24 July 2013

Twist by Pierre Gagnaire

Twist by Pierre Gagnaire is the heralded chef's sole North American restaurant. Pierre Gagnaire's technique is firmly rooted in the French tradition, but he adds a modern flair with international influences to his cuisine that makes him more forward-looking than some of his fellow countrymen.

Twist is located in the swanky Mandarin Oriental in City Center on The Strip. The dining room has a great view of The Strip, which makes it a great spot for romantic dining.

The wine list is chock full of interesting lots to pair with the fare coming out of the food-science laboratory kitchen. There are great wines from the Old and New World, and the cocktails and beer are selected with the same care as everything else at Twist.

Service at Twist is as exemplary as the food. The kitchen controls the dining experience, and does a phenomenal job preparing artful food for vegetarian and vegan diners.

The menu changes with the season. Gagnaire typically works in the kitchen for a week or two when the new menu is introduced.

The bread plate and plate of amuse bouche show the careful attention to detail from the kitchen. There were three different risen breads, as well as flavored flatbtreads. They were served with amazing butter and an addictive popcorn foam that adds a sweet, salty backdrop to the baked goods. 

The amuse bouche came in four parts. Many were savory plays on desserts, spicy cookies and cheese marshmallows that were perfectly suited to a one-bite format.

The salad course was made with green and white asparagus, shallot vinaigrette, tomato coulis, avocado and diced mushroom agar. The dressing was augmented by vegetable-gelatin-suspended spices. The plating was almost too pretty to eat.

The next course had cabbage as its centerpiece, and played nicely with sweetness and acidity. Passion fruit adds a nice bite to the crisp, green veggies.

 The carrot fondant was served atop a raspberry and beet reduction. Sliced turnips gave the dish a nice crunch.

The next course was beets in a reduced maple syrup on roasted red pepper and pimento jam. It was topped with graffiti radishes that added a great visual pop.

The sauteed baby potatoes sat in an arugula coulis with enoki and Paris mushrooms. It was a pleasing combination of savory, salty flavors that were completely balanced.

The saffron risotto with baby zucchini, broccoli and corn was as good of a risotto as I have ever tasted. The creamy rice was a perfect vehicle to deliver the lightly roasted vegetable flavor that defines the season.

The dessert tasting consists of six components. They range in order from light and fresh to rich and sweet. They were followed by petit fours.

There are too many great chefs in Las Vegas to count. Vegans and vegetarians looking for fine dining options should take note of Twist when exploring fine dining options. The modern take on meatless cuisine at the restaurant surpasses anything else you are likely to find in Sin City.

Twist on Urbanspoon

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