Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Foodventure #79: DB Brasserie (Las Vegas)

After a year of anticipation, I was finally able to check out DB Brasserie on my most recent trip to Vegas. Ok, it wasn't the original, but a Sin City weekend is a helluva lot easier and cheaper than a Big Apple visit. And I can still shock everyone with my proclamation of eating a burger that costs over $30.
Located in the Wynn Hotel & Casino, the restaurant features a gorgeous patio that looks out into the hotel's signature waterfall and lake surrounded by lush greenery. Being a not-too-hot afternoon, my two friends and I opted for the outdoor seating.
We started off our meal with a seasonal cheese plate, and it was definitely one of the better ones I've had in a long time. It featured a nice progression of different cheeses (starting with a luscious double-cream brie, a delectable ricotta insalata and finishing with a slightly punchy blue; my favorite, as I've noted a few times before, is the Hook's Cheddar -- extra intense here because it's aged 12 years). But what I think really made this dish were the quality of the accompaniments, from the wonderfully floral honey to the candied walnuts to raisins dried on the stems, and the assorted bread with nuts and herbs baked right in.
I was also very impressed with their cocktail list, and eventually opted for the Le Rose, made with Plymouth gin, rose nectar, pomegrante liqueur and citrus juice with a classy rose petal garnish. Great drink all around: silky texture, wonderful bouquet and balanced flavors and definitely one I want to emulate at home.
My two friends opted to get their early bird special (a three-course prix-fixe available until 8 p.m.), for first course they both got the caesar salad, with a little pizazz added in. Avocados are tossed in as well, and along with the croutons there were parmesan cheese crisps. I had a taste and I liked the distinctive touches, but loved that it's not overdressed as caesars tend to be.

Afterwards, we were served our entrees, including my decadent
DB Burger, the burger itself is slightly larger than a squished tennis ball and it's stuffed with braised short ribs, foie gras and black truffle in a brioche bun.
And probably the only burger I ever used silverware to eat, given how high it's stacked. As for taste, it was decent, good actually, but not particularly special--one of those cases where the whole isn't greater than the sum of its parts; in fact, I had more fun picking out the individual components and sharing with my friends (who haven't really tasted truffle or foie gras before.) Nothing was wrong, per se, but the combination isn't particularly mind-blowing, it just tasted like a braised-rib burger combo with a little truffle and foie gras action. In fact, I think it's a bit of a waste of the last two components. But oh well, worth a try.

For prix-fixe entrees, my pals had the roasted chicken with trumpet royale mushrooms, arugula and risotto and the 10 oz. sirloin steak frites with onion compote. I had a bite of both, solid but again, nothing out of the world (though I am a sucker for sweet onion concoctions and really enjoyed the compote.)
For desserts, my companions got the chocolate hazelnut fondant cake with coffee ice cream, and we all were served complimentary bite-sized blueberry muffins. Overall it's a nice finish, and the sweets just the right size after such a filling meal.
The biggest surprise of the night came not from the restaurant but from the hotel, because apparently a giant frog springs forth from above the waterfall throughout the night and starts crooning at the audience (patio diners included). This time, it's with a very pleasant "What a Wonderful World"; I suddenly went from weirded out to "Awwww...." Yes, it's corporate and gimmicky and downright absurd, but you know you would too.
Summing up, a wonderful evening with great friends and a nice meal. I kind of was expecting more, but I also kind of wasn't. Prix-fixe meals where the same three items are served day after day aren't going to be super thrilling since the kitchen is obviously going to pick something that has a good general appeal (a.k.a. at least somewhat boring). Burgers, likewise, aren't something that's going to terribly edgy either (or it'll wound up so edgy that it's terrible!)

And everything was pretty good overall, so next time I'll probably order a la carte (their duo of kurobuta pork and skate americaine with "lobster knuckles" (claws?) sounds promising), try out another cocktail and maybe their seasonal cheeses again. Maybe after one too many delicious drinks, I may even try kissing the Frog Prince.

Le Rose Cocktail - $16
Seasonal Cheese Plate - $26
DB Burger - $32
Prix-Fixe - $48 x 2
Pre-tax/tip Total: $170

Ambience - 4/5 (Casual yet elegant, great outdoor space)
Value - 3.5/5 (The price is not bad given the dishes and ingredients used, but not what I'd consider a steal either)
Service - 7.5/10 (Solid, but lacking that extra mile of good service; staff not particulary enthusiastic or forthcoming with replies)
Food - 17/20 (Like the service, I had no real gripe with the food and it was good-tasting, but there weren't many things remarkable about it)
Bonus/Demerits - N/A
Overall - 32/40

DB Brasserie at the Wynn Hotel
3131 S. Las vegas Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV
(702) 770-3310‎ (Daniel Boulud's official page doesn't provide the Vegas Brasserie details, and will redirect back to this flash- and sound-crazy site)

Daniel Boulud Brasserie (Wynn) on Urbanspoon


Anonymous said...

That is a nice looking burger.

H. C. said...

Noah, gorgeous was my first thought too... followed by "my lower jaw is not detachable, how am I going to eat this w/o taking it apart?"

Khoi said...

Unbelievable area setting and food presentation!!!! Blah... wanna go!

Food, she thought. said...

LOVE the pics of the frog!!!

Unknown said...

Vegas is one of the most awesome place someone would want to visit. Plus, foods that are really mouth-watering. Great place, great food, what more can we ask for. Thanks for posting! Cheers!


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