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Oct 8, 2008 04:49 PM

Saturday brunch in Vegas - Bouchon vs. Tableau

Will be in Vegas next weekend celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary. Want to have a brunch on the anniversary day itself, Saturday 10/18. Dinner that night is Bar Charlie starting at 7:30, so I'm thinking brunch around 10:00-11:00 would leave us hungry enough for a prolonged dinner that evening.

Usually we are lunch people not brunch or breakfast people. Can't do three meals a day, especially in Vegas. However, we have made exceptions to do a few breakfasts at Verandah and Bouchon. We went to Verandah on our last trip in August, so that's out. We have never been to Tableau.

Our breakfasts at Bouchon have been on weekdays and have been enjoyable but not particularly stellar, though I have no specific complaints apart from occasionally slow service in terms of keeping my coffee topped up. I actually tend to prefer Bouchon for dinner. My favorite breakfast dish there has been the boudin blanc with scrambled eggs. The bread pudding thing is too much/too sweet for me. I tend to prefer a more protein-centric breakfast. My husband is not picky and will find something to his liking anywhere we go.

I just can't decide between Bouchon and Tableau. Took a look at the brunch menu for Bouchon. Tableau menu isn't available online, I suppose I could call and have them fax it. Are there any standout dishes on the brunch menu at Bouchon that aren't on the weekday breakfast menu? As to crowds, which will be more manageable on a Saturday morning? I know that Bouchon doesn't take reservations for brunch.

It's entirely possible that we will do one on Saturday and one on Sunday. For now I want to make at least a preliminary decision for Saturday, and we will probably play Sunday by ear. All input appreciated.

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  1. If you e-mail/call Bouchon in advance they will make anything you ask for - seriously. It is true they do not take reservations, though.

    Both were excellent and I'd probably do both again on a future visit, but if I HAD to choose one it would be Bouchon.

    1. i thought i read somewhere ( might have been eating las vegas ) that tableau is being re-modeled . anyone know about it ?

      2 Replies
      1. re: kjs

        Tableau is closing. Its chef is moving to Encore to open Botero (a steakhouse, I seem to recall). In place of Tableau will be An American Place; I'm not sure about closing/opening dates.

        1. re: Larry

          That is a shame, unless they keep the pancakes and fantastic service.

      2. None of my business, but I was curious why you were contemplating going to Bouchon if it hasn't been distinctively good to you in the past. Frankly, that was my reaction to the weekend brunch, too. Perfectly pleasant, nothing too special. I was very disappointed in the corned beef hash, but the eggs were much better than average.

        My favorite thing about Bouchon at brunch is the coffee. Just ate at the NYC branch and I had the same reaction.

        11 Replies
        1. re: Dave Feldman

          Good question Dave. Thinking more about it, it's kind of a sentimental choice for our anniversary. We have had many excellent dinners there, we really like the room and the vibe, and there are additional options on the brunch menu beyond the weekday breakfast menu. I guess I'm eternally an optimist, still looking for that one breakfast/brunch dish that really wows me. You're right, the coffee is quite excellent, but that's not enough of a reason to sway me. A Bouchon is going into the new Montage (I think) in Beverly Hills so that's kind of exciting.

          1. re: Debbie W

            French Toast and Beignets. :-)

            The Lobster Gratin looked surreal.

            1. re: uhockey

              I called the Wynn this afternoon and they faxed over the Tableau menu (and were quite efficient, I called the main dinner reservation line around 4 and the person I spoke to said the next round of faxes would go out around 7 and I had the menu by 7:30, complete with cover sheet with my name on it - but she didn't know anything about Tableau closing when I asked about that). I think we will probably end up at Tableau, as the brunch menu looks great. I'll most likely go with the Kobe short ribs and eggs, which, while not exactly light, will at least get me a dose of protein. Plus, I love bernaise sauce. There's a Dungeness crab club sandwich on the brunch menu that looks intriguing to my husband.

              Uhockey, I appreciate the suggestions, but the Bouchon French toast/bread pudding dish is just not my style at breakfast. I've tasted it. It's great but I'd like it better for dessert at dinner. Even when we had the breakfast buffet at Payard, I mostly ate smoked salmon (sans bagel) and fruit, and half of a fabulous almond croissant. Now if I could have that croissant for an afternoon snack, I'd be a happy camper. At home I eat cottage cheese or nonfat yogurt or eggs, if remember to have breakfast at all. I know, not too exciting, but I like fitting into my size 8 jeans.

              1. re: Debbie W

                The web response at Tableau is fantastic.

                Debbie, if you like Savory over Sweet, then I guess Bouchon may not be for you. FWIW, my daily breakfast is eggwhites and oatmeal after a 5-6 mile run. I just splurge on vacation. :-) I still fit my pants.

                1. re: uhockey

                  Well, I was tempted by your description of the chocolate/almond croissant at Bouchon. I don't even know where the Bouchon Bakery is - is it within the Venetian casino? Isn't it just a cart or something like that? I don't think I've ever seen it and we have been in the Venetian a lot.

                  One time I did a solo breakfast at Bouchon while my husband went to see a client, and I had yogurt and granola which was very good. Housemade granola I think. I sat at the bar and the bartender was nice and chatty and kept my coffee cup full. I was so wired afterwards, it wasn't even funny.

                  Uhockey, I know from reading your posts that you are into fitness and it's amazing to me that you can eat the way you do. I'll be 50 next month and believe me it doesn't get any easier, plus I had to work very hard to get my weight to what it is now (basically the same as it was when I was in college 30 years ago) and it takes constant vigilance to keep it this way. In Vegas, we just make sure to walk a lot, which is quite easy to do. Plus I generally attempt to ignore the bread baskets or just take a taste. I actually have quite a sweet tooth when it comes to desserts, so that's where I like to spend my calories, rather than breakfasts.

                  1. re: Debbie W

                    Cool deal.

                    The bakery is straight down the elevators that lead up to the skybridge to the 10th floor where Bouchon is located.

                    1. re: uhockey

                      The bakery is on the casino level by the escalators to the Canal Shops .
                      Another way to find it would be to look for the theaters.

                    2. re: Debbie W

                      I wondered the same thing about uhockey's recent rampage through Vegas. Trying to keep my bodyfat less than 10% while in Las Vegas can be tedious. No way can I ever do the 3-meal/day thing. I tend to focus on one meal, usually dinner. Eat real light during the day and do like you do with minimizing the empty calories from bread and the like. I spend most of my days in Vegas rockclimbing out at Red Rock Canyon which gives me exercise but also keeps me away from places like Bouchon and Tableau during the day. My wife and I tend to split apps and desserts unless we do a tasting menu which usually is an occasion. It's good to know other Chowhounds have similar concerns as myself.

                      1. re: climberdoc

                        I'm quite possibly the most boring eater on the planet if it is not a "special occassion" or vacation. Places like Tableau and Bouchon are a reason to break the 'routine.' Initially, I've not touched a "processed or packaged" food aside from the occassional all-natural protein bar in ~5 years.

                        Chowhound is a great place because it allows me to see the views of others and determine where to best enjoy the times I want to enjoy the most, whether with friends/family or just vacation.

                  2. re: Debbie W

                    Other than weight, my other concern is appetite. If I had anything substantial, I could not develop the appetite for dinner. For this reason we normally restrict ourselves to one main meal (dinner) a day.

                    In cities like New York, San Francisco, and Paris, one can walk all day through interesting neighborhood, and develop wonderful appetite by meal time. It never happen in Vegas. Walking around in casino just won't work.

                    1. re: Debbie W

                      I have been to both Bouchon and Tableau many times.

                      I think they are both great.

                      The Kobe Beef short ribs and eggs are by far the best thing i have ever had between both places. The potato cake thingy is so tasty. They did something to the scrabbled eggs to make them extra tasty.

              2. Bouchon was also a letdown for us. Our first croque madame arrived with dry burnt bread and cold cheese (yuck)..when I complained that it was cold, they just burnt it even more. Gross!
                I'd go to Payard's instead hands down. I love their breakfast bar. It made up for the lousy food at Bouchon. BTW, I've eaten at Bouchon in Napa and that was excellent.

                1. We ate at Tableau for brunch today and it was ok. We like Verandah at the Four Seasons at Mandalay Bay a lot better. Quieter, more serene and a nicer menu. I live here and we try all the places once to find the best. Have not been to Bouchon yet.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: vegasmike

                    What did you have at Tableau?

                    I like the serenity of Verandah but to be honest their menu is boring to me. I generally don't eat pancakes or waffles or French toast so that eliminates a whole category. And paying Verandah money for eggs, potatoes and toast is simply wrong. Twice I've had the eggs Benedict which is a very nice dish - they do a lovely hollandaise. Recently I had the highly lauded huevos rancheros which were fine but proved too heavy for me. The pastries at Verandah (like mini croissants and the like) are absolutely nothing special, not even worth the calories of just a few bites. Still, I'm sure we'll return from time to time since it's a nice, calm oasis.