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Fleur by Hubert Keller in Las Vegas, Nevada!
Mrs. Nom and I took our first trip back to Las Vegas in over two years recently, and tops on our agenda was to enjoy lots of excellent restaurants. Our first lunch was at Fleur by Hubert Keller. We have seen Hubert Keller on shows like Top Chef Masters and PBS’s Secrets of a Chef, and he has long been a favorite of Mrs. Nom and I, with his innovative and modern French cuisine.
Fleur by Hubert Keller is located just off the main casino floor of the Mandalay Bay in a large open atrium on the main walk way to the convention center and shark reef. Fleur features a cool mix of open casual patio and bar seating, along with an interior dining room that offers a more upscale intimate dining experience, giving diners lots of options.
We were just back from a morning out touring the Valley of Fire, so we opted for a more casual dining experience out on the patio, where we could watch the crowd stream by on their way to the casino and convention center. We were quickly seated by the host and greeted by our server almost immediately, who offered us a choice of waters (the usual suspects of mineral waters, sparkling water, or still waters.)
I did notice that Vegas restaurants seem to be taking the water shortage seriously and offering water only if you actually want it.
So what did we order?
The appetizers caught our attention, and after debating between the ahi tuna tacos and the ceviche, we settled on the ceviche. The ceviche featured a daily selection of fresh fish with a layer of guacamole served with a fresh lime and tortilla chips. The ceviche was fantastic, the bright citrus tang balanced out with a rich creaminess of the guacamole. The fresh fish, salmon and tuna, was firm yet felt very delicate once bitten into.
The fresh bean sprouts and cilantro provided a herbal flavor that helped provide another layer of flavor and freshness. The acidity level of the dish was perfectly balanced, and with the salt from the house made tortilla chips hits the fresh lime, the ceviche quickly became one of the best seafood dishes I had ever eaten. While we were finishing our ceviche, our server came up and mentioned that he would like to try to get our order in before a larger party caused our order to be delayed.
So with haste in mind we made our selections, with Mrs. Nom selecting a BBQ flatbread, while I decided to try the Waygu burger. Burgers are one of Hubert Keller’s specialties, and the opportunity to try one of his burgers was too good to pass up.
The BBQ flatbread features the classic BBQ trio of pork, red onions and smoky sauce served on a thin crust flat bread. The crust was a beautiful golden brown, toasty warm and very crisp, similar to a very thin crust pizza. Melted cheddar cheese provided a warm rich base for the toppings.
The pork belly was tender and the carmelized red onions lent a sweet note to the smokey dark bbq sauce. The baby spring greens were reminiscent of fresh arugula, slightly peppery and bitter, balancing the sweetness of the bbq sauce. The whole dish came served on a rustic wooden platter, which nicely tied the whole presentation together.
The Waygu burger is a 1/3rd pound burger with bacon, wild mushrooms and gruyère on a potato bun. I had added a side of avocado which came next to the slice of lettuce, red onion, dill pickle and sprouts. A small cup of house made ketchup rounds out the condiments.
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Finishing off the dish, a mini deep fryer basket full of fries provides a cool hip touch to the dish. I decided to initially just try the burger as presented with out any of the sides, so I could fully taste how the chef had intended the burger. The flavor of the waygu was richly meaty, a strong flavor of beef with a nice fatty flavor to it.
The mushrooms and the gruyère provided a nutty earthy flavor that complemented the beef flavor. The bacon, crisp and smokey, added another layer of richness to the burger, and besides who doesn’t love bacon? Surrounding the whole package was a delectable potato bun, light and airy, with a slight buttery note.
Adding the sprouts and the avocado gave the burger a cool herbaceous side that I really liked. The avocado I had ordered was a nice sized serving, nearly half of the avocado, was firm and very fresh. The french fries were very crisp, with an outer crust that similar to a beer batter. Slightly salty, the fries were a nice compliment to the burger.
The atmosphere is very upbeat and hip feeling. The music playing over the speakers was a trendy pop / remixed pop (kind of Euro-pop like) which was somewhat unexpected, but knowing Hubert Keller is an accomplished DJ, should be no surprise. All the servers were attentive and well dressed and efficient.
Bonus points should be given for the fact that our server was aware of what was going on at other tables and made sure to get our order in prior to a large group. Our water was kept filled and dishes removed quickly. My only complaint was waiting a little long for the check, but really that is more a reflection of the multiple large tables that our server was working with.
If you happen to visit Las Vegas, Fleur by Hubert Keller is worth a definite visit!
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