For years, I’ve been hearing about how wonderful the breakfast at Bouchon Bistro at the Venetian is, but I had never tried it myself. Call me lazy, but I find it a hassle to go to breakfast at a hotel when I’m not already staying there, especially if my chosen activity for immediately after breakfast is to read out by the pool. And I’m kind of frugal when it comes to breakfast in Vegas. Finally, in July, I had the opportunity to eat here.
I didn’t realize beforehand that it would afford me another opportunity: To see the Venezia Tower at the Venetian, which I’d never seen before. Bouchon is located on the same floor as the Venezia lobby (10th floor). Wow, is that lobby ceiling gorgeous! The restaurant also overlooks the Venezia Pool Garden. So the setting really sets up the expectations right off the bat.
The restaurant is elegant, but not stuffy. It is spacious, with floor-to-ceiling French doors (opening to the aforementioned garden), which let lots of morning sunlight into the dining room. The decor includes mahogany and brass, leafy plants and glass separators etched with flowering vines; the bar is made of mahogany and pewter. The tables are covered with white linen tablecloths, which are topped with a sheet of white paper to protect the linen from stains and spills–which I thought was brilliant, and I bet the waitstaff does, too. Piped-in music that day was a female jazz vocalist. I found it very soothing compared to the constant thump-thump of the rock, pop and hip-hop beats you hear everywhere else in Vegas.
There is bartop dining here, even during breakfast, if you’re so inclined, though I only saw a couple of people sitting there. I wasn’t the only solo diner in the dining room, but I wouldn’t have cared if I had been. Despite the upscale setting, there was no pretension. It is still Las Vegas, after all, so everyone was wearing shorts at breakfast.
Service was excellent. My waiter didn’t rush me at all, even though I was a solo diner taking up a table in an obviously popular breakfast spot. I appreciated that. During breakfast, I overheard something going on at a nearby table, where apparently someone didn’t get something they wanted. I’m not sure it was the waiter’s fault, but in any case, there were no excuses, no blame-shifting, just a calm “I’m very sorry about that, I’ll take care of it immediately.” And he did, and everyone was happy.
But how was the food?
I went to Bouchon for the sourdough waffles, which I have heard many raves about. Once I saw the menu, though, I changed my mind. The sourdough waffles sounded almost perfect (waffles with toasted walnuts, maple syrup and Tahitian vanilla bean butter), but another ingredient was bananas (not my favorite food). Instead, I found myself veering toward the Bouchon French Toast.
Upon its arrival at my table, I got a whiff of its aroma: It smelled like apple crisp fresh from the oven. Mmm. It’s the most unusual-looking French Toast I’ve ever seen, a cylindrical tower of brioche bread and custard, the apple cap tipping ever so slightly to one side, giving off the impression of a French Toast Leaning Tower of Pisa. Sadly, I have to confess that the Bouchon French Toast was too sweet for me, especially at breakfast. But then, I don’t have much of a sweet tooth. Your mileage may vary.
The applewood smoked bacon side, however, was exactly the way I like my bacon: crispy and firm, but not impossible to cut. Nor was it greasy or overly salty (a problem I often find in Vegas restaurants). It was a great contrast to the sweetness of the French Toast.
But the coffee. . .oh my. It was the best cup of coffee outside of Starbucks that I had on my entire trip. I didn’t ask what the roast was, but I’m typically a light roast fan who finds dark roasts too bitter. (For what it’s worth.) And I loved this, so I’m thinking it was a light roast. I could have sat there drinking it all day.
The Bouchon menu is surprisingly small, all things considered, so if you’re a fussy eater, you might want to check it out online before you go to make sure there is something on it you will like. If you’re into unusual breakfast items, they serve trout and mussels for breakfast. (Yeah. Seriously.)
As far as I can remember, this was the best breakfast experience I’ve ever had in Las Vegas. After my meal here, I can see there’s definitely a case to be made for splurging on a nice breakfast once in a while. I’ll probably do it again the next time I’m staying at the Palazzo. But next time, I may go for weekend brunch and order the chicken and waffles. Or a variety of their pastries, which sound so scrumptious: pan au chocolat, pecan sticky buns, homemade spiced beignets with jam. It’s a lot of carbs, but hey, when you’re on vacation, carbs don’t count, right?
(In case you’re wondering, even though my stay at the Palazzo was comped on this trip, my meals were not.)