What are Tony Abou-Ganim’s favorite restaurants?
I would say that if I were going to the box tomorrow, I've got a list of five favorite restaurants. But my favorite, I would have the steak pomme-frites at Bouchon in Napa Valley or here in Las Vegas. I haven't been to the one in Los Angeles, but the one in Napa would probably be my first choice, only because I could ride up there on my motorcycle. Bouchon here in Las Vegas at The Venetian is equally as wonderful. And, again, you walk in, 'Tony, how are you? How have you been? Can I get you a Negroni?' They remember my favorite cocktail. Paul, the wine guy, always has something great to drink that's a little out there, but never crazy pricey. I had my 50th birthday party there. They put a little table card up that featured my favorite drink. You know, it's just special little things that make you want to go back. For me, it's the service and being at home and feeling welcome like someone is welcoming you into their house. The beauty and gift of hospitality. That would probably be my favorite, and that’s what people ask: If they're going to have one meal, where should it be? And Bouchon is probably it for me.
I have a place in San Francisco that I've gone to ever since I moved there in 1985, and I've been making effort I can to go there for lunch. It's called Le Central. It's a French bistro that’s been there forever. The front room is kind of where all the 'who's who' of San Francisco would lunch. Willy Brown would be in there, the late Herb Caen. There's a plaque over his table now. Louie, who's a dear friend of mine, has been a waiter there for as long as I've known him, which is probably 20 years or more. I always have the same thing. I have the escargot. I don't even have to get a menu or order — Louie just knows. I have a Negroni and an escargot. He picks out a nice, dry white wine and then I have the chicken pomme-frites, so you've seen that French fries are definitely important in my diet.