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Guy Savoy, detailed report, long

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Guy Savoy, detailed report, long

mdibiaso | Oct 14, 2001 08:42 AM

See my trip report for an overview:
I could not get a table before 10 PM and the tasting menu was missing a course a really wanted to try (Langoustine and lentils) and had a couple that did not interest me. So I went ala carte with 2 half servings of appertizers (both creamy soups) a main course, cheese and finally two desserts. I had some great wines, both a dry than a sweet Condrieau. There were three amuse busche. First foie gras toast (which they brought an extra serving of) then a little cerviche of sea bass, then a little tray with three small bites, a vegetable brochette, some ham and a wonderful little carrot soup flavored with star anise. This type of service indicates they are really shooting for the third star.

The first course was a creamy lentil soup with langoustines. This was a very advanced version of a surf and turf. The earthy, rich and creamy lentils matched with the bright, langoustine that was pregnant with ocean flavors. Some fried parsley on the top mirrored the iodine flavors of the langoustine. I was suggested a glass of white Burgundy, Mearsault, for this course and the richness of the wine matched the richness of the lentils very well.

The next course was another creamy, earthy soup. This time a Guy Savoy classic that I had eaten there 5 years ago and wanted to try again. Artichoke soup with truffles and parmesan served with a truffle brioche with truffle/mushroom butter. As in the first soup all the earthiness needed some type of contrast, this time it was the saltiness of the parmesan. We switched wines at this time to a Condrieau which also provided a contrast which was about all a wine could do with the bitterness of the artichokes. I felt that this soup was overall a tough better than the first soup. Maybe it was memories of having eaten this with my wife 5 years ago on a romantic trip to Paris and I was wishing she could have joined my this time. Maybe it was the fact that I like the langoustine in the first soup so much I eat it quickly and did not have any left for a contrast with the remaining lentils. But we are splitting hairs here as both dishes were at a 3 star level.

I think my favorite dishes was the next one, a rare tuna steak with a creamy ginger sauce. It reminded me a bit of sushi (tuna and ginger) and I asked Mr. Savoy if his inspiration for the dish was from Japan (he visited every table several times). I am not sure he really understood the question but he answered that it was not. Either way the course was a great contrast of freshness from the almost raw fish with the creaminess of the sauce. And I must say my choice of a Condrieau as the wine was perfect (I had chosen the Condrieau particularly for this dish). The flowery aromas of the wines mirrored the exotic ginger perfectly while cutting right through the creamy sauce to keep the dish light.

When I chose the first Condrieau I had asked for a bottle of Condrieau Quintessense that sounded interesting and was in a 50cc bottle that seemed just right (little more than half not a whole). But the sommelier kindly informed me that this was a sweet late bottled Condrieau. I had never heard of a sweet Condrieau before so when it came time for dessert I had to order this wine, even though I knew I would never finished the whole bottle. I asked first for some cheese recommendations to match the wine. The wine was very flowerly, like a normal Condrieau. The sweetness was lighter than a sauternes, more similar to a late bottled Riesling with good acidity. A unique wine I was glad I ordered. The suggested cheeses were a nutty Comte (did not work well with the wine), a Fondant d’Ambert (very creamy blue cheese) which worked a little better, and finally a Roquefort which worked excellent with the wine as the salt of the cheese was a perfect contrast to the sweetness of the wine.

The first dessert a grapefruit terrine with tea sauce. The citrus of the dessert and exotic flavors of the tea complemented the wine very well. It as this dessert that both I and the sommelier thought would work best. The next dessert, a symphony of pears worked less well with the wine best was very good on it’s own. First was a pear sorbet spiced with clove that was delicious and had good bite in the clove spice but overpowered the wine. It was the best of the dessert however. Next was a creme brulee with pear sauce that tasted fine but I have had better creme brulees. Finely some warm pears with creme that again was good but nothing memorable.

Finally a whole array of chocolates, cookies and even a slice of apple gallette came to the table as a freebie to finish the meal. Again, a sign they are shooting for the third star. And to sum up my report, this was not one of the 3 best meals in my life but absolutely on par with many three star restaurants I have dined at. So I hope Michelin does the right thing and gives Mr. Savoy the recognition he deserves and the third star. I strongly recommend this restaurant to anyone in Paris for the first time (most of the staff speaks good English) looking for a great meal and not willing to take any risks with the more experimental and whimsical chefs.

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