YOU DON’T KNOW THE TRUFFLES I’VE SEEN
“The most learned men have sought to ascertain the secret, and fancied they discovered the seed. Their promises, however, were vain, and no planting was ever followed by a harvest. This perhaps is all right, for as one of the great values of truffles is their dearness, perhaps they would be less highly esteemed if they were cheaper.” – Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin
Eating Las Vegas knows not what derring-do Urbani Truffles (and local truffle queen Leigh Greenfield) goes through to sneak the very first white truffles of the season all the way from Italy to Restaurant Guy Savoy, but get them there they did last week, making it the first restaurant in America to get a taste of this season’s crop.
As you probably know, the season for tuber magnatum usually doesn’t start until October, making these tuberous jewels something of a curiousity. How would they look? (A little pockmarked and ugly it turned out.) How would Executive Chef Matheiu Chartron show them off to their best effect? (As simply and exquisitely as possible.) And most importantly, how would they taste? (Much more intense, musky, and truffle-y than we would’ve guessed, but also with a grainier, coarser texture than expected.)
Caesars Palace Director of Restaurants Franck Savoy, told us this early example should prove a baseline for judging how the crop develops throughout the short season. (The white truffle season is notoriously brief, with most specimens being out of the ground well before Christmas.)
Getting the very first ones in the States is something of a coup for Caesars (and Savoy), and as expected, Chartron lets the simplified perfection of his cooking (and impeccable ingredients) do the talking. Our favorite dish was a poached egg blanketed with the fungus shavings, atop a cauliflower purée — the dish accompanied by les mouillettes (toasted batons of bread) used for dipping into the concoction and moving magnificent magnatum into your mouth.
Everything else was perfect, of course. It’s Guy Savoy fer chrissakes! When is anything ever less than perfect? But the highlight of the meal was bringing down the house with über-French chef Michel Richard with our boisterous, pitch-perfect, almost sober rendition of La Marseillaise. Seriously, ELV sounded just like this guy:
RESTAURANT GUY SAVOY
In Caesars Palace Hotel and Casino
3570 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Las Vegas, NV 89109