Vegas Con’t – Brunch, Dinner & Love

2 Mar

On Saturday, the sky in Vegas was beautiful.  For a time, anyway.  Then it started to rain.

In the morning, Kim and I took a long walk from the Aria to the Venetian for brunch at Bouchon (the walk was slightly longer than expected – it’s impossible to judge distance in Vegas! – and we were starving when we got there).

Bouchon is Thomas Keller’s stunning Parisian bistro on the second floor (or was it the tenth floor?) of the Venetian.  It is tucked away at the end of a long hallway of ornate chandeliers and intricate mosaic floors.  The restaurant itself is open and light – high ceilings, royal blue velvet chairs and a French-style garden in back.

Brunch was perfect.  French bread with butter and jam (there was bread there, anyway, until we ate it).Poached eggs with shrimp and spinach over grits with lobster sauce (so rich and decadent).Lightly sweet, crunchy-on-the-outside sourdough banana waffles.Tropical fruit salad (ordered specifically for health, never mind the rest of the weekend!).Thomas Keller brunch = fabulous.

In the evening, we were back at the Venetian for dinner at B&B Ristorante.  B&B is a Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich restaurant and I loved it but I have to say, of all the places we ate in Vegas, this was the most like a knock-off.  That is, the decor, the menu, the food were all in the style of Mario Batali, but I can’t say it was as good as Babbo (one of my all-time favorite places to eat on the planet), or any other Batali place you might try.  With that said, it was all very good.

At B&B we chose between a pasta tasting menu and a traditional tasting menu.  Highlights from both menus include:

Tortellini in brodo (capon-filled pasta with a salty broth).Caramelle (candy-shaped pasta) filled with chestnut and mascarpone cream with a poppy-seed butter (ree-dic).Spinach tagliatelle (ribbon-shaped pasta) bolognese.  My favorite dish by far (the lighting is doing something funny here).Cotoletta Milanese (breaded, pan friend meat) with herbs and a light vinegar-y salad. Delicious vanilla flan of sorts (real vanilla bean – see tiny black specs!) with rich cocoa nib.Light, fluffy homemade donuts with macerated (broken down in liquid) plum (or maybe peach?).  Honestly, looking back, it’s hard to complain.

After dinner, we saw Love, The Beatles Cirque Du Soleil show.  It is whimsical and nostalgic and a beautiful tribute.  And not as anxiety-producing as some of the other, more acrobatic Cirque shows.Completely loved it.  Highly recommend.

So that was our Vegas weekend.  Lucky kids.

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