Before I being my complaint (yup, it is coming) I want to put it out there that I loved my meal at Bouchon and would return in a heart beat and would recommend it to anyone.
Of all the places I wanted to hit in Las Vegas, Bouchon stood out. I couldn’t wait to go–we settled on brunch to keep it more affordable. As fancy well known chef restaurants go, Bouchon is very reasonably priced and at lunch one could get away with under easily under $20 for a meal, tax and tip inclusive. I say one could, because I for one did not. But it is plausible.
So my complaint? The service was… mediocre. In a town full of restaurants, I was shocked that my brunch waiter was so incompetently unfamiliar with the menu and unable to deliver proper customer service. He was, I will mention, charming and adorable, truly a sweet person, so I felt bad, but not too bad.
At the table an order of chicken and waffles floored a friend of mine, especially the accompanying sauce with bits of bacon in it. The Croque Madame across from me came with a mountain of fries (note to those paying attention, mountain #1 at a small four top table) and J declared it the most beautifully cooked egg she’d ever seen. She sighed as she dug in. I had a taste of both dishes, they were definitely sigh worthy. But the best was yet to come. K, as the other serious eater at the table, and I agreed to split three dishes. The Salmon rilletes were good, but nothing so amazing that we were floored. The Steak Frites (note, mountain of fries #2) were flooringly good. The fries were above average, but the steak was absolutely unlike any steak that I have ever had a bite of before. On the advice of our waiter, we switched from a rare steak to medium rare. I’m not sure if it would have been any different rare, but it was perfectly wonderful at medium rare.
It was our third dish where the problems came. “The Fruits de Mer Mussels” I requested when I ordered, being sure to sound all French when I pronounced “fruits”. “With the mustard wine sauce?” Our waiter asked, “no,” I explained, pointing to the menu where the $7 mussels I had requested were. So, needless to say, I was not super excited when the $25 mussels in broth arrived. I politely pointed out the mistake and was both surprised and pleased when he asked “I’ll get your mussels right away, but would you like to keep these ones on the table to share?” Well, isn’t that lovely, I thought as we agreed to keep them, along with the third enormous pile of French fries. We looked like a family of obese children at McDonald’s with our table full of fries. But that is beside the point. We enjoyed our meal very much, though the crowd pleasing favorite was almost with out a doubt the Fruits de Mer Mussels. At $7 a pop (12 mussels in a pop, if you care) these may well be the very best meal on the strip. In fact, if we had gotten these right away, we may well have ordered another set, they were so good.
The problem arose when the bill came. If I had my druthers, I would have wanted the mussels taken off the bill, as they did not arrive with the rest of the meal. However, to my complete shock, not only were we charged for the mussels we ordered, but for the $25 batch that we had not even wanted! I replayed everything I’d said in my head to see if I could think of anything I’d done wrong. Then I flagged my waiter down and further surprising me, he was not immediate and swift about removing it. “That is why I asked you if you wanted to keep them for the table” he tells me of the extra mussels. I was absolutely flabbergasted. I work in the restaurant industry, I know how these work, and this is not it. I laid a firm line down and though he claimed not to have the power to change it, he did seek out a manager and the extra mussels were removed from the bill. Had I not been on vacation with a plane to catch and a day to enjoy, I may well have requested to speak with said manager to ask what they were thinking. But I didn’t. I was full of amazing food and still basking in the glorious taste of the mussels I had ordered.
That doesn’t mean each time I think about it, I don’t get so very annoyed at the incident. But not annoyed enough to ruin the fabulous meal!