photos by Blake Myers

If you want to see the Arc de Triomphe and France’s capital city from a height of 410 feet, you can travel slightly more than 5,000 miles and have dinner at the Jules Verne restaurant in the Eiffel Tower. If not, there’s an alternative. 

Since its September, 1999 opening, the Paris Las Vegas Hotel’s recreation of the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe boasts beautiful, slightly scaled-down versions of these iconic French landmarks. As a bonus unavailable in Paris, dining here offers a 115 foot-high vantage point of Roman architecture to the north and a stylized Luxor, Egypt pyramid to the South. Located across from Bellagio’s fountains, the restaurant’s floor-to-ceiling windows provide a beautiful view of the Strip in both directions.

And under the guiding hand of Chef/Proprietor Jean Joho, the restaurant certainly doesn’t take a culinary back seat to its French counterpart.

Chef Joho began assisting in his aunt’s kitchen in Alsace, France while still a toddler, and during his formal training worked at kitchens in France, Italy and Switzerland. By age 23, he already was the sous chef at one of France’s Michelin three-star restaurants.

After coming to this country, Chef Joho’s success continued with Everest in Chicago, which garnered highest awards from the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Magazine. Everest was judged by USA Today to have the country’s best selection of Alsation wine.

Everest received the Five-Diamond AAA rating, and “Who’s Who,” “Best New Restaurant” and “Best American Chef, Midwest” recognition from the James Beard Foundation. Other successful Joho restaurants include his Studio Paris in Chicago and Brasserie Jo in Boston. 

Showcasing his acclaimed talents here, Chef Joho has created a menu that will satisfy even the most ardent French epicure. General Manager Sharon Boudreau and Supervisor Lyle Tolhurst helm the operation, and each boasts an impressive 18 years’ service with the restaurant. Co-Executive Chefs Joung Sohn and Lucas Knox oversee the wide range of delicious French and American menu offerings.

But there’s much more to experience here besides the menu. Upon exiting the elevator that transported you from the casino floor, you’ll be struck by the uniqueness of your surroundings. Immediately before you is the large, open kitchen with all the hustle and bustle that food preparation and service entail. Progressing into the large dining area, you soon will notice the actual steel beams of the tower’s skeleton rising from floor to ceiling at many places throughout.

The wine list is massive, and General Manager Boudreau is justifiably proud of the estimated 10,000 bottles available. Wine Director Marc Boutiron oversees this vast selection. Bringing your own bottle will incur a $75.00 corkage fee. 

Wine categories are: Whites-France, including Alsace, Loire, Burgundy, Bordeaux, Rhone, Southern France and Rose; Whites–United States, including Chardonnay, Esoteric Whites, Rose, Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier; Reds–France, including Cote de Beaune, Cote de Nuits, Left and Right Bank Bordeaux, Les Grands Vins Left and Right Bank Bordeaux, Rhone and Alsace, Loire and Southern France; Reds–United States, including Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Proprietary Blends, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Syrah, Petit Syrah, Zinfandel, Grenache, Malbec & Esoteric; and Dessert Wines of France and North America; Port, Madeira and Sherry.

The menu presents some delicious choices throughout. Notable appetizers include Maine peekeytoe crab salad with cucumber and black sesame seeds; warm Maine lobster with caramelized fennel, mint chiffonade and orange; fricassee of wild escargot with potato and sweet garlic soufflé; cold foie gras torchon with duck prosciutto and fig compote, as well as sautéed New York State foie gras with slow-braised pineapple and Alsace spice cake.

Salad choices include a non-traditional Caesar with a warm dressing of olive oil, anchovies, capers and garlic. The salads are followed by a list of caviar selections.

Fish lovers must decide among slow roasted filet of Pacific salmon, red snapper filet, crispy arctic char, daurade royale and whole boneless Dover sole. Vegetarians aren’t ignored, with baked herbed crepes with artichoke, roasted tomato coulis and basil pistou and a “faux gras” abalone mushroom with sunchoke puree, spiced apples and wild forest mushrooms.

Among choices for meat and fowl eaters are standout dishes such as a grass-fed bison bone-in tenderloin; Muscovy duck breast with Camargue rice, pistachio and sauce foie gras; the signature individual Eiffel Tower beef Wellington with sautéed snap peas; and various aged steaks, including filet mignon, New York and bone-in ribeye.

Even non-dessert eaters won’t be able to resist such temptations as the Eiffel Tower soufflés in six flavors, a white chocolate banana Elysee, a warm baked Alsace apple strudel with cinnamon ice cream and a raspberry napoleon with vanilla blanc manger.

The Eiffel Tower Restaurant offers impressive views of the Strip, with equally impressive French and American food, and you can leave your passport at home.