If you’ve ever eaten a Napoleon — and let’s face it who hasn’t? — you are familiar with the shattered, mille-feuille* mess created by your first attempt to cut through all those luscious layers** of pastry and pastry cream.
We’ve eaten hundreds of them over the years, from Naples (where they may have originated) to Napa, and never been able to avoid smashing this otherworldly confection into oblivion before we ever take a bite! So hard is it to eat one gracefully that many a time, in many a pastry shop (hello Fauchon!), we often forgo savoring the silky, vanilla custard as it beckons within the buttery, leafy shards encasing it, because it’s so f*cking hard to eat!
Enter Franck Savoy, Caesars’ Director of Restaurants and a man with a certain pedigree in such matters, at last Friday’s lunch at Payard.
“Looks delicious,” said ELV greedily. “Nobody makes pastry like Francois Payard.”
“But John, don’t you know how to eat it?” replied Franck.
“Sure,” we replied. “You just smash it down, the custard and crumbs go everywhere, then you scrape it off the plate.”
“Tu est trés fou!”*** scoffed the Frenchman. “Eet eeze sooo easy, mon ami. All you do eeze turn eet on eets side. See how easy?”
And so it was, and so it is, and thus did the experience become the (increasingly rare) something new for ELV to learn in the food world.
Merci beaucoup Franck!
It costs $7 and is so good, you’ll be scraping it off the plate no matter how you cut it.
Just thought you’d like to know.
PAYARD BISTRO AND PATISSERIE
In Caesars Palace Hotel and Casino
3570 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Las Vegas, NV 89109-8924
* Mille-feuille (MEEL-fooey), means “thousand-leaf” en Français.
** 729 layers to be exact…or 2,187 depending on how many times you fold the dough.
*** French for: “You ill-mannered, uncouth American.”