Bouchon – Las Vegas

I finally made it to Bouchon, Thomas Keller’s French bistro! The restaurant is tricky to locate in the Venetian hotel but well worth the search. We were lucky enough to get a table outside in the sun (which is next to one of the pools). It took an extraordinarily long time to decide what we wanted to order because everything sounded fantabulous. As we sipped on mimosa’s we needed to have the specials explained at least twice. bouchonbeneRachel and I ended up with the Croque Madame which is toasted ham & cheese on brioche with a fried egg and mornay sauce (B√©chamel) and a side of pommes frites (fries). It was beyond good. It was sinful and I ate the entire thing without batting an eye. Dena had her first benedict. Unbelievable, right?…at our age! Well, her first was a doozy — Eggs Florentine (substitute spinach and smoked salmon for the ham). I loved everything about our long relaxing brunch and I can’t wait to return. I’ve already decided what I’m having next time.

Bouchon (Venetian) on Urbanspoon


Burger Bar Las Vegas


Hubert Keller, best known for his upscale restaurant Fleur de Lys, has a burger joint in the Mandalay Bay hotel. I’d heard good things about the restaurant so I wanted to give it a try. Keller is supposed to be a burger master (he’s even written a book about burgers). When we arrived it was not what I envisioned. I thought it would be more high end but it’s really just a sports bar. It was filled with men yelling at TV screens. As we were seated I thought to myself… I’m here for the burgers not the ambiance. Looking over the menu I was surprised to find only 4 chef created burgers to choose from and none were appealing at the time. I ended up making my own mushroom & swiss burger with Black Angus beef — not very exciting. The beef was really fresh but overcooked. The fries were hot and tasty but nothing special. They were just piled on a plate and didn’t come with any dipping sauces. Let’s just say I wasn’t impressed — I expected more from a potential Top Chef Master…

Rating:  drumstick ratingdrumstick rating

Burger Bar (Mandalay Bay) on Urbanspoon

Enoteca San Marco

On our last night in Vegas we decided to have a light, casual meal at Mario Batali’s Enoteca San Marco at the Venetian. The restaurant is located in the Grand Canal Shoppes area of the hotel.

We started things off with a Caprese salad. It was the most interesting and tasty version of a caprese salad that I’d ever had. No sliced tomatoes and cheese. What we received was a ball of mozzarella surrounded by roasted tomatoes and covered in garlic pesto and pinenuts. I actually found a version of the recipe on epicurious. I plan on making this at home. Recipe link

or you can find the original recipe in Mario’s cookbook: Molto Italiano

Mike and I then shared an order of veal and ricotta meatballs and the cavatappi primavera which is corkscrew pasta and fresh veggies tossed with olive oil and cheese. Both were outstanding. We of course couldn’t leave without getting dessert. We had seen gelato shops all over Vegas for 2 days and we waited until now to get any. We chose 2 sundaes to share. Yes, two! The first was banana gelato with walnuts, chopped banana, carmel sauce and mini banana muffins. YUM!! The second was espresso gelato with marscapone, espresso bean chips, chocolate sauce and lady fingers. YUM YUM!! Both were deliciously sinful. Enoteca is great for lunch or dinner. In addition to the pasta they offer thin personal pizzas and many antipasti dishes. We highly recommend you visit.

This was a wonderful way to end our Vegas vacation. In regards to the weekend battle between Flay and Batali… Who’s cuisine reigned supreme? Chef Batali!

Rating: halfdrumstick


Enoteca San Marco (Venetian) on Urbanspoon



For our “Big” night out in Las Vegas we decided to dine at Picasso which is located in the Bellagio Hotel. Mike had always wanted to go. Picasso named after artist Pablo Picasso serves elegant French cuisine with a Spanish influence and is prepared by chef Julian Serrano. The award winning restaurant has paintings and ceramic art by Picasso throughout the dining room. When we arrived for our 6pm reservation (the first seating of the night) we were offered the option to sit outside on the terrace. Since it was a gorgeous night (mid 70’s, no wind) we said yes. I love dining al fresco. We were ushered to a 4 table balcony overlooking the Bellagio Fountains. Every 30 minutes we viewed an amazing water/light show as relaxing music played throughout the night. If you ever have the opportunity to dine at any Bellagio restaurant and sit on the terrace…go for it. It really is an experience to remember. As we sat and enjoyed the view we opened the menu and SURPRISE we saw 2 prix fixe menus. One with 4 courses the other with 5. We didn’t realize you only have two menu options. After we made our selections we were promptly served an amuse – bouche which included potato leak soup and a smoked salmon spear. It would be a waste of time for me to go through all 8 dishes that followed and describe what we liked because we loved everything. ALL the food was wonderful and prepared perfectly. The service was impeccable. The only negative thing we can think of is the wine menu. It is EXTREMELY pricey. One of the cheapest half bottles was $70 and a glass was $22. When you are having a dinner like this you have to have wine. It really enhances the flavors of the food. The wine in conjunction with the 4 courses is what actually made this the most expensive meal of our lives (so far), but well worth it.

Since we sat outside we didn’t get to see much of the art so as we left we quickly checked out the paintings inside. After completing our 2 hour excursion I don’t regret making the decision to come to Picasso and if I am in Vegas, and I hit the jackpot, I will go again! As we left the hostess handed us a gift box. Inside were 2 cinnamon pastries. I am not sure why we were given this but they were great in the morning and a little reminder of our fantastic night.

Check out the slideshow of our evening below. Cue the Andrea Bocelli music…

Menu (Nicole):

Pea Soup
with Mint, Shrimp, Creme Fraiche

Kobe Beef Spheres
with Lentils

Veal Chop
with Mushrooms, Potato, Beets, Dash of Horseradish, Pinot Reduction

Chocolate Fondant Cake
with Espresso Toffee Ice Cream

Menu (Mike):

Crispy Squab Salad
with Micro Greens, Beets

with Cauliflower Mouse

Sautéed Medallions of Fallow Deer
with Caramelized Apples, Zinfandel Sauce

Banana Walnut Torte
with Banana Ice Cream



(If the slideshow is not running above, click the PLAY> arrow in the bottom left corner)

Picasso (Bellagio) on Urbanspoon

Double Helix Wine Bar


If you’re in Las Vegas and looking for a wine bar,¬†stop by¬†Double Helix in the beautiful Palazzo Hotel. They offer VERY generous 2 and 5 oz.¬†glasses of wine from around the world.¬†Due to their unique preservation system they are able to offer highly sought-after wines not usually poured by the glass. Mike was impressed by the selection.¬†A light menu designed by Emeril Lagasse is also available if you are hungry.¬†At the moment the¬†hotel is not completely finished¬†so Double Helix¬†is not overcrowded which is rare in Vegas. This¬†is a great find — check it out before it becomes well-known!
Double Helix Wine Bar & Boutique on Urbanspoon

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