Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Sign in to follow this  
chuckyoufarley

Guy Savoy (Las Vegas)

Recommended Posts

rjwong.

Happy birthday! Excellent pictures - what are those two butter-like substances on your dessert selections? The one on the left is pink (looks like pink cottage cheese) and the one on the right is orange - it looks like half-melted sorbet?

u.e.


“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That place was amazing huh! We (my wife and I dined at the same time as Russell) enjoyed our meal and the entire experience, Frank Savoy and Adam Sobel run an amazing operation.


Moo, Cluck, Oink.....they all taste good!

The Hungry Detective

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
rjwong.

Happy birthday!  Excellent pictures - what are those two butter-like substances on your dessert selections?  The one on the left is pink (looks like pink cottage cheese) and the one on the right is orange - it looks like half-melted sorbet?

u.e.

Thank you. On the left is rice pudding (I don't remember what flavor) and on the right, mango sorbet.

Chris, I posted the photo of you & Martha over on the other thread, My French Vacation in Las Vegas


Russell J. Wong aka "rjwong"

Food and I, we go way back ...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
rjwong.

Happy birthday!  Excellent pictures - what are those two butter-like substances on your dessert selections?  The one on the left is pink (looks like pink cottage cheese) and the one on the right is orange - it looks like half-melted sorbet?

u.e.

Thank you. On the left is rice pudding (I don't remember what flavor) and on the right, mango sorbet.

Chris, I posted the photo of you & Martha over on the other thread, My French Vacation in Las Vegas

The pink rice pudding is flavored with French rose pralines (which aren't actually rose flavored, just pink).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Happy belated birthday Russell!!

Looks like an amazing meal. So it obviously begs the question...how does Guy Savoy stack up to Joel Robuchon? Perhaps this is an unfair question but given the restaurants it is bound to be an something to think about...

Cheers!


"A man's got to believe in something...I believe I'll have another drink." -W.C. Fields

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Happy belated birthday Russell!!

Looks like an amazing meal.  So it obviously begs the question...how does Guy Savoy stack up to Joel Robuchon?  Perhaps this is an unfair question but given the restaurants it is bound to be an something to think about...

Cheers!

Swicks, as the song goes,

The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind ...

Actually, I anticipated that question the moment I decided to eat at Guy Savoy. Some things, I want to find out for myself, when the opportunity presents itself.

In terms of the food, I must give the nod to Robuchon. Robuchon is such a detailist & a perfectionist (Not like Loiseau, please ... <sigh>). While Robuchon is more detail-oriented with food, Savoy is more playful, as noted with the celery root soup/ crab appetizer course and the lobster course. Little surprises to delight and amuse the diners.

Where Guy Savoy really shines is with its service. I have never experienced ... "maitre d' level of service," as I would describe it. When you enter a restaurant, there would be a young host/ess that primarily performs a function confirms a reservation, answers the phone, and pretty much, you don't see them until you leave with the "good night" pleasantries.

At Guy Savoy, you have one "maitre d'" in the person of Franck Savoy being an integral part of the meal and dining experience. He was working the room, going to each table, engaging in conversation with the diners, and sometimes, serving a course or two. For example, when the lobster course was served, Franck Savoy would have a small pot of sauce that he spoons the sauce over the lobster. And I was pondering, "Is that what a maitre d' did, back during a time before Wolfgang Puck and the celebrity chef?" That kind of pampering, that level of service, I have nothing to compare that to. So, as a result, that "maitre d' level of service" contributed to a better overall dining experience.

Swicks, probably the unfair question would be: "Which restaurant would you go to next, Robuchon or Savoy?"

In terms of the food only, Robuchon. In terms of an overall dining experience, Guy Savoy. It really depends on the occasion, whether the focus is mostly on the food or the focus includes non-food factors, like the service, the personal treatment, the pampering, etc. My answer kind of sounds like a cop-out, ehh??

Bottom line, right now, I would say Guy Savoy.


Russell J. Wong aka "rjwong"

Food and I, we go way back ...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Was that organic earl grey tea in a bag???

I was presented a wooden box. Inside were six different kinds of loose tea in large test tubes to look and smell its aroma. I selected the organic Earl Grey. And off they went for preparation.

Wow-that is way too expensive. It's food, not diamonds.

It must have been watching all those episodes of "Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous" when I was growing up.

Yes, it was food. Mind you, it was more than that, IMO. At Guy Savoy, there was a definite focus on service, on pampering the customer, on making the diner happy. Franck Savoy was more than just a host. He's probably the closest thing to a maitre d' that I have ever experienced. Although there was the team of servers & waitstaff with their professionalism, having a Franck Savoy sent it over the top. To me, I appreciate great service and Restaurant Guy Savoy took it to another level.


Russell J. Wong aka "rjwong"

Food and I, we go way back ...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I just took a closer look at the menu posted by Molto E.  Are those prices in USD?  :shock:

yeah. The restaurant is in las vegas. :)

But that is waaaaay over the top for pricing, even in Vegas. It's hard to justify prices like that when so many others there have the same quality of ingredients, and spend millions on building and charge much less. Pricing like that, imho, is like an elitist attitude to keep out the 'rabble.'

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Was that organic earl grey tea in a bag???

I was presented a wooden box. Inside were six different kinds of loose tea in large test tubes to look and smell its aroma. I selected the organic Earl Grey. And off they went for preparation.

Wow-that is way too expensive. It's food, not diamonds.

It must have been watching all those episodes of "Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous" when I was growing up.

Yes, it was food. Mind you, it was more than that, IMO. At Guy Savoy, there was a definite focus on service, on pampering the customer, on making the diner happy. Franck Savoy was more than just a host. He's probably the closest thing to a maitre d' that I have ever experienced. Although there was the team of servers & waitstaff with their professionalism, having a Franck Savoy sent it over the top. To me, I appreciate great service and Restaurant Guy Savoy took it to another level.

I'm glad you liked it and I'm sure it was great...if it was the best food you've ever had than it probably was worth it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I just took a closer look at the menu posted by Molto E.  Are those prices in USD?  :shock:

yeah. The restaurant is in las vegas. :)

But that is waaaaay over the top for pricing, even in Vegas. It's hard to justify prices like that when so many others there have the same quality of ingredients, and spend millions on building and charge much less. Pricing like that, imho, is like an elitist attitude to keep out the 'rabble.'

That's a pretty tricky argument to make with any fine dining restaurant. Some people have trouble justifying $100 (or even $50) for a dinner. To each their own is what I say.

In Vegas, the high prices at these types of restaurants are a function of the money that's going through a Strip hotels and a way to impress the whales that are being comped (some of whom I would consider to be rabble anyway based on their behavior in some of these restaurants).


-Josh

Now blogging at http://jesteinf.wordpress.com/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's a pretty tricky argument to make with any fine dining restaurant. Some people have trouble justifying $100 (or even $50) for a dinner. To each their own is what I say.


"A man's got to believe in something...I believe I'll have another drink." -W.C. Fields

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I just took a closer look at the menu posted by Molto E.  Are those prices in USD?  :shock:

yeah. The restaurant is in las vegas. :)

But that is waaaaay over the top for pricing, even in Vegas. It's hard to justify prices like that when so many others there have the same quality of ingredients, and spend millions on building and charge much less. Pricing like that, imho, is like an elitist attitude to keep out the 'rabble.'

That's a pretty tricky argument to make with any fine dining restaurant. Some people have trouble justifying $100 (or even $50) for a dinner. To each their own is what I say.

In Vegas, the high prices at these types of restaurants are a function of the money that's going through a Strip hotels and a way to impress the whales that are being comped (some of whom I would consider to be rabble anyway based on their behavior in some of these restaurants).

Yeah, but THAT much? I have no problem paying for a nice restaurant, but Guy Savoy is just being outrageous. There's no reason to charge almost as much for an entree as one would pay for a tasting menu at Alex. But, hey, if people will pay it...


Edited by Elrushbo (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Will be their tomorrow nite..so will be back with my comments. Really looking forward to this. :wub:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Will be their tomorrow nite..so will be back with my comments.  Really looking forward to this. :wub:

RawUmami, Welcome to eGullet!

I hope you enjoy your dining experience at Restaurant Guy Savoy. Please, do give a report with your comments. If you order the tasting menu, eat light during the day.


Russell J. Wong aka "rjwong"

Food and I, we go way back ...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In early August 2007, I spent a few food-centric days in Las Vegas. My full trip report can be seen here. This is an excerpted report on my meal at Restaurant Guy Savoy:

On last Wednesday evening we hopped into elevator and rode down the Augustus Tower to Restaurant Guy Savoy. We were greeted eagerly and quickly led to our table. The deuces here are smaller than at other Michelin three-star restaurants I’ve been to but not to the point of distraction. The room, as has been noted elsewhere is sparse, bordering on cold and almost cathedral-like, with soaring windows and two pieces of abstract art—one black one neon—on the far side of the room. I liked it for its understated yet grand masculinity but understand that it won’t appeal to everyone. It’s almost ironic and perhaps intentional but from our table we saw the Eiffel tower out of one window and a large Chanel marquee out the other.

Upon sitting down—rather chic low stools are offered for ladies’ purses—we were immediately asked as to our water preference. It was made very clear that bottle water is complimentary, something other restaurants of a similar caliber do not do, thus leading to confusion. I’ll drop a few hundred dollars on a meal, but I’ll be damned if I’m paying $9 for a bottle of water, $100 bottles at Paris notwithstanding.

At this point a rather jolly-looking gentleman in chef’s whites strolled into the dining room. This was actually Guy Savoy himself, smiling even more than in his press photos. He made a brief stop at our table, welcoming us to the restaurant and would proceed to work the room and ajoining lounge for stretches of the evening. It was great to see the restaurant’s eponymous chef in house, and while his presence likely did not have a tangible effect on our meal it added a sense of authenticity to our otherwise terribly inauthentic Vegas surroundings.

Upon settling in, we got the whole cocktail or wine song and dance, and I asked to see the wine list. Another stool was provided and the rather large wine list placed atop it. At this point I realized there was a good chance that glasses would not be in this tome. I asked and my suspicions were proved correct. There is no wines-by-the-glass list per se, so the wine steward recited them off the top off his head. I had encountered this in Europe but never in the States. Since we were doing glasses—read: a glass each—this setup proved somewhat awkward. We were provided with two serviceable glasses that more or less fit our tastes, but I like to be able see a list of my options.

The chef’s canapé was a mini foie gras sandwich. We were too excited at this point and forgot to take a picture of it. It was quite delicious.

At this point we had finished our snack and received our wine. Menus were brought, explained, and soon after we quickly ordered. I think having our captain come over to actually take our order took maybe a minute or two longer than I wanted, but I think they just wanted to give us space and time to settle in. We knew we’d be going Prestige from the get go and took a cursory glace at the other offerings.

Now for the food. It was awesome.

Menu

gallery_28496_5032_481626.jpg

Amuse bouche

Chilled corn soup and Espelette pepper

gallery_28496_5032_550790.jpg

Scallop tartare

gallery_28496_5032_782961.jpg

A promising start. It’s not entirely apparent, but the tartare sat beneath the soup cup as part of the same service piece. Delicate flavors yet creative and even playful in presentation. At this point I was pretty psyched for the meal; very good things seemed to be in the making.

Bread cart

gallery_28496_5032_40654.jpg

Restaurant Guy Savoy has probably the most ridiculous bread cart I’ve ever seen. There are something like ten different varieties. To sweeten the deal, the restaurant offers bread pairings for the tasting menu. Naturally, we partook. And even better than the bread was the bread steward, Joshua. Joshua is a young gentleman about our age or a few years older. Because of this we had something of an immediate rapport. Joshua gave us the info. on Hung, Elia, Marcel and that whole crew of young Top Chef alums. When we asked if Hung was still at Guy Savoy, Joshua countered by asking if we wanted to meet him in person. Seeing that we’re not that desperate we politely declined, but Joshua continued to harangue us about it throughout the night. Hung came out to talk to another party in the lounge and from our table we could see that his antics were surprisingly similar to those on the show. He’s constantly moving and always on the balls of his feet, even in the middle of conversation. We would have several lengthy conversations with Joshua throughout the night and perhaps my only criticism of his service was that he didn’t give us the update, perhaps gossip is more accurate, we so wanted on the happenings at Gordon Ramsay’s table at the conclusion of our meal.

Oysters in ice gelee

gallery_28496_5032_271001.jpg

A cool, succulent oyster encased in a briny gelee of its own liquor. It’s difficult to see in this image but the vegetable garnish encased in the gelee looks like a flower. My only criticism of this dish is that the crème fraiche at the bottom of the oyster shell was not easily incorporated into the oyster/gelee package, necessitating the dish be eaten in two steps: oyster/gelee quickly followed by a spoonful of the crème fraiche to finish.

Heirloom tomatoes, aged Xeres vinegar, baby vegetables, basil and tomato granite

gallery_28496_5032_473837.jpg

The dish is placed in front of the diner without the granita and looks very Spanish in presentation. Cores of the three different heirloom tomatoes—I loved how they used the core and not the outer flesh—sit atop a thin layer of delicious tomato water gelee, along with various herbs, accompaniments, and seasonings. The captain then spoons the granita on top of the dish, adding yet another layer of flavor, texture, and temperature of the dish. This was a truly memorable dish.

Blue fin tuna and golden Oscetra caviar

gallery_28496_5032_71854.jpg

In these two different preparations of tuna belly the focus was more on the accompaniments than the tuna itself. The fish was of a very high quality, but I was more impressed by the creamy, salty caviar dressing on one side and the surprisingly delicious sweet-salty crust on the other. A nice, luxurious take on a now often overrepresented ingredient.

John Dory, lemon crust, salsify, herb puree, light jus

gallery_28496_5032_534007.jpg

My understanding of this dish was a little bit shaky because there was so much going on on the plate. The fish itself was coated with a breadcrumb-like topping and surrounded by a delicate herb puree. This was then topped with tender salsify and crispy herbs and lemon chips. Finally, a froth fish just was poured tableside. Clearly a complex dish but an incredibly delicious and creative one, taking classic flavors and recasting them in a new yet accessible way.

Maine lobster and heirloom baby carrots

gallery_28496_5032_85508.jpg

Lobster at fine-dining restaurants is generally hit or miss for me. Sometimes it’s awesome and reminds me why lobster is considered a luxury ingredient. Other times the lobster course kind of feels like a placeholder for a dish with a luxury ingredient. This dish kind of fell into the latter camp in that it didn’t quite sing for me the way the others did. It was fundamentally a very logical—sweet carrots and sweet lobster—and tasty dish but much like the halibut at Atelier I was a bit bored. My tastes with lobster in the fine-dining context tend toward sweet (e.g., passion fruit, banana, vanilla) or rich (e.g. butter poached with a rich lobster or even meat-based jus). This dish kind of skirted between the two camps and didn’t quite do it for me.

Artichoke and black truffle soup, toasted mushroom brioche, and black truffle butter

gallery_28496_5032_314116.jpg

If the previous dish didn’t quite reach memorable level, this next dish certainly placed among the tastiest things I’ve ever eaten. There’s not much more to say about this dish than the painfully obvious: it was totally awesome. The soup itself was a surprisingly light vehicle in which the truffles and salty cheese took full command. I’ve sampled a very similar dish at the three-starred L’Astrance in Paris, but this dish was lighter and more delicate thanks to artichoke. The L’Astrance version is a thick celery root soup mixed with a black truffle puree. While it could be argued that the dish at L’Astrance is even more luxurious, this dish at Guy Savoy had more layers of flavor. The brioche was ridiculous, and Joshua gave us the tip to try both the bacon and Parmesan breads with this course. His recommendation was spot on.

gallery_28496_5032_487786.jpg

Cool meat knives by Laguiole for the next course. Irreverent touches like this kept the restaurant from being too stuffy.

Poussin “a la Broche”, seared foie gras, baby chanterelles, spinach salad

gallery_28496_5032_468967.jpg

Immediately before serving the whole poussin is presented tableside. This is a beautiful bird in its whole form made even more appetizing when we were told that it had been roasted with foie gras underneath its skin. The foie melted into the breast meat and seasoned with flesh marvelously. A great, decadent dish.

Palate cleanser

gallery_28496_5032_1061364.jpg

A virgin mojito.

We didn’t get a picture of the cheese plates because they were just cheese plates. The cart itself is nice and rather modern in design but not super impressive. I think I counted about 12 selections. For me, Picholine is the quintessential cheese experience—that cart is literally overflowing with perfect cheese—and even Guy Savoy could not the approach the diversity or quality of the cheeses offered there. We picked out about eight cheeses between the two of us and enjoyed most of all of them. I was a bit disappointed, however, that the unopened Epoisses on the cart was found to be too under-ripe upon first slicing. The assistant captain who served our cheeses did not want to serve it to me but also did not give me the option of trying it anyway. It did look under-ripe and I agree with his assessment and I suppose I could have just asked, but the option would have been nice. Mainly it was sad because I love Epoisses.

Cherries

gallery_28496_5032_391648.jpg

A study of textures, here cherries and pistachios were presented in a variety of guises. I appreciated the variety of approaches to the same ingredients in one dish.

Grapefruit

gallery_28496_5032_302974.jpg

We had made a special request for my dining companion at the beginning of the meal, as her delicate sensibilities do not take well to chocolate at the end of lengthy meals. While she has no problem throwing down a dozen, two dozen courses, chocolate has been her nemesis from Alinea to Per Se to Pierre Gagnaire (notice the poetic rhyming). This was what was served, and it was honestly one of the coolest yet simplest desserts I’ve ever had. Described to us simply as a grapefruit cake, this was whole segments of grapefruit somehow bound together in a loaf-like form. This was topped tableside with a grapefruit-basil syrup. Light, refreshing, sweet, and just a bit bitter, I can’t speak highly enough of this dessert.

Chocolate fondant, crunchy praline, chicory cream

gallery_28496_5032_211378.jpg

A more typical end, this dessert had a gianduja bar vibe going on. The chicory cream added a somewhat woody, bitter note to the dish.

Snacks with coffee

gallery_28496_5032_412750.jpg

Always a nice touch.

Our numerous selections from the dessert cart

gallery_28496_5032_559385.jpg

The dessert cart here is pretty out of control. Not only are there your typical chocolates and macaroons but also ice cream, sorbet, crème caramel, rice pudding, hard candy, truffles, cookies, etc. One could easily not order dessert here and try more things off this dessert cart than most other restaurants in Las Vegas have on their entire dessert menus.

Somewhere around the end of our savory courses a gentleman walked into the restaurant in jeans in a t-shirt. First reaction, “What a douche.” A second later, I’m like, “Wait, isn’t that Gordon Ramsay?” And, indeed it was, Gordo himself. We’d been to his eponymous New York outpost just days after it opened only to find that he was not in house. Now, in Vegas of all places, Gordon had come to us. After seeing Jean Georges earlier that day, having Guy Savoy in house, and watching Hung in action, this was just too much. Much hilarity ensued. The majority of the remainder of the meal was spent trying not to awkwardly stare at Gordon and Tana.

Already, intrigued by the charms of the undisputedly handsome Franck Savoy—“They’re taking good care of you, no?” Wink. “Let me know if they’re not taking good care of you.” Double wink—my dining companion’s obviously delirious grin in the above picture is no doubt motivated by fantasies of propositioning Franck and/or Gordon and/or Tana at that very moment.

On a more serious note, I kind of felt that the level of service dipped a bit when Chef Ramsay walked in. Our captain, who had stayed exclusively on our side of the restaurant, was now more frequently tending to Chef Ramsay’s table and assisting the captains in that section, removing him from easy contact. Whereas service throughout most of the meal had been flawless, toward the end I had to ask for my water to be refilled once when it ran low, had to ask to have the dessert cart rolled around after waiting several minutes with no communication, and had some difficulty flagging someone down to sort out billing the check to my room account. This type of slight drop off is not uncommon at even top restaurants but because service had been spot on at the beginning it seemed a bit more apparent here. I also understand that most restaurants like to give their tables space after most of the serving is done, but to my fast-paced tastes things weren’t quite as easy as I would have preferred at the latter stages of the meal.

While this may not have been the perfect meal, it was still about as good as I’ve experienced and easily in my top five restaurant experiences anywhere. The quibbles I mention are clearly very minor and in no way fundamentally changed my impressions of the meal, but I still choose to note them in detail because I hope this report will help others decide whether or not to take the plunge into a meal of such significant expense. After tax and tip, we got out of there for $400/person. If one is doing the Menu Prestige, which I highly recommend, that’s about as cheap as you can do it. As I mentioned, we had only a glass of wine each and thankfully they were relatively inexpensive at $16 and $18 each.

But, the key takeaway: this was a great meal and the one that made my trip to Vegas an undeniable success.


Edited by BryanZ (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bryan-you are a great writer and I have really enjoyed reading about your Las Vegas dining experiences.

In fact, it made me realize I forgot to post my own review of my memorable night at Guy Savoy in May.

I had added the review to my weekly foodblog and then promised I would also post it here but totally forgot. So thank you, because your great review of Savoy reminded me I needed to do the same. And I wanted to make sure my fellow Las Vegas dining devotees saw the review in case they didn't see it posted on my blog.

The review relates to a private dinner I had at Guy Savoy on Thursday, May 17, as part of the Bon Apetit Food and Wine Focus. And while Chef Gordon Ramsay wasn't in the dining room in May when I was at Guy Savoy, there were plenty of other famous people at our private party.

Hope you all enjoy the story of another wonderful meal at Guy Savoy Las Vegas.

On Thursday night in Las Vegas I had a reservation for an event I had been waiting for since February-a private dinner at Restaurant Guy Savoy at Caesar's Palace.

While I had high expectations of the meal, I never in my wildest dreams would have imagined how memorable the dinner would turn out to be.

I haven't worn a suit and a tie to work in over 10 years. The suits I have hanging in my closet haven't fit me for 10 years. So with the encouragement from my co-workers, I bought a dark blue suit, blue shirt and tie especially for this event. I worried I would be overdressed, but it turned out that the gentlemen who didn't wear a tie were underdressed.

God, I was actually nervous walking up the staircase to Guy Savoy!

To get to the restaurant you walk to the left of the main lobby at Caesar's and enter down a hall to one of the new hotel towers. There are few signs that you are heading toward one of the top French restaurants in the world.

I walked up this huge winding staircase to the second floor. To the right are the Caesar's wedding chapels and to the left you see a pair of gigantic, dark wood doors.

As I was sitting for the staff to open the restaurant to our private event, Alan Richman walked out of the doors. Now I haven't weighed in on the Alan Richman thread at eGullet and the criticisms of the piece he did on the San Franciso Ferry Building. But in that short moment I found Mr. Richman to be very friendly. He walked up and introduced himself and shook my hand. He said that "Guy Savoy is really one of the best French restaurants in America." Coming from a guy who I knew to be at the top of the food writing world I took that as a great compliment that I had chosen this private event. Alan was off to host another private dinner sponsored by Bon Apetit at 'Rao's' in Caesar's Palace.

At 6pm, we walked through the church doors into a temple of fine French dining. We were greeted by Frank Savoy, Guy Savoy's son and the Manager and host of the Las vegas restaurant. Frank is a very young man of no more than 35 and he has the style and grace that I remember from Maitre d's from fine 'continental' dining rooms in the 60's.

Just past Frank, standing in waiting to greet the guests, was the master himself. I actually had goose bumps. Chef Savoy warmly offered his hand. (He reminded me of Chef Andre Soltner. Both are very friendly, warm and totally unpretentious.)

gallery_41580_4407_19822.jpg

gallery_41580_4407_8336.jpg

gallery_41580_4407_557.jpg

gallery_41580_4407_15260.jpg

I counted no more than 40 people total that would enjoy dinner. The event was hosted by Barbara Fairchild, Executive Editor of Bon Apetit. Chef Savoy had ordered a staff of nearly 30 into the kitchen that night-almost one cook per customer.

I learned later that we happened to be dining on the one-year anniversary of the opening of the restaurant that welcomed Guy Savoy to Las Vegas. The President of Caesar's was there to congratulate Chef Savoy and his crew.

You can't go to Las Vegas without seeing a 'celebrity' and I met one. The minute I heard his voice I knew it was 'Robin Leach' of "Caviar Dreams and Champagne Wishes." Yes, the man who shot to fame on 'Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.'

The dining room is very small. Not a lot of lavish decoration. The focus is on the food, not the decor. There were no more than 20 tables. There is a small semi-private dining room on one end of the room.

We were served Rose'Champagne out on the small patio that overlooks the front of Caesar's Palace. They served us two little bites during the champagne reception. One was a tiny little burger of Kobe beef and foie gras served on silver spikes. The second little snack were small squares of buttered brioche with foie gras. I've heard that Guy Savoy only buys his truffles and foie gras from a vendor in France. I believe it.

Now you will get a laugh at my expense for what I did as I was sitting down at my table. I spilled my champagne! That's right, the guy from Spokane who was at the dining event of his life knocked a crystal flute of champagne all over the table at one of the top French restaurants today!

The staff couldn't have been more gracious. You know what they did? They didn't just pull off the service and replace the table cloth. They literally picked up the entire soiled table and took it away. Then they brought a freshly set table out from the back! My God that is service!

I was seated at a table of four. And while we began as strangers, we quicly bonded through our mutual love of food. One man was from Chicago and was a serious home cook with an interest in fine restaurants. Another man was a Las Vegas resident who owned a company that sets up AV equipment at trade shows. His wife wasn't able to come to dinner because she was "at her belly dancing lesson." Our fourth guest was a lady who is the Director of Food and Beverage at the MGM. She was at Guy Savoy partly for personal pleasure but also professionally so she could check out the competition. This is a lady who counts Joel Robuchon and L'Atelier at the MGM as part of her stable of restaurants.

The 'Amuse Bouche' was a sampling of three tiny bites served on a tiny, Asian style spoon set on a glass plate. This is a 'Tuna Tartare.'

gallery_41580_4407_11365.jpg

Mind you, I was new to the digital camera world, I had plenty of champagne, and I was still nervous that I was dining at such a prestigious event. I had gotten over soiling the table, but I still didn't get good, clear photos. Hey the photos weren't as important as enjoying the event. A second champagne was served with this course. Sorry, didn't get the name or vintage. This is a crispy little escargot.

gallery_41580_4407_2100.jpg

My favorite of the three was this tiny little 'Lobster Roll' with a spoonful of lobster foam on top.

gallery_41580_4407_12251.jpg

This is "Colors of Caviar" served with "Moet, Millesime Blanc, Champagne, 1999." Our third different champagne by the way! The green layer was a puree of green beans. You don't really notice the layer of Iranian Sevruga Caviar under the top cream layer. Delicious.

gallery_41580_4407_6384.jpg

"Peas All Around and Poached Egg" served with "Lucien Albrecht, Cuvee Romanus, Pinot Gris, 2005." You have never tasted such intense, Spring pea flavor. The clear pea essence in the bottom of the bowl was a 'pea jelly.'

gallery_41580_4407_25603.jpg

This was my favorite dish, "Crispy Sea Bass with Delicate Spice" served with "Joseph Drouhin, Meursault, 2004." I asked the wine steward if he was familiar with the Joseph Drouhin winery in Oregon and he said that "Yes, Mr. Ross, it is the same family but this is one of their wines from France." The little rows of spices on the edge of the plate were intended for dipping with the fish. There were a few tiny fresh shitakes and the white vegetable you see are braised stalks of chard.

gallery_41580_4407_7962.jpg

This doesn't look as good as it tasted. It is "Artichoke and Black Truffle Soup, Toasted Mushroom Brioche and Black Truffle Butter." Dear God! Kill me with more brioche, butter and truffles! The slices of truffle in the soup were huge. They poured a "Chateau de Puligny-Montrachet, Monthelie Les Duresses 2002." And we aren't even at the 'main' entree yet!

gallery_41580_4407_6517.jpg

Before they carved the main entree, the waiters paraded through the dining room with huge wooden cutting boards. Each board held a Rack of roasted Veal. There were a few sprigs of fresh thyme and rosemary adorning the veal. The waiter came to our table and bent down so we could view the veal. Imagine that. They wanted to have our approval of the rack of veal before they carved it. The veal was served with Spring vegetables and Black Truffle Mashed Potato Puree. Shoot me now. I have probably eaten $500 dollars worth of French black truffles already. Two waiters came to the table a few moments after the entrees were served. One waiter held a small copper stockpot of the potato puree. "Would you like more potatoes Mr. Ross?" The other waiter offered me "more sliced veal and veal jus for you Mr. Ross?"

"Roasted Veal Chop, Black Truffle Potato Puree, Young Vegetables," served with "Jean-Luc Colombo, Cornas, Les Mejean, 2001."

gallery_41580_4407_19850.jpg

Throughout dinner, a waiter strolled through the dining room offering the guests selections from 'The bread cart.' Yes, Guy Savoy has a bread cart. There were too many choices to try them all, but the most unusual bread was made with fresh seaweed. It was quite good with the Sea Bass course.

We didn't have the pleasure of enjoying the Savoy cheese cart, but we did have three dessert courses. Two were listed on the menu. The third dessert was very special and wasn't on the menu.

The first dessert was "Chocolate" served with "M. Chapoutier, Banyuls, 20003." There were three different variations of chocolate on the plate but I honestly can't remember what they were. I will mention that throughout dinner the waiters were more than generous with the wine pourings.

When you order the wines that accompany a tasting menu you often find the waiter limits each wine to about three fingers in the bottom of the glass. Not Savoy-they graciously refilled your wine glass when it was empty and we are talking about very expensive wines.

The second dessert was "Raspberries and Litchi Like a Vacherin." Ahh, a chef who knows the fragrance of a fresh Litchi. The dessert was served with "Domaine de Coyeus Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise, 2003."

gallery_41580_4407_7386.jpg

This was a dinner to remember for a lifetime.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've read some comments about the cost of dining at Guy Savoy and whether it is too expensive or if the expense is worth the experience.

I paid $375 for the private dinner at Guy Savoy. The cost was not only just the food, I could have had a fine dinner at L'Atelier at the MGM for far less money.

But for $375 I was treated to a special menu created for a private party at arguably one of the finest French restaurants in America. The menu itself was printed especially for our party, and given the guest list, the copious amounts of champagne, fine wines, truffles, foie gras and having the opportunity to shake the hand of Guy Savoy, it was quite a value and an evening I will always remember. I would have gladly paid much more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That price actually sounds like a bargain. David, was this an invitation event or one that anyone could sign up for via the magazine?


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
That price actually sounds like a bargain. David, was this an invitation event or one that anyone could sign up for via the magazine?

Anyone could sign up for any of the events, including this one, through the ads posted in the magazine and on their website.

I was just leafing through one of my Bon Apetit magazines and saw the ad. The next day I went to the website and saw the listing of the events and when I saw the private dinner at Guy Savoy I immediately made the reservation. I think they were limiting this particular dinner to no more than 30 guests so I knew it would go fast. It did sell out but I don't know how long it went before 30 people signed up.

There were other private dinners that night at Rao's, Bradley Ogden, Bobby Flay's place and a few others I don't remember right now. I knew Savoy would be the top of the top and that's why I went for it. Wonderful.

As far as I know they are planning another Bon Apetit Food and Wine focus in Las Vegas next May but it's too early to tell for sure. If they do, I'll be right back there again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the wonderful review for both of you, I truly enjoy them

The comments from both made me really want to try the artichoke soup with black truffle. It seems to be better than even the VGE soup (Paul Bocuse, but I understand why this one is still very important in terms of the development of French cuisine)

David,

It's ok to be late, better than never :biggrin:

Thanks for sharing it including the champagne incident, but it showed what kind of service level that Guy Savoy could deliver. Does chef Savoy speak English? That's the problem I met French chefs since my French is poor (if not nothing)

Bryan

I felt sorry for the decline in the service level you experienced towards the end. Ramsay came to pay some respect to his mentor - Monsieur Savoy (now I know that in August when the Paris one is closed, Guy Savoy would come to Vegas)

Regarding your hit or miss lobster, have you ever tried blue lobster (i.e. from Brittany)? I rarely hit a miss for this since the lobster itself already flavorful - at least when compared with the one from Maine

Lastly, has anybody visited both Guy Savoy in Paris and Vegas? Any differences noticed in terms of food especially? I also heard that Savoy always serves great and generous black truffle in the winter season (but the price, if not mistaken, could easily exceed USD 400 for the tasting menu)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks for the wonderful review for both of you, I truly enjoy them

The comments from both made me really want to try the artichoke soup with black truffle. It seems to be better than even the VGE soup (Paul Bocuse, but I understand why this one is still very important in terms of the development of French cuisine)

David,

It's ok to be late, better than never  :biggrin:

Thanks for sharing it including the champagne incident, but it showed what kind of service level that Guy Savoy could deliver. Does chef Savoy speak English? That's the problem I met French chefs since my French is poor (if not nothing)

One of the best parts of the artichoke soup was the accompanient-a small square cube of toasted bricohe slathered with a foie gras mousse. I seem to remember the brioche was flecked with some bits of black truffle. It was crisp yet light, buttery yet not drippping in butterfat, and oh my, the combination of butter, truffle and foie gras, perfection. The toast is what I felt elevated the artichoke soup into the realm of one of the top dishes of the night, if not forever.

Chef Savoy actually speaks quite good English. At one point during the welcoming hour, I stepped out onto the small patio with Chef Savoy. Just the two of us standing there while the other guests moved into the dining room to sit down. I asked him how things were going in Las Vegas. He said "beautiful weather, a beautiful restaurant and beautiful ingredients, it is all very good."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...