After our amazing meal at Bar Charlie in February we were reluctant to branch out into other high end eats in Vegas. I guess we just love Japanese cuisine that much! However, Chef Hiroo Nagahara mentioned his favourite restaurant happened to be Guy Savoy, so we thought we might give it a try, and did not feel so bad doing so.
Guy Savoy was rated two Michelin stars in the last Las Vegas guide. Although I would not describe myself as a Michelin tourist, I have been fortunate to have dined at a wide selection of one star restaurants. However, this was a first to be eaten at a ‘higher level.’ The Paris location has consistently received three stars, and some say Mr. Savoy was robbed of a third star at the Vegas outpost.
We set sail for the ten-course “menu prestige” deep in the Augustus Tower of Caesar’s Palace. Four hours later, we emerged. Here is what happened in between.
The dining room was half full, mostly older diners in couples, but some larger tables as well. It was minimal, almost austere, but still comfortable.
There is a small patio and private dining rooms. There are even large windows which fill the room with natural light which is odd for a Las Vegas restaurant. From our end you could see the Bellagio.
These tiny dishes held pepper, the flakiest, finest of sea salts and butter from France.
Our amusing amuse. In the left cup…zucchini soup…
…and hiding on the right, a surprise we were told to reveal after our soup was gone. A tiny pastry cup filled with salmon, topped with marinated zucchini with a basil reduction.
From the bread cart: A “delicate spices” and a bacon roll. The butter served was flown in from France, and available salted or not. They kept coming and coming with the bread cart.
The bread sommelier was an amazing young man with real energy and excitement. We even discussed UFC with him. Each course had a bread he suggested. Some were surprising, others perfect (if predictable) pairing. There were numerous kinds of bread: caramelized onion, lemon bread, black olive, Parmigiano Reggiano, house-cured bacon with sea salt and a few smaller “plainer” items like epi baguette and such.
Marinated lobster with salad and spring herb gelee.
“Colours of Caviar”, layered caviar in many different preparations. Eaten together, you are meant to scoop down with the mother of pearl spoon from each layer. It is no exaggeration that each bite was subtely or significantly different. The sabayon layer was a personal favourite.
There was no bread pairing, as the caviar was a stand alone deal, you could say.
Crispy sea bass with delicate spices in vanilla foam with mushrooms. The vanilla foam was “scented.” But, not in the cheap way a lower end place does it. This smelled, tasted and exuded vanilla. It was odd with the fish, but delicious. The bread was a nori seaweed bread.
We were encouraged to add the additional delicate spices laid out on top of the serving platter. They added so much! The arrangement of the spices is also seems to be a nod to the logo for Guy Savoy, three columns.
The delicate spices were the same as in the bread: Szechuan pepper, black pepper, fennel, coriander and two kinds of mustard.
This…this was amazing.
As our sea bass course wrapped up, two gentlemen came walking briskly out of the kitchen. They approach our table, holding a platter. In my head, I’m thinking “What? I just finished this course! How rude! What timing!”
But: they were just there to show us our next course as it cooked.
The course was foie gras “en Papillotte” with radish bouillon. The foie gras was in a parchment bag, resting on rocks which were cooking it. The server burst the bag with a flourish. The smell of the foie that emerged was intense and earthy. I was dying to smell more…and just as I thought that he said “Here! SMELL!” and brought it to my face to waft.
Now THAT is service.
It was served with the greens which perfectly balanced the richness of the foie gras. Radish soup is amazingly flavourful, by the way.
Here, a Savoy signature soup. Artichoke and black truffle. I recalled to Mike that I read a review that claimed this soup was tasteless. We laughed as we inhaled the earthy, rich broth.
That little out of focus morsel on the bottom? It’s a mushroom brioche, topped with truffle butter. We were encouraged to dunk it in our soup as we ate.
At this point, my bread plate was becoming a wasteland of crusts as I could no longer finish the breads being brought. I felt shame when the bread sommelier came by, but he continued to pile on the bread.
And so we pushed on. I think we were just over two hours in at this point.
This GORGEOUS hot pink knife was brought out. What was next..?
Poussin (young poultry) a la Broche, with impossibly smooth black truffle-flecked potato puree. There were truffles shoved under the skin of the chicken.
This was another dish that was presented to us as it cooked. They brought it out on a carving board, then brought it back to the kitchen to be carved. I’m told this is all part of Mr. Savoy’s love of the dramatic.
The puree looks like ice cream, and it damn near had the same texture.
Then…the cheese cart.
This cart sailed in like a ship made of blue cheese. I don’t recall how many cheeses there were, but over 10. We could have any of them, again with two kinds of bread. Époisses, brie, blue, guyere, goat.
I wish I had more room, but had to limit myself to three cheeses (herbed goat, brie and aged guyere), with apricot walnut bread.
A pre-dessert pannacotta with apricots and almonds and an edible pansy.
Strawberry rhubarb granité served in the most adorable of miniature Bodum-style cups.
This was the chocolate sphere, with raspberry. It came out as a perfect white chocolate ball, which the maître d’ then poured hot raspberry sauce over. “To smile at you,” he said, as the “mouth” opened and indeed, smiled at me.
It reminded me of the little Canadians from South Park.
Low brow, I know. That’s the kind of lady I am.
I couldn’t help noticing the steak knife from earlier matched the rather modern art work in the room. I sat admiring the room, art and other diners.
Then…dear lord. The rumblings of another cart.
Not the bread cart, surely. The cheese cart? Put away, I hope.
This was the sweet cart.
HOW? How could we have room?
Well, the world’s most adorable and persuasive man was working it. And he SOLD his items. Just want one truffle? “Non, then zee others will be jealous,” he claimed, as he piled the set of three on your plate.
There were fruit gelees, mousses, eclairs, hand twirled lollies, TWO KINDS of rice pudding, sorbets, flans, ice creams, macadamia nut balls, and, lord help me, … MINIATURE macarons.
All I really has room for and wanted was the truffles and macarons. How I got sucked in to getting this much was beyond me. Passionfruit sorbet, and a rich chocolate mousse sit in the middle and right.
At least I wasn’t as badly off as Mike. He ended up with TWO plates. The guy at the cart was relentless and a real petit fours pusher.
One of the items: brown butter ice cream. Wow.
The macarons were fennel and lemon.
This one reminded me of a tiny hot dog.
And then, it was finally over.
Four hours later, we were in a food daze. The dishes themselves were amazing, but what made the meal memorable were the small touches, service and thoughtfulness. The purse stool that was brought. How the maître d’ noticed I was trying to write down notes, so he brought a printed menu for me.
I was also fortunate to receive a peek in at the not-yet-opened private Krug room. On my way to the rest room, I spied the word “KRUG” on the wall of a back room and inquired with the server who accompanied me to the rest room. Turns out that is the first Krug room in North America. The server pointed out the beautiful picnic trunk made for carting champagne around and said it made every picnic better.
Savoy is known for champagne so it did not surprise me they had a dedicated room. According to VegasChatter, the room will feature champagne pairings with meals and offers the entire Krug catalogue. It’s one of my favourite champagnes so I got a buzz of glee about seeing the room.
As we left, we were forced to take some candies. I did not sample mine until days later when I boarded my plane to Minneapolis, but was surprised at the flavour. It was chartreuse, a kind of liquor.
Very, how you say, french!
So stuffed, I asked to have my remaining truffles wrapped up to go and they came in this charming bag.
A purse stool hiding in waiting.
I couldn’t resist. Even the lighting in the bathroom was fantastic.
The cover and insides of the menu I received.
This meal was pure indulgence, and a perfect way to celebrate a birthday and graduation. (Atleast that’s what I tell myself.)
The service is passionate, warm, thoughtful and seamless. Perhaps a little over the top at times, as with one server’s very french accent, but this is Vegas, after all. There’s a bit of showman in everyone.
While we got the 10-course tasting menu, they do offer a la carte menus, of course. You can check them out at FoodNut. The people beside us received wonderful attention with their a la carte meals, and were in and out in around two hours. There is also a $98 pre-theatre meal.
In addition, there is also the Bubble Bar where you can have small bites of each of Savoy’s signature dishes and a glass of bubbly. It’s a more affordable and quick way to visit the property. The menus for all of these options are available on the right of the Caesar’s Palace website.
After dining at a two star, I wondered what the differences were between two and three Michelin stars. I’ve been told the differences are negligible between the levels, the top two tiers offering similar cuisine quality but the difference being in service.
Of course, the only way to really judge was to go and dine at the only three Michelin star restaurant in Las Vegas…that’s to come.