Monday, January 14, 2008

Daniel - Las Vegas The Final

NOTE: This entry was written before, and is slightly late in its publication.

Clayfu is frolicking in Europe, ingesting culinary delights and engaging in adventures of all sorts . . . you can just consider me, the Mystery Eater! I'm just subbing, so Clayfu's vast readership won't be devoid of an entry (so please, go easy on me). This entry will be about Daniel Boulud Brasserie (ed. paid for in part by the Wynn Hotel), located in the Wynn Hotel on the Las Vegas Strip. The pictures are a little dim bc we only had candlelight.

We started with two appetizers.

Maine Lobster Salad-- lobster, yukon potatoes, greens.

Somehow I was expecting the salad to be warm (don't know why) but this was a refreshing cold salad with lovely pieces of lobster and yukon gold potatoes. It was perfectly chilled and lightly seasoned, allowing the natural flavor of the lobster to be the star of the show and not the spices or the potatoes. There were about 6-7 pieces of lobster, each comparable to the size in the photo.

Catalan Style Tapas (chef’s selection of Mediterranean inspired appetizers)- three types: 1) veal cheek, 2) rabbit sausage and fois gras, and 3) chicken wing stuffed with lavender and etc.
The veal cheek came with a thick sauce that went well with the meat-y flavor of the veal. The meat gave easily to the fork and almost melted in your mouth. I thought it was one of the best appetizers. My only beef with it (haha) was that it bore an uncanny resemblance to the short ribs, but that might be a result of my untrained palate.

As for the rabbit sausage and fois gras (once you got over the fact you were eating Thumper), the sausage was perfect-- not overly gamey and for those unfamiliar with rabbit, this particular version tasted just like a meatier version of a chicken sausage.

When our waiter first told us about the chicken wing stuffed with lavender, I had visions of perfume and soap in my mind. However, all my hesitancy melted away when I bit into it, as the chicken was tender and not soap-y at all.Braised Short Ribs - “en daube,” parsnip mousseline, fines herbes

Meaty, rich and heavy, with a flavor similar to the veal cheek. I'm not usually a fan of mouses and foams as I find them pretentious and would rather have the vegetable in whole, versus in pureed format. The short ribs were not particularly memorable, since there were so similar to the veal cheek.

Original NY DB Burger-- 9-oz. sirloin burger stuffed with braised short ribs, foie gras and black truffle, parmesan bun, french fries.

The Original NY DB Burger is Daniel's claim to fame. While the burger patty was supposed to be the star of the show, it overwhelmed the other flavors of the burger-- without the perfect balance of the onion, lettuce, tomato, it was a little too meaty. A great burger is nothing without a perfect set of accompanying ingredients. The actual patty was supposed to be a combination of ground beef, short ribs and fois gras. Unfortunately, the short ribs (while delectable) dominated the patty and suppressed the other flavors in the burger. There was not nearly enough fois gras taste, just little hints, as if the chef were trying to tease me! As for the bun itself, the Parmesan-crusted bun was a nice touch-- more elegant than the sesame bun you would find at McDonalds but crusty and sturdy enough to hold a 3-inch patty.

One of the highlights was the order of fries that accompanied the burger. Perfectly crispy, yet managed to maintain its potato flavor.

Lacking in the unique flavor of the foie gras and the lack of balance between the meat and the rest of the burger, I probably would not order this again. It was good, but not great. While the fries were wonderful it would not be enough to warrant another NY DB Burger.


Not complimentary but still delightful! Ice cream sandwiches with freshly-made rocky road ice cream (versus Dreyer's I suppose). editorial note: this is the greatest dessert I (Charlie Fu) have ever had. The warm chocolate sauce on the side, the perfectly light milk chocolate rocky road ice cream, and the bite size pastry puff made it to be superbly delightful.

A short note about the decor and dress of the restaurant-- while it's supposed to be "casual elegant", the clothing choices ranged from suit with tie to jeans and a nice shirt. Additionally, there is a lake show that goes on at certain points, 630 PM is the time for one of them. This "Lake of Dreams" lake show was a little too "Fantasia"-like to me (remember that Disney movie, back in the day?) . While the colorful lights and sound effects were interesting, it was not that captivating to me or my eating companion.

Overall, while there were some highlights (veal cheek, chicken, maine lobster, dessert), the prices for the entrees and the quality of food that was presented just didn't match up completely. The dining experience and service was wonderful but the entrees just a bit too pricey and this might keep me from going back again.

Boulud Brasserie

Bottom floor- Wynn Hotel next to the main reception.


Charlie Fu said...

Nice post! =) Looks tasty =P

caroline said...

Wow, how do you eat that burger? It's huge! And ... very meaty.

Mystery poster, who could you be? ;)

Looks like you had fun in Vegas! Thanks for posting about it.

Nicholas said...

man i really want to know who the mystery poster is...
when i saw the burger, i thought it would be alot better, the rabbit sausage sounds interesting.

Charlie Fu said...

nicholas: the rabbit sausage was delicious. Delicious in that soft velvet-ness that comes only from small critters