Best of the Best 2007: Dining: Restaurant Guy Savoy, Las Vegas
Restaurant Guy Savoy, Las Vegas
Guy Savoy used to have little regard for Las Vegas. His translator (Savoy speaks little English) struggles to find the word that best expresses the French chef’s former opinion of the city. “Useless,” he finally says. Then, speaking for Savoy, the translator adds, “I thought that it was not interesting at all, but that was before I went to Las Vegas [four years ago]. I had a small French mind. I had the wrong idea, a false idea.”
The visit convinced him that Las Vegas visitors do more than just gamble. “I saw Dior, Prada, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and realized there was something special here,” Savoy says. Reasoning that people who shop at these stores also want to dine at fine restaurants, he opened Restaurant Guy Savoy a year ago at Caesars Palace.
The casino began wooing Savoy about five years ago, not long after Caesars’ then-president, Mark Juliano, took his teenage daughter to Savoy’s flagship restaurant in Paris, where she sampled the silky, black truffle–laden artichoke soup. Months later, Juliano asked his daughter what she wanted for her birthday, and she requested the soup.
Savoy included the soup and other favorites from France on the Las Vegas menu as part of his plan to have the American outpost resemble his Paris restaurant as closely as possible. The same design team created the interiors for both restaurants; the Las Vegas waitstaff don chocolate brown uniforms that are similar to the ones worn in Paris; and the tables are set with linens, plates, and glasses that appear the same as those laid out in France. “The most important thing was that [Restaurant Guy Savoy, Las Vegas] have the same spirit,” Savoy says, “and the same quality of food on the plate, of course.”
Savoy has achieved the latter with the assistance of 26-year-old chef de cuisine Adam Sobel, who had formed valuable relationships with local vendors and purveyors during his previous stint, at Ogden’s restaurant next door. Also, Savoy sent 27-year-old Damien Dulas, who had five years of experience in his kitchens, to serve as executive chef and ensure the menu would remain consistent with its French counterpart. Usually, the dishes are exact matches of such favorites as the aforementioned soup; the chilled appetizer of milk-fed chicken, foie gras, and celery root with black truffle juice; or the roasted veal chop accompanied by pureed potatoes that are enhanced by—yes—black truffles. (When truffles are in season, diners at the Las Vegas location can consume as much as five pounds per week.)
In addition to enlisting Dulas, Savoy hired his 27-year-old son, Franck, as general manager. “My dad calls me every day,” Franck says, holding his cell phone aloft. “I am the link, this phone and me, to Paris.”
The Las Vegas restaurant differs from its Parisian cousin in one ironic way: It provides a view of the Eiffel Tower. Tables placed at the extreme right of the main room look out on the replica that marks the Paris Las Vegas casino. This is the sole aspect of the Guy Savoy experience that is less than genuine, which is remarkable considering how much could have been lost in the translation from Parisian to the Vegas version of Roman.
Restaurant Guy Savoy
Las Vegas, 877.346.4642