DB Brasserie (Las Vegas, NV)

DB Brasserie
3355 S Las Vegas Blvd
Las Vegas, NV 89109
Dining date: 5/8/14

exterior

Daniel Boulud’s re-entry into Las Vegas was this past month, when he opened DB Brasserie at the Venetian Hotel. His first venture, Daniel Boulud Brasserie at the Wynn, did not last too long closing four years ago. I actually dined there on its last night of service, and came full circle to dine here during its grand opening. While the restaurant technically began service at the end of April, it timed its grand opening with Vegas Uncork’d week for maximum impact.

In a city where seemingly every big-name chef has a presence, it seemed as if it was just a matter of time until Daniel Boulud returned to Las Vegas with another restaurant. The remaining question was what type of place it would be – a bastion of fine cuisine modeled after NYC’s Daniel, a reincarnation of Boulud’s old brasserie serving French bistro classics, or something entirely different? As it turns out, Boulud’s latest is similar to his last Vegas venture in both name and menu, focusing in on French fare in a casual environment. There are some American influences too however, most notably in a menu section devoted to some of Boulud’s burgers.

This post recaps two parts of the same evening – the grand opening party and a “regular” sit down meal. I brought my mother as a +1 to the grand opening, meeting up with the rest of the family for dinner.

Wine and cocktails were plentiful throughout the evening with Billecart Salmon being the celebratory champagne of choice.

wines

Large cutting boards of charcuterie were set up with the savory options while platters of bite-sized desserts featured the sweet options.

PATE GRAND PERE coarse country pate, foie gras, truffle juice and port
PATE GRAND MERE fine country pate, chicken liver, pork and cognac

charcuterie

FROMAGE DE TETE head cheese
CERVELAS LYONNAIS EN BRIOCHE lyon specialty pistachio & truffle in brioche
SAUCISSON SEC pork, red wine and black pepper dry sausage

charcuterie

TOURTE DE RIS DE VEAU pork jowl, veal sweetbreads, foie gras, mushrooms
CERVELAS LYONNAIS EN BRIOCHE lyon specialty pistachio & truffle in brioche
LAPIN A LA MOUTARDE rabbit, whole grain mustard, pearl onion, tarragon, mushrooms

charcuterie

PISTACHIO RASPBERRY FINANCIER

desserts

OLD FASHIONED MACARONS AU CHOCOLATE

desserts

ALMOND STRAWBERRY TARTELETTE

desserts

MACARONS DE NANCY AU CAFE

desserts

VANILLA CHOUX A LA CREME

desserts

Boulud and executive chef David Middleton.

boulud

Thomas Keller, wine expert Larry Ruvo, and Boulud break open the champagne.

boulud keller

The grand opening party was a great event, filled with a ton of food and wine. Favorites included the tourte de ris de veau filled with pork cheek, sweetbreads and foie gras, as well as the brioche stuffed with sausage, truffle and pistachio. On the sweet side, the coffee macarons and vanilla cream puffs were standouts, though nothing really fell flat.

Upon the conclusion of the grand opening, my mother and I killed some time while the restaurant set up for dinner service. My grandmother, aunt, cousin, father and brother joined us for dinner.

interior

Multigrain, olive, and mini baguette made up the bread offerings.

bread

BEE’S KNEES

bee's knees

ARTICHOKE, BURRATA, TOMATO CONFIT

artichoke

The meal began with an amuse from the kitchen. I thought this was well-balanced – cool, creamy with a bit of brightness from the tomato.

PÂTÉ DE CAMPAGNE BOURGUIGNON homemade pickles, country bread

PÂTÉ DE CAMPAGNE BOURGUIGNON homemade pickles, country bread

Porky and earthy with a nice springy texture from the mushrooms.

ESCARGOTS SPÄTZLE burgundy snail fricassée, chicken “oysters”, mushrooms, garlic, parsley coulis, hazelnut

ESCARGOTS SPÄTZLE burgundy snail fricassée, chicken “oysters”, mushrooms, garlic, parsley coulis, hazelnut

Tender escargot was paired with a bright sauce of garlic and parsley. Loved the inclusion of the fried chicken oyster too, providing a lot of flavor and a crispy exterior.

THAI CALAMARI crispy beer batter, pickled fresno peppers, kaffir lime

THAI CALAMARI crispy beer batter, pickled fresno peppers, kaffir lime

We traveled from France to southeast Asia for this one – the calamari had a light crunchy coating, fried just right. The flavors of the kaffir lime came through with the dipping sauce, mellowing out any bite from the peppers. Presentation-wise, I thought the sauce should have been plated differently.

SCALLOP PROVENÇALE stewed sweet peppers, baby zucchini, taggiasca olives, pine nut persillade

SCALLOP PROVENÇALE stewed sweet peppers, baby zucchini, taggiasca olives, pine nut persillade

The scallops were cooked with a nice crusty sear and translucent center, though felt a bit oversalted. Stewed peppers added a sweetness to go along with the nuttiness of the persillade to accompany the scallops.

LINGUINI DE SUD lemon saffron pasta, clams, shrimp, shaved bottarga, sea beans, wilted arugula

LINGUINI DE SUD lemon saffron pasta, clams, shrimp, shaved bottarga, sea beans, wilted arugula

Chunks of seafood were cooked well; the seafood flavor was further enhanced by the bottarga. The linguini felt a little dry though, needing more of a sauce to coat each strand. Lemon zest added a nice brightness to go along with the seafood.

STEAK FRITES 8oz. flat iron, boston lettuce, pommes frites, beurre au vin rouge

STEAK FRITES 8oz. flat iron, boston lettuce, pommes frites, beurre au vin rouge

STEAK FRITES 8oz. flat iron, boston lettuce, pommes frites, beurre au vin rouge

The tender, beefy flatiron was delicious on its own and even better with the compound butter. The fries were great too, served hot with a crisp exterior and just a bit of fluffy potato inside. Pretty much everything a steak frites should be.

BLACK & WHITE molten chocolate cake, verbena ice cream

BLACK & WHITE fondant molten chocolate cake, verbena ice cream

Our lone dessert was this one. This was simple and satisfying, with the warm chocolate and cold vanilla ice cream never disappointing.

Dinner at DB Brasserie was about as expected – good and satisfying, but nothing particularly standout. The food was simple and generally on point, steeped in traditional French cuisine. There were definitely a few kinks in the cooking, but I expect them to be worked out as the restaurant finds its bearings. It’ll be interesting to see if this restaurant survives longer than the former Daniel Boulud Brasserie, especially with Bouchon in the same resort (which is a slightly different experience but targets a very similar audience).

Note: The grand opening event was hosted but dinner was not.


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