Vegas Eats: DB Brasserie at Venetian (Scene 4 - Finale)
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. Read this one last. - Ed
Somewhere on the long, categorized list of Steve Wynn's busted relationships, alphabetically after Club Owners and Movie Stars (but before Wives), lies Restauranteurs. There you'll find Daniel Boulud, the world-renowned French chef whose restaurant on Wynn's Lake of Dreams was once one of the most charming dinner spots in Las Vegas, before Wynn refused to renew Boulud's lease in 2010. At the time, Boulud quipped, "It would have been cheaper for Steve to keep me than what he's paying for his divorce." Ouch.
Now, several years later, Boulud has been welcomed by Sheldon Adelson (see Busted Relationships List: Casino Owners) at the Venetian, and I recently had the pleasure of dining at DB Brasserie with fellow VT staffers MikeE, Blackjacker1979, and JohnH We arrived for our 7:00 p.m. reservation in various states of intoxication. The room is not at all unlike other French bistros in town; in fact we all remarked how strikingly similar it is to Bouchon and Mon Ami Gabi, although without the benefit of the natural light that those establishments enjoy.
I was impressed by how well attended we were. An army (albeit a French army - they surrendered immediately) of garçon brought water and bread, wine and beer. We ordered starters, including:
Pâté de Campagne Bourguignon. John H. ate this. I suspect it was full of goose liver and scorn. Very French.
Artichoke Velouté. Who puts an apostrophe in soup? The French do, that's who. Well, and Campbell's. Them too.
Salad Ceasre & Rosalie. The absence of French dressing forces me to question its authenticity.
Salmons Rillettes. This was my first course, and my only complaint was there wasn't enough of it. It was cool and creamy, savory and unctuous. Magnifique!
We moved on to our dinner courses.
Coq au Vin. I took a picture of my entree. Then I took a picture of Blackjacker's. By the time I got to Mike E's, he asked, "Are you just trying to get different angles, or... ?" That's when I noticed that the three of us had ordered the same thing. As I said, we'd arrived in various states of intoxication, and clearly, mine was a healthy state. At any rate, the chicken was wonderfully cooked, and the sauce was divine. The pasta, however, despite being clearly handmade and rolled, was tough and cold, as if it had been sitting out for sometime before being added to the dish just before plating.
Poulet Croustillant. A roasted half chicken with accompanying Lyonnaise potatoes. And do you know what they call the other half of the chicken? Same thing, silly!
The dessert round:
Black and White Fondant. Molten chocolate cake with verbena ice cream. This cake brought to mind the Seinfeld episode with the black and white cookie. "Look to the cookie, Elaine!" I said. Everyone thought that was pretty funny.
Pistachio-Cherry Sundae. Mike E. won. He beat all of us by ordering this incredible sundae that featured vanilla ice cream, brown butter cookies, butterscotch sauce, and macerated cherries. In-croy-able!
I have no earthly recollection what the bill was, although I do seem to remember that we all decided it was reasonable. And we all seemed to enjoy our meals and agree that everything was well prepared. We were pleased with the service. Personally speaking, I would not hesitate to return, although to be honest, if I was already at Venetian, I might be inclined to visit Bouchon first. It's peculiar that the hotel houses two restaurants that are essentially facsimiles of one another.
So there you have it. A perfectly polite review of our evening at DB Brasserie. Except, that's not what happened. Not entirely.
I was the first to notice it, though at first, I doubted my own eyes. We were seated in a partial booth table, the kind where two of the diners sit in booth seating, and the other two are seated in chairs opposite them. The back of the booth abuts another booth behind it. Mike and John were seated in the booth portion of the table, and Blackjacker and I were facing them. So I had a view of the thirty-something couple seated at the table behind ours.
The couple were nearly sitting in one another's laps. Young lovers, I thought. Ah, Paris in the springtime. They were giggling, and smooching, and occasionally feeding one another, and... holy shit, did he just pull her hair? I said nothing to my own table mates, wanting to confirm for myself what I'd just seen. And then he did it again. Not the playful tug of mischievous school children, this hair pulling was purposeful and masochistic. He'd reach up, grab a handful of the woman's mane, wrap it around his hand to ensure good purchase, and PULLLLLL!!! I studied the woman's face for a reaction, wondering if I might be called upon to stop this assault. Her mouth was agape. Her eyes were rolled back in her head. Good God, this woman is in ecstasy! This continued several more times. After each hair pulling, the man would look around to see if anyone had noticed. I looked away. I leaned in and told Blackjacker what was going on. Now we were both watching in awe, and trying to figure out how we were going to let our table mates in on this when... Holy Mother of Mary, what is he doing now?
I texted Mike and John. Since they couldn't exactly turn around to watch, they took turns taking bathroom runs to witness the carnage. Only now, face gouging had replaced hair pulling. The man would reach up with two fingers, and press them into the woman's cheek. He pressed so hard her face became deformed and grotesque. I seriously thought he was going to poke a hole in her cheek, he was pushing so hard. She writhed in pleasure. And then he'd stop, look around, and eat a few bites of food. For our part, we were giggling uncontrollably. I took about 10 photos "of John and Mike" that were actually pictures of this freak show. At one point, the man reached up and put her nose in a finger-lock grip that would have made the Three Stooges proud. He squeezed, she orgasmed. And then, they paid their check and left. I have to assume they returned to their room, where he bashed her skull with an ice bucket to her great delight.
BDSM at DB Brasserie. Dinner and a show. Only in Vegas.
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