beignet, beignets, bone marrow, Bouchon, Bouchon Bistro, confit, duck, duck confit, escargot, garlic, Las Vegas, marrow, minty, minty food fan page, mintyfresca, moules-frites, mussels, potato salad, saffron, sturgeon, Thomas Keller
About Bouchon Bistro:
French bistro food is my favorite – steak frites, a two-inch high quiche with bacon and onions, a salad with an egg on top finished with a perfect vinaigrette, a croque madame, some oysters and a glass of champagne. These are foods that represent the most important kind of cooking there is because they’re rooted in tradition. So when I thought of opening a restaurant that’s more casual than The French Laundry, I decided to explore and deepen the culinary heritage that I admire so much. A Bouchon can be, and should be, whatever you need it to be. It’s a casual place, a social place, a place where people come to relax talk and to eat. A kind of home.
My friend and I have decided to do an annual “girls only gastronomy” trip. 2010, we drove down to L.A. and hit up hot spots along the coast, stopping in places like Aw Shucks in Carmel, Firestone Brewery in San Luis Obispo, Musha in Torrance and Umami Burger in Santa Monica . 2011 we flew up to Seattle and hit up places like Chef Jason Wilson’s Crush, Salumi Artisan Cured Meats, Tom Douglas’ Lola and Toulouse Petit Kitchen.
This year, we decided to go to Joël Robuchon Restaurant (at the MGM Grand) in Las Vegas! We had reservations set up for Thursday, but we were flying in on Wednesday. What to do for dinner on Wednesday night? I had dined at Bouchon Bistro with my husband before, but it wasn’t the greatest experience so I was hesitant to hit up this place again. BUT, my friend loves baked goods and pastries so if anything maybe we could get some NOM NOM Beignets right?
So we get to Bouchon Bistro and we are excited. After all, this is a Thomas Keller restaurant! Our server, James, was a very enthusiastic and upbeat personality. We ordered a bunch of stuff that we could share.
We started off with Salade de Pommes de Terre, as our sassy server so eloquently put it, “Ok, start with the potato salad…” •_•
This dish was fantastic! The confit of egg yolk, when broken, oozed down into the potatoes and made for a fantastic, and fancy!, potato salad.
We then had the Escargot à la Bourguignonne.
OMG!!! The best escargot I’ve had to date. The puff pastry on top made for awesome “soak up the butter” sponges so that we didn’t waste one single fatty bite! NOM NOM NOM!!!
Moving on, we had the famous Confit de Canard. My friend says that their duck confit tastes exactly like mine. Well, I hope so because I use a Thomas Keller recipe! LOL! I do modify it slightly because, well, I can, and it turns out just as good without a lot of waste. The surprising awesomeness of this dish, however, were the lentils. I will need to figure out how to make these lentils because it was beyond yummy.
I think hands down, this next dish we ordered was certainly the highlight—for me at least. I think when we first opened the menu, our eyes were immediately drawn to this item! Moëlle Rôtie. The fatty and flavorful marrow is now definitely on my list of favorites! Right up there with foie gras!
Having the grilled bread was definitely a plus. That sauce…yep, melted bone marrow….slurp it euuuup!
Finally, our last savory dish, we tried the Confit d’Esturgeon. This dish was delicious. If you are health conscious or don’t prefer the fine fatty fat fantastique, like me!, then this dish is definitely for you.
After dinner, we took a look at the dessert menu and we were so effing BUMMED. NO BEIGNETS????!!!! ARGHHHH!!!! We expressed our profound disappointment to our server and he excused himself. Oh well. We got a couple other desserts that were pretty good but we had beignets on the brain.
Our server came back and asked that we settle up the bill, which we did promptly. He then asked if we could/would follow him for a tour of the kitchen, given by Chef Scott, the head pastry chef for Bouchon Bistro Las Vegas. Our reply, “Oh that’d be lovely!” How we were feeling inside, “omg omg yippeeeee!!!! wtf? dude, best trip ever so far!”
With that, we casually stroll in, met Chef Scott as he showed us the main kitchen area. Like a well-oiled machine! Clean, beautiful, crowded, but no bumping into, no chaos. It was a calm, efficient hum of people working in perfect harmony….as far as we could see! They also had a huge display that showed a live feed of their Yountville and Beverly Hills Bistros! The 90210 Kitchen was modeled exactly like the LV Bistro. It was so neat to see.
Chef Scott then showed us where the pastry magic happens. They make everything from scratch! He also showed us a secondary kitchen where they do all the banquet food. Amazing.
After our tour, Chef Scott invited us back for breakfast where he promised to have beignets on the menu. DEAL!
BOUCHON BISTRO BRUNCH
The next morning, my friend and I came back for breakfast. We were seated and promptly told our server to let Chef Bruno (the Brunch/Lunch Chef) know that Chef Scott saved some beignets for us. We also ordered some moules-frites.
According to my friend, these moules frites were better than the ones in Belgium! Then again she just went to some place in Belgium. Not a reputable place but you’d think, hey see mee! I’m in Belgium! Should be awesome anywhere regardless right?
Bouchon Bistro Brunch’s mussels were to die for. Buttery saffron broth with huge chunks of tender, flavorful cloves of garlic. Tender mussels bodies with no sign of grit or sand. The vessel they served these delectable mollusks in had a built in dam to hold back the mussels so that we could easily dip fries in the awesome sauce.
BRING ON THE BEIGNETS BITCHES (disclaimer: “bitches” used in the most loving and endearing way possible!)
So as we wait for our beignets, we see other tables getting their orders of beignets. Three big, beautiful bouffants of buttery beignets! Excitement is growing as we await our plate. But alas, we did NOT receive a plate of beignets….we received a PLATTER or beignets! Compliments of Chef Scott!!!
As Chocolate, Raspberry and Vanilla Beignets were presented to us, I could practically feel the Jesus Light shine down and hear the virtual crescendo of the angelic choir. It was love at first bite. That’s when my friend and I decided that our next epicurean excursion had to be to where beignets are the most popular: New Orleans 2013 Baby!
Special thanks to our server James, for going the extra mile and changing my mind about Bouchon Bistro. And to Chef Scott, thank you for making our experience absolutely extraordinary.
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