Friday, May 13, 2011

May Vegas 2: Twist. Again

Of all the great restaurants I ate at in Feb, only Twist has remained in touch with me since then. I appreciate that. Whether email updates about new items on their menu, the news that Chef Gagnaire would be in the kitchen in May and I should take advantage of that, to the fact that they'd actually read my blog account of dining there, I feel that Twist has my palate in mind. After deciding to go to Uncork'd, the first restaurant I wanted to go back to was Twist. Even with the John Dory off the menu, I'd read great reviews of the chef's Zezette broth and wanted to try some other seafood on his menu.
I found out about Uncork'd from a post by Eguletteer David Ross. David had been to all of the Uncork'ds and I had the privilege of hanging out with him first at Twist, and throughout the Uncork'd events, greatly expanding what I was able to learn from them all. I had no idea what he looked like, but he apparently recognized me from my tiny Egullet photo at the entrance to Twist, and we were then lead to the Chef's Table, overlooking the busy kitchen. They wouldn't have done that for me.
As you can see in the vid, we were bombarded with amuse bouches, just like my Feb. visit. The best one for me was what I called the little hamburger (actually a curry disc and goat cheese, and I am NO FAN of curry). The pastis cube was interesting. Not that it tasted good, particularly. What I like about the "modernist" food movement, of which Gagnaire is a star, is the idea that you can do anything with anything. Why not turn a beverage into a cube? Pastis doesn't make it for me any more than the Jack Daniels/Guiness delicacy made it for me in Feb, but I can imagine a cocktail or a liqueur I liked turned into a jelly and enhancing something I was eating. A sangria cube perhaps?
My Zezette broth was as good as I was expecting. Endlessly complex, as I would expect from Gagnaire, but also more filling than I expected for an appetizer. The cod cake is delicious, and the ratatouille pure opens up a lot of possibilities (we use ratatouille as an ingredient in yaki soba in our house) . The problem was I was too tired to enjoy the food. I had ordered the halibut, before realizing not only couldn't I eat anything else, I was in danger of falling asleep in my soup. Not a good thing to do in a restaurant. I usually wake up around 9 or 10. In order to catch my 6:20 flight to Vegas Wed morning, I had to get up at 3:30 to get to the airport on time and it was catching up with me. David had ordered the whole tasting menu, something I'd have loved to try to get a rich sense of the chef's possibilities but I was too tired even to finish my soup, or even my cocktail, the same one I raved about in the Feb experience. In later conversation, David said his food was good but not good enough to return considering all the great restaurants in Vegas he had yet to experience. I feel the same way about all those great places yet undined at, but still think there will be more Gagnaire goodness in my future.
video

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