April 7, 2012 Dinner at Bouchon in Las Vegas

Apparently we have a new tradition when Jonathan comes to visit in St. George. On the way home instead of leaving at zero AM and driving the 660 miles in one fell swoop, we leave during the afternoon of the day before and stop overnight in Las Vegas. Since none of us are gamblers, the only possible reason to do this would be to dine out at some fabulous restaurant. So far we have eaten at Michael Mina’s eponymous Michael Mina and Bobby Flay’s, Mesa Grill. Tonight will be our foray into French food at Thomas Keller’s, Bouchon.

Keller, the chef behind the French Laundry, is supposedly the most gifted chef in the United States. Perhaps that’s true when it comes to the French Laundry. We find Bouchon very good but not cosmic.

On to the food pictures! First, Jonathan’s meal –

Beignets de Brandade de Morue - cod brandade with tomato confit & fried sage

Jonathan’s first course is a plateful of three puffy beignets of cod over roasted tomatoes. He likes this a lot.

Poulet Rôti - roasted chicken with fava beans, cipollini onions, wilted fava leaves & savory chicken jus

His second course is roast chicken which is good but the real stars for him are the vegetables.

John’s meal –

Terrine de Foie Gras de Canard served with toasted baguette

Both John and I have the foie gras as a first course. John’s is soft and creamy. Mine is much stiffer due to it being much colder. Two and a half ounces is way too much. Jonathan gets some foie gras love from both mom and dad. Jon declares mine to be delicious-er than John’s. Yum.

John continues on with two appetizers –

Moëlle Rôtie - roasted bone marrow with garlic, parsley, shallots, sherry vinegar & grilled pain de campagne

Salade de Poulpe - grilled octopus with a spring vegetable tabouleh salad & parsley vinaigrette

The best bite of John’s dinner? The tabouleh salad that accompanies his octopus.

My dinner –

As I said earlier I also order the foie gras. It comes in little crocks and you can get either 2.5 oz. or 5 oz. I think John and I should have shared one. Two and a half ounces of foie is like a whole meal. I pass off quite a bit to Jonathan.

Confit of sturgeon with roasted beets, King Edward leeks, potato rösti & sauce Albert

The sturgeon is very good. It could have been cooked to a little lower temperature and been better. The star of the plate is the sauce Albert. It is a light cream horseradish sauce.

Other than the food, the service is a little spotty. The waiter does not approve of our wine selection and suggests something else. We say okay but end up not liking it and sending it back. Glasses are not filled promptly. Bread is not brought after inquiring whether we would like more. Sure, this is nitpicking but when you are eating at what is supposed to be a fabulous restaurant and paying some steep prices, you want everything to be perfect.

Next visit we will try somewhere else.

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