Thomas Keller built his reputation at what many consider to be the best restaurant in the United States, the French Laundry. He has taken the best from his French Laundry era and combined it with classic French bistro fare for Bouchon’s focus. Located on the 10th floor of the Venetian overlooking one of the pools Bouchon feels a hundred miles away from the crazy casino sounds and lights of the Strip.
With the exception of a minor glitch (the third person in our party arrived five minutes after us and although we were on time for our reservation we were made to sit off to the side of the entrance of the restaurant, refused seating until number three arrived) service was impeccable on the night we were dining. Our waiter was excited when we decided to start with an absinthe cocktail and took his time to demonstrate the ritual of pouring the absinthe over a sugar cube held in a special spoon made specifically for this purpose into glasses of water for us at our table. The attractive display at the raw bar caught our eye. We ordered a selection of different varieties of unique oysters which were without a doubt some of the finest oysters we’ve ever had. Our Steak & Frites main course was perfection, a flatiron steak cooked simply-but cooked to perfection with a generous portion of Frites-French fries done right as were mussels in white wine and saffron. We closed the meal with a perfect ending of crème brulee that was as close to perfection as can be.
Nothing on the menu would be considered nouvelle or fusion cuisine. Keller has chosen French bistro classics and has chosen to execute them flawlessly. The décor reflects this vision and the service carried it out. If a memorable dining experience is the goal, Bouchon won’t disappoint unless you expect to be greeted by a gracious hostess at the front of the house.