The Michelin system of rating restaurants is very flawed we know but when restaurants get to the point where they have 3 stars it is a reasonable indication that they are doing things well. Last year we ate at Pierre Gagnaire in Paris and this year it was Guy Savoy’s turn.
Look at the Guy Savoy innovative website – it was enough to tempt me. We learned from our apartment rental agency owners that Guy Savoy is making a big move to another area of Paris soon so expect a sparkling new fit out. The existing restaurant is compiled of various rooms and I often wonder how they decide who will sit where. A French friend said you don’t want to be sat in the ‘alien zone’. We were in a multicultural zone with a young Asian couple who had American accents and two American middle-aged women and a French middle-aged couple who looked like they were having a business lunch meeting. I noticed how civilised they were only bringing out their business attaches to exchange paperwork at the end of the meal.
The heavy weight tables of all businessmen were placed in the front rooms of the restaurant. Service here was the best we have had so far and although you did not need it some dishes were designed so that you could have second helpings.
The bread was plentiful and is not house made but by one of the best in Paris the Boulanger Eric Kayser.
On the table were coloured round glass containers, they are in the photos sans their pointy lids the shape of genie bottles, containing salted or sweet butter and freshly ground sea salt and pepper.
The full a la carte menu was presented to us and we had to enquire about the simpler and cheaper lunch menu which not only is easier to digest but the prices are more contained. The degustation menus are extensive and you need to set aside several hours to take advantage of those.
A coupe of Guy Savoy’s label champagne to begin and I asked the sommelier to bring me a glass of wine to suit the remainder of the courses and he chose well. I place faith in sommeliers to bring me wine by the glass as John does not drink. He is an expert in water and loves plain Parisian tap water although you just get bottled water in fancy bottles at these restaurants.
As with most haute cuisine establishments we received some complimentary amuse buche – a slice of foi gras thread between toast on a small wooden skewer and another taste bud tantaliser in the picture above.
As my official entrée I had the much-lauded ‘signature’ artichoke and truffle soup but it was not a taste bud knockout as I expected. It was saved by the fresh warm brioche served alongside, that when the waiter smeared it with truffle butter it melted instantly into the brioche. I was advised by him to dunk it in the soup. The term waiter just doesn’t seem appropriate, these guys are such experts and so professional, you would think they cooked the dishes themselves.
John’s artful striped terrine.
My pigeon in several ways served with courgette. There is even a little more pigeon in the small white cup in the background.
Johns milk-fed lamb main course in two parts.
Desserts were without fault. For a change the Napoleon was not petite and precious like some desserts, it was a giant mille-feuille that looked better than most in the patisseries and lived up to its portrait captured here.
My chocolate dessert came in three slabs standing to attention on a dramatic black tile and was magnificent in taste to match its presentation.
When you think you have finished with dessert they bring a trolley and offer all kinds of sorbet, they are in the silver lidded containers, the second shelf of the trolley had tempting strawberry tarts, clafouti etc.
I declined any of these extras on the tray until I saw my favourite – marshmallows. They are so light that I always reason they will not be too fattening or filling.
Cheese was not on the special lunch menu but of course you could have asked for it, and like the French you take it before the desserts but there was simply enough cholesterol for one day in the desserts.