REVIEW

Guy Savoy

"Great cuisine:  for me, this expression means the best produce, the finest creative minds, and the most personalized environment.  It certainly does not mean silver cloches, complex preparations and starchy headwaiters.  I maintain that gastronomy does not have to be surrounded by complication, and that refinement can be expressed simply."  Thus opined Guy Savoy in a lecture to the Académie des Sciences Morales et Politiques in March of 1999.  Guy Savoy was one of the first progenitors of "nouvelle cuisine", a lighter approach to classic French cooking that cleared out the cobwebbed underbrush of heavy French sauces to make way for a newer and simpler cuisine with an emphasis on fresh ingredients.

This forward-thinking approach is everywhere evident in Guy Savoy's sublime eponymous restaurant in the 17th arrondissement, with its modernist ode to wood, stone and leather and walls adorned with modern art from Guy Savoy's own collection.  Jean-Michel Wilmotte has created a restaurant of many partitions, which creates an effect of semi-private dining rooms throughout.  The design is dominated by dark African wood paneled walls, marble and rich leather.  It is extremely contemporary for a first-class French restaurant (compare the sumptuous interiors of Le Meurice or Alain Ducasse at the Plaza Athénée), but eminently civilized at the same time. 

Guy Savoy sources its produce from the highest-quality purveyors, with fish delivered twice a day from fishermen in Brittany.  The excellent rib of veal comes from the Boucheries Nivernaises or from Robert Morel, the butcher and livestock farmer in Bourgoin-Jallieu.  Savoy loves to have a dish ricochet between different tastes and textures.  A quintessential example of his style is the Colors of Caviar, glass filled with caviar cream, caviar vinaigrette and green bean puree with Sevruga caviar and hot sabayon, a green and white alternation between acidity and richness.  His signature appetizer of artichoke soup with black truffles and brioche is all that it is reputed to be - earthy, hearty, utterly satisfying.  One eclectic dish offers a wonderful mixture of foie gras, wild squab, pheasant, mallard duck and cabbage "en Marmite" with a light game jus.  There is a deep selection of artisinal breads that are meant to pair and harmonize with different dishes as well as a magnificent mature cheese cart.

This is a restaurant of distinction and class, but ultimately what Guy Savoy cares most about is that you have fun and enjoy your meal.  We have seen the extraordinarily gracious and genial service pivot on a dime and adapt to the mood and temperament of different tables, from grand formality with elderly patriarchs to casual conversation with semi-rowdy 20-somethings.  We have been in the restaurant when it is virtually empty (on one afternoon, the only other patrons seemed to be Bobby Flay and his wife, both of whom, for the record, were effusive in their praise) and when it is full, and the quality of the service never wavers.  Guy Savoy has made an interesting observation:  no other art, with the possible exception of music, provides the artist with such immediate feedback.  It must be very rewarding to receive the kind of feedback Savoy's craftsmanship commands night after night. 

PHOTOGRAPHS

Read users' comments about this venue or post your own...

INFORMATION

17th Arrondissement
18 Rue Troyon
+33 (0)1 43 80 40 61
Tues-Fri, noon-2pm, 7pm-10:30pm; Sat, 7pm-10:30pm
    Guy Savoy, Chef
    Jean-Michel Wilmotte, Designer

    TAGS

    • Paris
    • French
    • Best Decor
    • Best Service
    • Best Wine Lists
    • Private Dining Room Private Dining Room: 16 seated
    • Tasting Menu 9 Course Prestige Menu: €330 11 Course "Coulours, Textures and Savours" Menu: €360 12 Course "Innovations and inspirations in 12 sequences" Menu 18 Course "Innovations and inspirations in 18 sequences" Menu

    OTHER REVIEWS