Restaurant: Guy Savoy
Location: Cesar’s Palace, Las Vegas
Date: April 14, 2012
A good friend’s bachelor party brought me back to Las Vegas and that meant: extreme food. On my last trip I sampled é by José Andrés and Twist by Pierre Gagnaire so this time it was time for Guy Savoy. Guy himself is one of the few and proud Parisian Michelin 3-star chefs (even if he’s originally from Burgundy). The Vegas outpost is overseen by the older chef’s son. It’s tucked away in a quiet section of the main Cesar’s Palace, near the wedding chapels.
True to its Michelin form, the place has a lot of carts. First to greet us is the champagne and aperitif cart. I’m not really that big a champagne fan, and done off the cart for the table often results in some serious financial hike. But, as you’ll see, you don’t come to Guy Savoy to keep the budget under control!
Jadot is usually very reliable and I have a soft spot for Clos Vougeot. “Charred meat, black currant, and wet stone characterize the bouquet of Jadot’s Clos Vougeot. Savory, salty, brightly-fruited and invigoratingly juicy on the palate, this displays more energy and acidity than I would have expected from the appellation. For all of the clarity and juiciness of this wine’s fruit, grilled meat and stony earthiness combined with the emergence of formidable tannins and subtle but persistent cyanic and iodine notes to turn its formidably long finish somewhat austere.”
Then the bread cart comes around. Just a few varieties. When we failed to remember the 14-16 different types we could choose from on the first recitation the bread boy (who was just a tad creepy) offered to create a “bread tasting” for us, pairing various breads to each food course. How could we refuse?
“Santa Barbara Spot Prawn caught in sweet and sour fishnet.” Mostly this just tasted like a very good shrimp with some interesting vegetable texture stuff going on. It was pleasant, but not one of the best dishes.
This was a long meal and so we quickly exhausted the Burgundy. This Barolo by old school producer Giacomo Conterno was a bit “underpriced” (if anything in the tome could be called that). Parker 94+ “1999 Barolo Cascina Francia—Medium red. A classic in the making, the 1999 Cascina Francia offers a quintessentially pure expression of Nebbiolo in it aromas of roses, licorice and tar. It is powerful and potent on the palate, where endless layers of sweet fruit blossom with exceptional length. Though I expect it to be relatively accessible within a few years, it will also reward cellaring for several decades, and may ultimately be deserving of a higher score. A great effort. 94+/drink after 2009.”
“Marinated-Grilled Hamachi Aged Sherry Vinegar, Radish Gelee, Eggplant Puree.” The fish was nice but the really interesting bit was the jelly. It was made of radish (hence the color) and tasted somehow so Japanese. It was a very bright and intense flavor and I really liked it.
This is our humble selection. I can’t remember them all but it included Brillat-savarin, one of my favorites.
A relatively lightweight Sauternes. The 1999 Raymond-Lafon. “Aromas of honeyed pineapple/tropical fruit and toasty new oak, as well as an exotic, flashy perfume. The wine possesses an opulent, full-bodied, exotic, lavishly rich personality, and moderate sweetness.”
I thought the cheese cart was heaven, but then this came. There are just oodles of little desserts here. When our waiter (a seven foot tall Gaul we nick named “French Lurch”) asked us what we’d like, we said, “yes.”
And finally, a triple expresso. I was worried about falling asleep when we went out clubbing (after this 6pm – midnight meal!) but this puppy kept me up straight to 9am. Given that I was trying to sleep from 5am on, that, perhaps, wasn’t ideal.
Overall, this was a spectacular meal. Much more substantive than é by José Andrés and much more focused and palatable than Twist by Pierre Gagnaire. It was classic “fancy french” updated with spectacular ingredients and very fine flavors. I’ve had a lot of opulent meals and I generally judge them by “consistency” and “impact.” This was highly consistent in that every dish worked. Perhaps the shrimp was the weakest, but it certainly worked. And more importantly, a number of dishes, such as the lobster, oyster, and salmon were mind-blowing and highly memorable. Bravo!