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May 12, 2014

Daniel Boulud's Newest Las Vegas Venture

By Sasha Levine | Restaurants

Courtesy of B. Milne

"I love Vegas! I'm excited to be back," exclaims chef Daniel Boulud of his newest restaurant, db Brasserie—a high-end, high-energy eatery that officially opened last week at The Venetian.

It’s heartening to know that, even after writing eight books and launching 14 concepts worldwide, an award-winning chef can still get excited. The opening is Boulud’s triumphant return to the city, four years after closing his first restaurant there in 2010. The new 280-seat outpost—helmed by chef David Middleton (previously of David Burke, Marché Bacchus and Scarpetta)—is Boulud’s "ideal" brasserie. Unlike his more traditional projects, it adds a contemporary, international touch to staples: Consider the hamachi cru with eggplant-cumin aigre doux, finger lime, harissa and shallots or the roasted Tunisian lamb chop with merguez sausage, couscous, red-pepper tagine, lemon-braised spinach and chickpeas. (For a more traditional take, there’s also an 18-ounce rib-eye with béarnaise sauce, pictured above.)

Even the design of the space—with its rich leathers, geometric floor tiles, brass hardware and Beaux-Arts–inspired faux skylights—echoes the objective, infusing the timeless aesthetic of famous French brasseries (namely Brasserie L'est in Lyon and Cafe de la Paix and Brasserie Julien in Paris) with a clean, modern finish.

"It serves elevated cuisine in an elegant setting yet has the feeling of a neighborhood café—a place where anyone can walk in off the street for a great meal," says Jeffrey Beers, the restaurant's designer. That just might be what helps Boulud's second Vegas stint stand out among the showy gastronomic theaters on The Strip—and, perhaps more importantly, what allows it to stick around for good. 3355 S. Las Vegas Blvd.; 702-430-1235; dbbrasserie.com.