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Daniel Boulud to Open DB Brasserie at the Venetian

Daniel Boulud to Open DB Brasserie at the Venetian


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It’s about time! Chef Daniel Boulud is coming back to Las Vegas in a big way with a whole new concept. After a long absence and much speculation, his contemporary French restaurant DB Brasserie is set to open this May inside The Venetian Las Vegas. The new opening, of course, is one the most anticipated culinary events of the year in this city of culinary all-stars.

“DB Brasserie will have all the elements of a traditional brasserie with the constant energy of a café,” says Chef Boulud. “It will buzz with people enjoying charcuterie, shellfish, my favorite French dishes, and fine wines. It is a very French feeling, the Brasserie!”

The tasty menu is created in collaboration with Executive Chef David Middleton who is a legend in his own right. The new Brasserie stays true to chef Boulud’s signature French-American cooking and modern sensibility. Chef Boulud’s signature dishes will include such delights as poissons fumes, pissaladière, poulet croustillant, and The Original DB Burger (which we last had at his DB Bistro Moderne in Miami). For the fini, desserts including chocolate & salty peanut bombe, and apple tatin are sure to please any sweet tooth.

Of course, DB Brasserie will boast a wine program of approximately 300 international selections with special attention given to exciting new American wine regions. One section will honor the great classics of California, while another showcases the newest generation of winemakers responsible for opening the public’s eyes to domestic varieties beyond the classic chardonnay, Pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon and merlot blends. Keeping with the tradition of Daniel Boulud’s restaurants, the list will also feature the best French producers from the storied regions of the Rhone Valley, Burgundy, Bordeaux, Alsace, the Loire Valley, and the great Southern regions of Provence, the Languedoc, and Roussillon.

The venue seats 280 diners, including two private dining rooms, as well as a casual bar and lounge. It is tastefully designed by Jeffrey Beers International (JBI) with inspiration from historic Art Nouveau brasseries in France to create a welcoming and convivial atmosphere. The exterior façade of DB Brasserie is clad in travertine limestone panels, a reference to the public buildings that house some of France’s classic brasseries from past centuries. The centerpiece is an expansive faux-skylight reminiscent of those in classic Beaux-Arts train stations. Custom blackened steel panels, laser cut with a custom-designed Art Nouveau inspired decorative pattern, frame a grid of glass ceiling panels that are anchored by Art Nouveau-style brass globe pendant light fixtures. JBI employed authentic materials for the floors, using a custom cement green and white tile in a hexagonal pattern for the bar and several dining areas, as well as an oak wood floor underneath the skylight. The design elements extend throughout the bar and lounge, as well as the private dining areas.

DB Brasserie will be open for lunch and dinner and is located in the Venetian / Palazzo’s famed restaurant row that features many of the world’s greatest culinary minds. Once again, The Venetian / Palazzo Resorts have yet another culinary star shining in their universe of incredible dining venues. Welcome back chef Boulud, we look forward to breaking bread with you once again.


Daniel Boulud To Open New Restaurants in 2014

The new year promises to be an exciting one for Daniel Boulud. The celebrity chef has planned to open a host of new restaurants across the United States.

In an interview with Zagat the chef revealed he will be opening an outpost of DB Brasserie at The Venetian in Las Vegas in spring 2014. That will be followed by an outpost of DBGB in Washington, DC slated for the summer. Other plans in the works include opening addtional locations of Epicerie Boulud across Manhattan.

"2014 is going to be a fun year! I'm returning to two cities that I love, Washington DC and Las Vegas. DC was my first home as a young chef when I arrived in America. Being able to return to that city years later with a restaurant of my own is the ultimate homecoming. And Las Vegas has always been a dynamic international food destination - I'm excited to be part again of the fraternity of great chefs there," the chef told Zagat.


Daniel Boulud's Secret to Making Perfect French Toast

In the wide world of celebrity chefs, Daniel Boulud is the real deal. He has restaurants all over the world—including the iconic two-Michelin-star eponymous Daniel in New York City, DB Bistro, Cafe Boulud, DBGB, and Bar Boulud.

Last week, I caught up with Chef Boulud at his newly opened DB Brasserie at the Venetian in Las Vegas. He was in town cohosting the luxury resort's star-studded Ultimo weekend—a culinary celebration featuring the best of the best in food and wine.

Of course, I made sure to find out exactly what Chef Boulud's French toast secrets were—just for you! I also wanted to find out what a world-famous chef does for the holidays. Here's the scoop.

What he's up to this Christmas (not cooking!): Christmas, actually, this year I'm taking an American Christmas. Every year, Christmas is a family holiday, so I either go to Europe or Aspen or Asia. I've had Christmas in Phuket, Christmas in Aspen, and Christmas in New York, of course. But this year I'm going south—I'm going to Tennessee to Blackberry Farm near Knoxville. To me, I felt like I wanted to go to a place where I can get pampered and where it's going to be really social. To me, Blackberry Farm is one of the most beautiful small boutique hotels in America— and they have the biggest wine list of American wines. I want to spend three days there and then I'm going to drive through the Blue Ridge Mountains and I'm going to Charleston, S.C., where I'm going to stay at Charleston Place, spend three days there and then come back to New York before New Year's Eve.

Speaking of New Year's Eve, what do you think is the secret to throwing a great party? The secret is not the amount of people—it's the quality of your friends, the food, the booze, the music, and the mood. Of course, when the party has the purpose of a big celebration, you go a little more wild.

On his secret to staying up late: I power nap—sometimes if I know I'm going to go out, I take a 45-minute nap in the afternoon.

On his divine pain perdu: We do our French toast with brioche—you can use either white bread or brioche, but the bread has to be thick enough—at least 1.5 to 2 inches. Let it dry a bit and then you let it soak in eggs, vanilla, a pinch of cinnamon, milk, cream, and sugar (or honey or maple syrup). It's basically a creme anglaise or custard cream. Then you cook it in a pan—preferably a nonstick pan—and gently let it roast on four sides.

Are you a Daniel Boulud fan (or a French toast fan!)? I'm totally going to try soaking bread in creme anglaise this weekend. Tell me if you do and let me know how it goes!


Latin Chica Starts Testing Recipes for a Spring Arrival

Just as Daniel Boulud announces DB Brasserie’s final service at the Venetian, it’s replacement is already testing recipes and sending them out to the Internet world.

Chica from John Kunkel of 50 Eggs plans to debut in spring 2017 as a neighbor to his other concept, Yardbird Southern Table & Bar.

Chef Lorena Garcia is already pulling out new recipes from Venezuela, Peru, Brazil, Mexico and Argentina to feature on the menu.

A lentil and quinoa bowl features shrimp, cherry tomato and guayanés cheese. Churrasco gets some pep from Brazilian pico de gallo and grilled Padrón peppers. A Puerto Rican rice pudding uses pearl rice, coconut milk, cloves, ginger, rum soaked raisins, vanilla and spices, while a creamy flan appears to be on the way.

Garcia says that sweet corn cachapa pancakes "are great for breakfast, lunch or dinner and hit the spot every time." Leftover sweet plantains go into the creamy plantain maduro soup. Arepas also may make the menu.

Churrasco with Brazilian pico de gallo and grilled Padron peppers Yooying

Keep in mind, all of these dishes are teases of what may appear on the menu.

Chica plans to be open daily for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch. Expect a spring 2017 opening.


Behold, Daniel Boulud's DB Brasserie, Opening Thursday

Hold your breath Vegas' next big restaurant is about to open. Daniel Boulud make his return to the city on Thursday with DB Brasserie, his contemporary French restaurant at the Venetian.

While the menu is not complete, already dishes such as poisson fume, a smoked fish platter with smoked salmon and sable rillette, a Tunisian lamb duo with a lamb sausage and a roasted lamb chop as well as the Le President, a chocolate hazelnut mousse tart make the menu. Boulud promises to bring many of his favorites from across his spectrum of restaurants to DB. Crispy calamari and escargots, duck confit and coq au vin, steak frites from the grill and three of Boulud's gourmet burgers (no, not the infamous DB Burger that started the gourmet burger craze, at least not at the opening) turn up on the menu.

Executive chef Dave Middleton says that his mentor, Alex Stratta, worked under Boulud oh so many years ago when he ran Le Cirque in New York City, so they speak a common food language.

Initially, the 280-seat restaurant will only open for dinner with lunch to come and perhaps even brunch. The dining room, as elegant and refined as Boulud himself, features a faux skylight that recalls a classic Beaux Arts train stations and restaurants. Jeffrey Beers International designed the look of this space with its travertine limestone panels at the entrance and four-panel, 12-foot-wide exterior doors that open to the casino.

Single Edison bulbs mounted to antique brass fixtures hang from a coffered Venetian-plastered ceiling. Cement green and white tile in a hexagonal pattern give that Paris Metro vibe in the bar area while an oak floor sits beneath the skylight.

Behind the bar and lounge with room for 40, find an amber glass backbar and a marble-topped communal high-top table with wood and green leather bar stools. Two private dining rooms with space for 40.


Chef Daniel Boulud Returns To The Las Vegas Strip

Contemporary French restaurant DB Brasserie is set to open this May inside The Venetian Las Vegas . The opening is one the most anticipated culinary events of the year – Chef Daniel Boulud’s return to Las Vegas.

“DB Brasserie will have all the elements of a traditional brasserie with the constant energy of a café,” says Chef Boulud. “It will buzz with people enjoying charcuterie, shellfish, my favorite French dishes, and fine wines. It is a very French feeling, the Brasserie!”

With a menu created in collaboration with Executive Chef David Middleton, DB Brasserie stays true to Chef Boulud’s signature French-American cooking and modern sensibility with signature dishes including Poissons Fumes, Pissaladiere, Poulet Croustillant, and The Original DB Burger. Desserts including Chocolate & Salty Peanut Bombe, and Apple Tatin provide the essential sweet finish.

DB Brasserie will boast a wine program of approximately 300 international selections with special attention given to exciting new American wine regions. One section will honor the great classics of California, while another showcases the newest generation of winemakers responsible for opening the public’s eyes to domestic varieties beyond the classic Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot blends. Keeping with the tradition of Daniel Boulud’s restaurants, the list will also feature the best French producers from the storied regions of the Rhone Valley, Burgundy, Bordeaux, Alsace, the Loire Valley and the great Southern regions of Provence, the Languedoc and Roussillon.

The spacious restaurant seats 280 diners, including two private dining rooms, as well as a casual bar and lounge. Designed by Jeffrey Beers International (JBI), the group took inspiration from historic Art Nouveau brasseries in France to create a welcoming and convivial atmosphere. The exterior façade of DB Brasserie has been clad in travertine limestone panels, a reference to the public buildings that house some of France’s classic brasseries from past centuries. The restaurant’s centerpiece is an expansive faux-skylight reminiscent of those in classic Beaux-Arts train stations. Custom blackened steel panels, laser cut with a custom-designed Art Nouveau inspired decorative pattern, frame a grid of glass ceiling panels that are anchored by Art Nouveau-style brass globe pendant light fixtures. JBI employed authentic materials for the floors, using a custom cement green and white tile in a hexagonal pattern for the bar and several dining areas, as well as an oak wood floor underneath the skylight. The design elements extend throughout the bar and lounge, as well as the private dining areas.


Db Brasserie at Venetian Las Vegas Announces Menu for Las Vegas Restaurant Week Benefitting Three Square


Chef Daniel Boulud’s
db Brasserie has quickly grown to be one of the most notable restaurants on the Las Vegas Strip and the team is eager to support the Las Vegas community by proudly participating in Fall Restaurant Week benefitting Three Square Food Bank (Pictured: Chef Daniel Boulud of db Brasserie).

From August 22-28, diners can help those in need while dining out, taking advantage of specialty menus where a portion of proceeds are donated to Three Square Food Bank. Menus will run during lunch and dinner service:

LUNCH – 11:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.

$20.14 does not include tax or gratuity

Appetizers (choice of): Trio of Fennel – Fennel royal with salmon, fennel arancini with basil aioli, fennel and navel orange salad Arugula Salad –Figs, almonds, pecorino romana, fig vincotto or Soup du jour – Seasonal soup.

Entrees (choice of): Short Rib Tagliatelle – Summer vegetables, basil, parmesan, beef red wine jus Rainbow Trout Grenobloise – Cauliflower, raisins, lemon, caper brown butter or Chicken Paillard– Roasted carrots, spatzl, hazelnuts, arugula, sauce diable.

Dessert (optional course, choice of): White Framboise – White chocolate chiffon, raspberry mousse, white chocolate crunch or Trio of Sorbets – Seasonal sorbets, shortbread cookie.

DINNER – 5 p.m. – 11 p.m.

$40.14 does not include tax or gratuity

Appetizers (choice of): Trio of Fennel – Fennel royal with salmon, fennel arancini with basil aioli, fennel and navel orange salad Arugula Salad –Figs, almonds, pecorino romana, fig vincotto or Soup du jour – Seasonal soup.

Entrees (choice of): Grilled Flat Iron Steak – Stewed peppers, leek soubise, potato dauphine, bordelaise sauce Dover Sole Grenobloise – Cauliflower, raisins, caper brown butter or Chicken Paillard– Roasted carrots, spatzl, hazelnuts, arugula, sauce diable.

Dessert (optional course, choice of): White Framboise – White chocolate chiffon, raspberry mousse, white chocolate crunch Trio of Sorbets – Seasonal sorbets, shortbread cookie or Assiette de Fromages – Cheese plate with quince preserves, nuts, cranberry bread.

Since 2007, more than 2.5 million meals have been provided for those in need through funding obtained during Restaurant Week. Today, Three Square feeds nearly 100,000 men, women, children and seniors each month. With the community’s support during restaurant week, Three Square gets closer to its goal of feeding the 360,000 people in need in Southern Nevada. All proceeds from Restaurant Week remain in Las Vegas and help Three Square in its fight to end hunger in Southern Nevada.


Chef Daniel Boulud Celebrates Grand Opening of db Brasserie inside The Venetian Las Vegas


After sabering off the start of Uncork’d week in Las Vegas Thursday afternoon, Chef Daniel Boulud headed to his new restaurant db Brasserie located inside The Venetian Las Vegas as master chefs gathered to celebrate the renowned chef’s return to Las Vegas (Pictured: Chef Daniel Boulud with Welcome “Back” to Las Vegas cake – Photo credit: Bryan Steffy / WireImage / www.BryanSteffyPhoto.com).

Buddy “The Cake Boss” Valastro, Chef Daniel Boulud and the custom cake Buddy made

The evening began with a reception in the bar and lounge before a ribbon cutting with Chef Daniel Boulud, Chairman and CEO of Las Vegas Sands Corporation Sheldon Adelson, Dr. Miriam Adelson and other hotel and restaurant executives ceremoniously opened the main dining room.

Vice President of Food & Beverage for The Venetian and The Palazzo Sebastien Silvestri, Chef David Middleton of db Brasserie, Chef Daniel Boulud, Chairman and CEO of Las Vegas Sands Corporation Sheldon Adelson, Dr. Miriam Adelson, db Brasserie General Manager Chris Eagle (back) and President and COO of Las Vegas Sands Corporation Michael Levin

Following the ribbon cutting, guests mingled and enjoyed champagne and Dalmore signature cocktails while tasting a selection of items from the db Brasserie menu including signature dishes such as escargot spaetzle, Hamachi cru, grilled swordfish, Tunisian Lamb duo and spiced lamb flatbread among other creations.

The property chefs of the Venetian Las Vegas surround Chef Daniel Boulud and Chairman and CEO of Las Vegas Sands Corporation Sheldon Adelson

An array of sweet treats including almond and strawberry tartelettes, mini versions of the pistachio-cherry sundae and warm madeleines all complimented the brasserie classics.

Chairman and CEO of Las Vegas Sands Corporation Sheldon Adelson greeting Chef Daniel Boulud

Guests were treated to a surprise when Buddy “The Cake Boss” Valastro, who also has Buddy V’s Ristorante and Carlo’s Bakery on the Venetian property, arrived in true Vegas style with a showgirl on each arm to present Daniel with a welcome “back” to Las Vegas cake.

Chef Thomas Keller, Larry Ruvo and Daniel Boulud toast from the celebratory bottle of champagne from Southern Wine and Spirits

Guests included chefs Thomas Keller, Jean-Georges Vongerichte, Nobu Matsuhisa, Paul Bartolotta, Francois Payard and Sam “Sammy D” Demarco, host of Travel Channel’s “Chow Masters.”

Chef Daniel Boulud chats up Chef Sam “Sammy D” DeMarco, star of Travel Channel’s “Chow Masters”

Chef Nobu Matsuhisa and Chef Daniel Boulud

Chef Daniel Boulud, Chairman and CEO of Las Vegas Sands Corporation Sheldon Adelson, Chef Thomas Keller at the entrance to db Brasserie


Daniel Boulud Looks Back at the First Eight Months of DB Brasserie

Daniel Boulud’s DB Brasserie was one of the biggest openings in Las Vegas this year, marking the return of the French chef to the Strip. Here, Boulud looks back on the first eight months of the restaurant, some of the changes and tweaks he made and what his French brasserie plans to do in the next six months.

We haven’t talked in a couple months. How are things going at DB Brasserie?
I think it’s about six or seven months down the road now. We opened before summer, so that gave us time to organize. We expanded our cold cut program. We’re changing a little bit for the seasons. We’re getting a lot of repeat customers now. We’re open 11 to 11. Before, we were only open for lunch. I think it’s nice. I think the location is fantastic. The feel of the room has the original sort of a sense of a brasserie. It’s a place where you can gather a large group in Paris. A place to eat with friends or family or your lover. The rendezvous place for any type of person.
We try to keep that spirit.

When you open a new restaurant in Vegas team start with and team worth with. We’re much more confident together. I think the dining scene in Vegas keeps coming. It’s a fine French American bistro with a little DNA of all.

What new lessons have you learned since opening?
I am in a different hotel. The management has been very supportive. We have to continue to be successful as a local restaurant and to be able to also attract people for a good reason. I think the good reason there is a great menu and great service and great cocktails and also at a reasonable price. For me, it’s very important that we offer a great experience at a reasonable price. But at the same time, I’m interested in bringing fine ingredients. [The restaurant] has my name over the door. It’s important for quality and service. The duck confit one of the most popular dishes. It’s as popular as the burger.

Are you finding an audience for lunch and brunch?
Yes, absolutely. I think lunch in Vegas, not too many do lunch. You have to be quiet flexible with the lunch. We keep working on the menu to provide that. The brunch is something we’re building. Brunch is getting better and bigger. I think we are figuring out the right offering for the guests. Don’t want a buffet. It’s nice to have charcuterie or cheese.

What’s changed since you opened?
Not much. Some dishes on the menu. That’s natural as we opened before the summer and now it’s almost winter. The chef has apprehension about the ingredients available. We have introduced the two DB Burgers. We are doing a prix fixe on the early side that’s affordable. You have a chance to come early and have a great bite.

We are still working with our cocktail program and happy hours.

I think we’re going to keep refining our game and refining our setting. We’re tuning the menu and tuning the service. That’s something that might not be always visible but in constant motion.

What’s the most unexpected thing that happened?
I think the most unexpected was to open just before the summer. Usually July and August are not good months for Vegas. Conferences are down. They’re not really the strongest months. I think it was in a way good for us to have less of a crazy start. We didn’t have much of a surprise doing business in Vegas. We’re not in a trendy hotel that just opened. To be with the Venetian team brings a lot of pride too to be be alongside Thomas Keller, Wolfgang and Emeril. What I enjoy at the Venetian is the dynamic team of food and beverage people. They’re always doing events.

Are diners more adventurous this time around compared to five years ago?
Yes, they can be, absolutely. At the same time they’re also a little more following trends. I think the most important thing is to never feel trendy. Diners are more adventurous. I don’t do a menu with gutsy things because that would please very few. People definitely spend more for food than Vegas was known for. It gives us a chance for interesting ingredients.

What's on tap for the next six months?
We are discussing that with our team right now. We’re going to change the format of the menu. I want to expand some of the offerings as well. I think the lunch is something we have to keep working at. Once we have a reputation for lunch, especially with the transient customer, you need to constantly communicate around that. The bar and lounge will make some changes there as well.

Definitely on the menu we are continuing to bring some new offerings to keep people excited. The wine list is something we watch constantly. We’ll continue to do wine dinners and either the menu drives the choice of wine or wine chooses the dinner. We’re about creating moments.

Any chance we’ll see a second restaurant from Daniel Boulud open in Las Vegas?
That is too early. You’ll be the first to know.


Db Brasserie At Venetian Hotel And Casino Las Vegas Review 2014

db Brasserie is one of the newest and most talked about eateries in Las Vegas in 2014.

This French Bistro feel restaurant by Daniel Boulud is spacious, elegant and has a 2014 feel without being too cool for school.

Located at the centre of the worlds biggest hotel, the Venetian Hotel And Casino – this restaurant offers fine dining options including French Onion Soup, Lobster, Crab, Salmon, Spiced Lamb and much more.

This restaurant feels like a 50’s elaborate train station restaurant meets New York brasserie 2014.

All of the fish is flown in daily to db Brasserie.

db Brasserie is open for dinner daily—lunch coming soon—and features two private dining rooms for personal and business entertaining.

The restaurant features an exceptional cocktail range and a very fun relaxed atmosphere at the bar where you can enjoy and dine.

Enjoy an Exclusive interview with David Middleton recorded at db Brasserie Las Vegas….

It’s colourful, packed with flavour and beautifully presented.

To begin I couldn’t resist the Hamachi Cru. This was delicious with eggplant, harissa, cumin, olives, fennel & tomato.

Next came the thai calamari – crispy beer batter, pickled peppers. it’s a refreshing change to this tired American classic.

Excargots Spatzle with chicken “oysters”, mushrooms, garlic parsley coulis and hazelnuts

For entrees, you cannot go wrong with the steak or Tunisian lamb…..

One of the most refreshing and delicious dishes is the Linguini du sud with lemon saffron pasta, claws, shrimp, shaved bottarga wilted arugula…..

Don’t miss db Brasserie by Daniel Boulud located in the heart of the Venetian Hotel and Casino Las Vegas.


DB BRASSERIE Deliciously Beckons

ELV note: Daniel Boulud is back, and gastronomes everywhere are licking their chops. But before we dive into reviewing his new spot db Brasserie (opened just three weeks ago), perhaps a little history lesson is in order.

When it was announced ten years ago that Daniel Boulud would be coming to Las Vegas (at the Wynn Hotel and Casino), no one in Las Vegas was happier than yours truly. When the Daniel Boulud Brasserie opened there in May of 2005, no one was a bigger fan or more loyal customer.

When Philippe Rispoli — the on-premises chef de cuisine who made the restaurant hum — was shown the door in ‘o7, things went downhill rapidly. Between the Wynn’s wanting to steak-i-fy the place, and a kitchen crew that had neither the heart nor the chops for true French food, it was pretty much a relief when they closed the joint (on July 4, 2010), so as to no longer sully the name of one of America’s greatest chefs.

But Boulud — being neither a fool nor a bad businessman — knew there was still gold in them thar hills he just needed the Great Recession to recede a bit more before throwing down for another try in our humble burg. This time he’s maintaining more control (he owns the restaurant in partnership with the hotel, we’re told), and this time he’s gonna stick.

But that doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy. What he’s done is open a huge (220 seat) French brasserie in a hotel with two other similar concepts (Pinot Brasserie and Bouchon), in a town where things like anchovies and pissaladière elicit wrinkled noses and pissing matches with the wait staff.

The place is all sleek lines and dark woods — reminding us of a top flight New York steakhouse — and is unrecognizable from the old Valentino spot it replaced. The designers have cannily opened the place up to the main casino floor, but have somewhat disingenuously placed the bar towards the back of joint. (We’re guessing it was a plumbing thing.)

Regardless, the feng shui is in all the right places, and you will feel right at home as soon as you are seated. The lighting is flattering to the food and the customer — bright but not too so — and the tables are set with tablecloths (hooray for civilized dining!) and eye to the diner’s comfort, not how much money they can save with disgusting, reusable placemats.

Upon being seated, you will be handed a wine list. You will notice that it’s evenly divided between new and old world, and heavy with Burgundies and pinot noirs at expensive, but not insanely expensive, markups.

Put yourself in Head Sommelier Devin Zendel’s hands and he will steer you to both the gems and the bargains on the list. His by-the-glass offerings (above) are compelling, ever-changing, and priced a few bucks below what you would pay for the same juice at Wynn or Bellagio.

As superb as wine is with this cuisine, it would be a serious mistake to begin a meal here without a cocktail. (Side note: The older ELV gets, the less cocktail-y he becomes, but from what we’ve tasted at this bar (and we’ve tasted a bunch), they are doing some serious work here.) Our favorite among many is La Maitresse (The Mistress):

….a concupiscent concoction of rum, lime and coconut that might be the best balanced drink we’ve had in ages.

For those liking something stronger, The Expat presents something new to the serious drinker: a cocktail that changes character over time. Upon first pour:

…you will taste little more than a neat shot of chilled bourbon. But as the ginger-vanilla-infused ice sphere melts, the drink goes from tasting of straight booze, to spicy, ginger-laced bourbon, to an almost a vanilla-enhanced, sweetened, after-dinner liqueur. Somewhere along the way, the flavor profile will be right in your wheelhouse, but no matter when you’re sipping, it’s a treat.

Lest we get too carried away with cocktails, we should, at this point, mention the food. We hesitate to make too many pronouncements about it because Executive Chef David Middleton has told us that the menu is a work in progress, and some things that were love at first bite (like that pissaladière):

….have already been deep-sixed due to the fickle and fatuous flavor failings of the slack-jawed hordes that make up a majority of his customers.

(In this respect, ELV is of two minds. It is precisely those 40 million hoi polloi mouths that have brought these famous chefs and better food to the High Mojave Desert. But even after our culinary revolution of the past 20 years, Vegas remains a steak and potato town, appealing to a customer base with all the imagination of a network sitcom.)

That doesn’t keep Boulud (or Middleton) from pushing the Alsatian envelope. Their tarte flambé:

…took us straight back to Strasbourg, and these escargot spätzle:

What they and the rest of the menu announce is that this restaurant is basically all over the (French) map. So, expect to find an ethereal lemon-saffron-seafood-draped linguine du sud:

….nicely echoing the light and lemony flavors of Provence, side by side with a spicy Tunisian lamb (presented as a luscious chop ringed with a house-made Merguez sausage), or a fabulous duck confit, or crispy-skin, roast chicken:

…either of which could be straight from a central France farmhouse.

All of these (including a superior steak frites) show a kitchen with great attention to detail (a Boulud trademark). What they also show is something new in these here parts: a move away from strictly a la carte dining — as each of the entrees (save the pasta) is presented as a finished plate of food — complete with vegetables sauces and sides attached. In other words, your $48 12 oz. New York strip comes with a sauce and haricot verts — with no need to pay separately for the accoutrements — definitely a bargain compared to what many a top end steakhouse gouges you for…if you want anything but a bare piece of meat on your plate.

As for desserts: they were disappointing on our first try spectacular on the second, so we’ll give Pastry Chef Robyn Lucas a “work in progress” pass and simply say that her madeleines:

…are so good they should be illegal.

Eating Las Vegas defies you to eat just one.

Or to go here once and not want to return.

ELV has been in four times for various tastings and paid just once for his food…but most of the time, for all of his booze. Dinner for two should run around $150 (exclusive of alcohol) and the $48 three course prix fixe is a flat out steal. Beginning this week dbB opens for lunch, and we’ll be reporting on those dishes in an upcoming article.


Watch the video: Chef Daniel Boulud Returns to Las Vegas!