It’s no secret that Bouchon, Chef Thomas Keller’s lovely French bistro-inspired eatery in the Venetian Hotel, is one of my favorite restaurants.  I’ve been there on many occasions, with friends, with family, and often by myself!

It’s also no secret that Bouchon boasts what is quite possibly the most popular, and most award-winning brunches in Las Vegas.  Among its accolades, Las Vegas Weekly named Bouchon one of the 20 Most Important Restaurants in Las Vegas, Eater: Las Vegas awarded it Best Brunch in Las Vegas, Saveur Magazine named it one of 100 Favorite Restaurants, and What’s On Magazine called it one of theTop 3 Brunch Spots!

I have often said that I’ve never had a bad meal at Bouchon, and that remains true, but I’m not a morning person.  I’m not even much of an early afternoon person, so brunch isn’t really my thing.  On this occasion, however, an old school chum of mine came to Vegas to celebrate a milestone birthday, and one of her plans was brunch at Bouchon.  What better opportunity, not only to visit with a good friend, but to finally try the phenomenal meal of which I’d heard so much, and then share it with all of you!

I arrived about 11:15 am, and the lovely space, with its glass topped hardwood panels dividing up the room, blue, white, and red patterned tile floors,and high ceilings with demure food ‘frescoes’, seemed transformed by the sunlight streaming in through the wall of French glass doors and windows along the west side of the room.  In the evenings, the space is dimly lit and romantic.  This morning, it was bright, cheery, and homey.  It was also packed!

There was much from which to choose: I began with an excellent Bloody Mary, garnished with Cornichon pickles, a small pickled pepper and a pimento-stuffed olive.  My friends simply began with some of Bouchon’s own delicious coffee blend.  I noticed that two of my favorite items from the usual nighttime menu were available: the Rillettes aux Deux Saumons - a minced blend of fresh and smoked salmon, mixed with spices and clarified butter, which can be spread on crispy toasted croutons.  I also considered the Terrine de Foie Gras de Canard - a rich, decadent duck’s liver foie gras, served in its own jar, accompanied by toasted baguette slices.  These two dishes are indulgent treats, and I recommend them highly!  I started instead, with one of the pastries: the Pecan Sticky Bun.  This was more than a mere pastry.  It was practically a meal unto itself!  A large, dense bun baked with a swirl of cinnamon inside, topped with large chunks of pecans and coated in a sweet, sugary, and yes, sticky glaze.  I sampled one of their mini-Financiers, as well - light, moist little cakes, with the subtly sweet flavor of almonds, and a sprinkle of powdered sugar.  Yum!

The birthday girl chose the Petit Déjeuner Américaine - two eggs with bacon, sausage and potato croquettes, served with toasted brioche, and one of Bouchon’s pastries; in her case, the Pain au Chocolat - flaky, buttery pastry filled with lovely bittersweet chocolate.  The eggs were perfectly done, and were complemented nicely by the bacon, the juicy, savory sausage, and the lightly crispy croquettes.  My friend’s girlfriend decided on the Oeufs Benedict - two poached eggs, served with smoked pork loin, country bread, Hollandaise sauce, and mixed greens.  With the pork loin standing in for the more traditional Canadian bacon and the country bread taking the place of the usual English muffins, this was a heartier, smokier, much more flavorful spin on what we Americans consider Eggs Benedict.  Finally, I opted for the Poulet et des Gaufres, Bouchon’s take on chicken and waffles.  Now, ordinarily, we tend to think of this southern-style dish as made with fried chicken, but at Bouchon, the chicken was lightly and perfectly roasted; moist on the inside, with golden brown skin, and a delicious Sauce Chasseur - a mixture of butter, shallots, tomato, bacon, and a touch of white wine - on the side.  The sauce, as good as it was, however, was practically unnecessary, as the chicken was tasty enough on its own!  The bacon-chive waffle was light as air, and when topped with a touch of maple syrup, the dish struck a perfect balance of savory and sweet.  

There was more from which to choose.  Their Quiche du Jour was a Quiche Florentine, with tempting layers of cheese and spinach.  If you’re the kind who goes for more lunch-type dishes, the Cobb Salade or the Burger Bouchon might be to your liking.  But remember, this IS Vegas, after all, so you might want to indulge in one of their seafood platters.  The Grand Plateau comes with 1 lobster, 16 oysters, 4 shrimp, 8 clams, 10 mussels, and a seasonal crab.  If that’s not decadent enough, try the Caviar d’Esturgeon, at a mere $85.00 for a 1 ounce serving!  Either of those would make for a memorable Vegas brunch!

Of course there are other brunches in Las Vegas.  The Fountains Brunch at Jasmine, in the Bellagio, serves up Asian inspired dishes along with traditional brunch fare.  Hash House A Go Go, with locations throughout Vegas, is the home of “twisted farm food” like their giant sized Fried Chicken Benedict!  And Serendipity 3 at Caesar’s Palace, revives you with the Hangover Omelet, or the Bigger Than Your Head Pancakes!  

My experience at Bouchon, however, proved to me why their brunch is so acclaimed - and so well attended!  So after a long Saturday night, get up bright and early...ish, throw on your darkest sunglasses, and start the day right, with brunch, Vegas style!