Guy Savoy, Paris
June 14, 2011
Guy Savoy opened his first restaurant in Paris in 1980, winning his first Michelin star the next year. In 1987 he moved to his current location near the Arc du Triomphe and received his third Michelin star in 2002. Next year he will move to the 1767 neoclassical Hôtel de la Monnaie in the 6e on the left bank. Linda and I went for dinner on May 13, 2011. We started with glasses of Guy Savoy Champagne. We were each given two little pieces of foie gras with bread on the tip of skewers go with the Champagne. The second amuse-gueule was a soup of carrot, lemon grass and ginger with a little carrot pastry.
We ordered bottles of 2006 André Perret “Chery” Condrieu and 2005 Cuilleron “Les Serines” Saint Joseph. Both were good, just what we hoped for.
The bread server arrived with a basket containing a wide variety of breads. He told us that there was one matched with almost every course. A bread with seaweed was the first. He came around with breads for the next few courses, but, as we were not eating much, eventually gave up on us.
The “Menu Prestige” started with
L’Amuse-Bouche au Caviar
A tartare of langoustine with seaweed bits; a round of merlu, or hake, topped with oscietra caviar and a diamond gel that I couldn’t identify. Very high quality ingredients. Nice.
Tout Petit Pois
A jelly of raw peas is topped with a slightly creamed pea purée, a soft-poached egg and a salad of peas with curly watercress with chive oil. Purple shiso leaves serve as decoration. Very seasonal and good.
Homard Reconstitué en Carapace, Bouillon Leger au Corail et Carottes
Lobster served in the shell over finely diced yellow carrots thickened with lobster coral, tarragon jelly and grapefruit pulp, light lobster consommé infused with pepper. The good lobster flavor was preserved and enhanced by the preparation.
Bar en Ecailles Grillées aux Epices Douces
A thick piece of sea bass grilled whole with the skin. The garnish is mushrooms, chard ribs and fish stock infused with vanilla and sweet spices. This is a classic Guy Savoy dish. The sea bass has a good flavor, but it needs this gentle spicing to bring it out.
Soupe d’Artichaut à la Truffe Noire, Brioche Feuilletée aux Champignons et Truffes
Artichoke soup with black truffles, slices of black truffle and Parmesan shavings. Layered brioche with mushrooms, spread with truffle butter. This is also a classic Guy Savoy dish. The artichoke flavor came through nicely, although I have read that the soup has a lentil base. We were encouraged to dip our flaky brioche into it. The truffles added depth. Very good.
Filet de Veau « Cuit en Asperges », un Morceau de Poitrine Confit, Poivre et Citron
Veal filet mignon stuffed and rolled in green asparagus and then steamed. Grilled veal breast served on a julienne of green asparagus. Veal jus with “Shanso” pepper. Crispy veal tongue and trotter in saboyon. This was creative for a meat course, but it didn’t work well for me. Linda liked it.
We each chose three pieces from the elaborate cheese trolley; they were very good, in perfect condition.
The mignardises were served as a predessert.
The second desert on the menu was the very chocolate Noir. We asked for a substitution and were served
Millefeuille “Minute” à la Gousse de Vanille
Three thin layers of flaky pastry with light cream and Tahiti vanilla pod in between. The pastry was excellent and the vanilla top quality.
The sorbet and ice cream cart was then wheeled up to the table. I chose a scoop of black cherry, while Linda had one of vanilla. I then had another scoop of a flavor I cannot remember, but it was very good.
We enjoyed our excellent meal and the setting. The staff makes a real effort to make the diners feel welcome and relaxed. They were exceptionally attentive to the young, honeymooning couple from Boston who were at the table next to ours. We don’t quarrel with the three-star rating, but we didn’t come away thinking that we had enjoyed as memorable an experience as in many of the other three-star restaurants we have been fortunate enough to experience. The price is really extravagent, which led me to expect more.
(This starts with a seven minute film, which is worth watching.)