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When Daniel Boulud Brasserie shut its doors on July 4, 2010, Daniel Boulud bid adieu to both his restaurant and the hotel that housed it, the Wynn. But the celebrated French chef always knew he’d return to Las Vegas and now, three years later, has made that dream a reality. The three-starred Michelin chef will open an outpost of his popular New York City eatery, DBGB Kitchen & Bar, at the Venetian come late 2013/early 2014. The 58-year-old sat down with Haute Living to discuss his decision to return to Sin City, his Daniel Hotel dream project and why Thomas Keller might want to watch his back.
What made you decide to return to Vegas at this time?
I always loved Vegas. I was there for five years and when my contract expired, I wanted to create a new restaurant. The economy was being squeezed at the time, so I decided to wait. After partnering with The Venetian in Singapore [db Bistro Moderne at the Marina Bay Sands], it made sense to partner with The Venetian Las Vegas. I like the roster of chefs that is already there: Mario Batali, Wolfgang Puck, Emeril Lagasse. I’m in good company.
What dishes are you planning on serving at your new location?
Like our New York location, DBGB Kitchen & Bar will be an American tavern meets French brasserie. The ambiance is going to be casual fun, but service-driven. It will be food-driven as well as affordable. We’re going to serve our famous burger and have a menu that goes around the world with sausage; we make all our own charcuterie, sausage, burgers and buns. We’ll also have a wonderful beer program in effect.
How do you think you can improve upon the culinary scene in Sin City?
I want to add to it. I was there improving the culinary scene before, and when I left the culinary scene continued. We didn’t leave because of financial issues. We had a five-year contract, but after five years it was time to move on.
What do you love about Las Vegas?
Las Vegas is a city of a representation for everything you can imagine. It’s a city of imagination. Vegas has accomplished so much in terms of entertainment, in terms of the offering of restaurants, of talent. The pools, the spa, the shows, the restaurants, the hotels — everything is a little bigger and a little better than other places.
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