“Got a couple of maintenance issues for you to deal with,”said our pilot, motioning back behind him.  And, as the two workers disappeared into the cockpit, so did any hope that our return flight would be departing on time.  Moments later, the steward got on the intercom to confirm as much.  We  would be delayed by thirty minutes, give or take – presumably as long as it took someone to run down to Radio Shack and purchase a replacement part.  I settled in and had almost dozed off – adrift in that delicious middle ground between almost asleep and asleep – when I was roused by  the elderly Chinese woman sitting in front of us.  “Miss!”she cried.  “MISS!  Your feet!”.  Obviously referring to the 50-something woman seated to my right who had taken off her shoes and was resting one of her bare feet on the handrest in front of her.  “Yes?”asked the barefooted woman, oblivious to any problem.  “Your feet!”snapped the owner of the handrest.  “They stink!”  Blunt yet effective.  The woman to my right lowered her foot and quietly slipped her shoes back on.  Problem solved, thankfully before it became a problem for me.

Other than that – and the thirty minute delay – it turned out to be a pretty uneventful flight.  Unlike last night’s fairly eventful meal – my last big dinner in Vegas, this one at Guy Savoy…

It was a very different dining experience than the one we enjoyed at E by Jose Andres the previous night.  A lot more formal and, at times, somewhat staid, but the service on the part of our waiter was warm and friendly.

Since it was my final dinner in Vegas, I decided to go all in with the Prestige Menu which came with its own bread pairing.  I kid you not.  We were served a different bread with each couple of courses.  But before getting into the individual breads, we were free to choose from…

The Bread Cart!

All the bread is baked on the premises – fresh and wonderful.  But when you’re pairing it with an eleven course menu, it does fill you up quickly.  Once I’d settled down to a parmesan bun (with choices of salted, unsalted butter, and sea salt and crushed black pepper for sprinkling), it was time for the main event…

French Club: The Guy Savoy version of the club sandwich is made with a double layer of foie gras and brioche. Next time, I come back for the whole sandwich!

This was followed by a small soup and tiny surprise in the form of tiny pea preparation which was, in turn, followed by the “Eggs All Truffle”: a heavenly combo of creamy egg and earthy truffle.  It was served with –

Truffle-buttered toast for dipping!

Next up was the Tuna Carpaccio.  I’ll let the video do the talking –

Subtle in flavor but certainly not in presentation.

We were then served a Crispy Sea Bass with Delicate Spices, one of Savoy’s signature dishes.  Like most of the meal, it was quite subtle in its flavor with the exception of the accompanying vanilla foam that overwhelmed.

Our next dish was the Foie Gras en Papillote and Radish Bouillon.  The foie was prepared sous-vide which, to be honest, seemed like an odd way to go. As was the radish bouillon.

Colors of Caviar. Another signature dish. Layers of caviar vinaigrette, caviar creme fraiche, haricot vert puree, Osietra caviar, and a sabayon. We were instructed to dig deep to ensure we spooned out all the layers. Loved it.

Our next dish as the Artichoke and Black Truffle Soup which was served with a toasted mushroom brioche with black truffle butter (for dipping).  The soup was thinner than I expected, but tasty nevertheless.

Roasted Poussin. One of the juiciest chicken dishes I've ever been served.
Along with an outstanding black truffle mash.

We capped of the savory portion of our meal with a fine salsify dish before moving on to –

The Cheese Tray!

I enjoyed three soft cheeses with an orange marmalade, a berry jam, and some lavender honey.

At which point, it was time for dessert.  First up was a pre-dessert dessert consisting of raspberry sorbet, green tea foam, and green tea pearls.

Apple - Apple slices, apple caviar, and apple foam. This was so tart, I couldn't manage more than a bite.
Chocolate Fondant, Crunchy Praline and Chicory Cream: Now THIS I DID finish. A rich dessert only this side of decadent because of the portion size.

And finally, we finished with = The Dessert Cart!

A very good meal with some outstanding dishes (the Poussin comes immediately to mind) but, at the end of the day, in the Battle of the Vegas High-End Dinners, it ranks an easy third with Joel Robuchon and E by Jose Andres battling it out for top spot.

Finally back in Vancouver, tonight’s dinner was comprised of baked Arctic Char with yuzu and sesame oil, steamed rice, and sauteed broccoli.  It was a much appreciated change of pace.

Thanks to everyone who inquired about Akemi’s friends in family in the wake of the recent earthquake and tsunami to hit Japan.  Her family home is located in Osaka, west of Tokyo, and wasn’t affected by the tragedy.  Sadly, many, many people were.  Here’s hoping for better news from the area in the days ahead.

39 thoughts on “March 11, 2011: Vegas Day #4! Restaurant Guy Savoy!

  1. Haha, that video is crazy. Almost as good as those dishes they bring out in flames.

  2. The food looks incredible! I’ve never had a real truffle. Can you describe the flavor?

    I’m glad that Akemi’s family are ok but it is so tragic. I suppose we won’t know the casualty numbers for weeks.

  3. So glad Akemi’s family is okay! I have an internet pal over there – he’s a Philly boy, a diehard Wolvie fan, and I know him from an old X-Men forum. Really nice guy, married to a Japanese woman (who doesn’t like fish!). A few years ago he moved to Japan to be closer to his in-laws, and now teaches English over there. I contacted him right away and he’s fine, down in Gifu, south of Tokyo.

    This is such a horrible disaster on so many levels. The nuclear power plant situation, the flood debris, the saltwater damage to farmlands and the surrounding environment, not to mention the human toll. My heart goes out to all those affected.

    Onto other news…I hate my sister! She’s going to England/Wales/Scotland in August, and staying at an inn (she’s been there before) that my dear Sergeant Hathaway from Inspector Lewis (a.k.a. Laurence Fox) has stayed at (scroll down, he’s on the home page):


    The closest I’ll ever get to that place is an old jigsaw puzzle I have of the hotel. It’s lovely, and when I see stuff like this I’m sometimes tempted to fly, but then someone comes along and tells me an airplane horror story about delays and stinky feets, and I change my mind. 😛


  4. Meal looks great, but not still want last nights. Glad you are home safe and sound, bet the doggies are happy!

  5. Another bread cart, another work of art! This one is incredible, but I think Joel Robuchon won the bread cart war with the most awesomest looking one. I can just smell it!

    No pictures of breakfast or lunch. Did you “save yourself” for dinner only? Come on Joe, no guts, no glory! Thanks for the trip to Vegas. All the food was beautiful. Good-bye Martin Gero, until you and Joe (and us) meet in another city!

    Looks like the NFL is going on strike. In light of the devastating events in Japan, I think they (owners and players) are all a bunch of sissy girls. Who cares!

    Glad Akemi san’s family is okay!

  6. “the 50-something woman seated to my right who had taken off her shoes and was resting one of her bare feet on the handrest”

    Should have whipped out your trusty Goa’uld Pain Stick. Or just “Zatted” her 3 times. 🙂

    Yes the disaster in Japan is terrible. Can’t believe though that they apparently only had 1 source of backup electrical power in their nuke plants. Everyone knows you must have at least 3 different electrical power backups for something as important as the cooling systems for nuclear reactor fuel rods. Well, maybe not everyone, as I did a report on Three Mile Island when that happened, for school. 🙁

    They should bring in some naval ships, as those should easily be able to provide enough power to run the nuclear plants’ cooling systems.

  7. Wow! This is really bad, from Fox News:

    “Japan Officials Fear
    Possible Nuclear Meltdowns at Plants

    LATEST UPDATE: Japan declares a nuclear emergency after failure of cooling systems of five nuclear reactors at two power plants caused by devastating 8.9 magnitude earthquake, causing thousands to flee and technical experts to warn that the plants only have hours to stabilize.”


  8. Hi Joe, glad to hear you’re home safely and that Akemi’s family wasn’t affected. And yes, after all that, I’m sure a home-cooked meal is delish!

  9. Good to hear Akemi’s family is okay. I too was relieved to find those I know over there were all right (one is the wife of a naval officer in Nagasaki and the other is a native from Osaka).

    Thanks for sharing the pics. It’s fun to see the meals presented so well!

  10. hey Joe is the Atlantis movie ever gonna get made i only ask because pieces of the set are being auctioned off how will you make the movie with the set of atlantis?

  11. Glad to hear Akemi’s family is okay, I’ve just been horrified at the destruction. It’s hard to watch the news and not be able to help.

    I went through a tremor at my folks a couple years back and it was an awful minute of the house shaking like gelatin and those rolling S-waves shoving the bed across the room with me in it and that was frightening enough.

  12. Thank you for letting us know Akemi’s family and friends are safe.

    Another bread and dessert cart! Sign me up. Thanks for taking us on the Vegas culinary tour. 🙂

  13. Glad to hear Akemi’s family is okay. I still wonder about all the nice people you and Ivon met on your trip and pray that their situations have equally good news.

    Keep seeing pictures come in and it is shocking. Saw some US video of the wave coming in and some people dying here. You never think a tsunami that hits Japan is going to do anything to the US coast, let alone cost people their lives.

    Why do people think building nuclear reactors in major earthquakes zones is a good idea–ever? A few years back I had read a story about a city in Japan almost totally switched over to solar power. I was not even aware Japan had nuclear power. Seriously thought solar energy was where they were heading.

    My cousin and her husband and son were stationed in Misawa and another time in Okinawa. Her husband was gone a lot doing secret stuff for sometimes 6 or more months at a time. Right before 9/11 occurred he was about to retire. They refused to grant him retirement. He was not on-base when 9/11 occurred (off on assignment) and she and her son were in lockdown and then could only travel up to 2 miles off base for quite some time. I know during her many, many years in Japan she made many friends so I’m hoping they are okay. Looks like Misawa only lost power and everyone is accounted for. She loved living in Japan. They’ve since retired to the state of Washington.

    I lost 3 classmates in the WTC on 9/11; my husband 1. My husband’s brother worked for Aon (but in California) but knew many of the people in the WTC office. Since we are both from NY, we knew where our friends lived, of course, but not necessarily where they worked. It took a week for the final friend to check in. The fear and frustration of not being able to get through on a phone line, or getting an answering machine/voice mail, them not calling back because they themselves were in shock, etc. — I can imagine what people who are looking for their loved ones right now might be going through. To this day I still cannot watch any film footage from that day because all the panic felt on that day comes sweeping back.

  14. Hello!

    ça va bien? moi oui, j’ai été malade ces derniers temps voila pourquoi je ne suis pas passée..

    Je vois que vous vous amusez bien à Las Vegas! 🙂 ..lol tout les restaurants de la ville vont y passé!

    Miame! tout ce pain me fait penser à l’ancienne boulangerie de mes parents, lol on peut dire que j’en ai mangée du pain XD

    Tout ces plats ont l’air aussi bone les un que les autres!

    C’est affreux ce qui est arrivé au Japon =S! J’espere qu’il n’y aura pas trop de victimes!

    Passez une bon week end !! Bisou!

  15. Not sure about anyone else but it kinda upset me watching the coverage when they were showing the water going inland at Sendai washing away people in their cars. They briefly spotted a guy in Sendai trying to outrun the water but never knew if he was successful or not. Probably not, he would of had to of got to high ground pretty fast.

    Anyway hope you didn’t mind me posting updates yesterday Joe, mostly for those who maybe hadn’t seen the news etc.

    @The Bread Cart!

    That’s like a work of art!. Did you eat any from the basket Joe? lol

  16. That Chinese woman was funny! “Your feet! They stink!” LOL!!! 😀 Too funny!

    Wow! That video is cool! What is that? Is that edible?? I’ve never seen anything like that in my life.

    I’m so glad to hear Akemi’s parents are okay. But…how devastating to all those people in Japan who fell victim to the earthquake and tsunami. I pray for those people.

    Do you know if there are still tsunami warnings for Hawaii and Pacific coast?

  17. Loved all the pictures, descriptions, and video of the various foods. You would do really well as a food critic.

    Glad you got back to Vancouver okay and that Akemi’s family is okay.

    Have a good weekend!!

  18. Hey Joe,
    Glad to hear Akemi and her family is ok, thought of both of you when I heard the news.

  19. Mr M please delete my previous post, BAD formatting



    Brian Stone wrote:

    hey Joe is the Atlantis movie ever gonna get made i only ask because pieces of the set are being auctioned off how will you make the movie with the set of atlantis?

    If a SGA movie ever get make. It would be a reboot with modified cast due to talent availability, new sets and likely new franchise showrunner IMO.

    I think all TV sets are only semi-permanent. They are good for a couple of seasons before you have to rebuild or replace with different set. I could be wrong, the cost between re-furbishing and making a set new is usually not that great. Most of the cost is labour I think.

  20. Glad to hear family is ok in Japan. SO much damage so sad. Prayers for all affected.

    STOP paying Fox News any attention. After yesterday I now know for sure they have no idea what a FACT is!!! Shame on them.

    I thought you ate some weird stuff in Japan but some of the dishes in Vegas have absolutely topped my definition of that!! Your hobby definitely won’t be mine. But after seeing some of those I’ll have a peek at Marcel’s Molecular Kitchen on tv.

  21. @ das – thanks for sharing that hotel link for Ty Gwyn. It looks absolutely fabulous, just the type of place that appeals to me. However, the lure of that hotel, despite flight delays, stinky feet, etc., would not compel me to fly anywhere. Sigh…

    Prayers outbound to all affected Japanese souls, friends and family asking that help arrives soon bringing comfort and relief, in the Lord’s name, Amen.

    Unfortunately, the above video did not play for me, even after updating browser Chrome.

    Mr. M, a small request please, could you place your hand or a fork or some other reference point next to these interesting dishes before photographing them? I cannot get a sense of scale from all the closeups.

    Your recent post describing a 16 course extravaganza left me reeling, until I thought the serving sizes must be tiny. How on earth do you manage to consume all this food? Does the meal take 5 hours to finish? Do they serve each course right after the previous or allow digestion time in between?

    @ drldeboer – I disagree with your derogation of Fox News and further, believe they are among the few quality news sources with any integrity, neutrality and fairness remaining amidst the media overload out there.


  22. I’m listening to NPR right now and thought of you. There is a story of a Microsoft engineer who published a cookbook. He says it will reinvent cooking. Cost? $600! …for a cookbook!

  23. Minamisanriku has around 10,000 people missing according to reports, those poor people..

    300-400 bodies were found in Rikuzentakata too.

    I can imagine the effects of this quake not being fully realised until days if not weeks after to fully access the damage and loss of life.

    I think they were talking about the death toll being in the 1000s.

  24. So glad to hear that Akemi’s family is safe – thanks much for the update; but so sorry that much, much work lies ahead, and that many missing people remain unaccounted for.

    It sounds like you and Wingman Marty (wondering if you guys should have Top Gun handles like “Hollywood Plaid” and “Snow Goose”. . . hm, nah) had one of the foodies’ best vacations ever. Though if I ever get the chance to travel by air to/from Canada, no offense to what I know is an awesome nation in very many ways, but I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t fly on Air Canada: . . .Presumably as long as it took someone to run down to Radio Shack and purchase a replacement part. LOL!

    Also laughing over the stinky-feet situation. Maybe when I’m 90 I would try something like that, but would then cause misery for everyone when my big foot has to be crowbarred out of its little nook. *w* (Unfortunately, neither foot is ever too big to stick in my mouth. *sighs*)

    Yeah, coming home to a simple but tasty dinner sounds good after the culinary opulence. – On to Toronto, then. Best of luck with all that.

  25. Lost city of Atlantis, swamped by tsunami, may be found

    By Zach Howard Zach Howard – 2 hrs 17 mins ago

    NORTHAMPTON, Mass (Reuters) – A U.S.-led research team may have finally located the lost city of Atlantis, the legendary metropolis believed swamped by a tsunami thousands of years ago in mud flats in southern Spain.

    “This is the power of tsunamis,” head researcher Richard Freund told Reuters.

    “It is just so hard to understand that it can wipe out 60 miles inland, and that’s pretty much what we’re talking about,” said Freund, a University of Hartford, Connecticut, professor who lead an international team searching for the true site of Atlantis.

    To solve the age-old mystery, the team used a satellite photo of a suspected submerged city to find the site just north of Cadiz, Spain. There, buried in the vast marshlands of the Dona Ana Park, they believe that they pinpointed the ancient, multi-ringed dominion known as Atlantis.

    The team of archeologists and geologists in 2009 and 2010 used a combination of deep-ground radar, digital mapping, and underwater technology to survey the site.

    Freund’s discovery in central Spain of a strange series of “memorial cities,” built in Atlantis’ image by its refugees after the city’s likely destruction by a tsunami, gave researchers added proof and confidence, he said.

    Atlantis residents who did not perish in the tsunami fled inland and built new cities there, he added.

    The team’s findings will be unveiled on Sunday in “Finding Atlantis,” a new National Geographic Channel special.

    While it is hard to know with certainty that the site in Spain in Atlantis, Freund said the “twist” of finding the memorial cities makes him confident Atlantis was buried in the mud flats on Spain’s southern coast.

    “We found something that no one else has ever seen before, which gives it a layer of credibility, especially for archeology, that makes a lot more sense,” Freund said.

    Greek philosopher Plato wrote about Atlantis some 2,600 years ago, describing it as “an island situated in front of the straits which are by you called the Pillars of Hercules,” as the Straits of Gibraltar were known in antiquity. Using Plato’s detailed account of Atlantis as a map, searches have focused on the Mediterranean and Atlantic as the best possible sites for the city.

    Tsunamis in the region have been documented for centuries, Freund says. One of the largest was a reported 10-story tidal wave that slammed Lisbon in November, 1755.

    Debate about whether Atlantis truly existed has lasted for thousands of years. Plato’s “dialogues” from around 360 B.C. are the only known historical sources of information about the iconic city. Plato said the island he called Atlantis “in a single day and night… disappeared into the depths of the sea.”

    Experts plan further excavations are planned at the site where they believe Atlantis is located and at the mysterious “cities” in central Spain 150 miles away to more closely study geological formations and to date artifacts.

  26. #1. Those poor people! Nobody should have to go through that. My family has friends in Japan and so far we haven’t heard from them, despite sending several messages. I am glad to hear that Akemi’s family is all right.

    #2. That bread cart looked wonderful as well. Some of those made my mouth water.

    #3. What’s up with all of the carts of stuff? Is there an exotic fruit cart too?

  27. Glad to hear Akemi’s folks are okay.

    She must feel devasted though to know what her country is going though.

    10,000 dead from one city alone. My prayers go out to everyone.

  28. @JoanieC

    10,000 people aren’t dead in one town, they just havent been accounted for, it’s likely a lot of people were able to find higher ground, or simply have been dislocated. It’s rougly half the population they can’t find of the location in question.

    I would imagine there being a lot of chaos in that area, so its likely if people are alive they’re scattered around other areas that are safe.

    I think in a few days or maybe weeks, survivors in that area that make up the number will come forward.

    Speaking of which these Nuclear problems will probably affect everyone in Japan, emergencys in 5 Nuclear plants now. So likely places like Tokyo or maybe Osaka? May lose power briefly, hard to say, I’m guessing there.

    Anyway, hope you have a good Vegas trip Joe, you posted some great pictures there over the past few days, okay foodie ones but still.

  29. Watching “The Shrine”. Found it by accident, flipping through the channels on this quiet afternoon. Sure, I own all the DVDs, but I’m watching it on the air anyway, because it’s just that damned good.

    Not the first person to stop by here to express appreciation for that particular episode, I’m sure. But I wanted to say it nonetheless.

    Welcome home, Joe, glad you had a good trip.

  30. @SG1efc

    You are one very funny dude, or chick as the case may be. (High fives to sistahs!) I can just see Prof. Freund expounding at length from his desk in an ivy-covered building on the Smith College campus in Northampton. Maybe some of his students, 96% of them female, decorate their eyelids with messages like “I love you” and bat their eyelashes often from their strategically chosen first-row seats. — Thanks for sharing some humor on this still very somber day. The nuclear-reactor situation alone is frightening, and then there’s everything else. . . My heart goes out to the people of Japan.

  31. Er, of course Prof. Freund is a guest lecturer at Smith this semester. He likely will be glad to return to UHartford next fall. The, umm, paparazzi, shall we say, at Smith have a reputation for aggressiveness.

  32. I am going to have to convince my wife that maybe we should try something different next time we are in Las Vegas.

    Anyway I just read a couple reviews of a fantasy/SF book you might want to check out, Among Others by Jo Walton. It sounds like a natural for the Book of the Month. The author even lives in Canada and is now a citizen.


    Joseph….you don’t plan on having your Audi shipped/trucked over to Toronto?

    Maybe you might want to consider looking into some
    sort of a short term leased vehicle deal.
    You might make out pretty good with one of those
    type of short term leased vehicle deals.
    (…check it out with your accountant to see what
    he/she has to say about all of that.)

    Otherwise…I guess that you’d be looking for a
    long term rental situation from one of the big car
    rental agencies.
    …or maybe from a local car dealer that does
    long term rental deals.

    I don’t know how aware you are of short term lease
    deals..so I just wanted to throw that idea out
    into your mix. It might be the right fit for your
    needs (..and tax situations.).

    …and of course you might always want to consider
    the purchase (or longer term lease.) of a new or
    used vehicle. That’s yet another option.

    I always thought that you’d be taking your own Audi
    over with you by having it shipped/trucked over to
    Toronto. That would seem to be an easier option
    for you to do…but I am sure that you have your
    reasons and I am not fully aware of your back
    and forth situation.

  34. Very glad to read Akemi’s family is safe. Will keep Japan in my thoughts.

    The food photos are wonderful. I could almost taste those fab dishes. Thanks and glad you had a lovely trip as well 🙂

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