The “Inn for the 21 st Century,” as the restaurant is described in promotional materials, was on a small street just off the Champs Elysees. It was named for owner and chef Guy Savoy, a nouvelle cuisine trailblazer in his heyday. I had been there for dinner many years before and remembered it fondly. Inside the décor was modern filled with wood and sunlight. Stark primitive artifacts and bright oversize abstract oil paintings gave life to the otherwise serious dining rooms.
I had hardly sat down when the Chef himself made an appearance. He stopped at my table, among others, and welcomed me graciously. Instantly, I felt, well, welcome. In these days when so many of the great gourmet icons are overseeing someone else’s cooking and developing their corporate empires, it was reassuring to see a hands on chef still welcoming guests individually. A moment later, one of the many young and handsome servers arrived with a chilled champagne trolley to offer me an aperitif. With a glass of Billecart Saumon champagne in hand I perused the menu and placed my order.
The special web menu, the most affordable option, was particularly favorable for first time guests wanting to sample the cuisine and visit the restaurant. The three course menu included one choice from several options for the appetizer and main course. It was also possible to order a wine pairing. My favorite dish was one of the restaurant’s signature dishes, an appetizer, Soupe d’artichaut a la truffe noire, brioche feuilletée aux champignons et truffes . It was an ethereal artichoke soup made with black truffles, and brioche with mushrooms and truffles. Remembering the soup I can understand why the artichoke is one of the chef’s favorite vegetables. His words come to mind: “If you respect and worship the raw materials, you can do as you wish.”
As with other top tier Parisian restaurants, there were many special touches like designer dinnerware, silverware and crystal glasses; nine types of bread paired with each course; and two types of butter served in pretty crystal containers. Beyond the meal itself, the most remarkable quality that will draw me back to Guy Savoy was the friendly, professional and genuinely welcoming service.
Executive Chef and chef de cuisine Guy Savoy
Handicapped Access No
Location On a small side street just off the Arch de Triomphe and the Champs Elysees
Manager And Head Sommelier Eric Mancio
Opened-Renovated Guy Savoy opened his restaurant in 1980 on the Rue Duret in Paris. He moved to the current location in 1987. The restaurant was redesigned in 2001.
Owned and managed Guy Savoy
Pastry Chef Hugues Pouget
Size The restaurant could accommodate 65 guests. There was a staff compliment of 48.
Type Of Restaurant Gastronomic
His collection includes paintings by Georges Autard and Bran Van Velde; painted plates by Tony Soulie and Jacques Bosse ; Yoruba and Bozo statuary; Dogon bronzes; and artifacts from Bali, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, and the Tang Dynasty. There were also works by Jean-Pierre Baquere, Isabelle Emmerique, and Jean-Pierre Rives.
Tableware was designed by Laurent Beyne; plates and chairs were designed by Jean_Michel Wilmotte; knives by Laguiole; china by Anne Xiradakis and other plates by Didier Le Hen.
Meal Two pre-appetizers accompanied the champagne glass: a foie gras morsel served on a toothpick and crunchy soup in a thimble sized bowl. When my appetizer arrived, I tasted the two types of cold fish on the plate, leaving the remainder without in any way indicating my disappointment. Moments after the waiter removed the plate, Hubert, who had taken my order, arrived. He insisted on replacing the fish with an artichoke soup. More to humor him than anything I agreed. The soup, a house specialty, was magnificent.
The “three” course meal was an artichoke soup, Soupe d’artichaut a la truffe noire, brioche feuilletée aux champignons et truffes ; delicious grilled and poached pigeon with truffle mash potatoes, Pigeon “poché-grillé”, “noxi-cresson”, cuisses confites a la maniere classique ; and a festive multi mini-dish desert. Between the dessert courses and the mignardises from the dessert trolley there were 16 sweet flavors: pear and chestnut, chocolate, chocolate mousse, passion fruit macarrons pastry, pear ice cream, and candied chestnut ( marron glace ) ice cream with crème anglaise .
Special Menus The restaurant changes its menu four times a year. For first time guests wanting to sample the restaurant’s offerings, there was an online three course menu for 100 euros. It included optional wine pairing for 10 euros per glass of wine. The Prestige Menu, served for the entire table, included one pre-appetizer, five dishes, cheeses, and two desserts for 230 euros. A Textures and Flavors menu costing 285 euros included one pre-appetizer, six dishes, cheeses, and two desserts. A truffle menu was available in winter and a mushroom menu was available in the fall.
In 2006 Guy Savoy had three Michelin stars. A Guy Savoy restaurant opened at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas May 2006.
Reservations Required I was able to book a table for two a couple of weeks in advance.