Guy Savoy

Caesars Palace (last visit: September 2012).

In the battle of Michelin three star chefs, MGM Grand drew first blood with Joël Robuchon.  Caesars Palace responded with Guy Savoy.  Both chefs are French food gods.  Both restaurants are super expensive, featuring multi- (and I mean multi-) course tasting menus.

The Menu
The menu emphasizes what I think of as traditional French food:  luxury ingredients such as foie gras, truffles and caviar; rich sauces (although not so many as I would have expected); strong flavors.  There's a choice between a la carte dining, two different levels of tasting menus, and a pre-theatre prix fixe menu.

There is also a huge, printed wine list that I found very intimidating.  Fortunately, the wine steward was not nearly as intimidating.  He spent a lot of time describing some of what was available, and kept an eye on things throughout the meal.  Even though I only had a couple of glasses of wine, I felt very well taken care of.  It's worth noting that Champagne by the glass is one of their specialties.  Not long after I got settled at the table, a large cart of iced Champagnes was rolled to me, with descriptions provided for each one.

The Atmosphere
The overall feeling is modern and spare.  Colors lean towards gray and brown.  Furniture is very plain and functional.  A few simple plants provide greenery.  Lighting is moderate.  This is the kind of style I tend to like, but somehow I didn't find it attractive in this case.    

On a more positive note, service was friendly and efficient.  The restaurant is managed by Guy Savoy's son Frank.  He seemed to be everywhere, introducing himself to guests and always making sure that things were running smoothly.  There was always someone nearby to take care of my every need.  In comparison to Joël Robuchon at The Mansion, service at Guy Savoy was a little more personal, but not quite as smooth - a different style.

My First Meal (2006)
Before the meal, there were a number of items.  First, an amuse bouche: a tiny, fingernail sized sandwich of thin slices of toast and foie gras.  It was meltingly rich.  Excellent!  About this time, some country bread arrived, with two crocks of butter: sweet and salted.

Sometime around this point, I ordered dinner - the 10 course Menu Prestige.  The bread steward (if that's what you call him) told me that, unless I wanted to choose differently, there were bread pairings for each course.  While I was digesting all of this information, some additional amuses bouche (if that's how you make it plural) arrived: a potato cake, a piece of quail breast, and a third item I forgot to write down.  All were very good.

A little while later, yet another amuse bouche arrived:  a tiny cup of carrot and pumpkin soup, with fennel, bacon, and popped wild rice.  It was very good, and came with a surprise.  The cup was actually two cups, fused together.  One cup held the soup, the other cup was upside down.  When I was finished with the soup, I lifted the two cup combo off the plate, and under the upside down cup was a little pumpkin risotto.  It was even better than the soup.

I'd been eating for at least a half hour, but now the meal officially began.  The courses were:
That was the end of the meal.  Almost.  Still to come were mignardises - a few extra sweets to end the meal.  In this case, they came on a small cart, and one chose anything desired.  There was also some incredible lemon sage sorbet.  It tasted like solid lemon juice - overwhelmingly sour.  I love this kind of stuff.
Click here for a large image of the 2006 tasting menu

Later Meals
I've returned twice since my first meal (not counting Vegas Uncork'd, as described below). The second time, I had a menu fairly similar to the one above. I won't go into details, other than to say I enjoyed my second meal even a little more than my first.

For my third trip in September 2012, a new tasting menu was offered: the Innovation-Inspiration menu, offering even more courses, and a number of new items. It lived up to the hype - my favorite Guy Savoy meal to date; 
click here for a large image of the 2012 Innovation-Inspiration tasting menu. If you want all the gory details, click here for my course-by-course impressions.

These meals have been some of the best dining experiences I've had.  The food is excellent, the service is excellent, and just as importantly it's a lot of fun.

Of course, there are the inevitable comparisons to other top Las Vegas restaurants.  Rather than repeat this under each restaurant, click here for my top three Las Vegas restaurants.

The Bill
The Innovation-Inspiration menu is $350; the Signature menu is $260; a small, quicker (90 minute) tasting menu is $120.  A three course la carte meal will run between $150 and $250.  To these prices, add drinks, tax and tip.

A Special Visit: Vegas Uncork'd
In May 2008 I attended a very special food extravaganza called Vegas Uncork'd. It featured a number of dinners cooked by famous chefs, most of them with a presence in Las Vegas. I attended one meal at Guy Savoy, where Guy Savoy himself presided in the kitchen. See my Vegas Uncork'd 2008 link for all the details.

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