Review: Bouchon (Las Vegas)

Aaron and I ventured to Vegas a few months ago, for his 30th birthday celebration. We were both excited to leave dreary Chicago for a while, he was hoping to win big at craps, and I was looking forward to new restaurants. Thomas Keller, of French Laundry fame, opened a casual French bistro in the Venetian, a monstrous hotel on the strip. High quality French bistro food is one of my favorite cuisines: steak frites (when I’m in a meat eating mood), a salad with an egg on top finished with a perfect vinaigrette, buttery, gleaming oysters and a glass of red wine. I’ll never forget eating by myself in Paris in a cafe, enjoying a croque madame and a glass of Beaujolais Nouveau.

After trudging through the dirty, lively, semi-depressing streets of Vegas, I was ready to escape. Now, as you may know, in 2006 the bird liver delicacy foie gras was banned from Chicago restaurants after city council members decided it was inhumane to force-feed the birds. As much as I avoid meat, I do so purely for health reasons. I stick to a diet made mostly of plants, and that’s my prerogative. Children are killed by gang leaders, college students are shot while attending classes…these are the real issues that affect not only Chicago and the rest of the world. Where are the priorities? But I’m rambling…

Back to foie gras and Bouchon. Of course, in Sin City, no one cares about the fattening of duck livers. Lucky me! We ordered the “Terrine de Foie Gras du Canard,” served with toasted baguettes. I CAN NOT EVEN BEGIN TO EXPLAIN THE SHEER PLEASURE THAT DUCK LIVER BRINGS ME. Can you believe it?? Silky, salty, smooth and forbidden….let me just share these pictures to illustrate my liver lovin’:

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After the foie ectasy, I enjoyed moules et frites and Aaron had the steak frites. I veered even farther from my no dairy rule and ordered butter cookies and a pot de creme for dessert. The restaurant was sophisticated, loud, and exciting. Our waiter seemed to enjoy my orgasmic expressions and eye flutters with the foie gras, and for the first time in Vegas I felt like a high roller.

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