Mmm. The cuisine of Thomas Keller, whose signature restaurant in Napa Valley I will likely never get to…
My favorite restaurant in Las Vegas is Bouchon. It is said that Keller designed Bouchon as a place he could go to eat after work, ie. the French Laundry. I understand the sentiment. Fresh raw oysters and raw clams from Massachusetts and BC and Oregon, with horseradish that BURNS and great sauces and nary a grain of sand to clamp my teeth on. A fine steak tartare with capers and pickled vegetables and a light sweet sauce that I couldn’t identify. You ask for extra toasted bread and they make some for you right there, free of charge. I ate the last half of the tartare while the toasted and lightly grilled bread was still steaming. Then, a main course of delicious scallops, delicately seared and rare inside, with a black pepper reduction and lobster royale as garnish – raw lobster made into a broth, condensed and made into a custard (ergo, tons of work). Alongside, a 2008 Pinot Gris and a 2008 Sancerre from France – who knows where, but delicious. To finish it off, a selection of cheese and honeycomb. Two pieces of a sweet, aromatic cow’s milk cheese. A nitrogenous, fragrant and aggressive sheep’s cheese. And finally, some sharp cow’s cheese from the Midwest. Can’t forget the thinly sliced Granny Smith apples to wipe up all the excess honey. Oh, and the chamomile fruit tea at meal’s end.
Don’t forget the insanely attentive waiter, the amusing older couple next to me, the blase rich kid who stays in the Venetian for weeks at a time and is “sick” of the place but clearly enjoying his meal, and the Silicon Valley businessman and his hot Beijing wife (whose dad is some party hotshot and who knows a lot of people in, among other places, the fascinatingly huge Russian Embassy in Beijing that takes a half hour to walk around… and offered me her connects and club tours in Beijing or Singapore, all I have to do is whistle), and, as always, the numerous cute bimbos strewing this brasserie.
Alas, today is the last day of the Consumer Electronics Show AND the Adult Video News expo and apparently I missed both events. The predecessor of CES, Comdex, was sold by Sheldon Adelson to Softbank of Japan for $862 million, which was used to finance the Venetian. And thus we come full circle to being at the Bouchon in the Venetian.
P.S. Is it weird to see a big dude wearing a bandanna over his face, swaggering like a gansta, and resting an automatic assault rifle on his shoulder? He’s strutting down Las Vegas Boulevard and ain’t nobody battin an eye. I looked back and was like what… sure, the gun could be a fake… but the possibilities are endless! Good thing he was heading the other way.
P.S.S. The view from my hotel room is fantastic. I have a room on the 59th floor of the Wynn, overlooking the golf course. It’s this grand patch of dark field in the middle of a large luminous city at night. As the sun rises, you can see all the trees get illuminated and you realize how big the golf course really is. And how amazing it would be if you only played golf and could appreciate it up close. And how the green fees are probably ridiculous.
P.S.S.S. Plus, can’t forget the Army grunt I sat next to that drank the plane out of Jack Daniels Black. For serious. He was lamenting how his kids were growing up (by the base he’s stationed at) in the middle of nowhere, Louisiana, and had thick Southern accents and were gonna say “can I have a Coke” and then expect the waitress to say “what type”. He lamented the fact that the community he was in was so protectionist that they refused entry of any outside restaurants into the town to protect the local restaurants. So, no chains. The army grunts got pissed so the general allowed a Chili’s to open ON BASE. True story. Town finally said okay… we’ll let Buffalo Wild Wings in. So now the only chain restaurant in that town is a wings place that I have to drive an hour to get to back home in Philly.