Erik Kabik/ RETNA/ erikkabik.com
Monday, May 14, 2012 | 11:44 a.m.
- Restaurant Guy Savoy
- At Caesars Place, 877-346-4642.
- Wednesday-Sunday, 5:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m.
For the first time since opening six years ago this month, Restaurant Guy Savoy—perhaps the most acclaimed restaurant on the Strip—has completely revised its menu offerings. Signature dishes like the artichoke-black truffle soup with toasted mushroom brioche, “colors of caviar” parfait and crispy sea bass are still available on the new Signature Menu (9 courses, $258), but the Innovation-Inspiration menu (13 courses, $348) features all-new dishes.
It may seem startling, even for a multi-star and diamond venue, to move in such a direction when the demand for fine dining is still faltering, but Savoy is betting on the Strip’s continued comeback while recognizing there will always be a need for the blowout, mega-gastronomic experience. And besides, the restaurant also offers a pre-theatre menu and a la carte options, hedging that bet.
Not surprising is how refined the new cuisine can be, always augmented by brilliant service. My experience with Innovation-Inspiration, a media dinner scheduled right before Vegas Uncork’d, began with some favorite Savoy amuse bouche bites: a baby sandwich layered with duck foie gras and brioche, and the “burger” of cooked beef tartare with parmesan. The incredible bread cart was presented and our table chose to pair a new bread with every plate.
The presentation of each course was beautiful, and occasionally interactive, such as “salmon iceberg” which featured pristine pieces of fish being “cooked” on dry ice. Poached white asparagus was topped with caviar and then topped again with a smoked, buttery sabayon removed from an eggshell. The “lesser” elements on each dish were stunning, such as the saffron sponge cake that rode shotgun with Australian Wagyu beef, and the potato chip bouillon that complemented foie gras with horseradish. Delicious jus that tastes like perfect potato chips? Never let it be said that Savoy and executive chef Mathieu Chartron work without whimsy, and as further evidence, witness their new “Sunny Side Up” dessert. It looks like a perfect fried egg, a pool of rich Greek yogurt with a mango center that even breaks and oozes like a yolk should, all the better for sopping up with a sweet stick of French toast.
The biggest surprise of the experience was after all the wonderful food, the extra bread, and visits from the incredible cheese cart and dessert trolley, I felt great. That’s usually not the case with these hours-long, decadent dinners. It was different somehow, just as rich and refined but without the lingering food hangover effect. Restaurant Guy Savoy always has been a culinary epiphany, truly a once-in-a-lifetime meal. I don’t know how to improve on that, but that seems to be what’s happened.