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Jul 31, 2001 01:43 PM

Peter and Gary: How much did Guy Savoy Cost?

  • p

Hi Chowhounds--

Thanks for all the great responses! A number of you have asked how much that super meal cost.

We had almost double the number of courses you get with the Digustation menu, but they only charged us the regular prix fixe! Yet another reason to laud Guy Savoy--who would have expected a meal like that to be a bargain?

In France, gratuity is included in the price of the dishes. You are expected to tip additionally only if you found the meal astounding, above and beyond. Obviously we tipped heavily! Here's the total break down:

The red wine, a 1/2 bottle: about $100
The white, a 1/2 bottle of Merseault: about $60
The Yquem, a 1/2 bottle, 1991: $350
TWO meals, complete with gratuity: $240
Additional tips to the wait staff: $100
Tip to the doorman: $13
DVD (a souvenir): $20

Total: let's call it $900

Obviously the bulk of this was in the wines, not to mention exuberant tipping. This is not our record: we paid about $900 for a meal at Le Cirque 2000 in Manhattan and found it wanting (at that price), but we paid $1100 for our meal at French Laundry and considered it a bargain (that was our #1 meal until Guy Savoy unseated it).

It's not a cheap evening, but once a year or so, it's worth it to put on the dog and do it right. Most of our other meals, even other Michelin 3-star meals, were considerably less expensive. And a place like Cartet was positively cheap, but wound up being almost as wonderful an experience. See our site (link below) if you're curious.

Peter and Gary


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  1. After reading your review, I think that was a bargain-especially with a 1/2 bottle of the only Sauternes to have when celebrating. Thanks for the tip on the 1991.

    Last time in Paris my wife and I went to Le Carre Des Feulliants and had an experience similar to yours at Guy Savoy though not quite as extravagent.
    One of their famous dishes is the Chaloose chicken stuffed with mushrooms, cream and spinach and presented under a cloche, carved tableside and served in a sauce loaded with black truffles. A totally unforgettable meal from start to finish. I would go bak in a hearbeat but after reading of your experience at Guy Savoy I have a feeling we will try it when we go back over the New Year. Thanks for a great post.

    8 Replies
    1. re: JayM

      Yquem is indeed a special wine, but I find it hard to believe that the 1991 vintage would be. This was one of the worst vintages in Sauternes. While production was reduced because the quality just wasn't there, perhaps the better decision would have been not to bottle a grand vin, as was done in 1992, another subpar vintage. A 1991 will not really show you the true majesty that is Chateau d'Yquem, and you would usually be better off spending that chunk of change on the best vintage of another Sauternes producer.

      The best recent vintages are 1988, 1989, 1990 and 1996. Even an excellent year like 1989 will seem like a skinny sister when tasted against the fabulous 1988 Yquem or 1990.

      1. re: Melanie Wong
        Peter and Gary

        We totally agree! In my review, I cited the '91 Yquem as surprsingly good--surprising because we had no faith in the year. Our benchmark is the 1990, which is brilliant.

        I guess the meal was so good it helped us be even more forgiving of the Yquem. Yes, by all means hold out for the years you mention, especially 1990. We've had the '88, '89, '90, and now the '91, and the '90 is the winner for us.

        In our cellar we have a '67 which we're saving. Hardly a great year, but it was a bargain.

        I almost got my hands on a 1921, but they wanted $2,500 for it, and I couldn't do it. Just too much.

        Peter and Gary


        1. re: Peter and Gary
          Melanie Wong

          Peter & Gary,

          My apologies, my note was in response to JayM's comments. I had not read your entire posting yet. In fact I still haven't --- it deserves be savored and not rushed. But I did read through your comments on d'Yquem and now understand your point of view.

          Touché on 1967. You make an excellent point. 1967 is not a highly regarded year for Sauternes in general, but d'Yquem managed to make one of the wines of a lifetime. It may surpass the reputation of the 1945 in time.

          I've been fortunate to taste 1988 to 1991 also in various pairings side-by-side on a few occassions over the last 7 years. The 88 continues to be my favorite for its sheer opulence and mass. My hunch though is like the 75/76 dueling duo, 88/90 may age the same way with 88, like 76 starting to sink under its weight, and the 90 shining like the 75 for its perfect balance and longevity.

          One small correction, during the battle for ownership of Chateau d'Yquem, the Count de Lur Saluces remained in control of production. He is still in control of operations since the acquisition and settlement in 1999.

          1. re: Melanie Wong

            My comments were regarding the enjoyment of Yquem-and the fact that Peter and Gary were both pleasantly surprised by the 91. I defintely have learned a thing or two from both of your posts. Thanks!

            1. re: Melanie Wong

              Since there appear to be some Yquem mavens on this thread, I have to ask if any of you have ever tried the '79. I received a half-bottle as a gift and have been saving it for a special occasion. Is it going to be any good or is it all vinegar by now?

              1. re: Marty L.

                I can't answer your question, Marty, but you just reminded me that I have a bottle of Chateau d'Yquem, too, a 1984. I know next to nothing - no, I take that back - I know nothing about it. My husband bought the bottle many years ago as a gift for a friend who passed away before we got a chance to give it to him.

                So now I suppose I've got the same question and more:
                - Does Chateau d'Yquem age well? Would it be good or is it now just a very expensive bottle of vinegar?
                - If it's good, what's it worth these days?
                - If we decide to drink it, should it be room temperature or chilled?
                - I'm guessing that, if we do open it, it should be when we've got a table full of guests and we should plan to finish the whole bottle, rather than trying to save any of it.

                Can anyone help Marty and me?


                1. re: Dena

                  I'm sorry - I probably should have moved this reply over to "Not About Food."

                2. re: Marty L.

                  Don't worry. Yquem will last for ages - even in poor years. The 79 is still great. Haven't had the 84 but had the 87 (a weak year and in half bottles) and it's still fine.
                  That all assumes 'reasonable' storage conditions.

                  Yquem should be consumed with a close loved one in a romantic setting (say, in front of a real fire), and sipped and savoured. Chill well, but not excessively. No food required.