Pierre Gagnaire — Tokyo (1/2013)

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This is my second visit to a Pierre Gagnaire restaurant (the first was Twist in Las Vegas).  The food here was a bit more French in style and substance than the newer Twist, which I was expecting.  This is a 2-star Michelin restaurant located on a high floor of the ANA Intercontinental hotel.  Reservations can be made by email, although they had some difficulty getting a reply message back to me.

Upon arrival, they had a nice table by the window looking out over the lights of central Tokyo.  I asked for their pre-dinner champagne offerings and they had a Ruinart Rosé, so I went with that while I looked over the menus.  They served a few little accompaniment snacks to go with the champagne.

 I did not get an item-by-item description, but the ingredients included tuna, mascarpone, chestnut, black truffle oil paste, rabbit, and chorizo.  The textures ranged from soft to crunchy, and flavored from savory to sweet, thus awakening the full range of tastes and sensations.

The menus presented a few dining options.  There was the à la carte option, the full tasting menu (“Esprit” or seasonal menu), the shortened seasonal menu (less desserts, no cheese course and one less savory course), and the special black truffle menu.

For the full write-up, click here.

Twist — Las Vegas (7/2012)

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I should have come here on my trip to Las Vegas earlier in the year since I stayed at the Mandarin, but I thought I was going to have the chance to dine at Pierre Gagnaire’s signature Michelin 3-star restaurant in Paris or the restaurant he was supposed to open in Berlin (now delayed).  So, after another look at the menu posted online, I decided it would be the restaurant for this short trip.

The restaurant is located on the lobby level, which is the 26th floor, with a nice view of The Strip.  There was a regular tasting menu (pictured), as well as a vegetarian tasting menu and a full à la carte selection of dishes, including anything from the tasting menus.  I asked about changing the lamb item on the tasting menu to something else, and they said I could pick whatever I wanted from the entrée section, so I was all set.  On the tasting menu, you could choose the 3-course or the 6-course option.  I went with the 6-course.  As will be seen, if you count dishes, it turned out to be more than that.

As I was deciding on what to do, they asked if I wanted some champagne or a cocktail.  I asked if they had a rosé champagne, and they had a nice bottle of Ruinart (which was good and on the dry side for a rosé champagne). 

For the full write-up, click here.