Restaurant review: Guy Savoy (Paris)

Guy Savoy has been given 3 Michelin stars for its restaurant, and the rating is well-deserved. Starting with its maître d’, Hubert, it is a show from the time you are seated to the time you leave, with the food being the star of the show.

We dined there in late March, as part of our whirlwind spring break visit to Paris. We picked the “Coulours, Textures and Savours” menu (I know—their English is British and has far too many extra “u” letters), which consisted of the following:

Clear Iced Poached Oysters

Blue Lobster cooked in Cold Steam

Potato Caviar served in a Smoked Sabayon Egg

Whole Grilled Sea Bass with Sweet Spices

Duck Foie Gras with Mulled Wine Flavors

Artichoke and Black Truffle Soup served with Layered Brioche with Mushrooms and Truffle Butter

“Surf and Turf” Saddle and Rack of Lamb

Small Sandwich with Celery Ice Cream (this was the palate cleanser)

Matured Cheeses

Pear and Pepper

Chocolate Orb

Jim is the only member of the family who truly appreciates (and eats) a cheese course. The waiter, upon discovering that the remaining four of us were going to pass on the cheese course, insisted in his amused French way that we all try small bites of the most mild cheese the restaurant had. (This scene reminded me more than a bit of the scene form the movie “L.A. Story” where Steve Martin’s character goes to the fancy French restaurant, L’Idiot, and is told what he can and cannot eat (“You shall have the chicken.”)

Not surprisingly, no one finished his/her cheese course other than Jim. The waiter just laughed at us (in a very nice way—there’s nothing snobby about Guy Savoy). That reminded me of a line from the book “Cooked” by Michael Polian, in which he comments that no culture appreciates any other culture’s fermented foods. It’s certainly true when it comes to Asians and cheese!

Notwithstanding the cheese course, Guy Savoy deserves its rating. The food was simply fabulous, the service was impeccable, and the staff was warm and friendly. We highly recommend a visit!

Guy Savoy is located at Monnaie de Paris, 11 quai de Conti 75006 in Paris (

Guy Savoy (in Paris)

So, we didn’t think our meal at Taillevent could be surpassed or that any restaurant could come close in terms of food and service.  We were wrong.  Guy Savoy was another culinary marvel that we were lucky enough to experience during our stay in Paris.  (The official address is 18 rue Troyon, 75017 Paris; 01-43-80-40-61.)

We started off with artichoke soup (which we later learned was made by one particular chef in the kitchen who has been making artichoke soup at the restaurant for over 15 years).

artichoke soup

The dining consensus was that the overall artichoke soup experience was better at Taillevent (with the ravioli and the truffles), but the soup itself at Guy Savoy was better.  Not that there is much difference between fabulous and wonderful.

Accompanying the meal was a brioche with black truffle butter.  I am not a huge bread fan, but this was definitely worth eating.  Although almost anything with black truffles is definitely worth eating.

brioche with black truffle butter

Most of the table opted for the duck, which is a house specialty.  The duck(s) are brought out before being carved so that you can inspect them.

ducks being prepared

And then they are served in two separate courses.  The first is the classic carved duck breast.  And the second course is the duck leg.

duck breastduck leg

Other entrees included beef two ways (as a short rib and a strip) accompanied by beautifully executed potatoes (in only a small amount of butter, of course).

beef 2 wayspotatoes

And there was a sea bass prepared with Asian spices (such as lemongrass and coriander).  Both were declared excellent.

sea bass with Asian spices

Desserts were a tour de force, as we sampled many different ones.  There was the mille feuille, which was very light and airy.

mille feuille

The gaugette strawberries accompanied with strawberry ice were heavenly and tasted as strawberries should taste.  Along with the main strawberry dessert came two additional tastes of strawberry, one in whipped cream and the other in a light meringue “box.”

gaugette strawberriesstrawberry tidbits

The grapefruit terrine was my favorite.  It was unusual and consisted of different types of grapefruit pulp served in the form of a terrine.  There was none of the bitterness that often comes with grapefruit, and the passionfruit sauce helped counter the acidity of the grapefruit.

grapefruit terrine

For the chocolate lovers, there was a chocolate ball that was accompanied with pineapple ice and a chocolate ganache, as only the French can prepare it.

chocolate ball with pineapple icechocolate ganache

And, finally, there was a chocolate hazelnut torte.

chocolate hazelnut torte

In case we weren’t yet in a sugar coma, there were homemade marshmallows and a tea sorbet to finish off the meal.  The tea sorbet was a perfect palate cleanser to end the meal.  It tasted of the tea itself but without any of the bitter aftertaste tea can sometimes have.

homemade marshmallowstea sorbet

As with our other high end dining experience, the staff—in particular, our waiter, Hubert—were warm and welcoming.  The kids each received a Guy Savoy plate that miraculously made it home intact.  Hubert made sure the kids enjoyed their food and brought out additional tidbits that he thought they might like.

We also received a quick tour of the kitchen.  It was tiny, certainly comparable to New York restaurant kitchens, rather than the comparatively cavernous kitchens in DC restaurants.

Guy Savoy also rates an A++ for the evening.  If we had to parse hairs, however, we would probably say that the food was slightly better at Taillevent and the service was slightly better at Guy Savoy.  But that is only if forced to judge between the two.  You certainly will have a wonderful experience at either restaurant, in terms of both food or service.