Impossibly located on the edge of a man-made “Lake Of Dreams”, surrounded by a small forest of trees that change colors at the whim of the wizard behind the curtain who has created five different mini shows to overload your senses, this locale, along with it’s neighbors SW and Parasol Down, captures the magic and inspiration of Las Vegas...


Six leather-clad columns surround an enormous Botero sculpture of a naked and zoftick woman who clearly has been enjoying the spoils of this most fabulous steak and fish house. Designed in the round, all the windows open to the grounds and the meandering pool. The tables are dressed in simple white cloths accompanying elegant svelte white leather chairs that offset the warm browns of the carpet, drapes and ceiling. With original Botero paintings on the walls, lit to perfection, to create the feeling that they’re floating, this elegant, yet lively eatery is a stimulus of the senses, both visual and of the palette. And the folks that work here are equally as gorgeous. Ask for a window table and then you can slide open the doors on a warm night and enjoy the happening atmosphere by the pool that’s a result of the beautiful people oozing out of the frenetic nightclub, XS.

We would have been satisfied just hanging out all night, but the food and service made our evening that much more enjoyable. Chef Mark LoRusso’s preparations paralleled the inspiring environment. We started with the seafood tower, which arrived dramatically at our table with four levels of lobster, crab, giant shrimp (now there’s an oxymoron), mussels and service of scallop. A feast from the sea, it was way enough for two folks, and a delicious presentation of delights smothered in fresh ice shavings ($65). Michael sampled the Waygu beefsteak tartar topped with a quail egg, and claimed that it rated amongst the best he’s savored ($19/$36).

Order a tasting of soup and choose any two. We tasted the English pea and the spring onion with Yukon potato, both of which were refined and superb. The pea soup was the color of pureed Gumby and distinctly fresh pea, containing just a touch of crème fraiche that appropriately offset the flavor of the soup. The onion soup was delicate and a turn on what we know as the standard, in that its consistency was combined and smooth. Coming in at a reasonable price of $12, this was filling and value at the same time.

The meats at Botero are so tender; the way it cuts off a knife is incomparable. Michael had the 20 oz bone-in Rib Eye that was so big, we could have played tennis with it ($62). It fell off the bone and was bursting with flavor, arriving at the table at exactly the right temperature. Scott had to have the brioche crusted Colorado rack of lamb that was served with delicate ricotta cannelloni and haricot verts. He asked for it medium rare, and it arrived medium rare—something a lot of shops have a difficult time producing.
The flavor was magnificent and the size of the portions was sufficiently large enough to leave some on the plate ($48). We combined all of this with a couple of glasses of the Tensely Syrah from Santa Barbara County, from Colson Canyon vineyard ($19). It’s full body and darker fruits stood up to the rich foods we ordered and was a brilliant suggestion by our terrific waiter, Thomas, who’s brother also happens to be one of the two sommeliers at Botero.

As if we weren’t already stuffed to the gills, we just had to have their traditional Valrhona chocolate soufflé ($12) that was baked to perfection and served with a unique coffee anglaise that totally complimented the chocolaty flavor. But that's not all they offer...

On the way out the door, we took another look at the giant Botero sculpture in the middle of the room and suddenly she didn’t seem so fat anymore. Scott could have sworn he saw her wink at him with a knowing smile.

Daniel Boulud Brasserie and the Lake of Dreams

Impossibly located on the edge of a man-made “Lake Of Dreams”, surrounded by a small forest of trees that change colors at the whim of the wizard behind the curtain who has created five different mini shows to overload your senses, this locale, along with it’s neighbors SW and Parasol Down, captures the magic and inspiration of Las Vegas. The restaurant’s windows slide open (when weather permits) to provide indoor and outdoor elegance that makes dining in this setting as “parfait” as the dishes that are served by celebrity Chef Daniel Boulud. Book way ahead for Table #101, (ask for the attentive service of Larry), on the edge of the restaurant’s outdoor patio and watch the landscape change from vibrant purple to iridescent green, while the show on the giant stacked stone waterfall screen appears every half hour; prepare to be dazzled.

It’s not all smoke and mirrors, like David Copperfield (interesting show, by the way, but disappointingly short, with only 5 or so illusions), however, as the food certainly holds up to the environment. Chef wanted this to be the quintessential brasserie and not fussy, so do not be hesitant to drop in for the pre-theatre menu served up to 7:00 pm, prix fixe at $36 or $42 with dessert, a great bargain for Las Vegas.

We recommend starting the a la carte menu with the Chicken Liver Mouse ($10), which was a “wow”; very reasonable and smooth, loaded with flavor and served appropriately chilled. This is a terrific way to begin your meal. Another dish not to be missed, is their Onion Soup ($14), loaded with Gruyere perfectly baked over the bowl, with a touch of Guinness. The creator of our other favorite onion soup (Chez Mimi, Santa Monica) has told us, “beer is the secret”. Now we are convinced this is what drives this potage to perfection and proves there is a definite distinction amongst onion soups.

An excellent alternative is the Artichoke Veloute soup ($14), accompanied with foie gras and a brioche crouton that is just as yummy as the resident sommelier, Gordon. Gordon, a cross between Patrick Wilson and Christian Bale (without the attitude, of course), brought us a wine list that included fantastic wines for less than $60 a bottle. In a particular, we enjoyed a glass of Chappellet by Napa Valley Vineyards, which was a 2006 Meritage that complimented our meals perfectly. At $16 a glass, it was full bodied, with notes of black cherry and black berries, and just as delicious as a French cab we tried for double the cost.

DB’s most renowned dish is their DB burger. This burger has received so much press that it’s virtually impossible to write anything without sounding redundant. Michael devoured the first bite and from that moment onward, it proved to be in a league of its own. It is 9 ounces stuffed with braised short ribs, foie gras accompanied by a black truffle Parmesan bun and, naturally, French fries. You must try this experience because your judgment of burgers will change forever, making it worth every bit of the $32.

The perfect ending to a perfect meal is always a dessert and there are plenty of choices, The Dining Duo highly recommends their house made ice creams, especially their coffee ice cream which is truly unparalleled with it’s coffee flavor and slight bit of flavorful crunch ($8). They also offer a delicious looking collection of artisan cheeses accompanied with dried and seasonal fruits, honey, nuts and bread…but we were too stuffed to try them this visit. Amongst the dazzling outdoor aesthetics, the fabulous food and the tres handsome sommelier, we highly recommend DB as stop on your LV trip. The best part was when we left satiated and slightly intoxicated, all we had to do was take an elevator to our elegant and comfy suite; Scott was the designated driver.

But hold on....we're not done raving. More fabulous food at the Encore/Wynn when we wrap it up with part three. Keep your eyes peeled and your stomachs empty...

Posted by The Dining Duo | 9:43 PM | , , , , , , , , , | 0 comments »

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