DINING OWL AWARDS: 4th – amuse bouche; 4th – pre-dessert
When I visited: July 2014
Location: Vegas, inside Caesar’s Palace
Team: Guy Savoy (Chef Patron), Julien Asseo (Executive Chef), Phil Park (Head Sommelier)
Rating in the Michelin Guide: Not in Guide
What to wear: Men – shirt and jacket and nice trousers and shoes; women – a smart dress and/or smart trousers and a top
Ambience: Smart, very French, high up
Course of the meal: Artichoke and Black Truffle Soup, Toasted Mushroom Brioche, and Black Truffle Butter
If I could change one thing: More charm and atmosphere
Vegas is now home to some seriously heavyweight restaurants (as discussed in my review of the Steve Wynn Steakhouse). This one, inside Caesar’s Palace Hotel, did not disappoint for a full-on dinner date. It’s heavy on the formality and the portions and is probably best for dates rather than more informal occasions. The service and the food were equally impressive.
I went with my partner Owl and we had the Guy Savoy (pronounced “ghee sa-vwa”) Signature Menu (which was $260 per person). Given that we were on holiday (like we need an excuse) we had a glass of Roger Colomb Champagne each to start, and selected a white wine (Viognier 2010 Le Petit Cote) to go with the meal.
In stellar two-star fashion we were given delicious canapés with our Champagne: foie gras and black truffle mini sandwiches on sticks, and mini Parmesan waffles. The combination of savoury quality canapés with bubbly dry Champagne never gets old. Our amuse bouche was sweetcorn soup with caviar and a squid tartelette, and the bread selection was equally impressive: lemon, seaweed or olive.
The caviar theme continued with the first listed course, “Colors of Caviar”. This was followed up by a simple but effective heirloom tomatoes salad and tartare with frozen vinaigrette, setting up the red mullet fillet with spinach and mushroom gratin. Then came the obligatory (for French high-end restaurants) foie gras in the form of a “bitter infusion”.
As good as all of this was, the memorable dish in this meal was next and that was the artichoke and black truffle soup with toasted mushroom brioche and black truffle butter. One word: WOW.
Being in America, we were unsurprised to then receive American prime beef tenderloin with braised Paleron and baby heirloom carrot. Fine cheeses came next: slightly suffering from the Vegas heat and jet lag, I wasn’t as hungry as normal and as readers will know I’m not a big cheese fan, so I just nibbled at a hard cheese, but I did indulge in the palate cleanser pre-dessert: mango sorbet with other mango foams.
Desserts came in the form of The Strawberry (I do love enigmatically-named courses) and a chocolate fondant with crunchy praline and chicory cream … somehow I found room for those. With our green teat we got some special mignons: a madeleine, a chocolate macaron, vanilla rice pudding jar, pineapple sorbet, coffee ice cream, and rum baba … it’s a good thing they were all small. We also got a ‘cleanser’ – Earl Grey sorbet with a peppery sauce.
Happily, this restaurant followed the trend of two-star restaurants to provide a takeaway gift, in the form of coffee cake cubes, toffee sweets and lemon boiled sweets. The takeaway is a smart technique to make your guests continue talking about you the next day and remind them of the joys of a few hours ago.
If you’re in the market for a posh date in Vegas, get yourself to Guy Savoy and digest the goodness afterwards by the Bellagio fountains.