got up early enough to have breakfast there because Bouchon closed from 10 a.m. to noon for a private party.

You go on eating pommes frites whenever you want in Vegas! Heck, I'd probably eat a porterhouse for breakfast in Vegas if anyone served it.

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What I find appealing about trying Bouchon for breakfast is that you're getting good food in a nice, relaxed setting for about the same as the breakfast buffet at the Paris-and you're not waiting in line. I just might have to try it next time I'm in Vegas, thanks for the wonderful pics and details.

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As an admirer of Thomas Keller's food, restaurants, and beautiful cookbooks, I am saddened to file this brief report on breakfast at the Las Vegas arm of Bouchon.

The food was tourist food.

The front of the house was excellent, the kitchen was beautiful and humming quietly along, and the physical restaurant was ideal. But the food, unfortunately, was very disappointing. The pommes frites were unimpressive and quickly congealed as they cooled -- they were not served hot. The eggs were rubbery and overcooked. The croque madame was inelegantly presented and the mornay sauce underseasoned. The only food on our table that was even acceptable was the perfectly baked bread and the perfectly adequate coffee.

If Thomas Keller cooked here, I'm sure things would be different. But they aren't. Bouchon in Las Vegas exists as a profit arm of Keller, Inc., and nothing more.


Edited by Lucas Tate (log)

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For a photo report on a recent meal at Bouchon see this thread.


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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I prefer Bouchon in Las Vegas for breakfast. It is so peaceful so sit out on the terrace overlooking the pool and have a great breakfast. You may be bothered by the crew cleaning the pool, but I find the quiet pace and wonderful breakfast worth it. When I was last there in November I probably had 5 waiters serving just me-one senior waiter was training some new people and I guess breakfast is a slow time to break them in. The service is formal, yet not overbearing. A great experience for breakfast, and much better than paying upwards of $25 at one of the fanicer buffets.

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I prefer Bouchon in Las Vegas for breakfast.  It is so peaceful so sit out on the terrace overlooking the pool and have a great breakfast.  You may be bothered by the crew cleaning the pool, but I find the quiet pace and wonderful breakfast worth it.  When I was last there in November I probably had 5 waiters serving just me-one senior waiter was training some new people and I guess breakfast is a slow time to break them in.  The service is formal, yet not overbearing.  A great experience for breakfast, and much better than paying upwards of $25 at one of the fanicer buffets.

glad you had good service at breaksfast there. Last summer, I went there for breakfast one morning, and the service was a bit off. Things like one person in out party not havign a spoon to difficulty in getting refills on coffee marred the expereince slightly. But we did sit outside, which was nice. And the food was good.


Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"
jmeeker@eGullet.org

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I think it was the Kids in the Hall who once referred to Las Vegas as 'a small dog, barking in the desert.' As I walked into the Venetian Hotel, I couldn't get that term out of my mind. Here was this empirically lovely hotel, which -- had I been deposited therein, unaware of my actual location -- would have probably impressed me, no end. Yet, the knowledge that I was in Las Vegas, so tainted my perception of the joint, that the more of it I saw -- the painted ceilings, the golden statues, the intricately-patterned carpets -- the more ridiculous it all seemed. Its opulence was so faux, so gaudy, it was essentialy mocking itself.

A friend told me that Bouchon was on the 2nd floor and had described the exact location of the elevator I'd need to use to get there. That was good because the less time I had to spend navigating the cavernous hotel and walking through it, the more time I'd have to eat. As I hurried toward what I hoped would be a great breakfast, I will admit that the idea of a French-themed eatery, via California, being located inside this excessively Italian-esque hotel, did absolutely nothing to make the moment seem less 'Vegasy.' I wondered if people really did take this place seriously. Was I just some jaded old man? Did the Venetian possess a true beauty that was simply wasted on me? As the door of the restaurant came into view, my stomach began to growl and that, thankfully, ended my Vegas-morning introspection.

Bouchon's space is cool and imitates, well . . . a bouchon quite nicely. The colorful tile floor is beautiful, and the zinc bar is dramatic . . .

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Images courtesy of Eliot Wexler.

Service was a bit slow and my wife whispered to me, "even if we were in France, we'd have coffee our by now." Having already put my own mental machinations about such issues to rest, I very calmly reminded her that we were actually in Las Vegas and urged her to sit tight.

Sure enough, only a few more minutes passed before our server appeared with a fresh pot of coffee and an apology. We gave him our order and when my son couldn't decide what kind of pastry he wanted, our server was more than happy to walk him over to the counter so he could decide by looking at the offerings.

I tried the croissant, which was as good as any I'd ever enjoyed. It was golden brown and crusty on the outside and light and delicately layered in the inside. Because of its overall lightness, I think it would be accurate to describe it as ethereal. Yet it was also buttery and rich. My wife opted for the lemon scone. I am not normally a scone fan (they remind me of a cookie in which an ingredient or 2 have been forgotten) but this one was very tasty. My son had the cheese danish which was very straightforward and very delicious.

The hot food came next and the best of the lot was the terrific Baked Egg casserole which included sun-dried tomato, bread cubes, cheese and lardon. It was served with a side of delectable and crispy-tender potato cubes, which we all loved. My Croque Madame, served on brioche and topped with a fried egg and Mornay sauce was also excellent and satisfying. I've heard great things about the frites at Bouchon but the ones that came with the CM didn't wow me. They were hot and crispy, yes but very, very dry and gave every appearance of having been frozen (which is not to say that they were, I'm honestly not sure). My son opted for the Breakfast Americaine and again it was very straightforward. The eggs were scrambled lightly, as ordered and the frites were, unfortunately, identical to the ones that came with my sandwich. The Hobbs bacon that came with the BA was very tasty and the Country sausage was densely porky and really delicious. I loved the flavor and the definition of the links and it comforted me to see that they took the varying shapes of the natural casings into which they were packed. We also tried the Boudin Blanc and it was delicate in texture and tangy and rich in flavor. It was a very good rendition that communicated fully the subtlety of this often mis-produced sausage.

There were a couple other items that I wish we'd been able to try but we were quite full and even then, we left the better part of our 2 generously-portioned orders of frites behind. If there is a "next time in Vegas" for me, I'd definitely return to Bouchon . . . not only to sample more of the breakfast items but also to try out their lunch or dinner offerings as well.

After breakfast, we treated ourselves to 'relaxing' gondola ride in the 'canal' just outside the front of the hotel. The deep, melodic voice of our gondolier singing opera mixed surrealistically with the sounds of traffic rising from the Las Vegas strip. It was one of the most bizarre moments I'd exprienced in quite a while and I knew that if I didn't eat something else soon, it could end up traumatizing me.

=R=

Bouchon at the Venetian

3355 Las Vegas Blvd S

Las Vegas, 89109


"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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In early August 2007, I spent a few food-centric days in Las Vegas. My full trip report can be seen here. This is an excerpted report on my meal at Bouchon:

Our last morning in Vegas we arose relatively early to catch a cab over to Bouchon in the Venetian. I was last at Bouchon in Yountville about a year ago and frequent Bouchon Bakery in New York every few months. I also cook from the Bouchon cookbook a good deal. With this said, I’m quite familiar with Chef Keller’s take on bistro cuisine and am a big fan.

This meal did not disappoint. As so many others have said, breakfast at Bouchon is a welcome respite from the hustle and glitz of Vegas. Looking out over the pool garden, awash in natural light with a pastry and orange juice, life is good. We ordered several Bouchon staples.

Pain au chocolat

gallery_28496_5032_520800.jpg

This was an exemplary pastry, superior to those I enjoyed in Paris. The crust was impossibly flaky, the interior moist, with just a bit of chew and the ideal amount of chocolate.

French toast

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Completely decadent and quite delicious. I could never eat this kind of breakfast regularly but once in a while custardy, fruity, syrupy overkill can be a good thing.

Quiche Florentine

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Bouchon’s quiche, when I first had it a year ago, opened my eyes to how good quiche can be and remains one of the tastiest things I’ve had in recent memory. We make various Keller quiches at home, but it’s always nice to sample one from the horse’s mouth.

Service was adequate if not quite fawning. Had this been dinner I may have been a bit disappointed but at breakfast a bit of space and time to decompress was just what was needed.

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Well, after reading everything on eGullet that I could find about Las Vegas dining, I had breakfast yesterday at Bouchon.

First, the good. The cheese danish that I had was, by orders of magnitude, the best pastry I've ever had. If I ever find myself on death row, a last meal of a dozen of them and I would leave this world a happy man.

I had the French toast, and it too, was very good. The "custard style" was new to me, but I enjoyed it very much.

The frites were a disappointment. After reading so much about Keller's magical french fry's, I was really looking forward to a great dish. Besides, fry's for breakfast? What a concept! Now, some of you will want to burn me as a heretic, but I believe that a McDonalds french fry, properly cooked and seasoned and served fresh, can be pretty good. The Bouchon fries didn't measure up. Perhaps I had created too much hype in my own mind, but I don't think so.

Based on my breakfast experience, I cancelled my Bouchon reservation for tonight, and instead, I am off to L'Atelier. I can't wait!

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Well, after reading everything on eGullet that I could find about Las Vegas dining, I had breakfast yesterday at Bouchon.

First, the good.  The cheese danish that I had was, by orders of magnitude, the best pastry I've ever had.  If I ever find myself on death row, a last meal of a dozen of them and I would leave this world a happy man.

I had the French toast, and it too, was very good.  The "custard style" was new to me, but I enjoyed it very much. 

The frites were a disappointment.  After reading so much about Keller's magical french fry's, I was really looking forward to a great dish.  Besides, fry's for breakfast?  What a concept!  Now, some of you will want to burn me as a heretic, but I believe that a McDonalds french fry, properly cooked and seasoned and served fresh, can be pretty good.  The Bouchon fries didn't measure up.  Perhaps I had created too much hype in my own mind, but I don't think so.

Based on my breakfast experience, I cancelled my Bouchon reservation for tonight, and instead, I am off to L'Atelier.  I can't wait!

TaxPhd,

Welcome to eGullet!

I'm glad you enjoyed most of your breakfast at Bouchon. Bouchon is more of a breakfast place to me. I think you made a good decision in going to L'Atelier for dinner tonight.

FYI There is a separate Bouchon Bakery on the other side of the Venetian, near the main Phantom of the Opera display area. That way, you can buy your cheese danish without being on death row!! :smile:


Russell J. Wong aka "rjwong"

Food and I, we go way back ...

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Hey, thanks all for posting your experiences.

Ok, so if I understand right, it's open for breakfast and dinner every day, but lunch only on weekends?

Also, me and my friends wanted to go. We've never been to "those" kinds of places before. We aren't really part of that social class.

Can we go, say, for breakfast, order one thing of fries for the three of us, and then leave? They are supposed to be the most awesomest fries, so... very excited about trying it out.

Thanks.

P.S. My favorite fries are Burger King. I believe they buy the "stealth" fries that Lamb Weston and other companies make that's coated in the starch, so they stay crispy longer. I hate soggy fries. =[


Edited by Cilantro (log)

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Hey, thanks all for posting your experiences.

Ok, so if I understand right, it's open for breakfast and dinner every day, but lunch only on weekends?

Also, me and my friends wanted to go.  We've never been to "those" kinds of places before.  We aren't really part of that social class.

Can we go, say, for breakfast, order one thing of fries for the three of us, and then leave?  They are supposed to be the most awesomest fries, so... very excited about trying it out.

Thanks.

P.S. My favorite fries are Burger King. I believe they buy the "stealth" fries that Lamb Weston and other companies make that's coated in the starch, so they stay crispy longer.  I hate soggy fries. =[

You definitely could go and order the frites for your party, but I think if that is your sole mission then I would say to pass on that. I do not think you will find the fries ethereal, they are good but to make a special trip just for them will not be as rewarding as you hope. Try making Heston Blumenthal's thrice cooked fries at home, that method as produced the best fries that I have ever had.


Eliot Wexler aka "Molto E"

MoltoE@restaurantnoca.com

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No reservations allowed for breakfast.

I went on a Sunday with some friends. Their menu was different than the one I grabbed a few days earlier while doing some recon.

Strangely, the prices were different too. I don't have my report in front of me, but it was $4 something on one day and $5 something on another day for the "pommes frites" (which apparently is not pronounced how it's spelled -- who knew?).

I very much disliked the food. Enough that I did not even finish it and gave it to my friend, who said, "I don't want this McDonald's ****."

Perhaps our low-class palates are not refined for food at "one of those places," but all parties present agreed that it was quite possibly the worst meal in all of our recent memories.

I know this is a "food" website and you guys like to talk about food, but as I'm not really qualified to talk more on that point, I wanted to talk about service instead. It was horrible.

Blue collar types have a term for the people who man the booth up front. The first word is "door" and the second word starts with a 'w' and rhymes with it. I always found it a bit of a weird term, but I get it now.

It seems that much of their staff, with special emphasis on the aforementioned "door [people]," do not understand that they work in hospitality. Merriam-Webster defines "hospitable" to mean "offering or sustaining a pleasant environment" and "given to generous and cordial reception of guests." Bouchon offered the complete opposite.

There are drug dealers that are more polite to their customers, because they know that sales is just a form of marketing.

I don't have the exact time as my report is on another computer, but at one point, I raised my hand for several minutes before someone came over. I don't mean that I raised it, put it down, and then someone showed up a few minutes later. I mean it was literally all the way in the air for several minutes.

As my arm started to grow tired, a man a couple tables over shrugged and gave us one of those, "Yeah, I know how it is" grins, for legitimate reason. The staff had ignored him and his earlier as well.

Employees walked by and pretended we did not exist. I wasn't raising my hand for a dumb reason either. For some reason, they had taken all our forks/knives, so when the food arrived, we noticed that we had nothing to eat with.

"Thank you," we said to the woman in the booth up front when we left. She didn't even look up from whatever was behind the podium. No response. The family standing in line, perhaps recognizing the oddity of it all, looked at us and gave one of those half-smiles.

...

The Venetian is pretty serious about HR. They make applicants take one of those MMPI-style personality tests where you are asked a billion questions like, "Am I awesome" and "do you like the color red?" It's probably to weed out the jerks -- likely some suit wisely figured that having staff who hate people is not a good idea in hospitality.

Unfortunately, the Venetian does not own Bouchon. Because I can say with no hyperbole... their staff hates people. A broad stroke, but it only takes one to treat you and your party with contempt to ruin a dozen "Hello, how are you"s.

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No reservations allowed for breakfast.

I went on a Sunday with some friends.  Their menu was different than the one I grabbed a few days earlier while doing some recon.

Strangely, the prices were different too.  I don't have my report in front of me, but it was $4 something on one day and $5 something on another day for the "pommes frites" (which apparently is not pronounced how it's spelled -- who knew?).

I very much disliked the food.  Enough that I did not even finish it and gave it to my friend, who said, "I don't want this McDonald's ****."

Perhaps our low-class palates are not refined for food at "one of those places," but all parties present agreed that it was quite possibly the worst meal in all of our recent memories.

I know this is a "food" website and you guys like to talk about food, but as I'm not really qualified to talk more on that point, I wanted to talk about service instead.  It was horrible.

Blue collar types have a term for the people who man the booth up front.  The first word is "door" and the second word starts with a 'w' and rhymes with it.  I always found it a bit of a weird term, but I get it now.

It seems that much of their staff, with special emphasis on the aforementioned "door [people]," do not understand that they work in hospitality.  Merriam-Webster defines "hospitable" to mean "offering or sustaining a pleasant environment" and "given to generous and cordial reception of guests."  Bouchon offered the complete opposite.

There are drug dealers that are more polite to their customers, because they know that sales is just a form of marketing.

I don't have the exact time as my report is on another computer, but at one point, I raised my hand for several minutes before someone came over.  I don't mean that I raised it, put it down, and then someone showed up a few minutes later.  I mean it was literally all the way in the air for several minutes.

As my arm started to grow tired, a man a couple tables over shrugged and gave us one of those, "Yeah, I know how it is" grins, for legitimate reason.  The staff had ignored him and his earlier as well.

Employees walked by and pretended we did not exist.  I wasn't raising my hand for a dumb reason either.  For some reason, they had taken all our forks/knives, so when the food arrived, we noticed that we had nothing to eat with.

"Thank you," we said to the woman in the booth up front when we left.  She didn't even look up from whatever was behind the podium.  No response.  The family standing in line, perhaps recognizing the oddity of it all, looked at us and gave one of those half-smiles.

...

The Venetian is pretty serious about HR.  They make applicants take one of those MMPI-style personality tests where you are asked a billion questions like, "Am I awesome" and "do you like the color red?"  It's probably to weed out the jerks -- likely some suit wisely figured that having staff who hate people is not a good idea in hospitality.

Unfortunately, the Venetian does not own Bouchon.  Because I can say with no hyperbole...  their staff hates people.  A broad stroke, but it only takes one to treat you and your party with contempt to ruin a dozen "Hello, how are you"s.

Wow...what did you have that you felt was on that level? After dining there a couple of times that was not the level of hospitality that I was ever shown, you should write them a letter to relay your experience. If you go back to my original post, my friend liked the french toast so much that the waitress brought a copy of the recipe from the Bouchon cookbook.


Eliot Wexler aka "Molto E"

MoltoE@restaurantnoca.com

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...

The Venetian is pretty serious about HR.  They make applicants take one of those MMPI-style personality tests where you are asked a billion questions like, "Am I awesome" and "do you like the color red?"  It's probably to weed out the jerks -- likely some suit wisely figured that having staff who hate people is not a good idea in hospitality.

Unfortunately, the Venetian does not own Bouchon.  Because I can say with no hyperbole...  their staff hates people.  A broad stroke, but it only takes one to treat you and your party with contempt to ruin a dozen "Hello, how are you"s.

Really? We encountered a not so good experience staying at the Venetian. My gf had a conference at the Venetian and the room was direct billed and she left a corporate credit card for incidentals. Whoever checked her in didn't modify the amount to be held so instead of being held $100 or $200 for incidentals, $3K was held. The day after Vegas, she had another business trip and couldn't use her credit card. We called the Venetian and spoke to a front office manager and basically she said "Too bad, so sad."

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I recently stopped in for brunch. There's not much to report, but here's an excerpt from the ulterior epicure, where a fuller report with photos can be obtained.

I haven’t been to the original one in Napa (and doubt I’ll ever go – there are too many other temptations in that region), and I refuse to eat under the “SAMSUNG” sign in the Time Warner Center.

So, sadly, Las Vegas is the only place I’d actually commit to a meal at Thomas Keller’s cottage industry eatery, Bouchon.

Shooting from the hip, Cowboy and I decided to stop in for brunch.

At the height of Las Vegas’s go-go years, I’m sure that a table on a Saturday between the hours of 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. would have posed an annoyingly difficult proposition.

We strolled in half-past eleven and were seated within five minutes. Though the place was abuzz, there were plenty of tables.

As far as Las Vegas restaurants go, Bouchon’s got character. I mean, this place actually looks like someone read the restaurant’s mission statement.

A brasserie it is.

For the unimaginative (and xenophobic) type that frequent Las Vegas, Bouchon – like many other destination-themed hotels and restaurants – affords a watered-down and sanitized peak into a different culture: Bouchon looks Old-World without actually feeling old.

It’s got a long, handsome oyster bar, tiled floors, and a lofted ceiling. Trimmed with brass railings and globe sconces, it actually makes you forget you’re just two steps away from a bank of hotel lifts, (if you look in the right directions) within a stone’s throw of sun-bathers on the Venetian’s Venezia Tower pool deck, and above a whirling, buzzing, and flashing floor of slot machines and black jack tables.

Brunch here – like almost everywhere else in the United States – is pretty straightforward. Add to that Keller’s touch: above-board service, predictably decent execution, and an injection of authenticity.  And voila, you have a pretty reliable seat-filler.

But to that point of authenticity, Bouchon doesn’t take it to the level of farce, like so many other places in Las Vegas. Rather, it’s quite frank about it.

Pain epi, for example, is torn from a larger sheaf and plopped right on your tabletop. This drew a nasty gasp from a nearby diner. No doubt, she’s never been to France.  (I know, how terribly bourgeois of me.)

And shelves of ice piled with a wharf of various shellfish, mollusks, and crustacea can be assembled in grand or petit order.

Having overeaten the night before, and staring down a rather substantial meal at Joël Robuchon at The Mansion that evening, I was trying to eat light. Though the Eggs Sardou (on the chalkboard) and the Boudin Blanc vied for attention, I stuck to two salads.

...

Dining on The Strip meant that inflated pricing was inescapable – $17 for a three-egg omelette? (To be fair, it came with either bacon or sausage and toasted brioche.  *Rolls eyes*).  But, at least at Bouchon, I took comfort in knowing that the premium pricing includes a manufacturer’s warranty policy.  The food will most likely be solid, but if it’s defective in any way, they’ll be more than happy to replace it.

Like everything Keller, Bouchon puts on a classy show.

The place hums a nice tune, turning tables with grace and ease.  Not a detail is missed, no crumb overlooked.

Like the rest of the operation, the service is informed, if not scripted. (Sometimes, my evil twin brother wonders what would happen if you interrupted these recordings. How would the server handle off the road?  Everyone needs an unforgivably mischievous whipping boy like I have.)  Water, iced tea, coffee, and refills came at a snap.

This was brunch, not rocket science.  So, there weren’t any surprises, but no out of orbit experiences either.


Edited by heidih (log)

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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