Guy Savoy, Paris, 9/18/2013
I arrived at Paris four days before the group tours started so that I can enjoy four consecutive days of fine dining. Guy Savoy was the first in this series. It is located not too far away from Charles de Gaulle Etoile. Waiter told me that Guy Savoy’s own kitchen bakes some limited varieties of daily breads. The more fancy types of bread are bought from a regular supplier – Le Quartier du Pain. When this waiter brought over the breads baked by the outside supplier, I chose the seaweed bread. I was a bit disappointed, it was not as tasty as the seaweed bread that I had at Pierre Gagnaire two years ago.
I had a three-course prix-fix lunch. The meal started with Amuse Bouche. There were three items - toast of foie gras, celery root soup and a miniature pastry. Foie gras was sliced and placed in a stick with sliced ceps mushroom like a kabob. It was the first time that I tasted cepes mushroom. This type of mushroom grows on chestnut tree and harvested in early fall of each year. It has a very refreshing taste and slightly firmer texture than straw mushroom. The celery root cream soup is very smooth and offered a complementary effect to the foie gras. The pastry was filled with potato and fennel topped with berries. It had a well-balanced texture that you could feel the taste and get you ready for the appetizer.
For appetizer, I ordered the signature dish “Artichoke and black truffle soup, layered brioche with mushrooms and truffles." The first thing I noticed was the brioche. Once it was served, the waiter came to spread truffle butter on brioche. You can smell the truffles in the air at this time. The brioche looked terrific you can just forget about your calories count temporarily. After a few bites of brioche I started eating soup. I noticed there were a few large pieces of truffles floating on top. When I bit on them, I realized they have been cooked with the soup and lost the pungency. Without of doubt the truffles soup was delicious. However, I felt it would have been perfect had the freshly shaved truffles been served on top of the soup.
Then, there was a complimentary offer “Salmon ‘frozen’ on ice, scalding hot consommé, lemon pearls." The executive chef came to my table and displayed some raw salmon. Being inquisitive, I found out this was red-label salmon from Scotland. It has a top of the line quality. The chef first placed the salmon filet on dry ice while preparing for stir-fried lemon pearls (lemon flavored pasta) and bochoy. Then, place salmon filet in a serving plate along with the lemon pearls and bochoy and poured sizzling hot seafood consommé over salmon. Even though this dish looked like still in the development stage, it offered a very balanced taste and made ultra-tender semi-cooked fish.
Following the fish course was the meat course “Morsels of veal, turnips, and endives in autumn-style." Veal was low temperature slow-roasted and served with salt-roasted baby potatoes, endives. It was beautifully presented with a circle in the middle using thinly sliced baby radishes. The root vegetable puree was so smooth and tasty. Vegetables were even tastier than veal. My palate can tell it was prepared with diligence and art of cooking.
After all the savory dishes, palate cleanser was served. There were two items in the plate, one egg white meringue and one coconut jelly candy.
For desert, I chose chocolate cake with chocolate ice cream. I felt chocolate cake was a bit heavy but the taste was good. After desert, petit fours were served. I chose some miniature cheese-cake and Earl Grey tea-flavored ice cream. I was not too satisfied with the desert. It seemed nothing was outstanding to worth a re-order. Usually, when desert was overwhelmingly good, I would ask to have a little goodie-bag to go. At Guy Savoy, I did not ask. I enjoy my dining experience at Guy Savoy although I wouldn’t think of going back soon in the future. It serves a more traditional French cooking compared with Pierre Gagnaire.