A lunch at Guy Savoy ranks as one of the finest meals in recent memory.
The restaurant has a few dining rooms of varying sizes that have a subdued and clean décor that is livened by colorful modern paintings. After sitting for five hours in Per Se’s arena-cum-boardroom the previous week, it was a relief to be somewhere with a sense of intimacy, style, and comfort.
The kitchen served two amuse bouches. The first, an unofficial amuse, the amuses’s amuse, was a miniature, thinly sliced, triple-decker foie gras sandwich with black truffles and a light truffle and pepper vinaigrette, all held together with a toothpick. The sandwich’s delicacy and those truffles made it a delightful and most propitious start.
The actual amuse was a double espresso shot's worth of fresh carroty, carrot soup. The soup was a textbook example of Joel Robuchon’s postulate that “[a]s chefs, we don't have a right to make a mushroom taste like a carrot. Our job is to make a mushroom taste as much as a mushroom as we possibly can.” Lifting the soup’s cleverly designed demitasse off its ceramic saucer revealed a deliciously sweet spoonful of crab salad.
More sliced vegetables followed, a mild disappointment in itself. Carrots, celeriac and others were served in concentric circles with the raw slices circumscribed around the roasted ones. The vegetables were dressed in a superfluous light (and slightly malodorous) oyster sauce that concealed the high quality of the vegetables and, frankly, made Marisa gag a little. Basically,
Shaking off the Alice Waters influence, GS now asserted his Gallic authority in the form of his signature item, a robustly flavorful artichoke soup brimming with black truffles and accompanied by a rich and thankfully not-so-light brioche feuilletée with champignons and still more truffles. Truffle season supposedly ends in March, and with this meal taking place on March 30,
The final savory course was a roasted veal so tender that I used to a spoon to cut it. Its complement was tiny cabbage and just enough foie gras not to overwhelm. In keeping with the afternoon’s theme,
The dessert courses were for the most part excellent. Rather than bring multiple separate course, the kitchen brought out a continual array of small desserts, starting light, moving toward the richer end of the spectrum, and then settling back down. Trying to provide symmetry to the meal, we first had a carroty, carrot ice cream that while interesting did not prove beyond reasonable doubt that a dish with a pure carrot taste does not belong exclusively to the savory realm.
A moist twin chocolate fondant with praline feuilleté and chicory crème was presented like corresponding halves of a candy bar, the richer chocolate counteracting the saltier, spicier chicory and praline. The texture had a certain graininess that prevented the fondant’s richness from overwhelming. For any lover of the sweet/salty juxtaposition in desserts, this creation was also textbook.
The desserts then ended with a kaleidoscope of small desserts: small portions of two types of rice puddings, and, inter alia, an absolutely divine chocolate mousse and crème caramel with caramel ice cream.
18 rue Troyon