Before I start, these are the things I remember about this place. The Austrian waiter who just spoke way too fucking fast like he was at an auction. Secondly, a table with 4 anorexic models with these douche-bag manager types that were asking how many calories were in each dish. Lastly, overall just being sad that this was our last meal in Paris and we had a long night of packing ahead of us, with an equally long flight home the next day. I want to preface these factors as possible confounding variable as to why we were annoyed and how this could have affected our perception of the food. Let me stop and paint this scene, why would 4 anorexic models go to a 3 Michelin star restaurant where you eat for 3 hours straight? This is like a paradox. To top it off, when I asked Erika if she had anything to contribute to this blog from her memories, she stated, “I can’t even remember any of the dishes, all I remember was being annoyed by those models and hearing them talk, they were so annoying and loud that I couldn’t hear myself think.”
But upon reviewing our videos and seeing how amazing all the dishes looked, we thought to ourselves, “Why don’t we remember this?” It led me to this conclusion: “There can be too much of a good thing.” When you binge eat every night for 12 nights, there comes a point where you just burn out and no matter how good the meal is you become oversaturated and the pleasure turns into pain.
We did have a star sighting, however, to the left of us was a table with a very elegant woman that looked like a VIP. Mr. Guy Savoy himself actually came and sat with this party at the end of the dinner for like 30 minutes. When we mustered up the courage to talk to her, she told us that she was the ex-wife of Jean-Pierre Cassel. I was shocked, I just said, “You’re Vincent Cassel’s mom?!”
She was impressed that we even knew who he was. I told her that he was my favorite Male Actor. He was the ultimate badass in Mesrine. He has made appearances in my previous blog post where I used a clip of him from Ocean’s 11.
It was sad when he separated from Monica Bellucci. My favorite Man-crush was married to the woman both my wife and I think is the most beautiful actress of our generation, Monica Bellucci.
Anyhow, let’s get back to the restaurant. Similarly to Alléno at the Ledoyen, Guy Savoy is housed in another historic Paris landmark, the former Paris Mint.
There is a costumed doorman who signals that guests are arriving, and as soon as you walk up to the door of the restaurant it magically opens on its own.
Reminded us of the staircase at the Paris Opera house.
The decor was very modern and sleek, with black paneled walls as seen in the feature image. Yet it was mixed with classic Parisian marble accents and antique busts throughout.
We were personally greeted at the door by the chef himself, Monsieur Guy Savoy.
“Cuisine is the art of instantly transforming produce loaded with history into joy.”
Very nice plates that he sold for $250 each in his store at the front.
This was one of the heaviest binge meals yet. Please starve yourself all day before coming here. I was in pain when they kept asking if I wanted more at the end. I think the head waiter was getting a kick out of seeing my face when I was at my sheer limit of gastric distention and he was laughing sadistically while teasingly asking, “Do you want more? We can bring extra, its no problem, no extra charge.” I even have a video of this, where I looked like I was about to cry after he offered to bring an extra plate as I was holding my stomach in pain.
We started off light enough. All the menu said was amuse bouche. The only thing I can make out from the photo is the mushroom, the rest, je ne sais quoi?
The famous oysters with olive oil and seaweed-lemon granita. Look at the little igloo they cultivated the granita from. Amazing.
I don’t remember what the fuck this was with the liquid nitrogen spilling out. I am thinking it was caviar given that we were given caviar spoons.
You get an example of the waiter that speaks like he is stuck in fast-forward. Imagine the whole menu explained like that, I just gave up and stopped asking for explanations, even though he was speaking English.
Finally a dish I remember well and can identify. Homard bleu et vert, which translated to Lobster blue and green. There is no such thing as green lobster, so the green references the avocado and green apple slices that are cooked and seen underneath. This sauce was an amazingly thick bisque. Definitely, one of my favorites as the lobster was served live sashimi style.
This was quail egg with caviar and sabayon sauce.
Sabayon sauce is a sauce made by combining egg yolks and sugar and whipping them together into an emulsion. The magic trick with the egg was quite nice too.
Those home-style potato chips seen above were killer as well and they were used to soak up whatever sabayon was left.
Here we have the John Dory with clams and razor clams that were steamed in the bag seen below. They used sea beans as well. An interesting application of this green, which I am starting to see at grocery stores now.
The sauce was super rich, and this is where the heavy feelings starting setting in.
This sauce was also paired with his collage of little vegetable cubes that he served with Australian finger limes, which he calls lemon caviar below, to add some acid to the mix. I distinctly remember that I thought to myself, “A lot of molecular theatrics, but lacking flavor.”
The seafood bonanza would not stop. We could have ended here and just gone straight to dessert and we would have been fine, but there were still several meat courses. The 11-year-old Grand Cru Chablis carried us through all the seafood dishes nicely.
Look at that salmon belly cut, so marbled, sitting in an amazing consomme. It was apparently cooked on the dry ice and then it cooked lightly once it was placed in the hot plate with the sauce. Then the green and yellow lemon puree were added along with the lemon caviar as seen in the vegetable collage. This was probably my second favorite dish of the night.
Now the consistency of great dishes kept coming with the black truffle artichoke soup. It was served with a brioche that they bathed with black truffle butter. This was #3 of my favorites.
Just artichokes and black truffle together is a match made in heaven with regards to funkiness. It was like a James Brown and Bootsy Collins call and response performance. A beautiful metaphor for African rooted music, let me demonstrate this concept.
OMG, talk about sopping up the juices with the brioche.
This was the duck with crispy skin with graffiti eggplant. What a psychedelic looking vegetable. Now, this is more like it. If you are going to give me something pretty to look at, it also better taste as good.
Solid dish, but I was getting to the exploding point by now as I also had to eat Erika’s portion.
These were the swiss chards made into a gratin. As if my buttons weren’t about to fly across the room, just put a fork in me and roll me over.
I love phallic desserts that really live up to their name of being a Happy Ending.
Oh wait, here is the Lorena Bobbit shot.
It was actually crispy red currants with cherry blossom sorbet. Talk about a dessert that pairs well with a red wine. I think we got a nice older bottle of CDP to go with this one that I neglected to take a photo of as they decanted it and stored it away somewhere out of reach.
Then came the Honey chocolate, under the Monnaie de Paris (Mint of Paris), which was made by thin chocolate coins placed on a light 70% chocolate mouse, a Paris honey coulis, and a cocoa fleur de sel biscuit.
I should have smashed it and taken a picture with the honey caramel oozing out like a Rolo.
Rhubarb tart, sorbet, yogurt, macaroons, hazelnut tart, just endless gluttony.
What can I say, “I can’t fault the Guy’s technique and experience” (pardon the pun). He has trained countless Michelin chefs that have all gone on to start their own empires, like Gordon Ramsay. I mean the man is a living legend. The restaurant itself was pure beauty. We just had an empty feeling throughout this dinner. It was somewhat cold and sterile despite attempts at humor by the staff here and there. It was just kind of joyless at times, with some dishes lacking flavor. The crowd of models and movie stars eating there also reflected this kind of superficial soullessness.
I am happy we experienced it, but it was one of those 3-star places that you kind of regret as you should have known better; that it was going to be mostly theatrics. It’s like the empty feeling you get after watching a hyped/highly marketed action movie that, though exhilarating, left you holding an empty bag at the end. Even though you told yourself, “There is no plot, though I may enjoy the explosions while they are happening, I will regret it in the end.”
Like I told Erika, we should have canceled this dinner in order to eat at Chef Elkhaldy’s home, but there was no way we could have predicted we would have felt this way. On the same token, we were pooped out from all the fine dining and were leaving the next day so this could have put us in a Debbie Downer mood. If you truly want to come here, I suggest doing a couple of entrees and skipping the tasting menu. You still have to experience this place despite my glib report. This man is a living legend afterall, and he may not be around for long. He is up there with Joel Robuchon. Comparing the two is like Suntory vs Nikka whisky, the debate may never end.