Vegas Eats: DB Brasserie at Venetian (Scene 3)
For those who love Vegas restaurants, French cuisine and 1950's Japanese cinema, VT is proud to present our VegasEats review of DB Brasserie at Venetian, in four scenes. - Ed
From 2005-2010, DB Brasserie at Wynn Las Vegas held a special place in my heart. The room was exceptional, the views of the Lake of Dreams were even better than those at SW, the service was remarkable, and the food was revelational. Before a nation-wide burger frenzy sent the US mad for truffle cheese-covered, umami-fied hamburgers, DB was serving one of the most remarkable hamburgers I ever had the pleasure of eating. A perfectly prepared lobe of foie gras? Easy. Short ribs that will haunt your dreams for years? They served them nightly. When it was finally announced that DB would be closing and would be replaced by Lakeside, I shed a tear and, shortly thereafter, learned to loathe sea bass.
Nearly four years later, Daniel Boulud announced that he would be making his triumphant return to Las Vegas and would be brining the Brasserie back with him. And it would be open during #VT10, no less. Thinking it might provide a welcome respite from forced tequila shots and pizza, I reached out to the members of the VT gang to plan a dinner. Before you knew it, Misnomer, MikeE, Blackjacker1979, and I were on our way to the Venetian.
The room itself is a stark departure from the DB at Wynn. Gone is the luxury reinterpretation of a French country house and in its place is a very literal recreation of a French bistro. Wait. Are we sure this isn't Bouchon? Couldn't be, because we didn't take an elevator to Venezia. Or am I just drunk?
Either way, the place was relatively empty, but oddly enough, we were seated at a banquette right behind a young couple having dinner. Shortly thereafter, we were presented menus, water options, and a basket of bread. I immediately dug into the menu. The waiter eagerly told us about the evening's prix fixe option, but I would be having none of it. There would be no salad and coq au vin for this gent. I was either having pate and a perfectly roasted chicken or I was going home. We put our orders in and waited for the show to start.
The pate arrived and it was remarkable. Unctuous, salty, and acidic. It was close to perfect. Almost like act of culinary foreplay, it teased at my hair, taunting me, wanting me to ravish everything Daniel Boulud could give me. I took my time with it. In fact, it took me fifteen minutes to finish. A new record for me and pate.
The team finished out appetizers and I couldn't help but notice Misnomer and Blackjacker transfixed on something behind Mike and me. I paid little attention to it, because those guys are always joking between themselves and I needed another glass of wine. French food can tire a guy out, after all. Waiter, I'll have another glass of Bordeaux. Is it okay to smoke in here?
The entree arrived. Perfectly roasted chicken. I didn't get a photo of it, but here's one of a chicken I roasted myself just last week. Mine wasn't quite as good as what you can get in Las Vegas, but it was pretty good. But that DB chicken? Perfectly juicy breast, gorgeous thigh, and skin so perfect it could make you forget you could ever roast a chicken back at home. And the pan sauce it was served with? I'll be dreaming of that pan sauce for months? In fact, my mouth is getting wet just thinking about it right now. It was so good I could almost pull my hair...
Wait. Why are all of the guys laughing? I asked and couldn't get a response. Looked around the restaurant and couldn't see anything. Must have been an inside joke.
Before I had known it, the entrees had been cleared and the meal was over. One cup of coffee later and the meal was over. At this point, the guys are laughing hysterically. They must be drunk. We settled up and were on our way. The meal was perfect and I was simply ravished.
Suffice it to say, that evening was almost carnal. The food was perfect, the company was delightfully bizarre, and I was reminded again of why Daniel Boulud is worth the price.
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