Pierre Gagnaire, an inventor as much as a creator of fine French cuisine, has brought his storied reputation to Las Vegas, with Twist. At the posh Mandarin Oriental, this upscale restaurant offers a Parisian experience without the need to fly to Paris to enjoy a meal by one of France’s great chefs.
The restaurant, midway up the hotel with spectacular views on Las Vegas, is a quiet respite from the smoke-filled casinos and hoards of gamblers in poor attire and Bud Lights in hand. Indeed, the Mandarin Oriental, with all of its elegance, is casino-free, bringing a different element to the clientele that stays there.
Twist is upscale, as proper attire is the pass required for the privilege to dine in Pierre Gagnaire’s regal restaurant. The food is all Pierre Gagnaire – focusing on top ingredients, and strikingly unusual combinations – to offer a rare experience of top quality haute cuisine.
Come hungry. The three course menu alone serves monstrous portions. A steal at $105, it comes with an appetizer of your choice, plus a main plat (this time Moroccan infused lamb), and five different desserts sufficient for a hungry table of five diners. The bread and French butter alone is worth the price of admission – freshly baked and served warm, with top French butter – it is a treat that rivals a fresh baguette at the famed boulangerie of Gerard Mulot.
The a la carte menu is equally worth trying. The selection of oysters is unusual, if not spectacular, including a dish that includes tuna, banana and oysters – impossibly working together – though Gagnaire has found a way to do it. The trio of foie gras is equally magnificent. Seafood is Gagnaire’s specialty – reminiscent of his stellar restaurant Gaya on Rue du Bac in the seventh arrondissement. I had seabream
that was brilliant moist and crisp, though a bit too much to eat.
While Gagnaire has catered to American tastes in offering a variety of steak dishes, why bother, when you can experience the intensity and gifts of his brilliance with more French type fare. The service itself, strong, if a bit too swift compared to the slower rhythm in France, is nonetheless gracious and neither overbearing or pretentious.
The wine menu has some values, including a Volnay we enjoyed for only $105, but if you want to splurge ,bottles of La Tache, Romanee Conti, and illustrious Bordeaux such as Lafite Rothchild and Chateau Margaux are available for the price of a trip to France.
Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas
+1 (888) 881 9367
Chef de Cuisine: