Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Surviving Las Vegas - Part 1

Las Vegas can be an amazing place these days for a foodie. Then again, it's not called Sin City for nothing. I'd say the top foodie sins would be greed, gluttony, and lust, with a touch of pride to boot. I'm going to talk about my last business trip to Las Vegas, which included dining experiences at Emeril's Fish House, Bouchon, Michael Mina, Burger Bar, and 'wichcraft. This series will talk about the importance of service to the dining experience, how the company you keep shapes the dining experience, and using the 5 senses while eating.

The Bouchon dinner.

Eating at Thomas Keller’s Bouchon is Las Vegas is an interesting experience. First, it should be noted that this should just be considered a very good bistro. Don’t go into this thinking of it as a Thomas Keller amazing food experience. This isn’t Per Se or The French Laundry. The food is excellent though. Hers is a be a bit about what we ate that night…

Basic salad with warm goat cheese rillette, and a simple vinaigrette. The vinaigrette had shallots, red wine vinegar and fennel. It was well balanced, and as odd as it sounds, a very strong embodiment of a salad.

The appetizers. Olives, which actually were wonderfully flavorful, and I intend to make this at home. A charcuiterie plate, of 3 different sausages, each was excellent, and flavorful, and cod brandade, which were light, airy, and tasty. I personally thought these were excellent, though the ladies I was with seemed put off of the fact that they were fried. Live a little people! Fear not the fried foods.

My main course was a flap steak, cooked medium rare, resting on potatoes and swiss chard. The greens were just a bit over salted, but very flavorful. The steak was transcendent. It was a thick cut, I’d say about 2” thick, and about 2.5” wide, and about 6” long. This was a generous cut of meat. Part of me wanted to eat it all, and part of me wanted to not pass out. It’s such a fine line. The meat was richly marbled like a rib eye, and tender like a filet. The waiter was excellent, encouraging people to try certain dishes, and avoid others, specifically the gnocchi. It’s perfectly good French gnocchi, but most people don’t actually want to eat French gnocchi when they order it. They think they’re getting Italian gnocchi, and it’s rather different…heavier, dense, etc. Anyone who says straight up…, stay away from a dish, gets my respect. I had the crème caramel for my dessert, which was excellent, but their tarte citron was excellent as well.

No comments: