Faster than a celebrity, more powerful than a casino, LOOK, UP IN THE SKY,
IT'S A BISTRO, IT'S A BRASSERIE..YES IT'S SUPERCHEF!
Yes it's superchef who, disguised as mild-mannered cook Thomas
Keller, fights for truth, justice and the cuisine of the very very French
In case you've missed any of the hyperventilating press he's generated
lately, Thomas Keller now has a presence in Las Vegas. The man many consider
our greatest American chef, and owner of the renowned French Laundry in Napa
California, opened this inflated knock-off of his Californianized French
Brasserie in January, in the Venetian.
It's official name is the Bouchon Bistro but there's nothing remotely
intimate or bistro-like about it. That doesn't stop Keller from hoping the
name will give you the warm fuzzies even as you're surrounded by twenty foot
ceilings, eye-popping decor, and a hundred and fifty other diners
The name Bouchon means 'wine cork'.. But what it really is is a
brasserie...what the French call a big, bustling restaurant serving hearty
rib-stickin' food (check), good beer (check), and extraordinary shellfish
(double-check).. Maybe it's the Keller name, the impressive decor, or that
we're over our Francophobia, but this place is hopping most nights, even
though it's as hard to find as a stripper who takes credit.
So I suggest self-parking and taking the private elevator and then diving
into a plate of steak frites, roasted leg of lamb, or a big black boudin
noir. That blood sausage may be too authentic for American tastes, but
Keller and his crew get major points for trying. As good as it is, the
croque madame-- a cholesterol-fest of toasted ham and cheese bathed in a
rich mornay sauce AND topped with a fried egg is even better. I've pretty
much worked my way through the whole menu and if I have a criticism it's
that the food can be incredibly heavy...and this is ME talking. The portions
are on the smallish side, though, so you won't feel so bad pushing the plate
away after three or four bites....but there's no excuse for taking tender,
haricot verts and drowning them in butter Those wanting to lighten up,
should go for the mussels in a white wine saffron and mustard broth...or load
up on oysters. Big, briny and fresh...they tell a tale of the sea in every
Yeah everything is almost perfect at Bouchon, but that's the problem. These
places are money machines pure and simple. I don't blame superchefs for
cashing in, that's the American way after all....but Bouchon - for all its
wonders-- is a copy of a copy and it has exactly the soul of one.
This is John Curtas
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