John Curtas is …

Do the Vegetarian TWIST

They’re also experts (some of the best in the world, in fact) in presenting food as an eye-pleasing palette for your palate.

…as well as making the most out of modest provisions, like the celery/spinach/corn pudding/soup pictured above. If ever there were a vegetarian dish that highlights the glories of French cooking this is it. Parsed from the humblest ingredients, it is by turns both beautiful and greater than the sum of its parts. If all chefs could cook vegetables this well, the beasts and birds that roam the earth would have nothing to worry about.

The chef now in charge of the Twist kitchen is Frédéric Don. He is the third chef in eight years to take the helm here, and like his predecessors, his task is mostly to execute recipes that have been firmly vetted in corporate kitchens by a cadre of corporate chefs. This doesn’t make his duties any less important, but it does mean that he is expected to be more of a technician than an artiste. Whether he’s wildly creative, or a simple servant of his celebrity chef master, doesn’t matter to us. What does matter is the hyper-deliciousness of the food here, and we can confidently proclaim that well into its ninth year, the food at Twist is better than ever. And not to take anything away from those who preceded him, but I found Don’s dishes (both vegetarian and not) to be prettier on the plate, and more focused on the palate, than in the past. (We are talking very fine distinctions here: the difference between an A+ and (at worst) an A-, but when you’ve eaten here a dozen times, as we have, you notice these things.)

No matter how you slice the sunchokes, Don is doing Pierre Gagnaire proud, and keeping Twist at the forefront of our fine French restaurants. The wine list is vastly improved — not exactly a bargain hunter’s dream, but with some nice, easy-to-drink bottles for under a hundy — and the tiny bar now turns out an array of craft cocktails for those so inclined.

And for those of you so inclined to come over to the dark side, they also do some killer frogs’ legs.

Image may contain: food

Somewhere, an amphibian is on crutches.

 

http://www.woodswell.com/images/frog%20legs-SamGross.JPG

Ouch.

TWIST BY PIERRE GAGNAIRE

Mandarin Oriental Hotel

702.590.8888

http://www.mandarinoriental.com/lasvegas/fine-dining/twist-by-pierre-gagnaire/

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

ELV postscript: Before any of you get your mung beans in a bunch, know that my dearly beloved mother (Marcella Ruth Schroader Curtas, D.O.B. 8-10-24) has been a vegetarian for 50 of her 92 years. As far as I know, she’s never started any wars or kicked a small animal. My wife (the long-suffering Food Gal®) skews vegetarian as well. (Although she occasionally craves a cheeseburger.) ELV — the man, the myth the inveterate carnivore — realizes that some day all humans will be vegetarians and be healthier for it. However, until that day comes, he will continue to enjoy his pulled pork, as well as his duck a l’orange.)

 

2 Responses to Do the Vegetarian TWIST

  • Big thumbs up to the vegetarian tasting menu at L’Atelier de Robuchon too! Except for a slight misstep on the tofu course, their vegetables are every bit as good as their fleshy offerings. I’m told you can request the vegetarian amuse buche with any meal as well, for those of you tired of the foie gras with foam they always serve.

  • I was looking forward to dining at Twist again my next trip to Vegas and am now looking forward to that trip with even greater glee. Before I visit Vegas, I’ll be lunching at Arpege next month. Will the food be as good as Pierre’s? Will be fun to find out.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

John’s Tweets
John at Work Restaurant reviews, quips, picks and pans-with some seriously salivating history-from the man who eats his way through Sin City every day.
Follow eatinglasvegas on Twitter Follow eatinglasvegas on Twitter