From Alain Ducasse to Joel Robuchon to Pierre Gagnaire, some of the top chefs in France have restaurants in Las Vegas. So Americans can indulge in five-star French dining without having to cross the Atlantic.
But most of the city’s top French restaurants are only open for dinner. So where can a Francophile get a French pastry fix on this side of the world – a crispy, chewy macaron or a dense, rich butter cake? Fortunately, there are several French-style patisseries to choose from.
Chef Jean-Philippe Maury won the Meilleur Ouvrier de France – the country’s highest honor – in 1997 and became the Executive Pastry Chef at Bellagio the following year. His patisserie in the Bellagio Spa Tower, called simply Jean-Philippe Patisserie, offers the kinds of pastries the French do so well – palmiers, coconut macaroons, caramels, nougat, a variety of pound cakes, and sensational chocolates. Guests entering the Bellagio shop are greeted by the world’s largest chocolate fountain.
His patisserie proved so successful, that he opened a larger, second shop recently in the Aria. You can also get a light lunch, individual chocolates and truffles, and hand-made ice creams and sorbets at this location.
Payard Patisserie & Bistro in Caesar’s Palace showcases the pastries and chocolates of Francois Payard. If you’re craving a Croque Monsieur or Madame, the 40-seat bistro is a lovely place for a French brunch or lunch. His gift baskets – filled with jams, confections, chocolates, and cookbooks – make lovely gifts. And his delicious pastries include caramels, macarons in some imaginative flavors, financiers (which are similar to Madeleines), éclairs, tarts, and cakes.
Superstar chef Thomas Keller’s Bouchon is one of the most popular restaurants in Yountville. So it was only natural for Keller to open another branch of his bistro/brasserie in Las Vegas. The Bouchon Bakery next to the restaurant is the place in Yountville for breakfast pastries and baked goods.
The Las Vegas branch is located in the Venetian Resort near the entrance to the theater. Each day, they make a beautiful assortment of Viennoiseries, as pastries like Napoleons and éclairs are known in France, as well as croissants, brioche, tarts, macarons, and bouchon – the addictive little chocolate treats that are shaped like wine corks. Don’t miss the TKO, Keller’s version of an Oreo cookie. You can even pick up goodies for Fido.
The newcomer to the Las Vegas pastry scene is Amore Patisserie in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. In addition to pastries, chocolates, and home-made ice cream in flavors like avocado and green tea, Amore also serves sandwiches made with their freshly baked bread. The window displays are fabulous and the level of artistry here is truly impressive with gorgeous arrangements of spun sugar and Louis Vuitton bags made of fondant.
Their packaging is something special, so consider coming here for gifts to take home to friends and family.
If you’re lucky enough to be headed to Paris, find our list of the best patisseries here.