Just to whet your appetite for some upcoming recipes–
I almost don’t want to write about this spot. I almost don’t want anyone else to know where it is, that it exists, or where to find it. It’s like when you first discover an incredible band. And in the beginning, you can go to a concert in a intimate little club and be right by the stage. Then suddenly everyone else in the world discovers that band, and as happy as you that they are succeeding, you also long for that time when everything was simpler…
But here I go.
For my birthday dinner a week ago, The Gent whisked me away to a lovely little oasis in the desert of Vegas, a lovely, clever, well-appointed bistro called Marche Bacchus. It’s a waterfront bistro behind a wine shop, in the suburb of Summerlin. There is no strip, no slot machines, if it weren’t for the heat, you would never know you are in Vegas.
In the United States, 9% of the total workforce finds employment in restaurants. In Vegas, the percentage must be three times that. It is this fact that creates the perfect recipe for Marche Bacchus. The wine shop in the front of the dining room is your wine list. You can stroll among the aisles, roll the bottles in your hands, debate with your dining partner about the pros and cons of this bottle or that one. Then decide to just compromise and get both.
You are not going to find any Kendall Jackson or Barefoot here. The collection is incredibly selective. And if you see the prices that restaurants pay for wine, like I do, then the prices are gob-smackingly competitive. As in “how the heck can they stay in business and charge $40 for a bottle of Jordan Cabernet, when most restaurants charge twice that?”
The Gent and I started with the Melka ‘CJ’ Cabernet. Then nabbed a bottle of Kistler Chardonnay after we ordered practically every seafood item on the menu, and thought we should have a white wine, too. Two bottles of wine enjoyed between two people is a recipe for a lovely birthday dinner, but a terrible one for getting photographs in focus, so this post is slightly lacking in the latter.
Our server, Paul, was perfect. As much as I love LA, and I love my staff, there is nothing like being in the hands of a server who truly enjoys food, wine, and service. He was conversational when we had questions, knew the menu like a song, and was gracious when we came in close to the end of the night and bought two bottles. He knew he’d be there to close the place down with us.
The food was all thoughtfully prepared. We started with the cheese plate, which we usually do if there is one on the menu. Rather than just the usual brie, chevre, and humboldt fog, this one featured mimolette, something like an asiago, something goopy, something bleu…. it got fuzzy with all the wine and good company. But they were all tasty. If there is escargot on the menu, the Gent always bites, and I ordered the beet salad with smoked trout & apple to start. Entrees were Prince Edward Island mussels, and pan-roasted Idaho trout with a crab and roasted pepper salad. We couldn’t have possibly fit dessert in our stomachs, but Paul grabbed us a decadent flourless chocolate cake for my birthday.
I generally hate ‘closing the place down,’ but this time it was unavoidable. You can’t order two bottles of wine with dinner and not stay awhile. We definitely left an appropriate tip.If you are in Vegas, and you love wine, you should definitely head to Marche Bacchus. But don’t ruin it for the rest of us. Be cool.